Please, please something is very wrong with my mind!

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    I am 19 years old and my mental-suffering and spiritual journey started in February when suddenly Derealisation and Depersonalisation hit me out of the blue (probably because of prolonged stress). Very traumatic time, but I managed to get over it, graduated during my worst anxiety times, constantly felt detached from the world and people. It vanished when I let go of control and accepted it. I became more and more aware of my thoughts.

    Many people who recovered from DPDR say they have a much better life after it, but it somehow distorted my perception of the world, because I know that I was in this “movie/dream world” for a long time.

    Well, my anxiety vanished more and more, I was just depressed sometimes after it. And I didn’t know that it just would get started.

    In July, I had short episodes of depression and anxiety, and I didnt know overall what to do with me, I felt lost, like many people after graduation. It is a transition to professional life, but somehow, it has gotten way worse for me, far worse than what I would consider to be “normal”.

    During the second half of July, I developed a strange time anxiety/phobia, I just wanted the time to stop and I didn’t want the future to come. It all climaxed in the beginning of August. I feared that I will somehow lose myself in time!

    You know, when you have DPDR, you have a warped sense of time and time runs. My time anxiety is probably based on the fact that I somehow don’t have memories of the last months.

    Suddenly I felt like I was thrown on this earth without a sense of time. I googled: “feeling trapped in time”, “feeling stuck”. This time thing just occured, it didn’t bother me much before the end of July. I felt so lost, still feel like this a bit. But I feel overall trapped in this conception of time and I even feel desperate looking at the date (wtf…, cant explain why).

    I just continued living, I was sure that I was 100 percently over anxiety and panic. But slowly and steadily another thought creeped in, and it was the first time I experienced this incredible and terryfing wave of pain and panic, not really anxiety as I knew it.

    Automatic suicidal thoughts. I literally projected myself into the future that I will commit suicide if it becomes unbearable. The “funny” thing was that I was fine, not good, but DEFINITELY NOT FEELING LIKE MY LIFE WAS MEANINGLESS. Slowly and steadily I became aware that something died in me, I had really really and still have delusional thoughts which creeped in ALL OF THE SUDDEN.

    Those thoughts were automatic and I was sure I wouldn’t act on them, but my mistake was that I did all to prove them wrong. They soon ruled my life, and combined with that strange time anxiety, I was trapped in a terrible cycle of depression and pain. I thought that I was determined to commit suicide and I was a victim of this feeling, not knowing what to do. It was and still is really the worst suffering I have ever experienced.

    Now I am here, thoughts about time and past still creep in and I feel like I walk on thin ice. Honestly, I sometimes feel like I shouldn’t be here anymore (although I used to love life and deep inside, I still do!) and I have many difficulties in making sense out of time. I look at the date and a strange wave, well a mixture of despair and confusion runs through my body and leaves me depressed, like really depressed. I’ve gradually lost all my interests during the last weeks, because I constantly reacted on the thoughts. My mind constantly tells me I should have died or commited suicide and I am TOTALLY overwhelmed by this feeling.

    NOBODY can turn from a fairly normal guy into a suicidal person within a few days. I dont know what is happening, I have a really really messed up perception of my life now and I strongly believe that something has died when I first had these strange thoughts. My awareness faded too, to a point where I was in a state of deep unconsciousness, where I even felt detached from my breath, my mind was in a constant blankness. I was unable to meditate, still cant meditate because something tells me that I cant be present anymore. Nothing works anymore to gain presence. Before that time, I could easily put myself in the present by simply thinking that past and future are in my head, I instantly felt relief. BUT that isnt working anymore.

    I have a feeling of being stuck between past and future and I really don’t reallyhave a sense of self. It is like my old identity died and I, as the observer, am stuck in this transition and suffer very very badly. I read “The Power of Now” what didn’t give me more information than I already had.

    I think I have self-inflicted trauma because of my 24/7 brainfuck which ruined my life and got me to the rock bottom of my life. Also because I cant really accept that it is how it is and that I have an odd time perception.  Now the tiniest thought of 2017 being over and imagining myself in “2018” triggers hopelessness. I am so alone with this!

    Any help appreciated.


    I have never heard of Derealisation and Depersonalisation before. I’m glad to hear you manage to get over it but can’t image what having such an experience would be like.

    Much of Buddhist practice is to be the observer to one’s thoughts, emotions and body as well to realize the illusion of time – past and future in order to be present. But with your past experiences of DPDR such a practice might be disorienting so I hesitate commenting on your post…

    If you continue to meditate a guided meditation might be helpful. Someone to bring you back to your self and teach you how to return. (I wonder if its possible that your gifted in this regard but have not yet learned how to master it. Having a “Odd Perception” could be a door to creativity and discovery if you learn how to master it and let go of all the labels your applying to yourself) You might also benefit from talking to a Jungian Analyst or other professional.

    You might find the following book interesting but be careful if you have a tendency to overthink things as one of the suggestions is learning how to observe the self. If your prone to DPDR that could be a problem but then you might learn that its not a problem at all, just a different perception, not odd at all, maybe even helpful.  ‘The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself’ by Michael A. Singer

    I wish you well



    Hi Phil,

    I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been going through; it sounds very upsetting and disorienting.  Are you currently seeing a therapist or counselor?  I have had a similar experience this past year which ended up in two hospitalizations.  I also experienced some of the confusion and issues around time and at a certain point was having very bad hallucinations and also having moments of sensory input where I was not sure if time was going forward or backward.  I  have worked on recovery relentlessly in the past year, including a lot of therapy, meditation, yoga, and practicing being present in my body nearly everywhere I go.

    That being said, I also have PTSD and a lot of childhood trauma as well as various abuse and emotional issues that had not really been dealt with fully.  In my personal experience, there were a great many factors that went into my emotional/mental breakdown (including the results of the election, certain medication that I was on that was not good for me, and some other very heavy life circumstances, etc.) and the combination of everything happening at once sort of broke my reality as I knew it.

    I did not think I would ever be feeling “normal” again, but nearly a year later, I am pretty close to that.  I am unsure if any of that will resonate with you or if hearing about my experience helps you any, but I wanted you to at least know that you’re not alone in experiencing something like this.  It takes a lot of courage to open up about it and to tell others exactly what you are going through.  I also am realizing how my views on the world are drastically shifting and changing and has left me feeling like I was previously involved with a ‘movie/dream world’ as you explained.

    I hope that this brings you some comfort and please let me know if I can help further!  Therapy and talking it out as well as being fiercely committed to my own recovery and ability to remain present have helped me immensely and hope you can find some similar relief.



    Dear Phil:

    All that you described, reads to me, is anxiety, an ongoing, unsettled state of  fear.

    The derealisation and  depersonalization you experienced were the brain’s reactions to significant anxiety, lowering your anxiety. You wrote that those things “vanished’- well, the anxiety didn’t  vanish. At one  point  you were “just depressed”- but you were still anxious. Then your fear focused on time, feeling stuck or trapped in time.Then you experienced “wave of pain and panic, not really anxiety as I knew it“-

    Here is my input: anxiety has many, many appearances, many combinations of symptoms. The appearance of anxiety in different individuals at any one time is different, no two people’s anxiety looks the same.  And then, the  anxiety in one person’s life changes in appearance throughout time.

    Anxiety is like fire, it will ignite whatever is in its way- a thought occurs to you, and  anxiety ignites it and  it becomes an obsession. Then some other flammable thought or feeling  or event  happens and anxiety will ignite it, and  the fire will burn elsewhere.

    I don’t think that there is something “very wrong with (your) mind”- it is anxiety, the human condition, worse at times, better at other times. Healing and  management are possible and available for you with time, work, patience, understanding.

    I hope you post again with your thoughts and feelings.


    * Dear Amy: I value your input here and thank you for your mention of me and  kind words on the  other thread.










    * didn’t get submitted correctly…


    You’re very welcome anita! And thank you for all that you do!!

    Maria Mango

    Hi Phil,

    Thank you for reaching out and telling us what’s going on, Depersonalization and Derealization can be pretty traumatic and frightening experiences. It’s good to hear you overcame the initial wave of DPDR, but it sounds like it’s still going on, you’re in a fugue state, and if you haven’t already you need to get some help from a trained therapist. It will only get worse if you don’t see someone, it does not go away on it’s own.

    I experience DPDR too so I know what you’re going through, you’re not alone!! I thought my head was really sick just like you do and kept the scary, obsessive thoughts and feelings of being in a movie a secret from everyone. I thought I was a monster or a lunatic. But the more I learned about it, the less alone I felt. A lot of people experience this and there are even great videos on YouTube talking about what to do when you experience an episode.

    One great way I bring myself back to the present is to hold a piece of ice in my hand for a while. Another trick I learned is to do the 54321 method: look around the room and list 5 things you see, then 4 things you hear, 3 things you smell, 2 things you taste, and 1 thing you feel on your skin (like the texture of the carpet or the coldness of the aforementioned ice cube). Do that repeatedly until you’re back in the land of the living.

    And lastly, what’s helped me the most (besides therapy) is when I get those dark thoughts like those you mentioned about your brain telling you that you should be dead, is to remember that they are just thoughts and they CAN’T harm you or others.

    You’re not alone! Get help and try some new tricks to bring yourself back. In my experience, meditation is a fantastic maintenance tool to stay in the present, but not a great rescue technique when you are severely depersonalized.

    Much love and much luck to you Phil.



    Thank you for the responses. I just feel like something is broken in my mind. I feel like my mind cant deal with that it is already December and puts me in a horrendous state of thoughts and feelings. In general, this time thing really messes with my mind. Like when I look at the date, it just feels not right that there is a 12. It sounds a bit hilarious but my time perception is so messed up. It feels like I am already dead. I experience these thoughts way differently than DP anxiety. And now I am already so frightened what my mind will spit at me when there is a “2018” on the calendar. I dont know…something is just so off-balance.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by Phil.

    Dear Phil:

    The attention  to and obsession with  numbers is a very common manifestation of  anxiety. I used  to pay a lot of attention to numbers, particularly dates on the calendar, like today: 12-2-2017. The fact that “2” appears three times in today’s date used to mean something to  me, usually, it  meant starting my life  anew in some  significant  way, because there are three 2-s.

    People think  of particular dates, of the digits of dates, as  indicators of  the end  of  the world.  Many times such dates were feared, people prepared for the  end  of the  world but  such did  not happen.


    • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by anita.

    Hi Phil,

    I cannot pretend to understand DPDR but it sounds very scary from what you have written.  I have dealt with severe anxiety and experienced very brief episodes of what you describe.  Anxiety can convince anyone that situations that challenge us are also threatening to our being.  Having to deal with this causes enormous pain and suffering.

    Hoping that you know you are not alone in dealing with this challenge, sharing here has helped everyone posting on this thread and in hearing your story we become more accepting of our stories.


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