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Author Topic: I don't know who I am anymore  (Read 315 times)

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Offline DeLellis123

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I don't know who I am anymore
« on: April 26, 2014, 02:19:18 PM »
I feel like I've lost my identity, I just feel like a zombie through most of the day, even my voice sounds different to me. Is this like schizophrenia or like schitziaffective disorder or something? Does anyone have this? Or maybe I'm just like hypersensitive and over think everything. Idk :(
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Offline Myocdragon

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Re: I don't know who I am anymore
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2014, 03:27:38 PM »
I'm really sorry for you. That sounds very distressing. I've never experienced that and wouldn't be qualified to diagnose you anyway. I highly recommend you get a diagnosis from a psychiatrist. Not only does naming a disorder take away anxiety, it also then offers a plan for treatment.
Step 1: professional diagnosis
Step 2: plan for treatment
Step 3: slow recovery
Step 4: maintenance

I wish there were an easier, faster path, but there isn't. You're not alone in this fight. We can support you and professionals can help you. The sooner you start, the sooner your recovery will.
Good luck
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I'm not crazy, I've just lost my mind

Offline DeLellis123

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Re: I don't know who I am anymore
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2014, 03:43:41 PM »
I feel ok now, I went for a drive and got my mind off of things. I just spend to much time dwelling on my anxiety.
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Offline DeLellis123

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Re: I don't know who I am anymore
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2014, 03:48:20 PM »
Idk unless it's some kind of identity disorder.
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Offline DeLellis123

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Re: I don't know who I am anymore
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2014, 03:56:55 PM »
Wow I guess it is a symptom of depersonalization disorder

How does DPAFU manifest itself?
Up until the mid-1990s our understanding of this condition had changed little since 1950, but over the past fifteen years there have been major advances in research and treatment; for the first time, doctors are beginning to understand the mechanisms in the brain that are involved in the disorder and studies have shown that far from being rare, DPAFU may be as common as other well-known psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia.

DPAFU symptoms can affect people on five levels:

1) Emotional

How you feel, your moods, numbness

People with DPAFU experience an alteration in their perception or experience of the self.  Sufferers often report that their actions feel 'robotic', and as if they are an outside observer of their own body and mental processes. Their voice may sound unfamiliar and their thoughts, speech and actions no longer feel spontaneous.
Another major factor sufferers describe is an inability to feel emotion, even towards those close to them. 
There can be an additional feeling of being cut off from the world, and even one's self; for example, some sufferers feel detached from their own reflection when looking in the mirror.  This can lead to doubts and confusion about one's own identity.
Many sufferers also report significant levels of anxiety, which can manifest itself as panic attacks, a fear of going out alone, intense anxiety in social situations, or a tendency to worry too much.
2) Cognitive

Thoughts, beliefs, meanings, images, attention and memory

It is common for sufferers to spend excessive amounts of time worrying about abstract, existential, metaphysical or hypochondriacal issues, such as the meanings of words, how other people experience the world, the meaning of life and concepts of space and time.
Some sufferers may be quite introverted or preoccupied, as they spend a lot of time dwelling on their thoughts, and may appear wrapped up in their own world.
Many sufferers have difficulty with attention and memory; they may have problems remembering everyday things, struggle to take in new information and experience thoughts that are speeded up and confused.
3) Physical

Bodily changes, sleep patterns, numbness

Many feel as though bodily changes have taken place; their head may feel strange, for example large or numb, the body may feel weightless, hollow or lifeless and some may lose their sense of touch, taste or smell.  In some people this experience is so intense that they touch, punch or prick themselves to try to feel 'normal' again.
People's experience of their surroundings can become odd or unusual - occasionally people complain of visual distortion involving the size of objects, their three-dimensionality, or the sharpness of colours.
4) Behavioural

What you do more or less of, things you avoid

When we feel discomfort or stress, it is natural to try to find behaviours, thoughts, situations or substances to take away those unpleasant feelings.  For example, sufferers may stop drinking alcohol or try to improve diet and exercise regimes.  Any action that is used to take away distress or discomfort in this way is called a safety-seeking behaviour.
Sufferers may also employ avoidance tactics, for example going to great lengths to avoid looking in the mirror, being with people, or even leaving the house.
Both these behaviours can appear useful in the short-term, but tend not to last and can actually make the situation worse over time, perpetuating the negative cycles that maintain the problems associated with DPAFU.
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Offline shellofabody

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Re: I don't know who I am anymore
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2014, 04:59:29 PM »
I've had the same feelings, and I have no way of getting professional help right now so I guess im on my own.. I was really sick a few days ago and that really set it off. Since then I've felt off and not myself. Remembering my life is like remembering a dream. I don't feel comfortable in my own body, looking at myself is strange. It's a really scary situation.
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Offline DeLellis123

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Re: I don't know who I am anymore
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2014, 05:25:15 PM »
Posted below is a book that has helped a lot of people, it might be worth looking into.

"Overcoming Depersonalization and Feelings of Unreality (Paperback)
Anthony S. David (Author)"

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Offline DeLellis123

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Re: I don't know who I am anymore
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2014, 05:31:46 PM »
And know you are not alone, there's a movie called numb with Matthew perry and he suffers from depersonalization in the movie.
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Offline brit3392

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Re: I don't know who I am anymore
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2014, 12:54:04 AM »
I've felt that way before when I've been depressed. Like a zombie, as you said, or I kind of felt like a robot, just getting through the day and not feeling much. For me, it kind of felt like a coping mechanism. I wasn't happy where I was in life but I didn't have a choice but to be there so I got through it by kind of separating myself. Not on purpose obviously, that's just how I felt. I'm glad you're feeling better now though :)
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Offline DeLellis123

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Re: I don't know who I am anymore
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2014, 12:39:27 PM »
Thanks, :) it comes on real hard in the morning and tends to diminish later on in the evening. It's pretty bad when it hits tho.
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Offline Myocdragon

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Re: I don't know who I am anymore
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2014, 02:36:42 PM »
My OCD hits the worst in the mornings as well. By the evening when my kids go to bed and I can relax it quiets down and occasionally, blissfully disappears altogether.

I'm working on my insomnia with my pdoc. I used to take ambien regularly, and while it helped me ease my anxieties, it wouldn't provide more than a few hours of sleep. My pdoc dislikes ambien so he put me on a small dose of trazodone at bed. It's non habit forming and is slowly adjusting my sleep cycles to be longer and more restive. I noticed my OCD, depression, and GAD improved in the mornings with the better sleep. Might be something to consider.
Much luck to you!
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I'm not crazy, I've just lost my mind

Offline emmiesuz

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Re: I don't know who I am anymore
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2014, 06:04:05 PM »
DeLellis123,

I can't tell you how much I feel EXACTLY what you are feeling.  The article you posted hit me like a ton of bricks.  Nobody understands when I try to explain these things.  I actually copy and pasted it into an email to my therapist.  THANK YOU!!!!
Please know there is at least one person out there who is in the same pain you are.  Maybe these thoughts will resonate with you....
I could be in a normal situation, doing something I love (I am a dancer, dance teacher), and all of a sudden i detach.  It feels like I am fake.  Not real.  I then experience terror that I'm going crazy and that I am going to say something completely inappropriate because its not actually me talking.....I'm not in control of what I say or do.  I guess this all ties in with anxiety and OCD, right?
Its awful....I could be having a great time with people I love and all of a sudden I'm not really there. 
Or all day today I tried to have a relaxing Sunday at home.  I read on my bed for 2 hours but was on edge the whole time.  Couldnt relax.  Felt like an alien.....like totally disconnected from myself, my spirit, my soul.  I feel like I have lost my center.  The true me I used to be so connected with.  Do you ever feel like this? Like every day I feel like this, life is passing me by and I am wasting precious time.....not feeling, not being fully engaged, not fully enjoying.  Any time I have a good feeling, immediately the thought comes into my head that It could all end tomorrow....I could die tomorrow....I have wasted so much of my youth and now its pointless to be happy.....its not a REAL happy feeling....its fake.
Ugh.  It feels so calming to know someone else goes through it but I am so tired.  I want it fixed.  I want this to go away.
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Offline DeLellis123

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Re: I don't know who I am anymore
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2014, 11:03:41 PM »
Glad I can help :). It is very frightening when it occurs. I'm interested in seeing the movie with Matthew perry. Another good technique is to wear a rubber band on your wrist ( not too hard obviously) when it hits. Also when it occurs, accept it don't fight it. Mine is getting better, I was actually getting to the point where I had to actually touch my body cause it was so weightless.
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Offline bluecanary

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Re: I don't know who I am anymore
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2014, 01:44:07 PM »
Thank you for this post, DeLellis. I suffer from most, if not all, of the symptoms listed for DPAFU. I've experienced depersonalization and derealization before, and I think I was oversimplifying them as only feeling like I or the world around me isn't real. The part that especially rings true for me at the moment is the bit about "spend[ing] excessive amounts of time worrying about abstract, existential, metaphysical or hypochondriacal issues, such as the meanings of words, how other people experience the world, the meaning of life and concepts of space and time." So often I find myself wondering about these kinds of things. What is reality? What are we as people? Why are we here? How did we come to be here? The whole concept strikes me as so strange and alien that it scares me. Also, the feeling of disconnection is where I think my worries about delusions come from. I'm constantly "testing" myself to see if I believe in certain things, and when I can't clearly see the answer, it scares the living daylights out of me. The minute my anxiety starts to fade, though, the worries about being delusional usually do, too.

I'm going to see if I can order the book recommended on the page. I've always wanted to try CBT, and I think this could be very helpful.
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