This is my first post here. I've been reading this forum for the past 5 months and I wanted to give back some information to help others going through the same thing.
Here's my story:
February 18th 2018:
I went on a ski trip with friends in Colorado. I was feeling at the top of the world back then: great job, super happy, loved by everyone, and always ambitious and wanting to excel at everything I do.
I've never done any drugs before (tried smoking weed once before and I wasn't into it) and only drank alcohol socially (3 or 4 times per month).
Of course when you're in Colorado, the dispensaries are like deli stores. They are in pretty much every corner and the marketing is just insane.
So one of my friends purchased gummies (small dose of 5mg THC each) and told me that the high from edibles is much more intense and different. I, having only tried smoking before and didn't like it, thought this could be a great way to enjoy the feeling without the smoking part. I wanted to be careful since I was told the feeling is different, so I only took half the gummy (2.5mg) and my friend took two (10mg).
For the next two hours, I had a euphoria I've never experienced before. I just couldn't stop from laughing so hard; then the real panic started happening, I started feeling like I was outside of my body and my heart started racing like crazy. I swear I could hear my heartbeat like it was hooked to a sound system at max volume. I kept on freaking out and asking my friend when this will stop and he was just suggesting to go to sleep. I drank some water and forced myself to sleep.
February 19th 2018 (The day after):
I woke up feeling calmer but completely weird. I just assumed it was a weed hangover and it would pass. This kept on going for about a month and I just kept on ignoring it.
March 18/19th 2018 (A month later):
I was having dinner with a few colleagues and while we were talking I just felt super irritable and getting angry at the silliest things. Again, I just ignored this feeling, but on the way back home I had a mini panic attack where I thought I couldn't breathe and freaked out. I went to bed and tried to sleep it off but kept on waking up every 10 minutes at night (anxiety). In the morning, while driving to meet friends for lunch, I felt my mind racing crazily and my thoughts bumping into each other until I reached a point when I had the most severe panic attack anyone can experience (hands locking, tears, not being able to breathe etc.).
March 21st 2018:
This is when the VERY Severe DP/DR and anxiety kicked in. Without going through the details you already know, all the worst symptoms and thoughts you can ever imagine did go through my mind.
April 1st 2018:
I went to see a psychaitrist without even being able to follow a single sentence. Concentration and memory problems were through the roof.
My doctor was shitty, he saw me for 5 minutes, thought I was just depressed and prescribed me Celexa.
April 5th 2018:
Seeing no improvement at all and being shitty 24/7, I thought I'd give the medication a try. I was so anxious about even popping in the first pill.
April 20th 2018:
I took the medication for two weeks and it made me my symptoms even worse: Insomnia, anxiety, stomach problems, headaches, extreme fatigue.
After two weeks (my second appointment), I went to the doctor and he wanted to increase my dose after talking to me for 2 minutes. I just walked away and immediately started looking up other docs in the area. I booked an appointment with someone who at least took the time to explain what i was going through and what to do about it. He put me on Lexapro.
April - June:
I stayed on Lexapro for 3 months. It helped a little bit (stopped the panic attacks) but I felt completely weird on it. Everyone around me didn't want me to stop it (including the doctor) but I felt like I didn't need it at all and didn't want to cause more harm to my brain. I stayed on it for 3 months. It helped a little bit (stopped the panic attacks) but I felt completely weird on it and just stopped it on my own.
Out of nowhere, one day I woke up and I did not feel as anxious. A few days later, my vision would get more clear and things started to look more normal. That being said, I started feeling depressed (flat feelings, no emotions) and questioning everything but it kept on getting better and better. I started taking 5HTP supplements and started feeling 98% back to normal.
Advice and things I learned going through this:
1. KEEP BUSY. KEEP BUSY. KEEP BUSY
I know it's all awful and hard. You should understand that what you have is caused by anxiety and the more you think about it, the more you're stuck in it. It is hard to ignore it, but everytime you feel like you're stuck in a cycle of thoughts, go for a run, or read a book, or go out with your family and friends. Don't let it take control.
2. DON'T LOOK SHIT UP ONLINE
I made this mistake and it made me worse. Everyone's different, and the most vocal people are the one's who are struggling the most, so you might scare yourself if you read a post online.
I thought I was crazy, developing schizophrenia, dead, became a ghost and all of those terrible thoughts. I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING BUT ANXIETY AND THE SAME GOES TO YOU!!!
3. DO I FEEL NORMAL NOW THAT I HAVE RECOVERED?
YES, 98% of the time. I say 99% because 2% of the time my mind would slip into the thoughts again and try to remember what dpdr feels like along with the existential thoughts etc. You just learn how to not let your mind go there and I am sure as time goes by, these will lessen too. I feel like my cognitive skills aren't as sharp anymore, but I am sure they'll get better overtime too.
4. SHOULD I TRY MEDICATION FOR THIS?
Honestly, medication (SSRI) did not help me much. I kind of regret taking it in the first place but at the time thought it was necessary for the panic attacks. If you don't get many panic attacks and are able to function, I'd say definitely no. You brain needs to rest and giving it another drug is not the best idea.
5. THE LESSON I LEARNED
1. DPDR is a blessing in disguise. You have it now and you WILL recover. You'll be stronger after overcoming this. You'll appreciate life a lot more. You'll get closer to God as you'll understand 100% that life isn't about the girlfriend/boyfriend you have or the amount of money you own, but rather a purposeful amount of time that is given to your body and soul to live in. So don't waste anytime, be thankful and enjoy every single second.
2. NEVER TRY DRUGS AGAIN.