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My Dissociation is a Chemical Illusion. Please help!

1885 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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Just one question, why do you think there's so much more wrong with you? Like the answer is more simple than you think I guess. Have you ever tried, body based things? Like relaxing techniques, do you really think that one panic attack has scrambled everything in your mind? I can emphasize alot with getting worse everytime and not getting back to baseline btw. But I have been researching my condition, and I just think it's stress and anxiety. Nothing more nothing less.
Sure. I used to be in the same opinion as you after reading these websites. But, and I don't really expect you to be able to understand this, there is a certain point where what you have transcends basic anxiety or stress. I have done everything along those lines, but the reality is that the severity and the way my condition manifests is much more complicated. There are essentially two conditions on these forums- those with a chronic, debilitating form and those with a more transitional psychological form. The former certaintly has its roots in neurology.
How do you know? I have the chronic version, pretty much experience dp/dr for 20 years. Got worse throughout the years, what do you think is wrong with you then? You tried so many meds, did not work. How do you want to fix your "neurological" issues. In essence all mental disorders are neurological as there are changes in the brain making it neurological. You got this after a heavy panic attack after smoking weed just like many. My condition also got worse after migraines making it neurological,but treatment wise? Nothing special I can get though just the normal stuff. SSRi's reduce stress,exercise. Etc.
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