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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me start off by saying I'm dutch, so English isn't my native language. Explaining what is happening to me is hard enough in my own language, so if something is not clear dont hesitate to ask.

Almost 14 years ago, i was 18 at the time, I went away for a weekend with 3 mates. All of us have been smoking weed on a daily basis for about 4 years at that time. Myself and one other mate expiremented a bit with other drugs, mainly xtc and speed. While the other 2 already were quite experienced with harddrugs. Long story short, all of us had enough of that life, it was time to move on and say goodbye to drugs and make something out of ourselfs.

So as a goodbye to that period in our lifes we rented a small cottage for the weekend and stacked up on drugs. We had lots of weed, coke, speed, xtc and mushrooms. Once we arrived we started with weed to get in the mood. Pretty soon after that each of us took xtc, followed with some speed. Somewhere along the way I started feeling anxious. Instead of dealing with it or talking about it I just ignored it and continued taking speed. Somewhere around midnight, we had been using for at least 8 hours at that point, that anxious feeling resulted in a panic attack. The following 20 or so hours was dictated by panic attacks. Me and my friends had no clue what was going on or what to do. Even though all of us were experienced users, none of us whitnessed anything like this.

During this 20 hour period Ive thought several times I wasn't going to survive or at least end up in a hospital. These thought kept feeding the panic attacks obviously.

Once I finally calmed down enough, I went to bed to try and get some sleep. I remember feeling that there was a good chance I wasnt going to wake up at all.

When I woke up the next day I obviously wasn't feeling very well. Instead of having a hangover of some sort, it felt more like as if I still was under the influence of all that drugs we took the day before. On top of that I felt anxious and kinda numb at the same time. I also wasn't experiencing life as I did before. It's hard to explain but it was almost as if I was hiding inside myself or in some sort of weird and blurry shell. I've always been very sensitive, but that shell is blocking most emotions.

After a day like that I expected to feel shitty for a few days, but I assumed that it was going to be temporary. It wasn't. Im still feeling as if im a little bit under the influence of that drugs cocktail I had that night.

Im not experiencing life as I did before. Not only is it like im seeing things as if im looking trough a blurry go-pro camera, my head is really blurry as well. I used to be a decent student, I varied from being above average to being top of the class. In this state I wouldnt be even close to average.

For a long time I was convinced that I had brain damage. That thought scared me and I was embarrased to talk about it. I've had some therapy but I never really openly talked about what had happened and what the consequenses were. Therapy did help me with my panic attacks though, After having panic attacks weekly for about 6 years I finally had them under control.

I hoped that as soon as I no longer was suffering from panic attacks, that weird and blurry feeling would go away as well, sadly it didn't.

2 years ago I couldn't take it anymore and decided to just go for it, I needed to know what was going on and if possible what I could do about it. First thing I did was going to the hospital to check if I had brain damage, after a few scans and tests they couldnt find anything, it all looked normal. Finally I found some answers online, by accident I came across a story of someone that had depersonalization/derealization disorder. Since I found out that this was what I've been dealing with I've been in therapy. But even after alot of therapy, living healthy and being open about what happened I stil feel the same.

That's why I decided to sign up on this forum. Hoping that I could find some answers and possibly help others.

I'm also very curious to find out if there are more people that feel as if they are drugged, or feel as if they are constantly hungover.

Thanks in advance for taking your time to read this, I hope everything is clear.
 

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Hey Hank, I also picked up DPD from a drug party (weed) 12 years ago, but for me it comes in stages and I have bad periods roughly every few years. There is no surprise that your tests came back fine, as there is nothing actually wrong with the brain in DP, it is a natural defence mechanicsm. It can be very chronic with some people and it seems this is what you're experiencing.

I also experience the emotion blocking and experience numbing shell, and by fuck do I hate it.

Even though my last acute episode of acute DP has subsided I still don't feel normal about life, and it has given me some very strange anxieties... my brain can't cope with time anymore and it makes me feel very out of touch with reality sometimes.

In its' most basic form, DPD is a nervous system disorder. Most people opt for a long-term strategy of relaxation, medications, distancing yourself from it by getting on with normal life and trying not to worry about it, as the worry adds more stress to an already over-taxed nervous system.

There are a lot of very good books on the subject, 'at last a life' by Paul David is one of m favourites which I'd highly recommend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Al, thanks for responding!

Sorry to hear about your experience! Anxieties are a pain in the ass. Even though I'm mostly numb, anxiety is somehow managing to slip through that defense mechanism.

My anxiety used to be at its peak if I was in a crowded place, often resulted in panic attacks. After months of therapy to deal with panic attacks there was one small and easy trick that really helped me to get it under control.

It comes down to this: Your focus is roughly pointed at 3 things ( not being native English makes it hard to explain this:p), those 3 things being yourself, your environment and your task. What I used to do in a crowded place was focussing on myself and how my environment saw me, by doing that I was feeding my anxiety . I've learned to point my focus towards my task. In numbers you could say that you can use roughly 80% of your focus to do your task and leave the remaining 20% for your environment and yourself. I can understand that it might sound a bit vague but it really helped me.

This method helped me, I know that it wont help everyone that struggles with anxiety because its different for everyone. That being said I hope that it can be of some help.

I realise now that there is nothing wrong with my brain, the reason I thought there was something wrong was because I was feeling like I was on drugs/hungover 24/7, so I just assumed the worst. It wasn't untill about a year ago that I heard of dps. Right now I'm in therapy again, mostly to finally learn how to deal with ADD and getting my life back in order. I dont think this treatment is going to help me with dps, but getting my life back in order seems like a step in the right direction.

I still have alot to learn about dps, based on what you wrote I feel I did good coming to this forum.

Thanks again for your response and I will definitely look into that book you recommended.
 

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I thought I was a normal 17 year old. While smoking weed for the 1st time, I had a traumatic experience I would not understand for 40 years.

During the 40 year interim, I experienced a lot of psychiatric symptoms. Recurrent Major depression, anxiety, insomnia, intrusive thoughts, vestibular dysfunction, spells of

panic, absence spells, paresthesia's, fatigue, depersonalization and derealization. At 57, I was perusing a British medical library and reading neurological texts and

journals. I found a case history that was exactly my experience in every unique detail. At 17, I had experienced an epigastric aura which segued into

temporal lobe seizures. I had 30 epileptic discharges in about 3 minutes. I never lost consciousness. I was a worst case scenario as my post ictal psychosis

segued into an affective disorder of major depression. Everything I had ever experienced was explained by my discovery. An EEG confirmed my history

of temporal lobe seizures. My temporal lobe was permanently shot. 40 years after the fact, neurology and psychiatry still have no clue. The medical folks just gave me some paperwork and said "Go

to the Social Security Office....you're disabled. This, after completing an enlistment in the military, setting production records at a blast furnace, graduating

at the top of my class from technical school, and completing a career as an electronics technician in industry. I must say, the extra cash is welcome.

My advice to all of you wondering what the source of your ill may be, is to get an EEG.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My experience mostly with doctors and psychiatrists is that hey have no clue what to do with what I'm experiencing. When I'm telling my story all they seem to hear is depression and my anxiety, pretty much ignoring the rest.

Not only is this frustrating it gave me the feeling that I was a lost cause. If even these people didn't know what to do and what was going on then how the hell am I ever going to feel better.

Now that I know I probably have dps, it gave me some peace at least. Not knowing what is wrong is horrible.

I've had an EEG, had an MRI and CT scan as well. Did those before I heard of dps. All those tests showed nothing.
 
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