“Everyone’s Afraid of being considered psychotic”: The story of a girl facing depersonalization and panic attacks

Something went wrong in March-April 2018 . We ‘ve had a painful attachment to a married man much older than me, I have a lot of work, and wages long paid. So I started to walk and in solitude to drink rum.           

From time to time it began to seem to me that the world around was unreal, and that, perhaps, it was created by my imagination. I was really scared, and I thought that clinked. We ‘ve had problems with concentration, I slept on the go and do not understand why all the time such a state. I felt separate from everyone else.           

Such sensations can arise not only with psychosis, but also with borderline states (neurotic). Do not be very scared and wind yourself up. This does not mean that the person is going crazy. Most likely, it is a neurosis that is being treated. If criticality is not lost, the person realizes that “something is wrong with him” – the psyche is preserved.           

I thought that now I will just solve the problems, and everything will be fine. From March to August, I was not going to ask for help.       

“I was afraid of death, was afraid that I would go crazy right now”  

On May 4 , the first panic attack occurred. The day before, I was very nervous about the troubles with a friend. During a break at work I was sitting and reading a book, then I got up, and suddenly I became very scared. It seemed that everything was somehow too clear, like in a computer game. There was a feeling that I was in an enclosed space, and in my claustrophobia, I’m very much afraid – afraid of death, afraid that I shall go mad right now.               

This attack ended within a few minutes, but now the attacks happened regularly and started to happen more often because I did nothing about it. Every time there was a very strong heartbeat, palms were sweating.     

I have lost my appetite, and I was very thin. Because of the new attacks, it was scary to leave the house, but I overpowered myself.      

The fear of leaving the house is not always social anxiety. In this case, it is, for example, a consequence of panic disorder . A person thus avoids situations in which a panic attack may develop. With social phobia, the fear of communicating with people arises not as a result of panic attacks, but independently. Although he subsequently and can lead to panic disorder. We must look at what started earlier.             

Already when I found out my diagnosis, I began to ask friends. Many live with the same sensations! It’s just that no one shares it. Everyone is afraid that they will be considered crazy.      

I told my mother about what was happening. We decided that it was necessary to check hemoglobin and go to an ophthalmologist (I have poor eyesight, and during a panic attack I began to see unusually sharply). I passed everything that was prescribed to me, bypassed all the doctors – they told me that it was “vegetative-vascular dystonia.” And they summed up – well, that’s it, we probably wo n’t be able to do anything about it.               

With depersonalization, panic attacks, pathological fears, you should not go to endocrinologists, neurologists, therapists – these are specialists of a slightly different profile. Problems may be similar to their pathology, but if a diagnosis is not made and treatment does not help , you need to visit a psychotherapist as soon as possible . Then there will be a chance to solve the problem without resorting to medication.               

Of the specialists I did not apply to, psychologists and psychotherapists remained . First, I went to a psychologist at work and received advice that “we must learn to relax.” This put me in a dead end, because I and so knew it. I needed to answer the question “how?” And not “what?”               

The attacks were repeated. It seemed to me that either everything around me could disappear, or I ’ll go crazy right now , I don’t get home. I’m not able to have none at all about what to think, not able to work.         

“The first thing I did at the psychotherapist’s office was crying”  

When I entered the door to the psychotherapist, to Nino Anatolyevna, the first thing I did was cry. She said that I was very scared, that I did not know what to do with it, and, probably, I’m all, I’m already completely helpless. The very first dialogue made me cheer up:           

Nino Anatolyevna: Well, have you reached me now? Me: Yes. N.A .: Have you arrived yourself? Me: Yes, I say. NA: Yes, everything is fine with you.   


She conducted all the tests with me, prescribed tests, told me about mental disorders: there are organic lesions (ed. – gross damage to brain tissue from infection or, for example, trauma), there are borderline states and neuroses that happen to everyone. That is, psychiatry is not limited to schizophrenia alone.       

After the examination, the psychotherapist said that I was most likely in a borderline state. Instructed to keep a diary of thoughts and gave me books on psychotherapy.   

Ashmeiba Nino Anatolyevna , psychotherapist, psychiatrist, doctor of the highest category:

The borderline state is the borderline between health and pathology . This includes neuroses, psychopathies, psychogenias.   

Physical symptoms (palpitations, sweating) did not go away as quickly as desired, so the therapist suggested drugs. At first, they felt like I was flying in space.    

Nino Anatolyevna taught me about relaxation, and gave me to read about projective hypnosis, and then she did it. It was scary because I thought that during hypnosis I would not control myself. But it turned out to be something like meditation.      

I kept a diary of thoughts, talked to her about what was happening. It was easy to keep a diary. You do not delve into the events of the past that you do not remember well (childhood, parents), but you analyze the current situation, today’s factor and look at what thoughts it arose on the basis of , how many and what emotions it gives you. This work answers the question of what to do next.            

At Alena all happened because she followed the recommendations have not renounced drugs and faithfully carry out the assignment, she worked herself, and not rely solely on the therapist.       

From late August to December, I went to see a psychotherapist. She gave me all the tools, from relaxation to awareness and control of the situation . Then you could work on your own.       

I understood what the role of the psychotherapist is. A psychotherapist is an ideal mirror, Nino Anatolyevna was an ideal mirror. She did not bring anything of her own, any of her convictions, she reflected what I think and feel . This is the most important thing in psychotherapy. She never answered for me – “Well, you get it from this or that,” as condescendingly as many love. The psychotherapist worked as a good moderator – she directed, but intervened to a minimum.                

“We live like in the stone age”  

Two weeks ago, I stopped my antidepressants completely. In the beginning, I had bad thoughts, a bad general condition, but now I felt inner peace. I figured out all my problems.       

What prevented you from solving the problem earlier? I just didn’t know there were such ways. This is general illiteracy, an educational program is needed in schools and universities.    

I have a friend who works for a large consulting company. She says that a lot of people leave them with neuroses, because they are overworking for days, they want to achieve the transcendent, they fail. This is very common, just nobody talks about it . Everyone thinks that this is a shame, there is no need to work with it, there is no need to solve this problem. And this is how we live, like in the Stone Age.            

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