STRUGGLING with DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, or BIPOLARITY? LEARNING can really HELP. Start with ARTICLES above or Topics below. Ty! Bill

Charlotte’s Web: Real Person, Real Pain, Real Hope

“I basically talk myself into believing that I’m going insane. Or everything around me, the world and people, are just a figment of my imagination…”

Those are the words of chipur reader, Charlotte. It had been quite some time since I’d heard from her. She sent me an email yesterday morning, expressing great distress.

We’ve had numerous email exchanges over the past 36 hours, and she gave me permission to share with all of you. That’s pretty cool. We can all learn from her circumstances – and openness.

Today we’re going to focus upon Charlotte’s words, thoughts, and feelings. Tomorrow, we’re going to help her connect-the-dots.

The Emails

Here’s Charlotte’s initial email (I’ve italicized some details that caught my attention in all of her emails)…

I don’t know if you remember me. I spoke to you a few years back when I was suffering from derealisation/depersonalization (dr/dp). I’m having a tough time again and wondered if you had any advice for me to overcome it? I’m taking fluoxetine (Prozac) at the moment (almost 3 weeks) and I don’t know whether it’s making it better or worse. I’m really struggling at the moment

I replied and received this in response…

Thanks for your reply, I’m so grateful for your help. I’m on 20 mg  of fluoxetine. But tonight, even though I feel unreal and everything feels really strange to me, I’ve had sort of a ‘numb’ feeling. It’s like I don’t even care what happens anymore, like if the world’s fake then so be it. I’m not sure if the tablets are working. I’m always a little better in the evenings anyway, and I’ve been able to manage the panic attacks tonight.

But the derealisation is definitely the worst feeling ever. Just everything around me has no meaning!

I responded. So did she…

Quite a few things have happened in the last few months. Been having trouble with my ex-partner lately (my children’s father) and I also moved three days before Xmas and that was really stressful. Maybe this has caused it? Not sure though, but it’s the only thing that I can think of…

I replied, here’s Charlotte’s…

I just don’t think I’ve got the will power to believe that I will get better from this. I’m in such a confusing and scary place right now and can’t see a way forward – there’s just a vicious circle. It goes from panicking about how I’m feeling to analysing everything around me, and everything looks even more strange and unreal – and then feeling even more confused! I basically talk myself into believing that I’m going insane. Or everything around me, the world and people, are just a figment of my imagination. It goes round and round in my head all day long. Are you sure there is hope for me?

I wrote back, asking if we could, perhaps, chat by phone. She responded…

Only problem is that I live in England so I’d imagine it would cost a bomb to talk on the phone – even though I really would like to.

I love it – “…it would cost a bomb…” I responded. Charlotte wrote back…

I’m now 22. I tried citalopram (Celexa) a month ago and it seemed to increase the dr/dp immensely. I wasn’t as bad as before I took them and it seemed to have stayed with me even though I swapped for fluoxetine…. I just don’t know? Just can’t get rid of it,

I emailed her, asking more questions; and if I could share our communication on chipur

Yes that’s absolutely fine Bill. I’m currently unemployed because I have 2 small children 2 & 5 and I stay at home. Don’t think I could hold a job down at the moment. But my anxiety issues sort of flared up when I was with my ex partner. I suffered mental and physical abuse from him and in the last 5 years I’ve had 4 bouts of extreme anxiety and dr/dp. But every time it comes it feels like the worst and it will not ever go. And also there have been a few deaths in the family in the last 5 years too…

Does Charlotte’s situation sound familiar to you? Sure as heck does to me.

Well, let’s tie a bow on Part 1. And be sure to come back tomorrow, because we’re going to jump right into helping Charlotte connect-the-dots and move forward. She’ll be reading, incidentally.

I have all of the hope in the world for Charlotte. Now, it’s just a matter of convincing her.

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