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Dear dpselfhelp,

I first stumbled upon this disorder a year ago in the middle of my 4-sessions-per-week psychoanalysis.

I started psychoanalysis at the age of 17 primarily because of social withdrawal. My own social problems became so bad at the end of high school that I dropped out, got a job at a startup-company with ~30/40 year old adults, and moved in my some friends. This was probably the least depressed I had ever been. There were news articles about my "prodigy-like" engineering abilities and I was generally a pretty happy person. The important thing here is that I seem to have a predisposition for asperger's like symptoms: obsessive and intense interests, "odd" social habits, and withdrawal from the world. This is prior to any

Around this time two years ago, two things happened: my roommate (best friend) moved away to go to college and I had a powerful psychedelic/dissociative experience on psilocybin. The trip lasted a long time and the experience was unlike the usual "bad trip" report. I layed in bed for about 3 hours with derealization-esque experiences: dolly-zoom/goggle vision/tunnel vision, solipsistic thoughts, memory loss, unreality, "robot people," black-and-white colors, and general metaphysical thoughts. I "came back" a few hours later and life returned to normal.

A few months later, however, I took two tabs of what was either very potent lysergic acid or some variant of nBOME. Same symptoms: recursive thinking, solipsism, goggle-vision, etc. When I came back from this trip, however, there was one symptom which remained: the world had lost all emotional "color" and began to feel like other people were merely robots.

After a year of psychoanalysis I now have no job and no friends. I am lonely, however, I don't go out and make friends because everyone I meet seems like a robot now. I remember I time when I used to enjoy speaking with people and being outside, but the world seems like a sort of endless desert to me now. Reality testing is there, but I generally don't feel like I am in control of my thoughts. I feel like an observer looking through the eyes of some kind of animal. What's worse is that I feel like everyone in the world is a mere animal. Obviously, humans are animals, but most people don't feel like a mere animal or feel like everyone else is.

This seems on the outset like GAD or depression, however, about three or four times a week I have what I call an "acid flashback" where I feel exactly the way I did during my bad trips: goggle vision, recursive thoughts, tunnel vision, etc. Nothing seems to trigger them, they just seem to happen episodically. In this state I feel like all emotions are fake or narcissistic and that myself and the world lack empathy. The entire world seems to shrink down to the size of a peanut and I feel that any love or empathy that I've ever felt towards anyone, or that they have ever felt towards me is "fake" or "unreal." These episodes last usually around 2-3 hours and I feel that the world is sort of intrinsically evil. I'd call the thoughts sort of paranoid delusions of unreality similar to a "bad trip" but more philosophical and solipsistic in nature.

I spend much of the day reading philosophy. Right now it's Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Gilles Deleuze, etc. Philosophy continually occupies my thinking and I seem to habitually apply it to everything. Berkely is particularly interesting because of his solipsism but I'm mostly interested in arguments against Berkeley's thinking (that things only exist by being perceived by God or that). In short, philosophy is the only thing that I feel any sort of sublime attachment to. Philosophy and questions about "reality" seem to have displaced what was previously a healthy sex drive. As a result of this, I never feel like I am on auto-pilot and this makes it very hard for me to have a job, since most work for people my age requires that one "shut down" one's egocentric thinking.

Right now I have two theories:

1. The social withdrawal is DP/DR-like and the acid trip has caused a more severe, constant DP/DR which is occasionally made worse by "flashbacks"

2. The social withdrawal is Asperger's-like and the acid trip has caused occasional "flashbacks" which are DP/DR-like


Kratom: Since my acid trip I've had an on-and-off addiction to kratom which works on mu-opioid receptors and possibly k-opioid receptors in a way which is currently unknown to science. Kratom seems to eliminate my symptoms entirely and the emotional "color" seems to come back into the world. I never have DP/DR symptoms while on kratom. I feel like I can go on auto-pilot again.

Xanax: I can't go on auto-pilot while on Xanax, however, it does seem to "kill" a DP/DR episode. On this, however, I am not sure.

Bupropion (a.k.a Wellbutrin): No effect.

Zoloft (a.k.a Sertraline): Seems to make DP/DR episodes more frequent but not more severe. No effect otherwise.

Marijuana: This is the most guaranteed way to cause DP/DR for me. Even a bit of this stuff can be worse than LSD/Psilocybin. It's more than a simple "oh, I get paranoid when I smoke weed." It seems to trigger total unreality.

Please let me know how you'd classify my experience or if you can relate to it! Thanks!
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