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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally saw my doctor today, we had a very long talk.

It was odd describing for the first time exactly what I was living. I read somewhere that DP patients often describe their symptoms as anxiety or depression because it sounds less crazy (eg. not "I feel like I'm outside myself" or "I wonder if I really exist".) That's what I had been doing until now.

I wonder how many of you have played the "I'm fine" game for most of your adult life...

We decided on one thing: no more anti-depressants for me. I do believe that in my case, anti-depressants are related to DP episodes and suicide attempts in the past. Usually people plan out their death when they are really in the "depressed" category. My attempts were the result of a decision made an hour or less earlier. I don't know why the psychiatrist that saw me didn't see something important in the spontaneity of my acts. Anyway, to make a long story short, the doctor agreed with my suicide/anti-depressant argument, but didn't make much of depersonalization. He agreed I was probably getting DP, but to him DP seems to be only a symptom. Like, I don't think he thinks I have DP as a condition.

He prescribed divalproex sodium (Epival in Canada). He said it was a mood stabiliser.

I told him I hate the idea of putting more chemicals in my brain. He says I need to get better. I agree, but I'm really scared I might not.

I got home and plugged in divalproex on Google. I found this list of side effects when used for psychiatric condition:
Emotional upset, depression, psychosis, aggression, hyperactivity and behavioral deterioration have been reported.

It's listed as an anticunvulsant that can also be used to treat acute mania. I don't recall my doctor mentioning this. Has anyone ever been prescribed this drug? Any ideas on how it might help me?

Why manic? I don't perceive myself as being in a manic phase. To the contrary, I'm very down. But I'm down and obsessive. How do you differentiate that from manic-depression/bipolar?

I'm scared of taking this drug.

And the cherry on the sundae for today: I just found out that my final exam which I though was on Friday is actually tomorrow morning. Talk about a bad year.

All this sucks.

Nancy :cry:

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Dear Nancy,
I tend to recommend anticonvulsants and tell people to stay away from ADs if they have primary depersonalization, which I think most people on here have. I think the anxiety and depression is secondary to it. I was on Depakote ( the american patent name for it) and it didnt do me much good. But another guy on here, Ziggomatix, said that it did him alot of good and was practically a cure. If you are going to try an anticonvulsant, I would try something along the lines of Lamictal, since it has been shown to have anti-dissociative properties, or Neurontin, or Tegretol. The least harsh of these is Neurontin, the most, Tegretol. It can tend to elevate one's liver levels. The Lamictal is right in-between. Another anticonvulsant, Klonopin, has a lot of testimony behind it on this board, but its a benzodiazipine, so it can be addicting. If you have an addictive personality, its not a good drug to take. If you arent however, low doses of it have either cured or lessened dissociation for alot of people. As I said before, all of these are anticonvulsants, and possible alternatives to Depakote. Good luck.


Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for replying.

Dakotajo: My AD history looks about like this

-2-3 months on Serzone--- suicide attempt.
-1 month on Zoloft following that--- suicide attempt.
-Discontinuation of AD therapy until last year (roughly six years. I did get prescriptions for 2 other meds but I forget the names and I never pursued the therapy beyond a month or two because of how they made me feel).
-November of last year really hard time focussing on school, really down. I get this every six months or so, but I was so against the drugs that I wouldn't take any prescription. I finally bring myself to my doctor and *sigh* "ok, let's try this again". I'm put on Effexor this time. I was on that until about march, the longest time I've been on the same drug. February of this year, self mutilation (just one deep cut in forearm, not suicide attempt... but very similar to the other attempts in that I don't "remember" most of the events, I wasn't "there"). Throughout the time on Effexor I was constantly "up" or "down", more so than usually, often in the same day. it's the "switching" phenonmenon I spoke of somewhere else on this board. I never felt "comfortable" on AD. I always felt as though something foreign was in my brain.

I only started making the link between AD and suicide attempts/pyschosis episode this year. In restrospect, I see that every time I did something drastic like physical harm upon myself I was on AD.

Homeskooled: you say you recommend anticonvulsants... when did you get the information from? Can you show me a link that talk about how this related to DP? Epival manufactureres state the drug can be used for "mania". I don't see mania as anything close to DP. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

I took 250 milligrams of it today. I feel like I'm playing russian roulette.

I need reassurance. Scariest time of my life.

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