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Old 01-15-2012, 11:47 PM   #1
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Not feeling real/life feels like a dream

All my life I feel like I have not had any mental problems but once December began winding down and my semester began ending I started to get panic attacks and some severe anxiety. For the most part I have generally had stress and have always been able to deal with it, but at some point things just changed and my mind started going in circles with anxiety. At first I began feeling like I was going crazy and that I was going to lose it. I began thinking about my future and I just had images in my head of me just being hospitalized and not being able to function anymore. This was very traumatizing for me because I had never really had any of these feelings before accompanied by pure panic and terror. I went through these problems, and combated throughout finals week and when winter break began I sought out help from a counselor. I was able to gain a hold on things and everything just kind of sorted themselves out.

For me though my mind kept returning to the thoughts of anxiety, panic, and the scary thought that I felt like I was going crazy. I was able to distract myself, and on occasion it completely went away.

That was all until I began to somewhat sink back in to the bad thoughts that I was having before. What threw me in to what feels like a nightmare, is that I began thinking about life and what it means to be here and be human when I was slipping back in to panic. In my frenzied state of mind it spiraled downward and I have not stopped thinking about this question for almost the past week.

My initial thoughts were that life is not real, and that this life I am living is a complete dream. I for some reason did not feel human. One thing that has been completely messing with my head is the idea of perspective and how I am seeing things. I am able to see though my own eyes and what really freaks me out is the idea that other people see the world the same way as I do (through their own eyes) but I feel completely unattached to that. I just can not wrap my mind around it. Everyone around me kind of doesn't feel real. I end up feeling very lonely. I can have conversations and kind of slip out of the circular thoughts, but eventually I will end up going back in to the thoughts that life is not real and that these people just simply don't exist or something like that. It is almost like a surreal realization that I am a human on Earth and that I just simply can not understand why I am here and why I am on Earth. In addition I think about how much I want to get rid of these feelings (which I am working on; going back to a counselor tomorrow) and how much I just want to be able to connect with people again. The only problem is that I will listen to people and begin to calm down, but the big problem is that I will end up thinking again about how nothing feels real and that if nothing feels real then why should I listen to everyone.

Today I had the scariest instance I have had since the beginning. I was moving in to my new house at school and everything felt very odd. I got everything unpacked and organized and at the end of the day I felt like I couldn't remember the day. When I began thinking it felt as though I had been born yesterday, and that my life had simply not happened. It is incredibly weird and I feel like I am stuck in the present, completely detached from the past, and in some horrible nightmare. My anxiety makes me scared of the idea of completely losing touch and meshing reality with my dreams, but I know that I am simply worrying about things that have not happened.

Sorry for the longest post of all time, but I just have a lot to say and it is so much to take in right now. I have been normal all of my life, and I am just terrified of losing touch on reality. I know that I sound completely crazy right now (which I am terrified of people thinking that), but I am just trying to kind of pour everything out so that people can hopefully relate.

I hope that someone finds this useful and that people can gain from this. The most intriguing thing is that I had thoughts about life long ago in high school and they actually put me on a huge life high. It inspired me to do comedy and pursue my dreams. I did in fact and I was so active in TV and love making people laugh. I one day hope to change the world and make it a better place; making people happy along the way. If there is anyone out there, please feel free to respond. You help me and I'll help you. Thanks. (sorry for the tangent (I'm good at them(LOL)), but I just wanted to end on a positive note!)

 
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:52 AM   #2
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Re: Not feeling real/life feels like a dream

Funny, I was just thinking the same thing. I was diagnosed with ADHD 14 years ago, and told 2 months ago that it's bipolar.

anyways, I often have these weird euphoric melancholy moments where I don't feel good, I don't feel bad, but I guess I kinda feel "high". The world seems unreal, people are a separate entity, and I cannot connect with them. I can talk to people just fine, but often just find myself drifting off into space.

I'm in one of those moods right now. I just got home from work, I went on a huge rant on facebook about people, life, me, whatever.. I think I wrote an entire novel tonight, and then I just went to the store after work to get some food, and sat down and was just smoking my electronic cigarette and blowing smoke rings and watching the vapor disappear into thin air...

Pretty soon I'm going to start playing my guitar and drums and maybe write a song or something. Or work on one anyways. but right now, just enjoying the moment.

Last edited by hb-mod; 06-22-2012 at 04:40 AM.

 
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Old 06-10-2012, 05:54 PM   #3
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Re: Not feeling real/life feels like a dream

Any progress with coming back to your regular self. It's been almost a year for me feeling, and experiencing the same as you have been. I'm giving up hope. Need help and answers

 
Old 01-17-2013, 10:25 AM   #4
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Re: Not feeling real/life feels like a dream

I am going through the same thing right now. I went through a similar episode in 2004, and eventually came out of it and have lived a normal life... good jobs, got married to a great woman. My first episode in 2004, my anxiety started making me question my own existence, and I had this terrorizing thought that I was alone just floating out on the planet earth alone.. it would send me in to panic, and the panic brought me back to the thought... complete catch 22. This is because severe anxiety makes you lose perspective and context of how you fit in within the world (disassociation).

Its nine years later, and I'm going through it again and its pure hell... Like living in a nightmare.. It throws me back in time to 2004 when I had the same thoughts, although this time the terrorizing thought is the same as what you described regarding perspective. Its like Im seeing the world through my eyes, and I question whether anyone else sees it my way, even objects in the room. I know how absurd that is, but it FEELS real at very high levels of anxiety, but this does not mean it is real. You describe feeling divorced from your life and having no memory and I totally relate, but that has everything to do with state your brain is in. When you begin to calm down, feel inside your body again, the memories will come back and your existence won't feel so foreign. I almost describe my experience as having a bad acid trip that I can't escape, but I believe that to be a testament to the unbelievable power of our own neurochemicals and how they can work against us at times.

all the best

 
Old 01-30-2013, 05:22 AM   #5
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Re: Not feeling real/life feels like a dream

I just recently was diagnosed with severe anxiety/panic disorder. I just turned 20 years old (6 months ago) and I was planning on moving out with my boyfriend to another city. I had lived in that specific city before and I was very excited to move out and be on my own. I then started thinking about how I wouldn't have my own room anymore, and I couldn't just do anything I wanted for myself anymore and all my belongings had to be shared. I was deeply upset that I had to leave my parents as well but I got over that in time. I remember just sitting in my mothers room using her computer prior to moving out, and smoking a cigarette and doing what I usually do (blasting music on youtube, singing to them) when nobody was home.. All the sudden I just couldn't breath. I literally jumped out of the computer chair and started running around the house and ran out into my back yard because I thought I was actually dying. I panicked!!! After that day I got them every single day 24/7 and would not leave my house (at this time my parents were on vacation for 2 weeks) My brother and my boyfriend came to my parents house to stay with me and took care of me. I sat on the couch for 2 weeks drinking copious amounts of alcohol, not eating, watching t.v and crying hysterically every single day. I started pushing myself to do things I didn't want to do because my mind was telling me I couldn't do it.. and i generally am a very stubborn person and like to be in control of myself. I moved out and ever since then I still get anxiety and panic attacks EVERY single day.. 24/7. For the last month I started getting the depersonalization portion of it (since it has come in waves) where I can't go outside because everything just seems unreal and i panic. The most I get is head zaps, where my body will jolt but it will feel like its in my head.. chest pains, tightening of chest and can't breath, and the depersonalization. This has made me develop what I believe social anxiety as well where I can't go out in public or be around people by myself. The only way I can go out and do anything is if my boyfriend is with me.. and I have to drink a beer before I go out or else I am in sheer panic and anxiety. I am in the process in going to a psychologist who specializes in anxiety in about 2 weeks.. I am also seeking help from somewhere out of my province as well so I can get my life back. I can't work, which forces me to be on assistance, and I can't go to college right now like I would LOVE to because of this. I hope you figured yours out though.. for me it just seems endless. I just wanted you to know you're definitely not alone!

 
Old 02-06-2013, 01:14 PM   #6
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Re: Not feeling real/life feels like a dream

HELLO. I am surprised about how many people feel the same way. I thought it was only me, but now I know theres a lot. I feel like that since i was 13. One night it suddenly came to me, but i did not have any panic attacks that night, they started later when i was 23. now Im 35 and I still feel like that, i havent "woke up". Ive been searching for information about this but I havent found nothing at all, just a lot of people with the same synthoms wondering if somebody else feels like that. Ive visited doctors but they dont understand me when I try to explain and they just say that it may be something phiscologic. but i know its not. If anybody has "woke up" or find information about it, Please let us know.

 
Old 03-15-2013, 09:06 PM   #7
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Re: Not feeling real/life feels like a dream

Very interesting to read all your stories and to understand that I'm not the only one experiencing this world as an illusion.

 
Old 04-27-2013, 11:24 AM   #8
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Re: Not feeling real/life feels like a dream

This feeling of becoming emotionally unattached to life around you is very familiar to me.

Last edited by kissthesys1; 04-27-2013 at 11:32 AM.

 
Old 04-27-2013, 11:26 AM   #9
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Re: Not feeling real/life feels like a dream

Hi everyone!
I am also relieved to read so many stories similar to mine, it gives some kind of comfort to know that you are not alone.

So, I also want to share my story (I feel that at the moment, in the state that I am in, it is a lot easier to do it by writing than by speaking).

My first depressing moods started about 2 years ago (I am 23 at the moment). I am studying to become an actress and as the profession is really demanding and as I am from nature also really demanding on myself, then I started accusing myself a lot when I wasnt able to perform as good as I wanted to. (often the bad performance was due to my own feeling of fright of doing wrong, not even so much of the lack of talent. but the fright also suffocated all my creativity).

Also, it was the first time when I felt that something was not right between me and my boyfriend. He is a wonderful person and I really really respect him, but there were moments when I just didnt feel this man-woman sexual attraction towards him. I believed that it can and must be fixed. So I started "fixing" it. But in spite of all my aspirations I couldn´t still get the same good old feeling back that I had felt for him when we started dating, during the first year. I thought this is normal, this is what must happen, when you grow more together. In some ways I guess it also is, but when I still didnt actually feel what I should have then I started to kind of repress those feelings, pushing them somewhere deep where they couldnt disturb me. Then there came the moment when we almost broke up but after sorting some things out, decided to try on. For the first few months, it was better again, but then again the same feelings of lacking something important and hesitating a lot started to swim out to my conciousness. I was really confused at that time because I didnt actually want to admit to myself yet what was the problem and as I really cared for him a lot, we had a good empathy and understanding of eachother in many things, I didnt want to let him go. He was like a familiy member to me, how could I say good bye and maybe never be able to recover the bond that I felt with him in many levels, unfortunately other than the man-woman attraction(though I loved hugging him, feeling his closeness, I usually didnt feel the real desire to have sex with him). I felt embarassed to tell it to him as well, I felt it was my problem, I didnt realize that sometimes those things doesnt depend on the persons themselves, I guess its not a fault of him nor mine) and as I didnt want to insult him in any way, (I felt that I had hurt him a lot already), I started compensating it by becoming very careful with him. As he has the natural property of being sarcastic to things and saying out loud when he doesnt like something (and he can be quite radical on not liking things sometimes), then I started avoiding doing things he might not like. I didnt want to see him in a bad mood and I also felt I couldnt bear any negativity at the moment. So, as I know, he says "soap operas", musicals like "Grease", latin music and culture are a waste of time, then I instinctively didnt want to see, watch,hear them when he was close. (or when I did it, then it felt it like a protest, means it still didnt feel good) Although he never said that I can´t or shouldn´t watch them, he just shared his opinion. But as for my personality I got influenced by those comments anyhow.

So I took it all to myself and also with the continuing pressure by theatre school, my own thoughts of doing wrong and not being able to handle things there, I shaped myself around for the environment where I was trying to fit myself right. In school, I was dealing with self-respect questions all of the time. At some points I felt really strong in expressing what I really meant, what and how I wanted to do my creative work but then there were also those down-periods when I felt I was just scared of the other people from my course, who I felt where emotionally and creatively stronger than me and who´s ideas "must have been" better. I got scared expressing myself and my ideas, and because of that anxiety and fright that growed, I finally wasnt really able to produce anything great either. I wasnt in any ways in a good creative mood. I also know that I shouldnt compare myself to others and compete but I still did it a lot, I was longing for approval because I didnt feel self-confident myself.

Now I am one month away from finishing school. I must be honest to you, I cant wait when all this finally ends and I can go somewhere far away from the city where all of this has occured and just get a new and fresh look on things and life. There has been so much pain and suffering that I have felt during the last years. I believe that in many ways it has been important for me, to learn and as my mom says "all the people you meet during your life are sent to you in some very important reason, you can learn from them something about yourself".
Now, after this long prologue I finally get to the part of "feeling that life is unreal". This is something that has been bothering me during the last few months. I guess as the depression and tension has been up in the air for me for such a long time in a row already then this has finally concluded in my brain acting this weird way. I also get those feelings that all that around me, is totally strange and foreign to me, that I cant reach it, that it is unreal as am i, that I cant reach myself, I dont feel myself as me, I cant reach the familiarity of myself, sometimes i think about something or someone and I feel total numbness, sometimes I think about myself and I feel it is some stranger and not me, as I sometimes look at my body and feel it doesnt belong to me (a psychotherapist I visited, connected this feeling of mine to having sexual relations when I really didnt have my soul with it, so my body was in action but it was actually apart from my real wanting), still the easier moments for me are when I am alone and dont have to go through the social anxiety problems(which have stuck to me during this ordeal as well.) Sometimes I feel that I am stuck in my mind (stuck in thinking) and cant contact the present situation because of that, reality seems far and unrealistic, I get this feeling that I dont give a damn about it because its all a lie, I also feel that sometimes when I am communicating with people, my mind is just wandering around somewhere else, feeling scared about something again etc. And to concentrate on persons talk, I really have to try really, really hard and its exhausting. I also have trouble being able to tell longer stories. Such as: someone asks me, what is the play about that you are making? I feel so hard to get information out from my brain and give it forward, especially when its someone not too close person for me whos asking and I feel tension. As I am an actress, then I have started to use my acting abilities in a bad way, I feel that when communicating, I am faking, I am acting in real life. I dont want to, but it just happens, I cant connect with the situation for real so I fake it. I hate it.

Me and my boyfriend broke up some weeks ago, but we still have to live together during this last month. I really want to have some honest contact with him, support him in his pain and let him support me, but often i feel I cant reach him also. I guess he also feels he doesnt really know how to communicate with me during this period now, but this being not able to honestly communicate (that sometimes even the most easiest sentence needs effort to tell, like "here is your dinner" and then I just keep my mouth shut and sometimes then I try to reach him, but I feel my words sound fake, I just sound fake and he takes me as fake for it, but behind it, I am actually just so sad of being like this, not managing how to "reach over to the other side". Not being able not to connect my body, my thought, my expression, my feelings. Just being as a broken down machine. I dont want to pity myself, but I know(to him) I often sound like this and I guess I sometimes let myself sound like this as well, I guess it is my way of searching contact in any way..as I am not able to reach and express my feelings as I am feeling inside, then this wining and crying mode atleast sometimes draws attention to me.
The good thing is, that I still also have the "clear" moments, when I am not under all this disillusional feelings and then I can feel pretty good and normal. I am still searching the right answers for myself and trying to keep optimistic view on things really getting better.

Ok, it was a long talk. But I guess it was important to me to get it out from me in a written and orderly way. To have an overlook of it better. And if someone reckognizes him/herself in it as well, then atleast it has brought some good.

 
Old 05-10-2013, 12:54 AM   #10
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Re: Not feeling real/life feels like a dream

I decided to do a quick search on Google about feeling like nothing is real, and I found myself here. I read every single reply and I'm just shocked. I had no idea how many others felt similarly, and I am now compelled to share my brain. I hope reading this will also help someone stuck in a similar boat, just like every other person posting on here has helped me.

So, where to begin... I've struggled with feeling like the outcast for as long as I can remember, as well as oftentimes finding myself falling into fits of depression and anxiety that has escalated over the years. There are many reasons as to why. My parents had me as teenagers, so my grandparents took care of me for most of my life. My dad wasn't really around. Eventually, my mom married a man when I was around 5 years old, and they ended up divorcing when I was around 12 or 13 because they started using meth and their addictions destroyed their marriage. Me, my mom, and grandma moved (I've moved 8 times in my life, I'm 20) again and my mom's addiction got out of control. She'd leave for a week at a time, and we'd have no idea where she went. Then, my granny died.

Long story short, my mom finally decided she wasn't fit to take care of me anymore after she got a DUI and sent me to live with my biological father. I didn't know him and to be honest, he frightened me because he was never around much. Little did I know, he was using meth, as well. (They are both sober now!) I was 16, and I met a boy who was 19 who, from the moment I met him, I knew he would play some significance in my life. Over the three and a half years we spent together, I learned a lot about myself and life and fell in love with him. We met in May 2009, and in November of 2012 we moved in together. My dad was kicking me out, so my boyfriend and I decided to get an apartment. Unfortunately, a week before moving day, we both lost our jobs. His parents offered for us to just live with them until we found new jobs because they didn't want me to have to fend for myself.

Fast forward a month. It's December 2, 2012, we had met up and gotten into a pretty bad argument and decided to go home. We were about two miles from home when he lost control of his truck and clipped a curb, causing his truck to roll through the air and finally come to a stop when it hit the median, landing on it's side. He had been ejected and his head and shoulder were pinned underneath his front tire. I ran to him and he was already cold and not breathing. In my heart, I knew he was gone.

I've always known that I've suppressed memories, because I have a terrible memory and I feel as though my past has never really happened. I barely remember my step dad being around, I barely remember my granny constantly taking care of me, and now it's hard for me to even remember the past four years of my life. It feels like the past 20 years have been some distant dream. I can't look into the future because I've learned that the unexpected can always happen. Well, it always has for me, at least.

I feel like since my boyfriend passed away, I've almost just snapped. I don't remember the first month after he passed away because I was stuck in such a deep depression. Then one day, I woke up and felt like I was going to be fine. I was positive, happy, upbeat, and I knew that I'd make it through this because I've made it through everything else life's thrown at me. But lately, things have been different.

I'm back to feeling like this life is a dream, that when things are happening, they're not really happening. I forget things all the damn time, moreso than before. I sit down and wonder if the person I think I am inside my head is who I really am on the outside, if that makes sense. I have a lot of friends all over the state (seeing as I've moved so many times) and have no problem meeting new people or talking to people. I'm very social and it all comes with ease. But never once have I ever felt like I've fit in. I feel like anyone I meet can connect with me, but I never really fully connect with them back, even when they think I do.

I saw a counselor in high school and I just couldn't open up. I knew in my brain there was something wrong with me, but as she was asking me questions and trying to get me to open up, I just realized I couldn't share the bad things.

I think I just don't have the capacity anymore to deal with anything remotely close to negativity because that's almost all I've ever known. I feel hopeless sometimes and wonder what my purpose is here. It's so hard and it's so confusing constantly feeling like you're questioning your sanity and whether or not things have really happened the way they did. It's my life, I should remember it but I just can't. And when I start to dig inside myself to remember, I don't let myself. Pain comes. Sadness comes. Then the downward spiral begins, and I don't want to let myself get to a super low point ever again.


So, to anyone who actually just read this entire thing, I hope you were able to find something in it that you could relate to. You aren't alone. You're never alone. We are here to help and love one another, and just because bad things have happened in life doesn't mean that we should let that stuff define us. Maybe we're just supposed to struggle with these things and we just have to learn to make the best of it? Idk. Just trying to stay positive!

And, I hope you feel better. Because you rock. Even when you feel like getting out of bed is the hardest thing to do every day, remember you're still breathing for a reason and when you're meant to go, you'll go, but not by your own hand.

Last edited by Administrator; 05-10-2013 at 10:55 PM. Reason: a word

 
Old 05-10-2013, 02:03 AM   #11
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Re: Not feeling real/life feels like a dream

I have had the same feelings, but what has helped me is to reduce/eliminate caffeine. It will make your life at least 50% better if you give up caffeine.

 
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