Derealization/Depersonalization - Anxiety Support

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Derealization/Depersonalization

Blake96
Blake96

For over a year now I’ve been agoraphobic and it all started with anxiety then panic attacks then housebound. And a year ago a symptom came and never went away and I kept telling everyone my vision is off or weird. And I feel dreamlike at times and 24/7 things just feel off in my eyes. I’m thinking it’s DP/DR and now question is how do I cure that. Its been a year now and I’m just putting a name to it. I don’t even have to be having an attack to have the symptom it’s just there all day everyday. It’s probably my cause for anxiety when I leave home now because the world just feels and looks different or I’m perceiving it different. Odd vision and it doesn’t go away. Optometrist said I have 20/20 vision and blood work come back fine. Wtf is wrong with me :( anyone go through this I need a cure or something idk I’m lost

39 Replies
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Are you on any meds or having any counselling? x

Blake96
Blake96
in reply to hypercat54

No meds not anymore, off meds for 2 months now. And I did tele therapy for a few sessions but it didn’t work out

hypercat54
hypercat54
in reply to Blake96

Well why not go back on ad's as this could help. As for therapy it is not a quick fix and there are many different types of therapy. You need more than a few sessions to make a real difference. What type of therapy were you on before and why didn't it work out? x

Please please don't despair this is just really bad anxiety and a very very common problem

It's a horrible horrible feeling I have had it and I know what it's like

Please read as much as you can on it online

Try the relaxation videos on YouTube

Dr Claire Weeks videos and books are wonderful

You can and will recover

Don't fight the feelings learn to accept them for now and that they are uncomfortable but won't harm you once you start to lose your fear of them you can start to recover

Take lots of care x

Blake96
Blake96
in reply to Cat33

I really hope acceptance is the key and it’s just anxiety and I don’t have some horrible vision problem that’s permanent. I have her book hope and help for your nerves. I need to read it. Thanks

Cat33
Cat33
in reply to Blake96

Honestly Blake if you have had the results and all ok please try and believe them Eyes are affected with anxiety it's a horrible scary symptom

Yes definitely read it and look at her videos on YouTube she really makes lots of sense

Take care and wishing you all the very best

Blake96
Blake96
in reply to Cat33

Thank you, honestly it’s been scary since it never leaves but I will try to get through her book and not just give up and I’ll look at videos as well thanks

Cat33
Cat33
in reply to Blake96

I know I so understand but it's a symptom like all the other horrible ones we get with anxiety

You probably never think about breathing heart beating or blinking but once you focus on them you can't think about anything else and that's the same with your eyes

It will pass I promise just take it one day at a time and you will get better

Have a look at How Anxiety May Interfere With Your Eyes on the Calm Clinic website x

ward146
ward146
in reply to Blake96

I suffer with both these awful symptoms and agree with what Cat33 says. It seems that acceptance is the solution.

Blake96
Blake96
in reply to ward146

Did the DP/DR come after anxiety/panic attacks. It happened 3 months after getting them and then never went away

ward146
ward146
in reply to Blake96

Yes, DP/DR are fairly recent, the agoraphobia and Panic started about 18 months ago.

Yes acceptance seems to be the answer but easier said then done.

Blake96
Blake96
in reply to ward146

I’m working on it, it just scares me to be out in public and my vision just feel wonky but I’m trying to accept it as well as anxiety/panic but much easier said than done.

Blake96
Blake96
in reply to ward146

And yes I’ve heard acceptance is key here

ward146
ward146
in reply to Blake96

Stay strong!

Blake96
Blake96
in reply to ward146

If you don’t mind, it’s been hard for me to find others I relate to with this could you explain your symptoms or how you feel day to day etc? You can give as little or as much detail I’m just curious to know the similarities so I know I may not be alone in this. Thanks!

I would also like to know

For me, it’s all day everyday my vision is just odd which is the only way I can describe it. My eyes trip out when I see anything that has patterns with lines like house siding or stripped shirts etc. just overall a strange perception all the time but it’s better at night I’ve noticed. It’s now my root cause for anxiety when I go out, I was agoraphobic then after panic attacks and bad anxiety my eyes became messed up permanently but I now focus on it daily as well since it’s my most persistent symptom. Optometrist said my eyes are fine and blood work is fine too. People say they get vision issues when they panic or adrenaline is up but I don’t have to be in a panic to have the vision problem. It just doesn’t go away. I’ve noticed when walking in the woods I feel like I’m in a dream, for some reason it’s worse when I’m on the walking trails/woods. That’s where I’m at currently with this and it’s been over a year now and no direct solution

I feel like I have the same thing

It’s not blurry but it’s odd if that makes sense?

Yep/ I have the same feeling

Is your persistent? Or does it only happen during an episode of anxiety/panic

It’s not 24/7 but definitely when I go out and I don’t have to be in a panic . Sometimes at home too

ward146
ward146
in reply to Blake96

I suppose you could call it being foggy headed all the time and things can look unreal and you feel sort of strange in yourself. I also get a lot of giddiness and balance problems. I expect everyone is different and feels things differently. As you say it's like being in a dream. Apparently the brain is supposedly protecting us from the severe anxiety by somewhat shutting down. Certainly doesn't feel like it's helping! You have to try to reduce your anxiety and try to live with this until this happens.

Blake96
Blake96
in reply to ward146

Yes foggy is a great way to describe it! I thought I was going crazy and was going to lose my mind. I assume I’m not going to die or something because at one point I literally didn’t know if I was going to go blind or die or something horrible disease wise. Foggy for sure is another great example

ward146
ward146
in reply to Blake96

You definitely will not die or go blind even if it feels like it. Take care!

I have DP/DR as well. It feel like I’m watching myself from outside of body and nothing feels real. Florescent lights make it worse. I feel detached and numb. It all started after years of having panic attacks. Some days I can force myself to push through it , other days I wanna bold up on the floor in fetal position and cry. But I often feel to numb to even do that. Its a very disturbing feeling but apparently its a side effect from anxiety and rest assured that your not alone and we’re not going insane. It definitely is therapeutic talking to other people that experience this.

Best way I can describe it is I’d imagine it’s like being on LSD all the time. Outside walking around it’s just off and disconnected feeling. This feeling came after a few months of consistent panic and anxiety and being home bound and it evolved into DP/DR and that symptom never left. It’s been almost 2 years now. From what I understand we have to accept the feeling and it fight it.

Blake96
Blake96
in reply to ward146

I’m relieved to hear others deal with this and it’s not just me, I wish there was a pill to cure it but it seems exposure and dealing with it and not being afraid is the only way which is so hard which is why I’ve been stuck like this for over a year

Make sure your sugar levels are stable. They effect eye sight.

Have you considered a neurologist just to absolutely rule EVERYTHING out before moving on to acceptance.

I am too well aware that things like this can turn into an obsession.

I’ve become hyper sensitive to every twitch I get.

Take care & don’t forget to breathe! :)

Blake96
Blake96
in reply to Gidget1

Sugar levels? I eat very clean (mostly plant based) and drink 100-150 ounces of water every day so I think I’m fine. Honestly it has to be anxiety

Gidget1
Gidget1
in reply to Blake96

Just thought I’d throw that in...:)

Blake96
Blake96
in reply to Gidget1

I’m glad to rule anything out but eye test came back okay, blood work fine

Hey man, hang in there. Your not alone we all share similiar experiences as you! Hopefully that makes you more comfortable knowing that. I do think sometimes you just got to let it linger and not try to fight it. Keep seeing doctors if you think something is seriously wrong. I honestly dont ever wanna be on ads again. They messed with my head too much and who knows they could affect us years after taking them. Doctors cant test serotonin levels so they dont know. Just take little steps and get more and more comfortable with things, set goals, even if its walking outside for 5 minutes, then so on. I am still on benzos by the way as needed and have had no issues taking them. They are helpful in certain situations. Youll be fine my guy.

I take a benzo’s too and I want nothing to with ad’s as well.

I take nothing anymore

Hi Blake, I have suffered DP/DR and sympathise greatly - it's utterly horrible, and a definite symptom of depressive illness or anxiety. It is said to be connected with trauma in your life, like PTSD, of which it can be a symptom.

To me I feel like I'm a bystander in my own life, observing from just above my head or just behind my eyes, hearing what I say as though somebody else is saying it. It is a profound and horribly weird sensation that forced me to give up drinking. I used to self-medicate HEAVILY and have now been dry for 16 years. I only mention this as if any self-medicators read this it may strike a chord with them. Hangovers used to be astonishingly frightening due in part to the DP/DR.

I've been on and off (mainly on) ADs for around 30 years, and this horrible sensation only attacked when either the particular ADs had ceased working effectively or I was on a short hiatus between different ones.

Blake96
Blake96
in reply to Donkey657

so your saying you have as in past tense? i deal with it currently all day everyday and cant help but self monitor it. im wondering if its acceptance and consistent exposure therapy to get over it. i sit stuck in the house all day 99% of the time and go out on a few minutes away every now and again. i became agoraphobic after anxiety/panic attacks and then became DP/DR which is very scary and now doesn't go away. now that i have a better understanding more people deal with this and that i likely do not have any medical issues or anything i can get through this. i wonder if i should start driving (with someone in the passenger seat) often and get the exposure, let the feelings in and try to cope with it and let it be. i can usually do about 10 minutes alone driving from home but then i get all panicky due to the vision DP/DR and i just makes me feel all too worried and i turn back. whats the best way i can go about dealing with this and getting rid of it.

Donkey657
Donkey657
in reply to Blake96

I'm not a professional and should stress that anything I say applies only to my experience, but I have had therapy (The local NHS's wonderful I-Talk service) for my anxiety and depression, and the part that sticks out in my mind with reference to confronting DP/DR is to try tiny incremental steps, and to make sure you challenge this imposter.

That's really easy for me to say, especially as I think that being on the right anti-depressant was a big part of recovering.

I recall the therapist saying that, rather than rewarding my 'bad' (my word, not his) behaviour, ie sloping off to bed as soon as I realised I felt dreadful, he suggested making sure I made a tiny bit of progress before enjoying the reward. Apparently the human mind benefits greatly from the 'progress = reward - no progress = no reward' thing. It's how our minds work. So before escaping to bed I had to go into the garden and do two minutes work.

He pretty much said that the fear of what may happen needs very gently confronting with facts and experience to give us greater confidence in ourselves. Let's face it, the things we're scared of will not be happening, and our fear is about our own reaction to things - the fear of fear itself.

There is a great factsheet to print off if you like - thefyi.org/unhelpful-thinki...

I stuck them up all over the house, and the little lessons really helped me. I hope maybe you can find some little help from it.

I have funny vision too

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