Story by "Jay"
So it DOES have a name! This site told me two words that three therapists, one nurse practitioner, and SIX psychiatrists couldn't - Depersonalization Disorder! Throughout the years, I've been on nine different meds (each one by itself, and then in combinations), and have been diagnosed with seven different disorders (none of which ever seemed right). Nothing ever helped, except the occasional glass of wine. (Okay, the whole bottle.) I am a 28 year old male.. wait, 28? That can't be right. Wow, typing that literally felt foreign, as if I was typing a description about someone else, but it's accurate - 28. That's me I suppose.
My first recollection of DP was when I was six years old. I had spent the day trying to understand god and put his existence into a perspective that made sense. After I failed to do so and found myself in one paradox after another, I decided to ask my aunt who was visiting us that day. She was very active in two churches in our town, so surely she could explain it to me. "If god made us, then who made god?" I asked. She looked at me with sharp surprise and quickly spouted, "It's a sin to ask that, and you should NEVER ask that again!" And with that one judgmental, dagger-eyed remark, it happened. My body just stood there, my eyes still fixed on hers. But I was suddenly "outside looking in." I gazed back at my physical body as a gamut of thoughts, questions, and realizations raced through my mind. At that moment, I was different... forever changed. In a flash, I realized that other people didn't have the answers for which I was searching. And I told "myself" never to forget this moment, for I had just learned a very important lesson: challenging people's ideas of god/universe is not acceptable. I looked at my aunt and thought, "What weird creatures you people are! You pretend to know the answers and preach to everyone, but when questioned, you attack with anger." I realized I didn't understand their world at all. From then on (to this day), humans have seemed like such curious creations to me. And I'm still trying to understand them, as if I'm an alien visiting here. I know what's acceptable and what's not acceptable; and I act accordingly. But most of the things they say and do seem rather silly, irrational, contradictory, and just plain foreign to me!
Since then, I've only had a few, very short-lived experiences where I was completely "back" in my body. The last "normal" episode was this summer. I was amazed at how colorful the world suddenly was! I was literally running around, asking everyone if they knew why the trees were so green. I could swear that every road was freshly paved. The air was softer and lighter. And my mother looked as if she had gotten a face lift! Because of this, my family persuaded me to start meds again. And a few days after starting the meds, the world went back to its "normal" dullish hue. Only NOW do I realized (by reading about other DP's symptoms) that the world really IS that bright, clear, and green to most people. Ironically, my family thought I was going crazy when in fact I was finally 'sane' for the first time in a decade!
Several people mentioned in their DP stories that, during an episode, the world looks like a video game. I only NOW figured out that it's not supposed to look like that. I never thought to tell any of my psychiatrists that objects around me constantly pulsate as if they're breathing. And everything is covered by "worms of light" that constantly move and intertwine with each other. I never realized the rest of the world didn't see things that way!
Most days it isn't so bad. I've learned to appreciate the insights and different perspectives it gives me. It does get lonely because even though I have a loving family and great friends, I'm forever aware that any relationship we build is just a product of some physical nature - mortal, biological bodies programmed by genetics and cultured by experiences. As for me, I just play along, watching from outside, with thoughts literally trapped in this head. And although I talk openly with them about these things, I know they don't quite understand. But some days aren't so easy. Being in this 'state' is all I've known since I was six. Not only am I comfortable with it, I prefer it. But in its most severe forms, I feel my "self" disappearing - fading, fading.. faster faster... I remind Self that I've lived through it a billion times before, not to panic.. but Self is fading.. disappearing.. and at any moment, SELF is going to no longer exist! I do NOT feel like I'm dying; I feel like I'm literally disappearing, evaporating, vanishing! And if I cease to exist, I must have never existed at all! I don't exist.. I am just an image in someone's dream, and he is about to wake up! And when he wakes, I will vanish! The feeling is so distinct and overwhelming and as Self fades more and more into the abyss, I become more and more lost within... it's never been this bad before.. or has it?? I can't remember.. because there is no I.. there is no memory without Self.. if only I could find my way back in time.. so lost.. i must be insane.. i am truly insane.. nothing is as i ever thought it was.. the faster i run toward sanity, the closer i get to nothingness.. one more step and i know there's no turning back.. and no one is anyone and i expect that at any moment, i shall go too far and the entire world is going to turn to me and shout "YAY, you finally figured it out, we've been waiting so long!" And every delusion i ever knew will melt away into the true reality!!!
But alas, i somehow begin to find my way back.. slowly... and the world seems more normal, slowly.. and people begin to look and feel more normal.. so slowly.. i didn't vanish into nothingness.. Although this experience is frightening beyond description, a part of me wishes I would take that final step over the edge.
Thanks for the site!
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