Story by "Christian"
Hi my name is Christian and I have been suffering from DPD since 1991 when I was sixteen I was diagnosed with Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma and underwent 6 months of Chemotherapy. About a week after the first treatment I woke in the morning and I felt like I was having an out of body experience. After about the third treatment I felt spaced out and distant and dreamy. I thought that It was the effects of the Chemo and thought that once I finish the treatments it would go away. After the treatment finished I was given the all clear by my doctors, but I never did feel 100% mentally and suffered from anxiety and depression. Over time I started to feel more real as the years progressed and I even traveled overseas for 4 months on my own.
When I returned, I moved to the city, but I was never happy living in a big city and fell for all the trappings of city life eg Credit card debt. Loneliness, hated my job, and the depression came back, and the anxiety attacks returned. Being a country boy I was longing to return to the country but because I had credit card debt I wasn't sure it was the right decision.
At the end of July 1999 my whole world came crashing down. When I arrived home from work I started to fall into a trance like state and It felt like an effort to do anything. It was as though everything around me had become silent and distant and everything was traveling in a slowed down manner as though it where mechanical. I developed tunnel vision, sensitive to bright light, songs on the radio sounded odd, places that where once familiar seemed extremely odd, possibly due to my diminished vision, objects including humans appeared 2 dimensional or puppet like.
I thought I was developing Schizophrenia and I was very scared. I saw a psychiatrist, and he told me that I was suffering from DPD. I was relieved to know what it was, but I still felt convinced I was dying of a brain tumor or some degenerative neurological disease. He told me that I must continue on as normal and over time it will eventually diminish.
I took six months off and moved back home. I remembered what he had told me, and I continued on with my life by going back to the workforce and even returning back to the city. Three years later I still have the condition but I am learning how to manage it better. My vision has improved. I still have 2 dimensional vision at times especially when I am tired. I am no longer sensitive to bright light. I still feel disconnected when in crowded company but not as bad as before.
Overall I believe I probably had mild doses of the disorder since childhood, but all it took was a traumatic experience of cancer to trigger it and then the stresses of being out of my element in the city to trigger it off again.
To everyone out there who thinks they are the only ones suffering from this disorder you are not alone and most importantly THINK POSITIVE. This is NOT A DEATH SENTENCE.
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