Hello. My name is Randy. I want to share my story with you. I don’t know whether or not I have DP, but after reading these stories I suspect that I do. So far, I’ve been diagnosed with major depression (severe, recurrent) and PTSD resulting from a horrific experience of rape and humiliation during my childhood.
I’m 40 years old now. For all of my life, at least since the rape, I’ve felt abnormal. I’m very much different from other people I know in the way that I experience things and process information. My school counselor credited this feeling with my having an exceptionally high IQ, which I do. I am also a very spiritual person who seems to be in touch with alternate realities that other people simply don’t access. It’s like my mind lives in a shadowland at the confluence of different universes. It’s as though I co-exist in different realities, where my mind or soul is only partially connected to my body or bodies. It seems that my body could disappear altogether, and I’d still remain as a vacuous entity — a ghost, if you will.
As I said, I’ve felt this way for all of my life that I can remember. But this experience became acute when, as a teenager, I tried LSD for the first and last time. I was drawn into an alternate reality that I’ve never escaped from. I left my body and began to see myself as an ancient — timeless — spirit without a home in time-space. There was my body, down there, talking and acting foolish, responding to events, engaging in sex, eating an exquisite orange, listening to Pink Floyd. And yet, that person wasn’t me. I was standing outside, observing the details without feeling, and not really with much interest. I could think about myself. I could say, “Here I am, having sex or eating an orange” and yet, I also experienced myself as not-myself — that’s not really me doing those things. It’s no accident that I mention Pink Floyd, for “The Wall” comes closest to expressing my reality than anything else I know. I have become uncomfortably numb.
I use to be a United Methodist pastor, but I was run out on a rail because of problems I have relating with people. My views were too extreme. I couldn’t connect. I’ve recently been exploring Buddhist thought and practice. The Buddhist concept of “no-self” makes sense to me, if “self” is viewed as an independent entity. However, if the goal of Buddhism is the extinction of attachments, then I feel as though I have reached Nirvana already, only there is no joy in it. There is nothing in it. Everything is meaningless. It may be that I am actually living in Hell — which I see as a state of being rather than an actual place. Hell for me is a state of non-being within being.
Is there any hope? Are there medications that can help? I’m taking Seroquel and Lexapro, which have eliminated some extremes of being in me, but now I’m back to a state of non-being. I think it was better to feel misery than to feel nothing at all.