Story by "Chris"


I am 25 now, and have been plagued by this "detached" feeling all my life. I have seen shrinks on and off since I was 14.

When I was 16 I was diagnosed bi-polar, then the diagnosis was retracted when I was 19.

Last year, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, which just added to my existential thoughts of "being". My surreal mindset leads to devastating and sometimes debilitating panic attacks, for fear that I am insane. My mother has schizophrenia and has been institutionalized since I was 14, which led to all the visits to the shrinks. 

My biggest fear all my life has been insanity, far more than death. Since my diagnosis with MS, I have had more "attacks" of this surreal life, that isn't mine. I often can't even do daily chores without a sneaking fear hanging over my head. This detached feeling makes it very hard to converse with strangers, and even shop in malls or crowded areas. I find myself questioning not only my own existence, but also that of others.

My first memory of this "feeling" came about when I was around 12. I have always had a problem with mirrors, as the person I saw looking back didn't seem familiar. I would sit in front of a mirror for hours and question what I saw. I used to lay awake at night and try to imagine not existing at all. I have had several suicide attempts in my short life, but am now glad they were unsuccessful. At times, it just seemed easier to not exist, rather than constantly troubled by this "t.v. sitcom" everyone called my life. I've always thought of it as, looking at my life from a distance, but through my own eyes.

I am now seeing a psychologist who is approaching this with psychodynamic therapy. I'm not big on meds, due to my mom's illness... so this is my best bet. I have no idea what the future holds, or even how wonderful it could be, as I have never felt "all there". I do hope more will be done about this horrible illness, and no one will have to suffer any longer.



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