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Hey guys. I have been suffering from what I personally assume to be DP/DR for about 7 months now.. it all began by a marijuana panic attack that lasted 4 hours. I was truly convinced during this attack that it was my last night on Earth, I thought death was upon me. I had 911 dialed just in case, all the way up until the point of me FINALLY falling asleep at 3am. I had DR symptoms the day after this attack, but they went away within 3 days.. then..

ONE week after this panic attack, my mother and I were on our way to a Thanksgiving family gathering when we suddenly hit a deer going 75 miles per hour on the interstate. We hit the deer head on, and launched it about 40-50 yards. Our car spun out of control, and rolled (on it's wheels, we didn't flip) to the very edge of oncoming traffic on the other side of the interstate median. We were extremely lucky to be alive, my poor puppy was in the back seat as well..

As we were sitting in the ambulance, TWO MORE WRECKS happened in the same area that our wreck happened, due to people being nosy gawkers and seeing what was happening with OUR wreck. This was extremely disturbing to me, as I thought were in the Bermuda Triangle.. I told my mom "this doesn't feel real, this feels like a movie.." (We were not examined for concussions.)

Were these my first signs that DP/DR was kicking in? Maybe..

Anyway, a week went by and I wasn't really having any symptoms, until one night I was going to bed. I had just gotten out of the shower, and I looked in the mirror and shook my hair out. Suddenly, it felt like my head was ballooning. It felt as if my head was going to pop, and I started to have a very small panic episode, but fortunately I calmed myself down.

The next morning, well.. you guessed it. Full blown DP/DR. And it has been chronic every since then. It got so bad that I had to stop working, I had to stop driving because I would have panic attack while driving, and I had to go live with my mom because my own apartment felt completely alien and scary to me, and I was having panic attacks at random intervals throughout the day. My friends, my dog, my family.. everything felt ALIEN to me. I was in hell.

I tried Harris Harrington's program, went to therapy, and started Zoloft again to control my panic attacks, but I hate the thought of taking medicines for mental health, so as soon as my panic attacks stopped (about 2-3 months ago,) I started tapering off of the Zoloft.

Now I just have Xanax for emergencies. But the Xanax actually makes me feel worse, as it creates a further feeling of dissociation.. same with alcohol, tobacco, and obviously marijuana. I usually just use Chamomile and Epsom Salt baths to calm bad days of anxiety.

Anyway, I am now seeing another therapist who does EMDR therapy, but doesn't believe that I have DP/DR, but rather PTSD. I've read that dissociation is common with PTSD, but I am unsure of which one it really could be.. idk guys, I'm just real confused, and sick of this! DOES IT SOUND LIKE PTSD OR DP/DR?! IDK!

Here is a list of my symptoms:

-Feeling detachment from reality; dissociation, derealization, depersonalization?

-Feels like I'm high or tripping, but without the euphoria/any emotion

-Detachment from friends, family, co-workers (everyone feels/seems to be robotic)

-Constant, all-day thought loops, anxiety, edge of panic feeling, obsessive thinking, "checking"

-Intrusive thoughts

-Altered sense of time

-Feeling as if sometimes my voice isn't my own, wondering if I recognize myself in the mirror

-Constant doubt

-Lowered cognition, vocabulary, concentration, attention span, responsiveness (I used to be witty, smart, attentive, and extremely good at critical thinking.. Now I feel.. stupid?)

-Spacing out, staring.. a lot!

-Chest pressure, pain

-High heart rate

-Pressure in front of head all day

-Headaches AND pressure during low stress (kind of confusing, one would think that it would be the opposite)

-Short term memory loss (caused by low attention span and concentration most likely)

-Lack of all motivation

-Emotionally numb and unresponsive; can't FEEL love, happiness, anger, sadness, empathy (almost as if I'm "scared to feel?")

-Loss of interest in things I used to love; video games, music, shopping, being in public/social

-Panic/anxiety/fear when there are heightened feelings of dissociation/detachment caused by alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, or Xanax. (Strangest symptom to me, because usually these things "help" people with anxiety and depression, but for me it makes things worse.)

-Heightened stress/anxiety around fluorescent lights

-Visual snow/noise/static

-Lingering light auras, tracers
 

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My guidance counselor while not a therapist told me she thinks i have PTSD too after i told her i self diagnose myself with DP. IDK maybe they know something we don't.
 

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All of the symptoms you describe sound like typical DP/DR to me. DP/DR from weed induced panic attacks is very common! Just read a little in the 'Introduce yourself' section here and you'll see that you're not the only one experiencing this after smoking weed.

After reading a short list of typical symptoms of PTSD it seems more like dp/dr . All the symptoms you mentioned sound like typical dp/dr, I've had almost everyone of them except '-Heightened stress/anxiety around fluorescent lights' and '-Lingering light auras, tracers' (that last one sounds more like it could be related to HPPD imo). I've never had any real traumatic experience.

I think your therapist doesn't know much about dp/dr. (unfortunately many of them still don't seem to know it exists?) Not saying he/she's wrong cause I'm no expert in any way, but maybe both DP/DR and PTSD are treated the same way?

Have no idea if it's possible to suffer from both at the same time though.

Maybe you could try to bring a list of symptoms from dp/dr and one with PTSD symptoms and tell your therapist which ones you most relate to?
 

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This is definetely dp/dr, as many others here describe it same way with all these symptoms youve got.

I have most of yours symptoms described, still isnt triggered by the weed, its triggered by the panic attack and constant anxiety.

Never the less, you should try emdr because dp/dr is also a caused by the traumatic experiences.
 

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I think one of the most damaging things to people that have dpdr is when people tell them they don't have it. I've had many professionals tell me that dpdr isn't even a real thing. I think this kind of thing can lead to more detrimental thinking like people in our situations believing they have a brain tumor or something is very wrong with their brain which is makes everything more terrifying and makes this terrible condition stay around longer than it should.
 

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What's in a name? A diagnosis is only justification to bill insurance and focus treatment options. If I were you, I would firmly resolve to avoid cannabis products. I would see a neurologist and have an EEG to preclude epileptic activity. If everything is normal, I would begin to take care of my health to allow the plasticity properties of my brain to restore my mind to normal operation.
 

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Avoid ALL illegal drugs....They have the pottential to make this condition a hell of alot worse and more permanent...

You are describing Depersonalization to a tee...

The thing is that PTSD and DP symptoms are very similar...I believe both conditions are closely linked and require similar treatment...Basically DP is the result of the trauma of a serious panic episode (such as with a bad weed experience)

I also believe that we are predisposed to this condition from a young age...We usually have had troublesome upbringings and are usually hyper sensitive people...This is learned protection behaviours froma young age...We could have had a parent who drank too much or parents that fought all the time or were abused etc etc....The list goes on as to what forced us to protect ourseleves psychologically (we learned to dissociate early on)

The thing is that as we grew up these protection behaviours were the norm for us...We didnt know any different....It only becomes a problem when it turns into the disturbing upsetting frightening condition we know as DP...

Just my 10 cents on the subject....

Try to be safe in the knowledge that this condition does improve....It either takes the right meds or therapy or time or a combination of these...BUT IT DOES IMPROVE....Unfortunately it can be trial and error....

Please stop using illegal drugs and destress your life as much as you can....Also if you can manage to sleep get as much rest as possible....Forcing yourself to get better because you want your life back as soon as possible leaves us struggling even more and becomes disheartening....Baby steps is the way....Easy does it....You will get your life back in time when your mind and body are ready...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What's in a name? A diagnosis is only justification to bill insurance and focus treatment options. If I were you, I would firmly resolve to avoid cannabis products. I would see a neurologist and have an EEG to preclude epileptic activity. If everything is normal, I would begin to take care of my health to allow the plasticity properties of my brain to restore my mind to normal operation.
I am definitely going to bring up an EEG with my doctor. It has been on the to-do list for a while now! And yes.. I have been clean of cannabis for the entirety of this past year due to marijuana. I'm "scared of it." I even get anxiety when I am around it.
 
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