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Hi there guys :)

Due to DR and accompanying brain fog, it's very difficult to engage my brain and concentrate well enough to write and explain myself easily at the moment, but I will do my best!

I've had derealization/brain fog for almost 6 years now. This all began when I was diagnosed with low testosterone levels in 2011, and put on Testosterone Replacement Therapy. After two days of taking testosterone, these symptoms set in. I quit taking the stuff after 5 weeks, thinking that things would then return to normal, however that didn't turn out to be the case, and here we are with the same old issues approaching 2017 :D

Shortly after quitting the testosterone, I started to research ways to increase T levels naturally, and learned a lot about good nutrition and exercise as a way to make a positive difference. This included cutting out foods that made me bloated and tired. I put these things into practice, and this made a remarkable difference - my lowest ever T reading was 70 ng/dL in 2011, prior to making the aforementioned changes, contrast this with a recent reading which had my levels at approx 720 ng/dL, so a tenfold increase!

The big positive to come out of this are that my physical energy levels are miles better than they ever were in the first 20 years of my life (I'm now 25). However, there seems to be a strange occurrence at work whereby improved physical health and energy has a negative correlation with the severity of my DR/brain fog and anxiety/racing mind symptoms. Effectively the more energised and physically sound I feel, the worse these symptoms become.

Brain fog and anxiety typically becomes worse almost immediately after eating a healthy meal, and sometimes DR too - very nutritious foods such as broccoli and olive oil for example cause fogginess and derealization to increase. In contrast, I've noticed on the rare occasions I go back to eating less nutritious foods that trigger bloating and fatigue, such as high fructose items, other sugary products and other highly processed foods, my physical energy becomes awful, akin to when my T levels were low, however this is the only time when my racing mind slows down (it literally never stops whirring without this type of food intervention). The only two occasions when I have become 'un-derealized' over the past 6 years (only for a matter of hours on each occasion) were firstly when I ate foods that triggered bloating and fatigue for a few months continously, which made me weak and tired but massively reduced anxiety and stress, thereby getting rid of the DR, and secondly when I had one massive binge on sugary, processed foods that again triggered digestive symptoms, after several months of eating a perfect diet with no sugar at all (on this occasion I also got a euphoric effect where I felt high as if I was high on recreational drugs and couldn't stop laughing for several hours - it was pretty great!)

Exercise also makes my DR, brain fog and racing thoughts/anxiety much worse, though I don't feel the need to go into as much detail with this as it seems a number of other sufferers sadly experience this too :(

So I guess my question is, has anyone else experienced something similar to this, and if so, did you manage to find any answers? I feel that if I just succumbed and started to eat these bad foods at almost every meal then my mental issues would eventually subside, but at the same time I don't want to have to choose between good physical health and good mental health (I'm a very greedy guy who would like both, please!) :D

I have a couple of theories about what's going on at the moment:

* Foods that trigger my digestive symptoms (typically foods with lots of fructose and some other 'FODMAPS') somehow also trigger my digestive symptom to release lots of serotonin, which in turn calms me down and makes me feel much more stable mentally.

* The whole food/healthy diet I typically eat isn't one I really enjoy that much, and using food purely as fuel without any regard for enjoyment depresses certain brain chemicals (possibly dopamine and/or serotonin), and when I eat 'bad' foods this triggers a huge dopamine hit that alleviates anxiety/brain fog etc. I'm not sure at all sure about this though, as even healthy foods that contain a lot of fructose (such as apples and brown rice for example) trigger the same digestive issues accompanied by better mood…

Anyway, sorry for such a long and unfocused post, as I'm sure you all appreciate, it can be very difficult to write sometimes. The Cliff notes in short are…

* Improved digestion, healthy eating and exercise = better physical energy but worse anxiety/racing thoughts, DR and brain fog.

* Things that everyone think should help the brain e.g. healthy eating and exercise, seem to 'charge up' my brain too much and result in racing thoughts.

* Unhealthy eating and foods that trigger digestive issues (especially those containing lots of fructose) = terrible physical energy but slow down racing thoughts and help me think more rationally, less anxiety and eventually reduce DR if I stick with it long enough.

* Also, I neglected to mention this in the main post, but almost any supplement/vitamin I take also causes brain fog/anxiety/DR to increase!

Thank you for reading, and if anyone can offer any insight that would be much appreciated :)
 

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Hi Jim,

I'm 26, my brain is pretty low energy at the moment so my reply will be short, but I can tell you I also experience very physical/mental related symptoms from consuming a variety of different things, such as beans, fermented dairy/vegetables, high sugar drinks/foods, alcohol, caffeine. These are the main offenders it seems. My minds eye just gets completely shut down when eating offending foods/drinks. I also get worse from exercise too.

Can you relate to these specific issues?

Hope your getting on ok, all the best.
 
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