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Hey everyone,

This is my first post at this forum and I'm quite pleased to discover such an important community for all of us that suffer from this particular condition. Before I go into the "main event", how I triggered my DR symptoms I'd like to present myself.

So I'm Brazilian, 24 years old, currently trying to get my Electrical Engineering degree while working on the engineering group of a railway transportation multinational. My routine is really tight (at least for me), I get up every day at 6AM, get to work at 7AM, leave at 5PM then hit the gym for an hour and 20 minutes, from there I go to the university and finally get home at 10:20 PM.

My mom's side of the family has a decent history of depression, bipolar disorder and other related conditions. My mom takes some antidepressants but she's a very kind woman, I've never seen her losing her mind like I did when I first had DR. She knows that she has something but at least to my eyes, she has control over it. I have two aunts who had been through some heavy stuff related to their depression. One of them takes more than 10 different medications daily, good thing is that it looks like that they managed to tame her symptoms.

I'm really into music, I do play the guitar, used to have a home studio at my place (now it's a part time electronics lab), have always been a very perfectionist person when it comes to music production or anything that really comes to my mind.

Even though I'm basically fluent in English (started learning back when I was :cool: I'm not a very good student, and this bothers me to an extent that I can't even describe. It's not that I'm dumb, I just can't control my procrastination, this particular aspect of me has been with me for years. After the DR I started questioning myself, "maybe I have ADD"but who knows, I rather think that I just take laziness to a whole new level.

How my DR started:

As mentioned before, I used to have a home studio and for that reason I played on a band. We were recording an album at my place and I have always been a person who never had interest in smoking weed, however, all of the band's members did. One specific day I had the brilliant (not really) idea to try it.

I smoked maybe 2 or three "puffs"and then waited for that glorious "sensation"to kick in. It never did, we all cleaned up the studio, my friends went home and a few minutes later I had this HUGE food craving. I ate six hot dogs in a row. For some reason the food had "less taste"than it used to have and instead of driving me to eat smaller amounts it boosted my will to devour all of those hot dogs. Other than this, nothing.

A few days went by and we were back at the studio, this time I was decided to hit that thing hard, I wanted to feel the hype, the good stuff. We played for a bit and then we started smoking to cheer things up, man, have I smoked that joint. I must have had more than 6 long puffs, "holding it in" like my buddies told me to. Right after doing that I started to concentrate on myself, in order to notice when the breeze would kick in. I remember starting to laugh with no plausible reason, I was actually cool by that time but then something really weird started to happen.

The studio had the blue led strips on, the entire room was blue, the drummer was sitting in his tool playing a few grooves but out of nowhere I started to realize that there was something wrong going on. It was a really strange feeling that the time had "shifted", like if all of them were either ahead or me or behind. I couldn't really determine what the hell was going on. I started to freak out on the inside, REALLY freak out. It was the most horrifying feeling I've ever had in my entire life.

In the meantime I was trying to keep it cool so that they don't realize how bad I was. I wanted to cry, it was so intense, my heartbeat sky rocketed, I started looking all around the room, trying to make sense of all of that "time shifting"experience. I then gave up, told them "Hey guys, I'm not feeling good", I got outside of the room and sat on a couch, my buddies stopped what they were doing and started trying to calm me down, thinking that I was having some sort of marijuana bad trip. I was actually in the middle of a massive panic attack. We sat there in that room, while they were trying to calm me down for close to half and hour and I swear that I thought that 4 hours went by in that excruciating agony.

I totally lost track of time, they gave me a lollipop in hopes of increasing my glucose, the sweet taste of that thing would stay on my tongue for brief moments and then would simply fade away. After a minute or so sucking that lollipop all of the sweetness would simply disappear, the same with water. I would feel the cold sensation for a very brief moment but didn't actually feel refreshening. I'm not sure if this was related to the panic attack or if I smoked the joint incorrectly maybe burning the surface of my tongue.

After realizing that I wouldn't be able to control myself I literally had to kick them out of my house stating that I wasn't feeling good and that it would be better for them to leave. By that time the only thing that I wanted to do was to sleep. It was the only thing that seemed that would do something against that feeling. I went to bed, walked straight across my parents bedroom, I didn't want to say a word to them, didn't want to freak them out even though on the inside I thought I was literally going to die. Slept that night begging for all existing gods for me NOT to wake up with that feeling.

I went to work the other day, the panic attack was gone but something was different. The perception of things around me was totally messed up. It had nothing to do with dimensions, things with different shapes, but it felt like something was out of place, real and unreal at the same time. I started to Google stuff and found out about derealization. Saw people stating that they've been having it for several years, that literally ripped me apart.

A few days went by and for some reason those feelings smoothed out, until I threw a costume party at my place. It was a great party, I was having a blast, had a bunch of friends and family there, I started drinking, and on a specific moment I sat on a chair and that undefined feeling hit me. It's like a wave of unknown feelings that WIPED OUT all the glory and warmth that the party had, I didn't freak out but I started to worry about my condition, that was the second time that I was feeling that feeling of being displaced from everything around me. I rushed to my girlfriend (which by the way we've been dating for almost 10 years) and told her, "I'm feeling it again", she tried to help me as much as she could, but I couldn't actually explain, I knew I had something but didn't have words to express what it was (this is really frustrating for those out there who have no idea what DR is). We went to bed and she helped me out with my despair, even though I was still enable to express myself.

Weeks went by and I could still notice that there was something wrong but I couldn't define what it was. It was not a severe thought or feeling, it was hard but I could carry the day with it. Then the second biggest "breakdown"happened. I'm going to be sincere here, I was about to have sex with my girlfriend, she asked for a back massage, as soon as I sat on her back I felt that same feeling that I had felt on the costume party. A wave of things that I couldn't and still can't describe, as soon as I've noticed I thought to myself "Please no, not now", I was done. It literally engulfed me with sadness, the occasion that it happened, I realized that I was bad. I tried to explain to her and without actually knowing what the hell was going on with I started to cry. Cried like a baby. I can't thank her enough for all the help she gave me that day, regardless of how severe your DR is, keep in mind that LOVE will get you through the darkest times.

For some reason I couldn't sleep at that room, we went upstairs to my actual bedroom and after hours of rolling around I've managed to sleep. I decided to see a psychiatrist.

He measured my body fat levels, stated that I needed to lose weight, which I agreed. I'm a pretty muscular guy but I simply can't get a hold on a proper diet. I used to get home from the university and eat hefty amounts of food, 2000 calories at least, looking back now, I realize that I was a very anxious person and never actually paid attention to it.

I started taking two medicines which I don't remember but they got me really sleepy, I would sleep at 8PM when I normally used to go to bed at 11:30 PM. I had some other breakdowns with my mom, started asking her if she thought I was going crazy, told her how much that I loved her, I really felt like I was a lost cause.

She then decided to go to the psychiatrist that treats my family. Senior guy, lots of experience. The first thing is that he questioned the medication dosage that I was in, it was so "underdosed"that he asked if it was homeopathy.

He then prescribed LEXAPRO. This medication has been helping me considerably. I had absolutely no side effects.

I'm currently on the second month of Lexapro and I've seen some good improvements in the way I interact with the world around me. This post has been extremely long so I'll close it with the things that either make my DR better / worse:

BETTER:

-GYM: I normally run 5km three days during the week, followed by a weight lifting training.

- WORK: Keeping my mind busy with different engineering problems at work seems to make me forget about DR.

- HEALTHY DIET: Your body is your temple, you WILL feel better by adopting a better diet.

- STUDYING: I translate technical videos from Youtube to a personal project that I'm carrying, it takes a lot of concentration so that also helps me out a lot

-SEX: Even though I had that experience, it happened only once until now, I never had breakdowns since I started taking Lexapro (that doesn't mean that I don't feel that little bit of derealization)

WORSE:

- Eye contact, face to face communication: I don't really know why, but it somehow "enhances"my DR. It doesn't actually trigger it, but makes it more susceptible to kick in.

- UNUSUAL EVENTS/THINGS: I think that I got so freaked out by those initial breakdowns that I sort of created an imaginary milestone. Pre-DR and Post-DR. Normally when I see/do/experience things located on the Post-DR section I tend to feel a soft DR trying to get me.

A word for those out there:

Don't give up on yourself, I thought I would never have this, I thought I was going to die, I didn't, I'm here.

I still feel it, like everyone here I obviously want it to go away but everything in life has its own time. Whether you want it or not we are all learning with this. I discovered a side of me that I didn't know, I found out that my mind has way more power than my muscles, my biceps, triceps, you name it. I lost 3kg in a week because I was so terrified that the only thing that I wanted to eat was crackers with honey.

I got better, I'm taking a medication that I feel that's doing me good and above all, I'm fighting for it, I push myself to the gym, I push myself to socialize with friends, I try to stay with my GF as much as possible even though DR tried to trick me into thinking that I didn't love her as much as I did before that imaginary milestone.

Believe in yourself, you'll get through.

Peace and sorry for the long post.
 
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