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Drugs & trauma

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 07:44 AM

I'd Like to know what's the big difference between Drug (Mariuhana) induced DP and other forms of DP. Since people who suffer from drug induced DP often don't have any psychological problems or childhood trauma's or so.
Is there any difference in how it should be treated? or how hard it is to recover from it?
I find it very strange that some people suffer years from drug induced DP! Or can drugs just induce a braintrauma wich causes DP?
I want to recover but some story's i read here realy freak me out :?


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Posted 15 August 2004 - 08:06 AM

I doubt that the drugs cause brain trauma which then leads to DP. Most people experience the DP a signifigant amount of time after taking the drugs. My own thoughts are that the DP is an anxiety state which shuts parts of the brain down as a coping mechanism.


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Posted 15 August 2004 - 08:12 AM

So does that mean there has to be a difference in treatment between psychological and drug induced DP. Since with drug induced DP, it is 'just the drugs' that induced it


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Posted 15 August 2004 - 08:32 AM

I think the pathways to DP will always include a psychological factor. An over simplified scenrio of events leading to DP from my own and others experiences:

Act of drug taking/Violent act inflicted upon you/[Insert your own trigger here] ->
No longer able to control your environment, and/or rationalise the current situation (State of extreme stress) ->
Control Mechanism (DP)

DP must be seen as a symptom of an underlying sequelae of events. I dont think you can actually treat the DP on its own as it would be akin to taking a pain killer so that you could function with an untreated broken leg.

Im most certainly not a source of irrefutably accurate advice, but Im guessing that the chain of events to recovery would to first seek the advice of your GP, making sure that he understood all of your current symptoms. They may want to conduct a few tests if they wish to rule out any biological cause which could be a contributing factor.

Provided the organic test results come back negative, you may then be sent to a psychologist where they will try and understand the root cause what is creating your symptoms of DP and work on those things that are triggering the DP state.[/i]

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 10:28 AM

I still want to know, after all of this time if i still have DP. Noone has ever said " yes, you have DP" Like the doctors & therapists that i have seen will list the symptoms and ask me if i have them and most of the time i kinda don't, but have parts of them? I definietly think that i have Derealization though, or some form of it.

btw, mine is Drug/Anxiety induced


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Posted 15 August 2004 - 11:48 AM

There really isn't a clear answer Soul, though I like the above answers, though I agree in what is an old term re: ALL illness/pathology, whatever you want to call it, and this goes with Nature (your given biological tendencies)/Nurture (an enviornmental factor).

Stress [any "trauma" or something that takes the body out of balance (homeostasis) + Diathesis (your given predisposition -- and it would seem all of us here have a predisposition to DP/DR or to dissociate).

Easier example:

Stress - smoking cigarettes
Diathesis - predisposition to cancer
Result - lung cancer

Some people smoke their entire lives and never get lung cancer. They seem to have either NO predisposition to getting lung cancer or perhaps something that PREVENTS them from getting it, which we don't understand yet.

Some people smoke and GET lung cancer. They must have a predisposition, proclivity, weakness.

For us:

Stress - various -- drug induced, trauma
Diathesis - predisposition to dissociate or to be anxious
Result - DP/DR

I see many subtypes here. I feel, but am not certain, that drug induced DP/DR MAY be different, as I see DP/DR that comes with Panic Disorder as being different from DP/DR that comes from abuse/environmental trauma ..... but remember the DRUG is a stressor on the body.

I recommend a great book on this that discusses "allostatic load" -- when stress piles up and overwhelms the homeostasis in the body.

The End Of Stress As We Know It (meaning the DEFINITION of stress)
Bruce McEwen, Ph.D.
Helps with recommending ways to de-stress one's life also.

Hope this makes sense.

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 11:55 AM

Dreamer that makes sense but i think it sucks that there is no definite answer. I know in my case, whatever I have, is a combination of Stress, Anxiety, Depression & Marijuana.

My new therapist says that i have a Anxiety/Mood disorder & the " derealment" is a symptom of it. He thinks that if i can bring the anxiety level down & develop a better attitude i guess, that things will get better & the " derealment" will lift eventually.

I just hate the strangeness that comes along with this


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Posted 15 August 2004 - 12:01 PM

Here's an example. Kari said this in another post

Dreamer - Wow... you've had this since you were a kid? I appluad you. You are one brave soul for dealing with it for so long without giving up. I had anxiety due to my transition from high school to college and the DR/DP followed the anxiety. When I'm not anxious I have no DR/DP so I'm hoping that after I recover from anxiety the DR/DP will be gone for good.

I believe Kari and I have a different subtype of DP/DR though how we feel is recognizable to each of us.

I have DP/DR 24/7 even in my dreams. In my 20s it was unbearable. After treatment I improved significantly, but still have chronic DP/DR... the DR now being worse than the DP. I do not EVER turn to reality, and haven't for about 25 years. I used to have glimpses. But the SEVERITY is not as bad. I'm able to cope with it.

I also never had panic attacks. I thought I did, but when I have read about them repeatedly on this Board/Andy's board, I realize I didn't.

Kari -- has panic attacks or rather has anxiety and gets DPd, but the DP goes away when she isn't anxious.

Dreamer -- I started out with great anxity, etc. and I could bring on DP/DR as a 4 year old. Over time it "got out of my control" and I have it ALL the time, and I mean ALL the time, even in my dreams. We both have DP, but mine had a different cause and certain factors of mine are different. I also have a clear diagnosis of GAD. I fit it virtually to a "t."

D :shock:
And the way I've treated this is different from the way Kari might treat hers.

It's like skin cancer. There are different kinds, but all are equally serious, and some respond better to treatment, but if not treated can be deadly. Not an exact analogy, but it'll have to do.


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Posted 15 August 2004 - 12:06 PM

Soul, we're all frustrated, but I always use this example.

AIDS is our century's epidemic. Milions are dying or will die.

HIV is just one tiny virus and research since the 1980s has brought no cure, vaccination, etc.

There is a group, a very small group of people, I don't know how many who have HIV, but don't develop AIDS. Why? Researchers study them, as they may have the clue to stopping AIDS.

Bottom line.... if they haven't found a treatment for a little virus (albeit an evil one) after some 25 YEARS, well, the brain is a billion times more complex.

Frustrating, yes. But we can't give up hope, and actually we have treatment options, and people here DO get better, get well again, trying different modes of treatment.

D :shock:

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 02:24 PM

The larger problem here is one of semantics.

We like to say "we HAVE" a certain disorder, etc...or we ask the doctor to verify if in fact, we HAVE dp.

It's not something you "have" but something you experience. There isn't a "dp germ" grin....that can be seen in your bloodstream.

If you experience dp states, you experience dp states. You don't need someone on the outside to tell you if you are experiencing them.

If you have hair trigger reactions to slight stimulation and find yourself being afraid all the time, some doctor might tell you that you 'have' anxiety. But in reality, you are experiencing massive anxiety. You might not always experience it, but only at certain times, with certain thoughts.

MEntal symptoms are states of experience in reaction to a variety of disurbances within the psyche (or within the neurobiology, esp. for the bio-reductionists, grin)

The thing to CURE is not the experience, but the source of whatever is making you react that way. And for that, usually yes, sorry to be a broken record, but it boils down to finding what is causing the frightening (anxious) or hopeless (depressive) feelings that is launching your other symptoms.


#11 dalailama15


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Posted 15 August 2004 - 02:38 PM

I love these kinds of speculations, and I understand that simply declaring the real truth of the causes of DP is useful stylistically, that is, one doesn’t have to clog ones prose, and perhaps one’s mind as well, with constant hedges, like, “It very well may be that. . . , or “it is possible that. . . ", and you get the idea. However, I think we have to admit that they are, to various degrees, just shots in the dark. At any rate.

It makes a lot of sense to see dissociation, especially extreme states like multiple personality disorder, as a way to cope with and to survive trauma. It makes less sense that drugs, most commonly THC, can somehow create this same reason, the same need, to dissociate. For this we need some intermediary cause to trigger the coping strategy, namely stress and anxiety. But frankly this has never resonated with me – personally I am so numb and alienated that I can barely understand what stress and anxiety are. Also, this seems to be unnecessarily cramming the data into the stress/anxiety hypothesis.

And this data, again, is that both THC (and I gather XTC) and trauma can cause the same set of idiosyncratic symptoms we call DP and DR. And I believe there is enough evidence in these forums (and perhaps nowhere else) to accept this as given.

So if there is something more going on with DP that its existing as a survival strategy, the drug connection is a good place to start, since the point of departure is the physiology and chemistry of the brain–the things the guys with the white coats and the white rats can study in the lab.

There has to be one brain function through which the effects of both drugs and trauma can be mediated; one brain thing that is responsible for connecting emotions and perceptions with the world, and perhaps cognition to a sense of self; and finally, a mechanism through which this thing is identically changed or damaged by both drugs and trauma so that its functions are identically impaired.

It doesn’t take a lot of research to find in the limbic system the function, in the amygdila (and secondarily, the hippocampus) the thing, and in the cannabinoid system the mechanism.

And this is the introduction to the book that I am in no way qualified to write--in no way qualified to know if it is worth writing.

I wanted to get this in, but I don’t have time to go through all the crap I’ve cut and pasted that connects the limbic system, the amygdala, the hippocampus, the cannabinoid system, drugs, trauma, and dissociation, and make it coherent. But I’ll get to it if it doesn’t suddenly appear too stupid or obvious.

At any rate.

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 04:44 PM

too much red tape as usual

A change in an individuals self-awareness such that they feel detached from their own experience, with the self, the body and mind seeming alien.

Terms commonly used to describe the symptoms & sensations of depersonalisation: unreal, disembodied, divorced from oneself, apart from everything, unattached, alone, strange, weird, foreign, unfamiliar, dead, puppet-like, robot-like, acting a part, 'like a lifeless, two dimensional, 'cardboard' figure', made of cotton-wool, having mechanical actions, remote, automated, a spectator, witnessing ones own actions as if in a film or on a TV program, not doing ones own thinking, observing the flow of ideas in the mind as independent.

A change in an individual's experience of the environment, where the world around him/her feels unreal and unfamiliar. Terms commonly used to describe the symptoms and sensations of derealization: spaciness, like looking through a grey veil, a sensory fog, spaced-out, being trapped in a glass bell jar, in a goldfish bowl, behind glass, in a Disney-world dream state, withdrawn, feeling cut off or distant from the immediate surroundings, like being a spectator at some strange and meaningless game, objects appear diminished in size, flat, dream-like, cartoon-like, artificial; objects appear to be unsolid, to breathe, or to shimmer; 'as if my head were inside a Coke bottle and I'm viewing the world through the thick glass at the bottom'.

I read both of these descriptions, i do feel the detatchment aspect, & things do feel weird, i often feel weird & spaced out. But not all symptoms of both things apply to me. I want to know why when i telldoctors & such that i have DP/DR they aren't sold on the fact that i do? They always say you have Anxiety & this is a product of it. Yes i do have anxiety, but its like they always stray away from the DP/DR factor. I dunno

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