Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Depersonalization, Derealization, Depression.

by Scott
(Canada, Ontario)

Hi my name is Scott. I'm a 21 year old male and first I want to say bless the strong women who created this website. Its good to see someone who cares about the people who are dealing with these black hole symptoms/illnesses.

Since the age of 12, I was always a little paranoid about things. I worried about things most kids at that age shouldn't or wouldn't, but life until now was great. Sure, I would have these panic attacks that made me feel detached from reality and made feel as if I was going to die, loosing touch with everything. I would have occasional, severe, anxiety and worry about things that you shouldn't be that worried or worked up about. But these feelings and symptoms were bearable because they weren't happening all the time, only on occasion. Then everything would be okay and I would feel like myself again.

So, about 2 or three years ago (I cant remember exactly when it was) I was laying in bed watching some YouTube videos, relaxing, and I had this horrible panic attack out of no where. I felt so out of touch, so lost like I was loosing grip of reality, and felt as if I was going to die. Nothing looked familiar anymore, not even my dad's face. It felt as if I barely knew him even though logically I knew exactly who he was and if you asked me any question about him I could answer it correctly (key word "FELT"). My living room that I've seen since I was born looked odd and strange like I had never seen it before. This attack was bad, worse than the ones I had in the past, and after in the morning I had a slight jolt of panic outside while I was having a smoke with my dad. Everything looked weird and I felt weird, like I was out of my body. My hands looked like they weren't mine and I was scared to death. Anyways, the attack never really kicked in full effect but the symptoms of "nothing feeling real" and everything feeling like a dream, like reality was gone, and my connection talking to people was as if I had no connection with people - like I wasn't really there. This lasted for a couple of days and eventually I never even noticed, but it was gone and then I felt fine, back to normal. So 2 years go by with occasional panic attacks, nothing major at all, nothing worth seeking medical attention for, besides randomly feeling depressed for a week and then it would go away, and maybe just stress from general life until I reached the horrifying age of 21. I say horrifying because what I'm currently experiencing is painful. I had a bad panic attack, one just like I had 2 years prior, and the derealization and depersonalization stuck again and this time its not going away. I've been like this for at least three weeks now and I'm finding it very hard to cope. Nothing feels real - my hands do not look familiar, I don't feel like a part of my body, I feel I have no connection with anybody. I'm questioning life, is it real or fake? The world appears to be fake, one big dream. I question does anyone see how I see or feel how I feel or is life just one big distraction made up dreams. Nothing makes sense anymore, life is so confusing! I'm seriously suffering! I can't believe that there is no immediate cure for this. I'm feel like I am dying inside! All I want to do is feel in touch with people again and feel the real world again and not be living behind this haze. These symptoms are awful and I wouldn't wish them on the sickest sicko pedophile out there. They are that horrible! No one deserves this! Imagine losing your sister or brother or dad... how devastated you would be. Now imagine losing everything, everyone, and everything you've ever known... these symptoms are causing me serious depression. I feel like life is pointless and I question why and how I was born. Nothing makes sense anymore, I feel so lost. I do believe this can be cured with serious dedication but who knows. I wrote this for anyone out there who feels the same way as me and feels alone (as if nobody feels the same way), believe me I do and there are plenty out there according to the internet that do.

Comments for Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Depersonalization, Derealization, Depression.

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Aug 24, 2014
So glad I found this page!
by: Susan

Hello to all of you. Thank you so very much for sharing your stories. I believe it takes an incredible amount of courage to do that and the ability to look at oneself honestly....I have battled Panic Disorder for longer than I care to admit.Nothing I have read has shocked a weird way, it is comforting to know that WE are not alone. I often wondered why I must battle such a crippling disease.....then I got the answer....I am now helping my only child to deal with the same disorder....I am actually glad that I have this, as he knows for a fact, that when he describes these episodes to me, I honestly can relate.We recently lost his father, my husband, suddenly, a few months ago. My son's symptoms have heightened as they often do a while after a traumatic life-changing event. I need to write more! I will go to a new page...this is so humbling and empowering....thank you to ALL of you!God Bless You!

Jul 24, 2014
So much empathy!!
by: Anonymous

I can relate. After a traumatic experience I suddenly began having panic attacks, derealization, and intense horribly spiraling depression that I'd never experienced before. It was terrifying. I can so relate to the feelings you described of derealization and it's terrible because those people and things were my reason for existing and suddenly those reasons were gone. It was horrifying.

I immediately sought help from a therapist, saw her on a weekly basis. She suggested talking to my doctor about short term medication for my "acute symptoms". It helped so incredibly!! I took a very small dose and it really made the feelings of derealization go away because I could just relax a little. It helped most when I took it before I started spiraling, but just to know that it could go away was such a relief.

It's been about three months since I began my battle with these things and I'm so happy to report I feel a million times better! I was also prescribed zoloft about a month ago because sometimes it's just really hard to constantly be swimming upstream, fighting the current and the set backs. It has helped sooooo much. I have passion, excitement, hope, love.

My heart goes out to you and I sincerely hope things have improved!

Nov 19, 2013
by: EHR

thanks for sharing your story.

Nov 15, 2013
Thank You
by: scott

Thank you Susan i really appreciate your support and helpful facts for getting better

Nov 14, 2013

Hi Scott. Thank you for sharing your story here with others who are also suffering. It is always good for people to know that they are not alone and have the support of their peers.

One thing I can tell you is this - depersonalization will linger as long as you fear it. Because you want these feelings gone TODAY, they persist because of the continued anxiety and panic you feel about them being there.

These feelings (in regards to anxiety, panic, depersonalization, derealization, & depression) are very common, and although distressing, they are not dangerous to you.

It is always a good idea to discuss your anxiety symptoms with your physician, so if you haven't done so yet, I would encourage you to do that. Although no one can make you take medications against your will, it is good to know your options if things should become too difficult for you.

Dr. Claire Weekes, in her classic book, "Hope and Help for your Nerves" speaks of these feelings of unreality and says this: "When you walk through the streets wondering if you will ever be in the same world as the passerby, remember that you will be there just as soon as you lose interest in your world of fear. Do not try to force normal feeling; let time bring it back to you."

You see, it is the fear of these sensations that keeps them around - being fixated on them, wanting to push them away only makes them persist. When you decide to accept them for what they are (uncomfortable, distressing feelings)and nothing more, you will eventually find your way back to feeling normal again.

It becomes very distressing when you wake each day, looking for these symptoms, and when you find them, you are then depressed, bewildered, and more anxious.

Instead, wake up each day expecting them! Accept they are there, and that they are nothing more than the symptoms of excessive stress & anxiety.

There is another person who shared their story here: -- I think you will benefit from reading it.

Hang in there, Scott! Recovery from anxiety takes time and patience. You cannot rush your recovery no matter how much you want to. Please be encouraged, if at anytime you feel you need the help of your doctor, do not be afraid to seek help! Sometimes just by talking to them, you are assured enough that what you are experiencing is nothing more serious.

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