Story by "Rachel"


Hello, my name is Rachel and I'm 16 years old. I am a sexual abuse victim. I was raped and molested by my 2 older brothers from the time I was 2 until 11 and was also sexually abused by male strangers, male family friends, and male religious leaders that worked at our church. I have never gotten mixed up in drugs or alcohol, so that reason for suffering depersonalization does not exist in my picture.


I have been to several counselors, therapists, and psychologists. They have given me mental exams and have not come to a solid conclusion to what is wrong yet. I do know that I've suffered long depressive episodes, I often cannot sleep (or sleep too much), have an awful body image, criticize myself (and believe that others are constantly criticizing me). I am currently only on anti-depressants and prescription sleeping pills. I can lose my temper and become very irritable at times. There are also times of "episodes" where spans of time seem to go missing from my life and friends and family will tell me of my irregular behavior. 

But most commonly, I feel every aspect of my life, every aspect of myself, is completely unreal. It's like I'm only an observer, watching what is supposedly "my body" go through life. This happens most in situations where I am emotionally stressed or overwhelmed. Sometimes I can be lying in bed or going through my every day life when parts of my body begin to feel overly small, and other parts, overly large. The things around me can appear to change in size, too, but not in a way that necessarily can be seen.


Though I haven't clinically been diagnosed with depersonalization disorder, it feels as if the closest dissociative disorder that I can relate to. All physical problems have been ruled out so my strange experiences could not be related to that. In general, I just have a problem with dissociation, and apparently always have my whole life. I've just begun to realize it and I'm working to understand myself. It would be truly great if anyone facing similar difficulties could contact me and perhaps guide me. Thank you for your time.
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