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My derealization started in february 2018, 20 months ago, when i had a panic attack from smoking weed. I always had a very low tolerance for it and had panics attack before and kept smoking for some reason i cant understand now, it was stupid. After this one i decided to quit and within a week of feeling like shit i started noticing slowly i started feeling very weird until it wasnt going away. Its obviously very scary especially when you know what is going on but before i knew what it was i thought i was going crazy. The first month probably is the hardest so anyone just going through it i am very sorry.

My symptoms were so bad i could barely leave my house my anxiety and derealization were linked so if i got nervous i would feel completely zoned out or almost drunk. But i got nervous because i knew i was feeling weird so there was no escape. This whole time i have not had a job because it was so terrifying and debilitating. I'm 20 years old and it may seem like a terrible time to deal with this im grateful it didnt happen while i was in school because unlike some of you who seem to be able to somewhat cope i most certainly would have had to drop out. Im also glad it happened before having any serious responsibilities. Im sure the timing isnt coincidental that this happened at a time when i was very lost in life and not knowing what my future will look like.

But the good news is, like everyone will tell you, is that it isnt permanent. Im now i would say im 95% recovered and i am way more mature from dealing with the bullshit experience. I hope soon that i will have a job and get my life restarted. But it was a slow and hard journey, for me it hasnt disappeared overnight, but gradually, for the first 4 months it seemed almost to never fade, i think i maybe drove 2 or 3 times anywhere because i felt unsafe behind the wheel. But then, id notice some moments i felt fine. Couple moments turned into a few hours, couple more months and id notice a day out of the week i felt great, couple more months id notice unless i was triggered from something making me anxious it seemed like 50/50 days were good and bad. It kept going like that where slowly id notice id have more good days than bad. But if something anxiety inducing happened i was still plummeted into derealization probably for the rest of the day. By the time a year came around id say i barely felt derealized at all in my home but if i had to go in public i would have to calm myself down and focus on the present, but i was driving and was a lot more normal. Fast forward around 8 months and id say im pretty much good. I dont panic really if i go somewhere thus i feel no derealization. The last time i had it was maybe close to 2 months ago when i got some very anxiety inducing news so i did feel weird but it was pretty serious to cause me to feel that way and it was maybe only for a few hours and i still felt totally in control just a little zoned out not feeling drunk like i was in the beginning.

As for tips i wish i had more to give but ill give what i did that i think were beneficial but i have no instant cure or relief. I dont have diet suggestions like some people, i never tried anything like that, and i only went to a doctor early on when i thought it was just depression but i never took medications either i did this fully naturally.

-I started meditating, its great for when your freaking out and you just need to quiet your mind, i found this especially useful before going outside into public

-In the summer or if its nice all year round where you are go outside for a bit everyday, i went for a 30 minute walk and a bit of exersize is great. Eventually i went to bike riding and i would listen to podcasts for maybe an hour of more its a nice escape

-I started taking vitamin d pills over the counter stuff nothing special. I started this recently so its hard to tell how much it really helped maybe placebo but i feel its boosted my mood at least a little.

-I didnt drink for the first maybe year of it because i always felt zoned out anyway, i would recommend not drinking if your feeling sad or scared about anything it wont help anything

-If yours is from weed like mine i definitely would never try it again. I see some people saying they would like to try it again which is crazy, for me personally i think ill stick to alcohol very occasionally and never try anything harder im clearly not built for it

-January this year i started playing dungeons and dragons with a close group of my best friends. You dont need to do this right away but i felt ready to try and stick to it i was feeling okay at this point most of the time. I feel this has helped a lot because you just focus on having fun with your friends and laughing and its a big mood booster. When your ready i recommend trying to get maybe a weekly get together with a friend/s maybe for lunch or something fun but dont push yourself too hard youll know when your ready. For me it also helped just getting out of the house.

-Mostly its just time unfortunately, at least it was for me, just be patient with yourself

To be honest things probably wont go back to the way they were, im so much more wise and caring and just generally a different person going through this, but thats not a downfall thats a benefit.

If you have any questions i will answer them all and i will talk to any of you about anything you need. I knew if i ever got out of this i would write my story and try to help as many of you as i could with my experience, so hopefully yours can go a little smoother and you enjoy life again.
 
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