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My Dissociation is a Chemical Illusion. Please help!

1891 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Aridity
After 15 months of literal torture, I have finally been able to summarize what my dpdr is, and now would like help if any of you know any leads. Basically, 15 months ago I had a panic attack on weed and I woke up the next morning in an altered state of consciousness. This panic attack happened while I was really drunk also, and lasted for hours with significant breathing problems throughout. This altered state of consciousness has gotten slowly worse over the past 15 months, to the point where I am for all intents and purposes dead. I am not exaggerating when I say this. I have experienced depression before, but nothing even comes close to the physical chronic deadness I now experience. The interesting thing is how it makes jumps and then never returns to the previous state--it is chronic. These jumps so to say usually happen at night during a panic attack type moment, but never a full panic attack. I relate it most to an aura in a seizure as it feels like my brain gets scrambled, but besides that I don't know what is happening. Once they happen, boom, I am permanently more disconnected.

Anyways, the way I would describe my changed "consciousness" or "perception" is that of something very neurological. I've done inpatient treatment twice, therapy, healthy lifestyle choices, you name it, but I never felt like I was correctly addressing the problem. See, the problem with my "disassociation" is that I don't really relate it to most stories here, save for the fact that a night of weed made it all happen. For me, my dissociation primarily exists as a lack of ability to feel connection to my sense of "self." Each time it gets permanently worse, I am more miserable and less capable of reaping enjoyment from anything or even having thoughts that I can entertain.

This is where I say it gets very meta because instead of traditional anhedonia, its like the very basic neural network of pleasure gets destroyed. Its like the ability to even have the neurological basis for some sort of dopamine activity breaks down. This, is where I came up with the idea that my dissociation is a chemical illusion. Each time I get worse, my brain is less capable of experiencing any sort of pleasure or anything. My conclusion is that part of the sense of self is derived from an ability to reap a reaction (or have your own brain focus on the chemical reaction) from stimuli, both internally and externally. The sense of "self" resides in the ability to feel pleasure (for lack of a better word) because if you aren't having any sort of chemical reaction to anything, there is no basis to form your sense of self. This is why, for instance, I no longer feel any emotional attachment to music I once cherished. Since I don't have any dopamine in the first place, I can no longer have a connection to the music, which gives the illusion that my sense of self no longer exists. I know I did not explain this well, so if it needs clarification, fire away.

My chemicals in my brain are playing an illusion on me, hence why I always feel like my basic root self is still there. I am not psychotic or anything, as I still feel very grounded in reality. The deep rooted me is still there, but it is masked by the illusion that it isn't there because a basic sense of how I define myself no longer exists.

I now ask, given my conclusions, if anybody has any ideas for how to proceed from here. I am talking neurologically or pharmacologically, as I have given up a long time ago on psychological intervention. So far the only drug that has remotely helped me is adderall. It cleaned out the cotton webs a bit, and since I know it acts on dopamine, this is consistent with my hypothesis. The interesting thing is, and I know it sounds awful, that the time adderall helped me most it may have been laced with meth. I got a prescription for adderall from my doc and that helps me immensely and lets me function, but the only time it truly made me feel normal was when I got it illegally. I of course did not find out it may have been laced with meth months later, but it is nonetheless interesting and maybe revealing neurologically. I wasn't strung out or anything when I took it, rather I just felt normal. I have done TMS and it did not work (but did not target the right area anyways) and have tried Seroquel, Abilify, Adderall, Vyvanse, Lexapro, Gabapentin, Olanzapine, Risperidol, Zoloft, Lamtrogine, Propranolol, Depakote, Xanax (off the streets-helped me a bit) and Ativan. I am currently on Lamotrigine, Depakote, and Seroquel. I have had an EEG and MRI that both turned out fine.

Moving forward, I want to get a test for lyme and explore more rheumatological and neurological avenues. I have also read interesting reports on a new technology called deep brain stimulation, and am even at the point where I am considering ECT (I know its not shown to help DpDr but I'm at the point where a brain reset could just help). I think extended fasting might be worth a shot, especially since I relate to seizure accounts, and have trouble around lights and have very bad visual snow. The amount my brain feels scrambled feels eerily similar to auras in seizures (maybe temporal lobe).

Some drugs I wish to try are Xanax to bide myself some time (I know the long term risks but unfortunately I don't have the pleasure of caring about that), Klonopin, trycyclics, Sinemet, Adderall, Desoxyn, Wellbutrin, Naltrexone, Wellbutrin, and Strattera.

Basically, I am on my last leg. I no longer have a sense of time, and each day is excruciating. I gave up hope a long time ago, so right now the only reason I'm staying alive is because I don't actually feel depressed. Like I want to live so bad, its just that this chemical illusion is hampering the basic foundation of life inside me. Please help.
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The thing that impressed me most about ECT was the scope of symptoms it alleviated. I had the whole pandora's box of psychiatric symptoms which had me

looking in multiple directions for the source of the problem. Shocked to find out they must all have been related as they all went away together following ECT.

I don't have to understand how the ECT worked, as I never quite understood how or why I became ill. Or at least I failed to understand the underlying mechanism of it all.

I do have a theory that the ECT reset my brain's firmware to factory defaults. That solved most everything, except for the symptoms I attribute to some slight damage I incurred to my brain's hardware.

So I still have the infrequent migraine aura to contend with but it is a much more livable arrangement.

My biggest fear of undergoing ECT would be that it might not work. Duh, where does one go from there?

Thankfully, I didn't have to answer that question.
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"You mentionned in one of your posts that psychological stimulus can change gene expression. Could you elaborate on that?"

Right. I got that concept from the book "Genome" by Matt Ridley. "Genome" is a complex subject and while there is symmetry in nature, this genome

has rules, exceptions to the rules, and exceptions to the exceptions. In many instances, it is not what you expect. It is worth reading because this is where the answers are

coming from. Genetic research is also a threat to the status quo. It is changing the flow of money and there is always resistance when that occurs.

I recommend people stop giving their hard earned money to this disease foundation, and that disease foundation, and instead give their money

to genetic research because medical science rarely finds the specific solutions it seeks.. Rather, solutions to problems and treatments for illness are found by surprise as our

understanding moves forward on the broader front. I'm reminded of a 1951 film starring Kirk Douglas. "Ace in the Hole" aka "The Big Carnival".

It is a cynical look at how forces manipulate a tragedy for their own financial interests. I believe we have been victimized to an degree, by our medical

industry, which has consumed large amounts of money and given few answers. Genetic research is changing all that.

I think I mentioned that I thought that gene switching induced by psychological trauma might be responsible for the delayed shift in consciousness reported by

many who got dp'd on mild psychoactives, following a "panic attack". As in "2 days later, I woke up and wasn't the same". I've heard that a number of times, and I related it to an

experience I had when a young friend was severely burned. I visited him in the hospital and he looked good and was in good spirits. That afternoon, I played racquetball

with an acquaintance who was a neurologist. When I told him my friend was burned 85%, he told me bluntly that he wasn't going to make it.

He explained that the skin was an organ and a burn victim had reserves for a couple of days and then they would spiral down and die. And, he was right.

So, I'm thinking a gene which makes a protein key to a neurological process is switched off, one has a couple days reserve of this protein, then it is all gone and there is

a shift to an altered state. Pure conjecture on my part, but it seems logical. And, if the ECT reset my firmware and restored the neuro-genetic processes to default,

And I see this question coming....why would your brain react this way? "That's not helpful at all". I get that. The answer is, that your body doesn't always do what is in

your best interest. The example I give is when the plaque on a coronary artery ruptures. Is it really necessary for your body to respond by clotting the rupture and giving

you a heart attack? Probably not.

maybe that's what shifted me back. This can't be a cure all, because we know that a lot of mental illness is unaffected by ECT, but we also know that ECT is the most

effective treatment for a major depressive disorder which is what I suffered as part of an epileptic syndrome.
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