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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

This may be a bit of a long post so please try and bear with me. I have suffered with OCD and anxiety for most of my life ( I am now 28), and I have been taking SSRI medication for around the last 8 years. Anyway around 3 years ago I started smoking a lot of cannabis and using cocaine at the weekends. To cut a long story short, I one day woke up just feeling drugged/high/unreal. My entire perception of everything just seemed off, and I remember just staring at my hands as they looked so strange. I also had this uncontrollable urge to grind my teeth and clench my jaw. This lasted for around two months and then went away.

Everything seemed fine and I was getting on with life until it suddenly came back again, and then it went again. This cycle just seemed to go on and on. I now get around two episodes a year and they tend to last about 4 weeks at a time. I have been told this is derealisation by a phycologist and that it is related to stress and anxiety.The problem is that I am starting to wonder whether this is actually a neurological disorder and not DR at all. The uncontrollable need to clench my jaw and grind my teeth, coupled with migraines, dizziness and vision issues is making me believe this must be something else.I have had two heads scans done and an eye test, and all have come back fine. I just feel that these types of symptoms could not possibly be anything other than a physical illness. I am now thinking something like epilepsy? I feel this way because my DR is coupled with other symptoms, and the need to keep clenching my jaw is the most worrying. I know I have DR, but I believe something more serious has to be casuing it.

Sorry for the long post, but I feel trapped and helpless right now.
 

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Hey there.

It most certainly could be a neurological condition. I have very similar symptoms to the extreme. Haven't been able to find any definitive causes or treatments yet, unfortunately.

Do these episodes of yours correlate strongly to periods of high stress and anxiety? Or do they just seem to happen, thereby causing stress and anxiety? Sometimes that's a difficult question to answer, I know.

All I can recommend is that, if you haven't had an EEG performed yet, it might be worth checking that out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey there.

It most certainly could be a neurological condition. I have very similar symptoms to the extreme. Haven't been able to find any definitive causes or treatments yet, unfortunately.

Do these episodes of yours correlate strongly to periods of high stress and anxiety? Or do they just seem to happen, thereby causing stress and anxiety? Sometimes that's a difficult question to answer, I know.

All I can recommend is that, if you haven't had an EEG performed yet, it might be worth checking that out.
It normally occurs when I'm dealing with a lot of stress, or touch any kind of drugs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
And you feel perfectly fine the rest of the time?

Sounds like it's environmental and not something endogenous. It still might not hurt to have an EEG performed, just in case.
I am fine most of the time. Well, as is in no DR (always have depression and anxiety)

DR for me comes and goes, and the longest I have had it is two months. I am 99% sure it was caused by drugs; whether illegal drugs or SSRI's.

I might just pay to have an EEG done as my Doctor will do nothing.
 

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This is classic DP...Latching on and obsessing about the fact that there is something else wrong either physically or mentally...

Nobody knows what truly is at the heart of it except that stress and anxiety feed it.....
 

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DR/DP has to be neurological. I think the headaches and dizziness just confirm it tbh.
Well, maybe not for everybody (except in the sense that everything that we thing and perceive is, in a sense, neurological). But whether or not there is something wrong with you neurologically, gays harder to say. I mean, the headaches and dizziness suggest it certainly could be, but the fact that it seems to be triggered by stressful states (and you don't feel it at all at other times) is evidence against the assertion.

Don't get your hopes up on EEGs and CAT scans though. I have had horrendous head pain, confusion, and dizziness and being totally spaced out for 15 years now and all my tests say I'm perfectly healthy. But others, such as forestx here, did get an explanation from such tests, so it is still worth having it checked out in my view.

Also keep in mind that even if all your tests come back fine, doesn't mean it isnt neurological either. There's a prevailing view in society (not to mention this forum) that clean tests disprove biological problems, which to me is the height of medical hubris. There are undoibtedly problems and illnesses out there that we cannot identify at this point in time, and the brain especially is difficult do examine short of an autopsy. And even then, there are gaps in our knowledge of how the brain works, such that we can't fully distinguish a "healthy" brain from a "diseased" brain either.

The way I look at the psychological vs neurological conundrum is this: do you feel the symptoms in the absence of a psychological catalyst? Do you feel anxiety (other than the anxiety that inevitably comes from having to try to live life in such a horrendous state)? Does your depression have reasons (again, not a consequence of feeling sick all the time)?

I've read a lot on psychosomatics, and in my view it's probably 85% nonsense. Most of the evidence for it is "so-and-so's tests all came back normal, and they are going through a messy divorce right now, so the symptoms she is experiencing MUST be the result of a stressful divorce." Well you know what else is stressful? Life!!! All of it is "stress". There is really no hard evidence that "stress" and "trauma" (broadly defined) can result in more-or-less permanent perceptual shifts and physical symptoms.

Ok, enough of my silly ramblings for now. Get the tests performed if you can afford them. It's certainly worth ruling out certain conditions.
 

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Hey man do you suffer from physical symptoms? In the first months of summer i get super dizzy and lightheaded, head pressure and i get super anxious about my health.
 

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I've read a lot on psychosomatics, and in my view it's probably 85% nonsense. Most of the evidence for it is "so-and-so's tests all came back normal, and they are going through a messy divorce right now, so the symptoms she is experiencing MUST be the result of a stressful divorce." Well you know what else is stressful? Life!!! All of it is "stress". There is really no hard evidence that "stress" and "trauma" (broadly defined) can result in more-or-less permanent perceptual shifts and physical symptoms.
I think it depends how far back it goes, as to whether we first have a decent grounding to begin with. If we haven't, then later occurrences that might be normal stress to another person can be a tipping point for another.
 

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If you’re clenching your jaw when you do drugs that’s completely normal. I used to do the same when I used cocaine and ecstasy. Can’t give you a scientific explanation but I know it’s common. Also, it could be how your body responds to stress (I clench my jaw unwittingly when anxious/nervous/stressed/even in my sleep. Anyway, I think it’s probably just become a habit for you now. Don’t overthink it. When I first started having problems with derealization I insisted my doctor order a neurological exam for me as well. She was probably so tired of me hahaha. Every exam I had done (MRI/EEG/CT scan) always came back normal. With DP/DR you feel like anything and everything is wrong with you and anxiety makes you panic about it, but I’m sure you’re fine.
 

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I think it depends how far back it goes, as to whether we first have a decent grounding to begin with. If we haven't, then later occurrences that might be normal stress to another person can be a tipping point for another.
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I agree that conditioning from a young age can affect how we cope with stress later in life. That is pretty well established. What isn't established is a mechanism for how psychological issues can "convert" into physical symptoms and cognitive problems.
 
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