Lost with life: derealization/depression/axiety

Shared experiences of life, and the path that has led you to where you are.

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Lost with life: derealization/depression/axiety

Postby PreKh » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:25 pm

My depression and anxiety all started around the time I quit tobacco dip in Mid 2018. I was engulfed in fear, anxiety and depression a month after I quit my 5-year habit. Nothing was wrong with me until about a mouth into being off tobacco, I was at the gym one night by myself and started feeling a raising heartbeat. I started to gasp for air and was coughing so fast and so hard that It made breathing impossible. I ran out to my car and wanted to cry out for help but the was no one around to help me. This was the turning point in my life that would drag my mental state into chaos for months to come. I ran home and told my mom about what had happened, my first panic attack had just occurred and the world immediately felt different, as if I wasnt in control anymore. I didnt sleep all night I must of stayed up for over 30 hours straight which made the problem worse. After that I became anxious, scared and worried of my everyday life.

The main reason I quit dip was because I had just graduated college and I started to try and figure out where I wanted to go with my life. One day I found a youtube channel called AbroadInJapan and became fixated on the idea of moving to Japan as a teacher. I must of watched over 200 of his videos in less than a week about Japan and soon the only thing I could think, or talk to my Mom about, was moving to Japan. My personality has always been addictive, but never to this extent. I didnt have any job at the time and would stay in my room day and night watching Japan videos on Youtube and Anime. My mental state only got worse and I had my first experience of Derealization.

At first I couldnt explain what was going on with my mind and how I felt. I started to panic and cry because the world around me felt unreal, fake as if I was in a dream. Everything and everyone looked normal, but at the same time I knew something wasnt right. Also felt as if I was in the matrix, I could distinguish if I was alive or asleep still. I would have to rely on touching to help me. My fight with derealization continued for a few months from there, I started seeing a Therapist but she had never heard of Derealization before, so we were both going into this blind. I started back up my old job at Publix to try and repair my mental state and get me out of my room and off the addiction of Japan. Everyday was a struggle, I would walk endlessly around the store not knowing where my body or mind was taking me. I would work the the evening shift and get out late at night. I had to call my mom in a panic every time I drove home because I was scared and felt like nothing I was doing matter because it wasnt real, afraid I would crash my care to wake myself up.

Shortly after I found a girl at my work and we began talking. Unknowing to her of all my problems, she was better than any Therapist or medication. I began to fall in love with her, she was the light at the end of the tunnel. Every moment I was with her I began to come back to my senses, and eventually after a few months of dating and moving in with her my derealization started to fade and I stopped seeing my therapist. Also because much of my time was spent with her, I postponed the Japan obsession.

Althought my derealization went away, my anxiety and depression worsened. I started to panic anytime I had something wrong with my body. If I had a cough, stuffy nose or couldnt get to sleep at night I would began to remember my first panic attack. Living with her is great, shes perfect in every way and makes me feel amazing. However my anxiety and depression are still looming in my mind and I act out in panic or crying in front of her sometimes because I cant hold it in. Ive told her already most about my problems, for some reason shes sticking around haha. But I can start to see if I dont change shes going to leave, and thats okay because I dont want to put her through my problems, its not fair she didnt sign up for this.

Most of my depression arises on the weekends. I think this is because the world feels like its on pause. I always do better when im busy, especially at my new job. Im starting to feel confused again about my life direction. I wanted to remain with her but I also want to move to Japan. Ive always had big ambitions of an adventurous life growing up, and the thought of this not coming true makes me depressed. I dont want to settle-down and have a family anytime soon, Ive told her about Japan plenty of time and it upsets her be cause it makes her feel like this relationship is a waste of time. Im afraid to watch anime or anytime related to Japan because I dont want to become obsessed again and lose her. I wish sometimes that she would break up with me so I could just have another mental breakdown again. Sometimes I just want to scream and cry because the world still doesnt feel right (real). But being with her I cant do that , it wouldnt be right putting her through all that. At the same time if she broke up with me I could finally move to Japan. But whose to say Japan is the cure to all my problems, whats to say I get there and get worse, who would help me over there? Although I will go to Japan one day regardless of my mental problems, I do love this girl more than anything else in this world. I just want to to stop feeling depressed because life is not living up to what I thought it would be and my anxiety makes me panic over the smallest issues. I was mentally stronger as a 10-year old than I am as a 25-year old. I dont know where I will be in the years to come, but I cant continue to live another 20 or 30 years like this. I feel disconnect from my friends and family. Now when I go home to see my parents I cant even hold a conversation with them or even take my eyes off my laptop to look them in the eyes. The derealization experience has f***** my head up to the point that I dont even feel like the world is unreal anymore, but I still act as if it is unreal....The only time I felt truly perfect and alive was when I go to work, or when I travel. Ive been living in this town and in the same environment for way to long, with too many bad memories of the past year that I know its time for a change. But I dont know if I can make a change and move away from my mother, she is everything to me as well and I wouldnt know how to handle these problems without her.

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Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:09 am

Re: Lost with life: derealization/depression/axiety

Postby MrYL » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:03 pm

Hi PreKh,
Thank you for sharing your story.
You say that your depression arises on the weekend when the world appears to come to a pause, have you tried finding a sport or hobby you can participate in? You could try to find something you can both enjoy so you can still spend time together.
I also suggest to start seeing your therapist again to talk about those same feelings of the world not feeling real. If you feel that being able to scream and cry would help you feel better you should talk to your partner about this and maybe set up a safe place for you to do so in a way that she can continue to support you. Don't push her away, talk to her so that you can work together on strategies to help you feel more in control/better.
I hope this helps

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Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:54 am

Re: Lost with life: derealization/depression/axiety

Postby Spleefy » Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:15 am

Hi PreKH

I didn’t know what “tobacco dipping” was until I looked it up. Good on you for quitting it. We tend to replace behaviors or addictions with other ones, such as in your case with the tobacco then Japan and your girlfriend.

Moving to Japan is a big step, so you obviously have some thinking to do. I’ll just throw out some thoughts that might help you along to make a decision.

I’m not sure if Japan will “cure your problems”, as I don’t think it is the root cause of your mental state and anxiety to begin with.

It’s great that you have found someone that you can confide in and she makes you feel better. But this is also not a healthy type of dependency in a relationship.

Like the previous poster mentioned, it is probably a good idea to continue with formal support. Replacing formal support with your girlfriend, and relying on her as your main support will put excessive strain on the relationship. She can be your partner or your "therapist", but she can't be both. Furthermore, she makes you feel great now--but in time, when the relationship becomes more established, this may fade.

Keeping busy is good, especially since it is helping you, but that won’t remove the depression and anxiety, as it isn’t dealing with the root cause of the problems. Keeping busy is just suppressing it, particularly evident by the fact that you feel crappy when you are not busy, such as over the weekend.

You should look into doing both: keeping busy, but also having quality formal and informal supports in place to help you to get to the root cause of your issues and learn effective coping strategies.

You also mentioned how important your mother is in helping you to cope with your problems. You are a young man, so at some point you’ll have to spread your wings. You can always keep in touch with her.

But since moving to a foreign land is a big step, what about, for the time being, first getting a grip on your issues before chasing your dreams in Japan? Japan isn’t going anywhere!

Something else to think about is that if you stay in the relationship and don’t go to Japan, you may end up resenting her for it. If the relationship is serious and you are both committed enough, then perhaps she’ll wait for you or even move with you. Something else to think about is that perhaps you both have different goals, and so that is where you’ll both need to sit down to work out what this means for the future of your relationship.

As for her “not signing up for this”… well, she did actually since she consented to having a relationship with you. She knows your problems and she knows exactly what she is getting herself into. She made that choice, so don’t feel guilty. You are not dragging her into anything she isn’t choosing to be a part of.

I'm sure you'll figure out what to do.

All the best.

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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:53 pm

Re: Lost with life: derealization/depression/axiety

Postby SirOats » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:35 pm

Hey Prek, hang in there bro. I agree with the group, it seems like you left therapy a little too soon. A pro will definitely help you unpack everything that's going on. Going back may save your relationship too, hitching so much of your satisfaction to your gf will strain your relationship too far.
As far as quitting the chewing tobacco as a trigger to your anxieties; are you sure there's not another possible trigger. I guess you chewed for a while; but while it's a bad habit sure, chewing tobacco never struck me as that extreme a mood alter'er. Don't go back to chewing! But did you work out any other possible triggers with your therapist? It seems like whatever else might be out there is still unresolved. Which is all the more reason to get back into therapy. Prayers bro.

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