24 year old gay male, here. Not to brag (hate boasting/arrogance), but I think it will be helpful since many of you can relate: I am intelligent (high scores on SAT, etc.) overthinking, ADHD/day dreamy, HUGE heart, care way too much about everything etc. Also have 2 narcissistic parents. Oops. And lots of trauma in childhood. LOTS.
Wanted to share my story:
Dated a boy with BPD. He was lovely, I was overly empathetic. I had no self awareness (despite being very self conscious) of my involvement, but I was reading tons of books on codependence at the time. Also had roommates who were SJWs and triggered me constantly. Last year of school (finishing neuroscience degree, lmao). Was quite depressed, had OCD about relationship and every time I smoked weed, I would be attacked by an intense internal dialogue and would reassure myself intensely with internet research. Also, worked in a group home of people with severe schizophrenia and internalized everything. Horribly bad- all their trauma. Broke up with boyfriend and moved to LA.
Moved to LA. Was okay for a few months. Started smoking LOTS of weed (3x a day) to cope with feelings of loneliness and “reconciling evil of the world with the beauty of it.” Cue DPDR/OCD/depression, November 2018. Severe constant existential thoughts, rumination, and research (different philosophies/religions/psychedelics-ayuahuasca and peoples’ insights, DMT forums, etc.). Could barely hold a conversation. Saw a therapist who reinforced these worries (woo-woo spiritual therapist, yikes). Experienced OCD before and knew this was what was happening. Obsessions over reincarnation, death, eternal now, etc. Almost psychotic, everything was a sign.
Horrible OCD symptoms. Could not read. Could not communicate. Could not write. Severe exhaustion. Started Ashwagandha (helped in the past). Ended up in hospital with cardiac symptoms from stress. Got my testosterone checked (BigNoKnow fan, lol. So much focus on my issues, yikes. No more). It was 150, which is extremely low. Decided against TRT because I knew my body was flooded with cortisol. I just want to be healthy and not rely on TRT because of long term effects/reliance.
Quit my job (working with adults with disabilities). Could not even do it. Moved to Boston. Severe OCD still over societal issues and global power structures. Hopelessness. Constant suicidal thoughts. Blank mind. I get it. But it’s because your brain is severely stuck on one-track mind.
Moved home to parents in Houston. Started meds (Zoloft, Xanax, Adderall, Lamitcal. Lol. Got off soon because of side effects- worsened SI and a rash). Constantly on DPSelfhelp, still obsessing over how nobody had a real “self”
August 2019/September 2019
Moved into apartment with friends in Austin. Started canvassing for a non-profit. Felt hopeless over global situation/climate change/kids in cages. Couldn’t memorize a sentence (eventually was able to). Obsessed with my depression.
Started a serving job. Had severe intrusive thoughts about child abuse, all day every day. Continued to serve. Started taking huge doses of magic mushrooms, saw improvement every time. Huge improvements. Saw my behavior more objectively (was constantly researching misanthropy/nihilism/antinatalism subreddits, lol). Obviously, everyone is different. I was lucky to have a good experience with shrooms. I could smell again (didn’t realize I couldn’t before). Brain no longer felt like it was ON FIRE. Could think of how to respond to people.
Started dating someone new (open relationship). COVID happened. Lost my serving job. Have been waiting for unemployment. Started Luvox, Adderall, Lamictal. Constantly reading books & watching TV. Lots and lots and lots of books. Starting to feel better. Still exhausted. Go on walks (1 hour) and get so tired. Jealous of those who can run/work out lol.
I have read Sapiens & Homo deus. I’ve realized our human predicament. I’ve made peace with the fact that I am a biological machine. Saw humanity/self in a more objective and realistic way. Don’t even entertain thoughts about God/atheism anymore (though I did before, that’s all I was ever thinking). Make jokes all the time to cope with how unfair and unequal our society is. Decided I have to take care of myself from stress. Sleeping 12+ hours, waking up so tired, taking adderall & coffee to stay awake & read/watch TV. Less OCD thoughts, though!! Not judging myself or letting myself focus on/ruminate about how exhausted I am. Understanding that my body is recovering from chronic stress. It’s okay.
What has helped:
Objectivity. Realizing I am a biological machine with a brain. My brain’s purpose is to keep me safe- analyze my environment and pass on my genes. I am in a weird modern environment with constant stimuli. I am an intense, introspective, intelligent and sensitive human machine. That’s valid. So is Kim Kardashian. Okay, that’s fine. I need to reduce my stress levels and balance my nervous system. Any hopeless thought, I put on a podcast and listen. I just listen. That’s it. And I read. And watch stupid reality TV. No social media. Still too exhausted and it makes me feel ashamed.
Podcasts and books. Constantly reading FICTION now (to learn how “neurotypical” people communicate again). Constant self compassion and acceptance. Calling friends ALL THE TIME.
My advice: get off your computer ASAP. Listen to podcasts EVEN IF you give into your compulsions (forums, etc. Just have a podcast on) and reality test that the people on the podcast are valid human machines too. And with time, patience, and practice, you can become a functioning human machine, too. With less thoughts of hopelessness.
NO MUSIC (for me). I listened to intense, introspective music (Lana Del Rey, Regina Spektor, Fiona Apple). Always have. Assuming others on this website like slow and moody music, too. Lol. Or metal. When I am depressed, NO MUSIC. This will always be my coping skill from now on. Reading, audiobooks, stories. Get your brain on stories. That’s it. And funny vine videos. You have to take care of yourself.
Always have something on to distract you. I cannot play video games still unless there is a podcast, still have a hard time “figuring video games out.” I cannot do anything without a distraction.
Also, got TONS of massages because I couldn’t feel my body from all the tension. Now my body is less tense. Doing yoga now, with a podcast on. Don’t let myself follow my thoughts anymore, unless they have a practical use. Even when I can’t do something, I don’t even process it. I accept that that’s where my brain is now, and at least I can survive and read a book now.
Meds have helped me (I have SEVERE OCD and depression). Patience is helping me. Distraction is helping me. Just always have something else to focus on. My memories about my life prior are coming back. I also started smoking nicotine, which helps. Know this is controversial.
Also, PLATITUDES INFURIATE ME (everything happens for a reason, it will get better, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem). Reality is much more nuanced and complex than that. I know everyone on this website has VASTLY different experiences and brains. Economic situations. Family situations. Friend situations. Trauma situations. Cultural. My advice: do not fall into empathic distress. Do not feel hopeless over others’ experiences. Do not listen to music right now. Do not think about spiritual/abstract things if you can help it- think about concrete things that people in your podcasts talk about. Do not strengthen neural connections that make you self-analyze. There are tons of stupid “NPC” humans out there who never question anything. They do not experience this, they will never know what ‘OCD/DPDR’ is and they would not be able to comprehend it. That’s okay. Just be nice to yourself.
Look up OCD cognitive distortions. Overinflation of responsibility, reacting to thoughts. They are thoughts. You are not responsible for them. You are not responsible for anyone but yourself. Nobody depends on you, and you don’t owe the world anything (okay, maybe if you have kids. etc). You didn’t ask to be born. Some people’s brains may be “messed up forever,” idk what happened to your brain. I don’t think the majority of you are screwed over, but hear me out. I couldn’t SPEAK. I couldn’t follow whose turn it was in a game. I looked up 3rd grade speeches and read them to SPEAK again. Now I am hanging with my friends, Zooming. Laughing at movies. Thinking of gifts for my dog. Listening to podcasts. Following an entire book. Holding conversations.
You can do this. I love you. I know some of you might be hopeless, but objectivity can help. Science can help. Empathy is actually destructive to your body (mirror neurons, more cortisol, etc.). No news. Constant fun distractions (podcasts about old books/movies you liked, video games, etc.). Just be nice to yourself. Thinking of myself as a dog (especially when I was misanthropic) helped- because they are animals JUST LIKE US. I thought if a dog went through OCD/stress (which they can), they’d be exhausted for a while too. I would cuddle the dog, be patient with it, let it watch funny movies, not hate it for relapsing because we all know neural patterns are strong. NO more self-analysis. At all. Don’t revisit trauma, unless you think it’s EXTREMELY necessary. Non-sensitive, a-hole people don’t store trauma in their body because they don’t internalize and don’t have a strong moral/DMN/self-reflective system. You have to get yours to stop. It’s torturous and you are probably a super kind & empathetic person. If not, just be that way to yourself right now.
Love you!! Get the f off this website or at least put on a podcast while you read (Ologies, Flash Forward, Getting Curious with Jonathon Van Ness, Why Won’t You Date Me are my go-tos). GET TO A PUBLIC PLACE (if it’s safe to do so where you are) and read a book. Accept your thoughts and experiences. It’s okay and it’ll get better. Doesn’t matter if you follow the book or not-just read it. For me, I was self-destructive, seriously thought I was going to kill myself because my brain was torturing me. I now don’t want to die. No future plans except continuing to serve/make enough money to support myself. Nothing else matters but rebalancing my nervous system. My imagination/ability to see things “in my minds eye” got much better after shrooms and reading. Because before, my brain only thought like, 3 things. So it makes sense I couldn’t imagine anything else.
My summer plan: podcasts as soon as I wake up. Meds for 3 months. Then, shrooms one more time. Taking tons of things for my brain. Cuddling as many things and people as possible. Every dog I see. Made a gluten-free diet plan (lots of autoimmune issues in my family). Reading 30+ books this summer. My plan:
+ bag of stuff forever:
NAC 2g (June 4)
DHEA (4 months)
phosphatidylserine (3 months/maybe forever)
NSI 189 (3 months)
Ashwagandha (1 month - won’t get side effects from 1 month)
Rhodiola (2 months)
Fish Oil (forever)
Black Currant Oil
Minocyline (200mg) (4 months) (June 15-October 15) (Deactivate microglia- look this up).
Lamictal (150mg) (3 months) (June 15-September 15)
If you are one of the many in the US who does not have health insurance, there are other ways of getting help. Message me. I have done this before and I know so many people are not fortunate enough to have access to healthcare in this country.
I love you and I just hope this brings you some peace.