Story by "Nicole"

 

Hi,
I was diagnosed with Depersonalization Disorder when I was 15. I first started getting the episodes when I was 10, and they scared me but I didn't tell anyone about them basically because I thought everyone must have these sorts of things happen to them. I mean, I thought that it's impossible to everyone to be in touch with reality all the time.
Time passed and my next episode didn't come until I was 13. I remember being in my room with my sister and all of a sudden she didn't look the same. The colors that I saw started to become brighter and the sounds that I heard because much clearer. When I looked at her I knew it was my sister, but it just felt like I was watching a movie and what I was seeing wasn't really my life. It felt like a dream and I was supposed to wake up any minute because I knew it wasn't real. But, the problem and panic came when I couldn't wake up. I refused to believe that what I was seeing was real and I kept denying it trying to "wake up" and getting more upset and more panicked when I wouldn't wake up. My sister got scared and got my parents and my parents then made me a doctor's appointment for the next day. We went, but my doctor didn't know what was wrong so he sent me to the hospital for tests. After a couple trips to the hospital and talking with neurologists they ruled out epilepsy but couldn't determine what was wrong with me. By this time I was convinced that I was perfectly fine and it was everyone else that was crazy. I convinced myself that the reason why I was getting these episodes was because everyone around me was drugging me or something and I was just an experiment living on the earth. So, when I would get these episodes it would be me coming off the drugs and realizing what was happening to me. So, I thought the people around me didn't want me to find out what was wrong they were telling me I was crazy. I became paranoid and thought everyone was out to get me. I wouldn't go out in public for fear that I would have an episode and break down in tears and fall to the ground and everyone would stare at me. So, basically for all of junior high and part of high school I wouldn't go out. It was very difficult.
After no luck at the hospital I was sent to a psychologist who diagnosed me. She taught me relaxation techniques and reassured me that I wasn't crazy and that no one was out to get me but just that I have a disorder.
The episodes mostly come during times of high stress and when I am sleep deprived. Unfortunately since I isolated myself from the world as much as I could for so long it's hard for me to be in social situations now. I go to college now and going out and socializing is something that is very important. I've tried really hard to get back on track though I still feel left behind sometimes by the fact that everyone else looks so comfortable with being around people while I do not.
I had been free from the episodes for a couple months but just about a week ago they started coming back very strongly. I think it's because it's near finals and I have a lot of papers to do as well as going through job interviews to find a job for the summer. It came to a relief to me when I went in search for a website that had people's stories on it that share the same thoughts and feelings that I do sometimes. So, thank you for that.
Nicole


 

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