[Trigger Warning] I finally found out what ACTUALLY caused my Depersonalization 5 years ago. - Discussion - Depersonalization Community

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[Trigger Warning] I finally found out what ACTUALLY caused my Depersonalization 5 years ago.


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#1 MiketheAlien


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Posted 08 May 2015 - 01:29 PM

Hey Everyone,


I wanted to share this information with people since I think it could really shed some light in some peoples problems with Depersonalization. 


I originally thought that I got my first Derpersonalization and Derealization, including the dreaded panic attacks and feeling of disappearing into nothingness, from recreational drugs and alcohol.  I still think those played an important role in where I am today, but I have discovered a catalyst I have been wondering about for quite some time.


In previous years, I experimented with various "street" drugs like MDMA, Cannabis, Mushrooms, Ketamine, and Cocaine.  I am not trying to suggest that these didnt play factors in my Depersonalization, but I used them as responsibly as one could, and never had DP/DR or panic attacks. 


Looking back at my medical records, I noticed I was treated with a drug called Azithromycin.  Azithromycin is an antibiotic useful for the treatment of bacterial infections.  I had strep throat or something similar to that, and was prescribed this medication.  The morning after I took my first dose is when I had my first Depersonalization, Derealization, fear of losing my mind, fear of fading into nothingness, and all the other symptoms that come with the DP experience. 


I had always attributed this first episode of Depersonalization with MDMA, Cannabis, and Alcohol, from the previous weekend.  Again, I am not saying these did not play a part, but now I have some evidence that Azithromycin might have triggered it all.  If anything, I want this to be known as a possible cause and something to look into if anyone else has ever been treated with it.


Now, I no longer use the "party" drugs that I used to, I am not the same person I was 5 years ago.  If anything, this DP/DR has put me on a path to becoming a better person.  I have made huge strides in my health and well being over the past 5 years.  It has been a real journey, one that I am still on, and will be on for quite some time.  I say that in a positive light.


Additionally, after few years of maintaining my life through "natural" means, exercise, healthy diet, routine sleep, socializing, accomplishing goals outside of my comfort zone, using supplements and herbs,  I still have felt the need for help.  So after a few years of being medication-free, for the most part, I have found something that has been helping.  I have been on Vortioxetine, a newer antidepressant, for just over a month.  After some initial start up side effects, I am feeling better on it and doing pretty good.  And let me say I was very, VERY, against being on medications again.  I tried everything I could instead of going back on.  But I pushed myself to just trust my Doctor, even though I still dont fully trust the industry they practice in, and things are going well.


I just wanted to share this, in the hopes it might help someone else, and to give some hope to people who feel hopeless.  Each persons DP/DR may come from different sources, medical, chemical, psychological, trauma, and a myriad of other possible causes, but we all share the struggle together.  


Here are some links on Azithromycin, if anyone is curious to read more.






I have been using probiotics recently as well, and I think they are helping out a lot in combination to my other treatment.

I believe that antibiotics, which may help greatly for some infections and issues, also may kill off the good gut bacteria in your system, which can cause all sorts of bad side effects. 


Anyways, thanks for reading and let me know if you have any input, disagreements, or opinions. 


Take care,



#2 TDX


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Posted 08 May 2015 - 02:59 PM

I think it's impossible to be certain, because your heavy drug use could have caused your disorder with a delay and then your usage of the antibiotic would have been coincidence.


But it's quite possible that antibiotics can cause a psychiatric disorder, but this seems mainly to be a concern with fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin and so on).

#3 Midnight


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Posted 09 May 2015 - 07:04 AM

I have pretty big doubts that drugs cause depersonalisation, especially chronic, long term DP. It makes little sense.

I think those who get this are pre-disposed, certain personality types, ways of thinking etc.


There are people who have dropped hundreds of tabs of acid and still function in society, so people here thinking 3-4 spliffs will be the primary factor in sending you into a spiral of unreality are deluded IMO. The body is capable of dealing with much worse than that.

#4 *Dreamer*


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Posted 09 May 2015 - 01:00 PM

It is known that certain antibiotics cause depersonalization, but it usually passes once a mentally healthy individual goes off of it.

There is an article around here about minocycline.  One side-effect is indeed DP.

A number of past members of the board have experienced DP from a tentanus shot and other antibiotics. The reason is not clear.

If you have taken rec drugs as well, it would be difficult to sort out which contributed.

Also, re: rec drug use, there are SOME individuals who suffer no ill effects when used for recreational purposes.
SOME of us are predisposed to mental illness and a rec drug can indeed TRIGGER various psychiatric problems such as HPPD, dissociation, and in some cases can trigger a first attack of psychosis, or one episode of psychosis.

In a sense ALL chemicals you ingest from caffeine to alcohol to Rx meds to OTC meds to Rec drugs are affecting your brain in some way.  Lingering affects can happen in some people for varying degrees of time.

This is a medical fact.  You have a predisposition + a stressor (such as a rec drug) and it can result in a brief or extended negative event.

Ketamine for example IS a dissociative drug.  It is used during certain surgeries where individuals are partly "knocked out" or have no memory of an event such as invasive cardiac procedures -- insertion of a stent, etc. This is well known in all specialties.  Dentists use "twilight sleep" that can cause temporary dissociation and afterwards all sorts of symptoms including DP/DR -- but not in EVERY person.

#5 Guest_Jeff_*

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Posted 09 May 2015 - 02:45 PM

I agree and disagree with this. I believe azithromycin was your TRIGGER, not your cause. The cause of DP/DR is really underlying issues, such as anxiety or a chemical imbalance. However I know for a fact that when I take certain antibiotics my DR gets ten times worse. So I can see this completely happening! So when you took it set off this lovely disorder that I tend to call Satan's House of Fun.

#6 intothequarry


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Posted 15 May 2015 - 08:40 PM

Augmentin Clavulanate triggered my DP/DR - but I do believe the stress of taking it and all of my "health concerns" are what kept me here.

#7 hopefuluk2


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Posted 07 December 2015 - 12:12 PM


How is the Vortioxetine treating you? Any updates on it?

#8 MiketheAlien


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Posted 07 December 2015 - 01:40 PM

How is the Vortioxetine treating you? Any updates on it?

I've been on vortioxetine and vyvanse for almost 2 months. I tried each of these MEDS separately with not much success, but now being on this combo, I feel the best I've felt in years. I'm on vyvanse 30mg, and vortioxetine 10mg, for just about 2 months. I worry about long term effects of these but for now I have my life back and doing great. New job, New friends, New school, and I finally feel able and functionality again. Apathy is mostly gone and I have motivation again.

Some side effects starting up in the first week or two, but now I don't have any side effects other than lowered appetite, but I just try and eat snacks all day and by evening I get hungry again lol.

Hope this helps. My dpdr was mostly anhedonia, apathy, and ego loss more than it was anxious panic attacks. But I did have those years ago.

Any other questions, msg me!! Cheers

#9 TDX


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Posted 07 December 2015 - 03:43 PM

That's good. Maybe I try this, too.

#10 MrBurton510



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Posted 19 March 2016 - 03:57 AM

Hello MikeTheAlien,


You are going to be okay! I've come across the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet and i've seen great improvements in my dp/dr. I'm pretty much like my old self again! I got my dp/dr after a really bad acid trip. It explains how a damaged gut can manifest in many different ways, including psychosis(DP/DR). I've seen people who get this disorder out of no where and this book explains that it's all about gut health! You also got this after taking antibiotics and antibiotics kill many beneficial bacteria, along with the bad bacteria and cause an imbalanced gut flora. Street drugs also cause and imbalanced flora. An imbalance flora can cause leaky gut syndrome and that becomes more toxic as it allows many particles to seep through the intestinal walls and into our blood. That's probably why you got this disorder! Please look into GAPS, and especially your gut health. I know you've tried many things but i truely believe this is the answer for most! Go to the doctors and also check for food sensitivities.


Hope this helps

and many others,


Noel Burton :3 

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