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This may be more of an issue for people who go in and out of depressions...but I think everyone will understand this to some degree.

I've only had 3 clinical depressions following severe anxiety episodes each time.  The last one was a bit worse and I was suicidal and ended up in a hospital, but this one is a reminder of it.

I was wondering if you go through the process of questioning your sanity, questioning if you lost your personality, and questions on this level, like you're unsure who you are at this point...It's one of the more disturbing parts of getting depressed for me.

I feel like I lost my old personality and my old self.  I can retrieve pieces of it, but it's not quite the same and usually only momentary...So I find when I hit this place for longer than a month or so my sense of self just collapses leaving me a bit more confused.

Edited by BrianOCD
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I've experienced the EXACT same thing when I've gone through extreme periods of anxiety, distress and depression! It was scary to me, I felt very "unhinged" and "ungrounded" hard to describe...but yes, it's like your entire identity collapses when you are in the thick of dealing with these illnesses. The hospitalizations, therapy appointments, group therapy, psychiatry appointments, meds...it was all too intense, too much for me. my mind was overwhelmed with emotions, absorbed with myself psychologically, feeling misunderstood, etc.

These types of experiences and episodes become your identity for awhile, you begin to wonder if you will ever feel like your "old self" again...and you cannot predict when you will stabilize and pull yourself back into normality again. You are not able to work...(at the time, even though I lived alone in my own apartment/worked full-time for over 10 years straight, i had to stay with my parents during that time of recovery because i could not even keep track of my bills, getting to appointments, etc.) I couldn't talk to any friends about it (none of my real life friends have been in a psych hospital). I felt isolated, confused, fragmented, decapitated, if you will. It's no wonder you start to feel completely like some sort of lab rat and not a human being.

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I started feeling that way a few years into my current episode (the previous ones only lasted a few months at a time). I felt for a long time that I had lost the person I was and that my new personality was mostly about coping and not an expression of me. I didn't really feel like I had a personality. After a while I resigned myself to never getting the "old me" back.

When I had a few days symptom free I was roughly that person again and I was rather stunned. During that time I also realized that the core elements of my personality do try to come out even when I'm depressed. The mental health issues certainly cause issues with being able to act according to my personality, but it doesn't erase or replace it

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I agree with everything everyone says, one of the worst parts of depression feeling like a shell of a person, no longer able to reach the self you had before the episode.  I am forever grateful to Lamictal and Abilify, both meds when I started them gave me back the self I thought was gone,  What a relief to find out I was still in there all along!  Which means all of you are still in there somewhere too. 

Sprinkle in the other disorders with a plus sized serving of chemical dependency and I feel like I've been a lot of different selves, which makes me question which one is the right one.  I know the answer is that all of them are parts of me, so I am working on integrating the selves and presenting more of a true self to the world.  Rather than separate crazy me from sane me, I acknowledge they are all in there together. 

We'll all come back, it just takes some time.  The last loss of self lasted me about 5 months.  I'm so relieved to feel like a person again. 

 

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Me nearly every day of my life.

I didn't have the "realization" until a couple of years ago when it just popped into my head sitting here one day...That I had no idea who I am as a person, what my true personality is, what my real opinions are on things. I'm always flip-flopping and forever stuck in that phase of "finding myself" by testing the waters.  I realized then that I'm barely human at this point, and more of a shell of what I "once was" (I'm using that phrase loosely because even as a teenager, my depression & anxiety ruled over me so I have no clue what part of me was real or not.)
 

 

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On 2/15/2018 at 9:04 PM, BrianOCD said:

This may be more of an issue for people who go in and out of depressions...but I think everyone will understand this to some degree.

I've only had 3 clinical depressions following severe anxiety episodes each time.  The last one was a bit worse and I was suicidal and ended up in a hospital, but this one is a reminder of it.

I was wondering if you go through the process of questioning your sanity, questioning if you lost your personality, and questions on this level, like you're unsure who you are at this point...It's one of the more disturbing parts of getting depressed for me.

I feel like I lost my old personality and my old self.  I can retrieve pieces of it, but it's not quite the same and usually only momentary...So I find when I hit this place for longer than a month or so my sense of self just collapses leaving me a bit more confused.

im still trying for over a year to get out of this whole. BUt i completey dont even know who i am, or what i liek anymore, i can sympathize

its a terrible feeling

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Good to know I'm not alone...

It's one of the scariest symptoms of an episode to me, cause I feel like I'm never gonna find myself again.

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I have a poor sense of self. My sense of self was stunted from the first time I got sick.

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18 hours ago, jt07 said:

I have a poor sense of self. My sense of self was stunted from the first time I got sick.

It makes sense, I have to think that the illness is eventually incorporated into your sense of self, part of the identity unfortunately...

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