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I am fully recovered now! So can you!​

TLDR: In less than 1 month the combination of Lamotrigine (antiepileptic) and Zoloft (SSRI) cured my DPDR, anxiety and depression, from which I have suffered over the year.

Introduction:

Sharing my story on forums helped me a lot to accept and move on despite my mental state. During the peak of my HPPD/DPDR I've been constantly searching for help within message boards and often stumbled upon the stories just like my own: same drugs, same symptoms and same no improvement despite treatment. All the threads I have found were very old (up to 10 years) and no longer active. Although the first pages were full of lively discussion, further scrolling down led to disappointment: the latest reply was usually dated 5 or more years ago, the authors' profiles were inactive and there was no way to reach out to any of them. All I wanted was to know was if the person got better, al least a little bit, and what helped him to improve/recover. Understanding the fact that I will never know the outcome of a story made me anxious to death. While both HPPD and DPDR disorders remained obscure and poorly studied, the real people's experiences were the only reliable source of information and support for me. Unfortunately, I kept finding abandoned threads over and over, and it only worsened my depression.

I don't want this thread to be one of those neglected ones. I post my recovery story here with a great hope that one day it may become a support point for those who got in the same trouble with drugs, who also suffers from DP/DR, HPPD and/or any other comorbid disorder.

Here is my email: [email protected]

Feel free to contact me if you need support or you want to share your own story. I am always glad to help.

The story:

I got HPPD and DPDR after taking 1/4 a tab of NBOMe (dosage unknown) during the New Year celebration in 2017. By that time I was pretty experienced in other drugs, but psychedelics were a new thing to me. That winter was the hardest time for me. I've spent a few months using amphetamines occasionally to cope with the projects and finals at the university. At the same time I was going through a protracted and painful relationship breakup with my partner, that ended up destroying me emotionally. Back then I smoked tons of weed and cigarettes, had no normal sleep regimen and was malnourished. That New Year Eve wasn't even a normal celebration, I was alone with my friend in the empty dorm room, all our friends have gone home for celebration. But we stayed because of failing the exam. We both were tired and wanted to unwind somehow. And a strange yellow tab was all we had. Firstly, I refused to take it, saying that it's not the right thing to simply "unwind", but then my friend ensured me it will be fun. Probably because of being very depressed, I've simply given up on everything I knew about psychs and,in particular, about the aftermath of being reckless with them. I ended up taking ¼ of a tab of a tab and then had 8 hours of the weirdest experience in my life. My trip was rather bad then good, in the end I felt exhausted and just wanted it to end.

The next day I felt grateful to every living thing thing for waking up sober. I felt ok, even better than before. My state of mind started changing only in 2 weeks after the trip. Everything began with a slight feeling something strange was happening around me but it felt too unclear to define as an onset of mental disorder. With time this "strange feeling" grew bigger and bigger until one day I woke up questioning myself if I was really awake. The same thing happened the next day, and the day after. In a few weeks I began to doubt the reality: it was slipping away from me and I couldn't help it but watch. The symptoms reached their climax in May, 5 months after taking NBOMe. My DPDR now was accompanied by a constant fear of the environment together with a sense of absolute darkness hanging over me (which later was identified as major depression). Living a day after day in fear and sorrow made me desperate with no faith in the future. Later I found myself contemplating my own death as if it could be a way out of this bloody hell. Things got seriously bad, I knew it was dangerous to continue coping by myself, so I had to quit studying temporarily and return to my hometown to get an urgent treatment. My family found me a doctor though they couldn't figure out what was going on. The day when I arrived to my homeplace and met my family after a long time being away, a slight feeling of comfort appeared. The next day I got my first visit to a psychiatrist, I talked to him directly and told the whole thing about my past lifestyle and drugs. He listened to me carefully and diagnosed me with the most common disorder - drug-induced psychosis. Of course I wasn't truly psychotic, but I accepted that diagnosis since it gave me access to strong psychotropic medications that were the only thing that helped. After my doc prescribed pills I suddenly felt protected, like a baby who has been taken care of. Initially I was taking 2 different kinds of typical antipsychotics, that did nothing but caused hormonal imbalance, so I switched to atypical one and began the new treatment course with SSRI and nootropic

Since then I got many different prescriptions, but none of the medications I've tried really helped me. The best 2 things I got from antipsychotics and SSRIs was normal sleep and appetite. As time went I got more and more used to feeling bad to the point I started accepting it as it was my "new normal". The pills did their job well, so eventually my condition was fairly stabilized, enough for me to carry out my daily routine and return to studying at the university. My worst symptoms, DPDR, remained resistant to treatment. Experimenting with different meds had no success. I continued switching from one drug to another without any significant improvements. But in February 2018 things turned upside down in a positive way. I found out that Lamotrigine and SSRI are widely used to treat DPDR, and I could only wonder why I discovered it almost a year after the manifestation of HPPD.

So the day I discovered that new treatment option, I decided to try it out immediately. And that's when things started changing - the first improvements were instant and developed surprisingly fast. L. did something that no other drug has done to me before. Within an hour after taking my first dose (25 mg), a felt a sense of inner comfort and warmness slowly spreading throughout my body. For the first time since the manifestation of HPPD my persistent obsessive thoughts have calmed down, the fear, which have been suffocating me 24/7, and the constant state of being alerted suddenly began to subside. Even derealization that seemed impossible to beat, reduced to some extent on that day. The improvements were so rapid that I no longer doubted: Lamotrigine was exactly that "magic pill" I've been searching for. I still remember the feeling, when I was laying on the floor that night, enjoying the inner harmony taking over the state of fear and anxiety. I fell asleep in peace for the first time in a year.

The next day I added 25 mg of Zoloft to the treatment course and decided to take both meds in the morning. I sticked to the dosing regimen and raised both Lamo and Zoloft by 25 mg each week. It took 4 weeks to get up to therapeutic doses: 50 mg of Zoloft and 100 mg of Lamotrigine. The medical combo worked perfectly well, I could feel my DPDR subsiding day by day, until during the 4/5th week I noticed it disappeared completely along with anxiety and depression. Since then none of the symptoms have returned. My visuals also faded greatly (halos and trails disappeared completely) after healing from the main symptoms, up to the point they stopped bothering me at all! Back then I felt the happiest person ever - I could feel love, joy, and any emotion possible again. My self returned to me together with all memories. Nothing could trigger me now, my past triggers simply disappeared as such. Finally going to the supermarket wasn't a stress for me, using public transport and the subway felt comfortable again. I could enjoy walking around my city as its views no longer looked unfamiliar.

Summing up:

Lamotrigine in a combination with SSRIs remains the only treatment for DPDR that proved its efficacy in a number of double-blind randomized studies, and is considered the first-line treatment for this disorder. In addition, you can find people's personal stories among the forums, describing successful treatment with L. and Z. Therefore, if you are looking for something to treat your DPDR or HPPD, I highly recommend trying this combination. Don't be scared of the side effects: if you follow the dosage regimen, no dangerous side effects will appear. Discuss it with your doctor, and provide him the necessary information if needed.

Links to researches and studies on PubMed:



  1. Lamotrigine in the immediate treatment of outpatients with depersonalization disorder without psychiatric comorbidity: randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21192145


  2. A placebo-controlled, cross-over trial of lamotrigine in depersonalization disorder: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1268074


  3. Lamotrigine as an add-on treatment for depersonalization disorder: a retrospective study of 32 cases: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16960469


  4. Lamotrigine in the treatment of resistant depersonalization disorder: A case report: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/857f/0a4bbddf525a256ebd3b65d4f0260388648a.pdf


  5. Evidence-based treatment for Depersonalisation-derealisation Disorder (DPRD): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4269982/
 

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Your first reference has been retracted in 2014.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25409237 so it is invalid.

The second reference says that lamotrigine as mono-therapy as not more effective than placebo.

The third reference with 32 case studies says that 46% had a reduction of 30%,-54% didn't respond at all.

Some have a partiel response on that combination and very few a full recovery on it. I have tried 600.mg in a combination with a SSRI without any effect. But, it is worth a try as it might have some effect in some.
 

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Your first reference has been retracted in 2014.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25409237 so it is invalid.

The second reference says that lamotrigine as mono-therapy as not more effective than placebo.

The third reference with 32 case studies says that 46% had a reduction of 30%,-54% didn't respond at all.

Some have a partiel response on that combination and very few a full recovery on it. I have tried 600.mg in a combination with a SSRI without any effect. But, it is worth a try as it might have some effect in some.
Just say congrats and move on ????
 

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Just say congrats and move on
The post comes with some unfounded claims both in it references and in experiences from several people in this forum; That personalisation disorder can be cured with a combination of a SSRI and lamotrigine. There is no basis for such a general claim that is it a cure for depersonalisation disorder.
 

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The post comes with some unfounded claims both in it references and in experiences from several people in this forum; That personalisation disorder can be cured with a combination of a SSRI and lamotrigine. There is no basis for such a general claim that is it a cure for depersonalisation disorder.
It CAN cure depersonalisation disorder, that's all that matters dude, don't be salty. Obviously ts got cured by this combo so congrats to him. Because of posts like this I'm willing to take the shot and try Lamotrigine with a positive outlook on a possible cure.

By debunking ts claims you're spreading more doubt and insecurity to people reading these forums. People that are already full of anxiety, doubt, hopelesness and just trying to find a way out.

Ofcourse this forum can't be all positive and rose-coloured and its your own right to say whatever you wanna say, but please keep in mind that most people on this forum are very fragile and desperate.

Furthermore I agree with:

Just say congrats and move on
 

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It CAN cure depersonalisation disorder, that's all that matters dude, don't be salty. Obviously ts got cured by this combo so congrats to him. Because of posts like this I'm willing to take the shot and try Lamotrigine with a positive outlook on a possible cure.

By debunking ts claims you're spreading more doubt and insecurity to people reading these forums. People that are already full of anxiety, doubt, hopelesness and just trying to find a way out.

Ofcourse this forum can't be all positive and rose-coloured and its your own right to say whatever you wanna say, but please keep in mind that most people on this forum are very fragile and desperate.

Furthermore I agree with:
I wrote as the as the literature says that there are benefits in 50% with a 30% reduction and it was worth trying, but to say it is a cure is false. There is no basis for such a claim in the litteratur and with so many who has tried it with some partiel effect in some.
 

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If anyone chooses medication route it’s all trial an error. Some SSRI will work better for others. Some ppl even experience no side effects while starting them. Everyone is different. Bottom line is if you are able to find a medication that can alleviate some anxiety symptoms or depression symptoms...that’s a huge Start. It gives you room to work on other things. For some alleviating anxiety symptoms will alleviate dp while others maybe it’s depression that gets alleviated giving some room for anxiety and dp to be relieved. Medication definitley can work but it’s a matter of finding the right one at the right mg. Just because one combo works for one doesn’t mean it will work for the other. I would say there’s not a cure for dp but something that can be taken to help with anxiety which in turn helps dp. The cure would be reprogramming your brain to handle stress better and not be such a negative thinker always focusing on the bads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Your first reference has been retracted in 2014.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25409237 so it is invalid.

The second reference says that lamotrigine as mono-therapy as not more effective than placebo.

The third reference with 32 case studies says that 46% had a reduction of 30%,-54% didn't respond at all.

Some have a partiel response on that combination and very few a full recovery on it. I have tried 600.mg in a combination with a SSRI without any effect. But, it is worth a try as it might have some effect in some.
Well, about the literature, it's my bad. Believe me, I've read all the studies existing on dpdr treatment trials, and the reason I've chosen the wrong ones was that I was too excited writing about my success so Ididn't pay much attentions to the links. They were put in the post just to make my words look more reliable, to show there's a proven evidence that these drugs are somehow effective. Did I claim these meds would help everyone? The point of story was to give hope and encourage people to keep struggling with the disorder and try new approaches to it.

I'm sorry the combo didn't help you. I know the number of people remain resistant to it. But I have another success story of mine. I didn't tell it in the original post, but I had a relapse last autumn and lamotrigine didn't work for me at all that time. I went desparate again, I felt like my life was over. I couldn't find any information on any different teatments, like there was only Lamo and SSRIs to treat dpdr. Back then I realized the thing with lamo was just my good luck and it won't happen again. But later I found an article written by 2 russian/israel doctors, in which was menttioned that Memantine can help those who are resistant to first-line meds. Prior to that moment I've already tried Keppra which only worsened things, I've tried Naltrexone, another SSRIs - nothing helped. And I gave Memantine a try and after all the failed experiments something started to change. I'm on Memantine since the May and now I can say that 90% of dpdr are gone. I just want to show that making attempts one by one, even if they get failed, may lead to final recovery
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Positive story! Do you still take it?
Thanks)
Now I take Memantine and Lamotrigine as a new treatment, cause I had a relapse in autumn (I didn't want to tell it in the post). They both work for dpdr no worse than the previous threatment.
 

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I am fully recovered now! So can you!​

TLDR: In less than 1 month the combination of Lamotrigine (antiepileptic) and Zoloft (SSRI) cured my DPDR, anxiety and depression, from which I have suffered over the year.

Introduction:

Sharing my story on forums helped me a lot to accept and move on despite my mental state. During the peak of my HPPD/DPDR I've been constantly searching for help within message boards and often stumbled upon the stories just like my own: same drugs, same symptoms and same no improvement despite treatment. All the threads I have found were very old (up to 10 years) and no longer active. Although the first pages were full of lively discussion, further scrolling down led to disappointment: the latest reply was usually dated 5 or more years ago, the authors' profiles were inactive and there was no way to reach out to any of them. All I wanted was to know was if the person got better, al least a little bit, and what helped him to improve/recover. Understanding the fact that I will never know the outcome of a story made me anxious to death. While both HPPD and DPDR disorders remained obscure and poorly studied, the real people's experiences were the only reliable source of information and support for me. Unfortunately, I kept finding abandoned threads over and over, and it only worsened my depression.

I don't want this thread to be one of those neglected ones. I post my recovery story here with a great hope that one day it may become a support point for those who got in the same trouble with drugs, who also suffers from DP/DR, HPPD and/or any other comorbid disorder.

Here is my email: [email protected]

Feel free to contact me if you need support or you want to share your own story. I am always glad to help.

The story:

I got HPPD and DPDR after taking 1/4 a tab of NBOMe (dosage unknown) during the New Year celebration in 2017. By that time I was pretty experienced in other drugs, but psychedelics were a new thing to me. That winter was the hardest time for me. I've spent a few months using amphetamines occasionally to cope with the projects and finals at the university. At the same time I was going through a protracted and painful relationship breakup with my partner, that ended up destroying me emotionally. Back then I smoked tons of weed and cigarettes, had no normal sleep regimen and was malnourished. That New Year Eve wasn't even a normal celebration, I was alone with my friend in the empty dorm room, all our friends have gone home for celebration. But we stayed because of failing the exam. We both were tired and wanted to unwind somehow. And a strange yellow tab was all we had. Firstly, I refused to take it, saying that it's not the right thing to simply "unwind", but then my friend ensured me it will be fun. Probably because of being very depressed, I've simply given up on everything I knew about psychs and,in particular, about the aftermath of being reckless with them. I ended up taking ¼ of a tab of a tab and then had 8 hours of the weirdest experience in my life. My trip was rather bad then good, in the end I felt exhausted and just wanted it to end.

The next day I felt grateful to every living thing thing for waking up sober. I felt ok, even better than before. My state of mind started changing only in 2 weeks after the trip. Everything began with a slight feeling something strange was happening around me but it felt too unclear to define as an onset of mental disorder. With time this "strange feeling" grew bigger and bigger until one day I woke up questioning myself if I was really awake. The same thing happened the next day, and the day after. In a few weeks I began to doubt the reality: it was slipping away from me and I couldn't help it but watch. The symptoms reached their climax in May, 5 months after taking NBOMe. My DPDR now was accompanied by a constant fear of the environment together with a sense of absolute darkness hanging over me (which later was identified as major depression). Living a day after day in fear and sorrow made me desperate with no faith in the future. Later I found myself contemplating my own death as if it could be a way out of this bloody hell. Things got seriously bad, I knew it was dangerous to continue coping by myself, so I had to quit studying temporarily and return to my hometown to get an urgent treatment. My family found me a doctor though they couldn't figure out what was going on. The day when I arrived to my homeplace and met my family after a long time being away, a slight feeling of comfort appeared. The next day I got my first visit to a psychiatrist, I talked to him directly and told the whole thing about my past lifestyle and drugs. He listened to me carefully and diagnosed me with the most common disorder - drug-induced psychosis. Of course I wasn't truly psychotic, but I accepted that diagnosis since it gave me access to strong psychotropic medications that were the only thing that helped. After my doc prescribed pills I suddenly felt protected, like a baby who has been taken care of. Initially I was taking 2 different kinds of typical antipsychotics, that did nothing but caused hormonal imbalance, so I switched to atypical one and began the new treatment course with SSRI and nootropic

Since then I got many different prescriptions, but none of the medications I've tried really helped me. The best 2 things I got from antipsychotics and SSRIs was normal sleep and appetite. As time went I got more and more used to feeling bad to the point I started accepting it as it was my "new normal". The pills did their job well, so eventually my condition was fairly stabilized, enough for me to carry out my daily routine and return to studying at the university. My worst symptoms, DPDR, remained resistant to treatment. Experimenting with different meds had no success. I continued switching from one drug to another without any significant improvements. But in February 2018 things turned upside down in a positive way. I found out that Lamotrigine and SSRI are widely used to treat DPDR, and I could only wonder why I discovered it almost a year after the manifestation of HPPD.

So the day I discovered that new treatment option, I decided to try it out immediately. And that's when things started changing - the first improvements were instant and developed surprisingly fast. L. did something that no other drug has done to me before. Within an hour after taking my first dose (25 mg), a felt a sense of inner comfort and warmness slowly spreading throughout my body. For the first time since the manifestation of HPPD my persistent obsessive thoughts have calmed down, the fear, which have been suffocating me 24/7, and the constant state of being alerted suddenly began to subside. Even derealization that seemed impossible to beat, reduced to some extent on that day. The improvements were so rapid that I no longer doubted: Lamotrigine was exactly that "magic pill" I've been searching for. I still remember the feeling, when I was laying on the floor that night, enjoying the inner harmony taking over the state of fear and anxiety. I fell asleep in peace for the first time in a year.

The next day I added 25 mg of Zoloft to the treatment course and decided to take both meds in the morning. I sticked to the dosing regimen and raised both Lamo and Zoloft by 25 mg each week. It took 4 weeks to get up to therapeutic doses: 50 mg of Zoloft and 100 mg of Lamotrigine. The medical combo worked perfectly well, I could feel my DPDR subsiding day by day, until during the 4/5th week I noticed it disappeared completely along with anxiety and depression. Since then none of the symptoms have returned. My visuals also faded greatly (halos and trails disappeared completely) after healing from the main symptoms, up to the point they stopped bothering me at all! Back then I felt the happiest person ever - I could feel love, joy, and any emotion possible again. My self returned to me together with all memories. Nothing could trigger me now, my past triggers simply disappeared as such. Finally going to the supermarket wasn't a stress for me, using public transport and the subway felt comfortable again. I could enjoy walking around my city as its views no longer looked unfamiliar.

Summing up:

Lamotrigine in a combination with SSRIs remains the only treatment for DPDR that proved its efficacy in a number of double-blind randomized studies, and is considered the first-line treatment for this disorder. In addition, you can find people's personal stories among the forums, describing successful treatment with L. and Z. Therefore, if you are looking for something to treat your DPDR or HPPD, I highly recommend trying this combination. Don't be scared of the side effects: if you follow the dosage regimen, no dangerous side effects will appear. Discuss it with your doctor, and provide him the necessary information if needed.

Links to researches and studies on PubMed:



  1. Lamotrigine in the immediate treatment of outpatients with depersonalization disorder without psychiatric comorbidity: randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21192145


  2. A placebo-controlled, cross-over trial of lamotrigine in depersonalization disorder: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1268074


  3. Lamotrigine as an add-on treatment for depersonalization disorder: a retrospective study of 32 cases: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16960469


  4. Lamotrigine in the treatment of resistant depersonalization disorder: A case report: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/857f/0a4bbddf525a256ebd3b65d4f0260388648a.pdf


  5. Evidence-based treatment for Depersonalisation-derealisation Disorder (DPRD): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4269982/
I'd like to know if you tried Lamictal with other SSRIs?
 
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