In this post I will be talking about an important but often neglected part of chronic DPDR, namely the involvement of obsessive tendencies and/or hypochondria. In literature, not a lot of attention is paid to the connection, but I would like to make some connections. Firstly, a very good read is this post from a neuroscientist where I’ll be taking many concepts from, so please go read her post first.
So, what this post mentions is that obsessive tendencies are often seen in individuals with chronic or long-term DPDR, which seems to be more than a coincidence or a simple predisposition: her idea is that, by some unknown mechanism, obsessive tendencies (seem in both OCD and hypochondria) seem to keep the DPDR disorder going after being triggered by high levels of anxiety. This is interesting since this implies a treatment option: tackle the obsessive thoughts and the DPDR will most likely vanish by itself. This treatment is one often recommended by ex-sufferers (see dpselfhelp.com’s recovery stories) and by therapists with experience treating the condition.
Furthermore, the medication used by the leading research unit in the UK is a combination of Clomipramine and Lamotrigine. Now, Clomipramine is a tricyclic antidepressant (mentioned in my post about antidepressants) that strongly targets OCD and obsessive tendencies and is used often in treatment resistant obsessive thoughts. Recent research has also shown positive results in using Lamotrigine as a supplement to general antidepressants in treating these same obsessive tendencies. This adds to the evidence given in the post I linked earlier, and shows that psychological and medicinal treatment should focus more on the obsessive side of OCD rather than try to suppress its more obvious symptoms. This is a very important result that should be studied in more detail, since in my opinion it’s the key to treating many treatment resistant cases of long term DPDR.
In my case I had, and still have, a bad case of hypochondria. This is why this is an important topic for me to discuss, since I believe it’s my own personal key to recovery. Knowing the key is, unfortunately, only half the battle… However, I’m slowly but surely crawling out of a deep, deep hole, and it’s important for all of us to remember our progress since it’s not something you feel day to day. Wish me luck in my further recovery, and I for sure wish you the same.
See you next post,