Story by "Michelle"

 

Hi, I'm Michelle.  I'm 31 years old.  I am just baffled right now.  I have had this condition for 5 years now, and didn't even know it.  I was reading a book called healing fear and it mentioned something about depersonalization disorder.  Not knowing what that was I looked it up on line.  Well, I guess I am not alone after all. 

I am rather pissed at all the doctors I have wasted my time with, who never bothered to mention this to me.  They just want to give me meds which actually make me feel worse.  Five years of me obsessing that I have some sort of tumor or other problem, convinced I was going to die from this. 

It started out as just a really strange dream like feel.  I work at a major car assembly plant and it just felt like the floor was always moving.  I would get dizzy spells constantly and feel as if I was going to fall over.  It felt like everything I was doing wasn't really happening, as if I were dreaming it or looking at it like a movie. 

At first it didn't bother me too much, because the doctor said it was an ear infection causing me to feel off balance.  Well after about 3 prescriptions of antibiotics I started to get worried.  It was getting worse.  When I went to a store I would start to feel real bad, I would have to leave to get some air.  My head would just start spinning. 

About 6 months of numerous doctor visits, I had a panic attack at work (well I thought I was dying for sure at the time).  I had never been informed of any of this by my doctor.  Not even a word.  I went to the nurse and she asked me if I ever had panic attacks.  Well I didn't even know what she was talking about.  My doctor laughed when I told him what she asked. 

He proceeded to put me on heart monitors and all kinds of heart related tests, which was actually debilitating for me.  I was in a constant state of disbelief and panic.  I couldn't drive, go out, go to work, I was having 20 plus panic attacks a day all because of this off balance dream like thing. 

So my friend mentioned panic attacks one day and I looked it up on the net.  Sure sounded like parts of what I was experiencing, but nothing about the unreal feelings.  Eventually the doctor thought I was depressed and put me on Paxil.  I remember the first couple of weeks, the dizziness was awful.  After a while the panic attacks went away, but I never lost that sense of unreality.  I felt like the Paxil shut my mind right off and I couldn't care about anything.  So after a year of that I went off it. 

I was well enough to go on a vacation to Mexico for the first time in my life.  No panic, but still not feeling right.  I got pregnant not long after that and I have to say I don't really recall having a lot of the symptoms during those nine months.  I didn't even panic.  I still don't understand that at all. 

Anyhow,  my daughter is two now and in the last year it has really come back with a vengeance.  I have switched doctors three times..  I have been on Celexa and he wanted me to try Prozac but frankly I just can't take another round of med's.  The side effects actually make me feel way worse.  I am severely uptight all the time and I feel as though I am not a good mother to my daughter.  I don't have patience that I need.  I just feel so stressed out and until now was thinking that somehow I would find out what it was and fix it.  But it doesn't sound too good.  

There really is no FIX is there? I really have leaned a lot of coping skills like abdominal breathing and self talk but I really don't want to have this forever.  I can't even imagine that.  I feel as though I have already lost five years.  I am trying to stay somewhat positive , at least its nothing that will kill me.  But I just don't know how this has happened to me, or why.  That's the hard part for me.  I just want to be like I was before..

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