I'm new to this forum, hi! I'm 18 years old, female. I've been, in my eyes, privileged in life. I live in a house (a run down one, but better than nothing). I go to a pretty okay public school; there are some "bad" kids, but the magnet program I'm in is pretty isolated. I've been accepted to some great Universities and am receiving almost full financial aid because my dad doesn't make much money. I've always been told I'm attractive, and I've done modeling before. I've experienced some minor bullying, but in general, people are nice to me. I can be shy sometimes. In most senses, I've lived a pretty average, conventional, American teen life. Stuff at home isn't always the best, I have a mom who is often emotionally and used to be physically abusive to my twin and I. But my dad has always been there to help us handle it. Everything is normal, from an outside perspective. But in my head, I am going crazy.
Since I was little, I had minor episodes of what I now realize to be depersonalization. I would be doing mundane task, such as tying my shoe, or putting butter on toast, and I would feel as if i entered a different dimension of living. But these feelings never lasted more than half a minute. Recently, I got into smoking pot; the wax version; very strong. At first, I enjoyed it, it made me feel weird, in a good way, and I felt much more relaxed and carefree. I also tried edibles. The first time I took some, I ended up falling asleep before it could even fully kick in, so I didn't experience the full effect. But, a month or so after I started really, heavily smoking and getting stoned, I started feeling as if I was going crazy. I think the first time, I was in a choir rehearsal, and as we were standing and practicing, the lights and sounds i was hearing became extremely overwhelming. I felt like I was on the verge of the panic attack. I wasn't high at the time. During our break, I called my dad, who deeply understands what I'm going through (he has experienced depersonalization as well) and he helped me calm down. The next time this happened, I was at an early practice for my swim team. It was 6:00 am, dark, and we were preparing to run a mile on the football track as a warm-up. The fluorescent lights were on, and I told my coach I wasn't feeling great. She told me just to walk a few laps, not run. As I was walking, everything felt artificial. I started tearing up, and cried a little, but quickly stopped because i didn't want my teammates or coach to worry. I came up with the notion that the weed I was smoking had triggered schizophrenia, and i freaked out a bit. I, again, was not high at that time. Yesterday night, I took an edible before going with my mom to help sell concessions for my school's musical. At first, I was okay, everything just seemed more lively and colorful. But, then I felt like I was going to pass out. I ran to the bathroom, sat on the toilet, put eyedrops in and tried to relax my breathing. Everything looked fake and not real. I called my dad and asked him to pick me up. Ten minutes later, I called him again, telling him I took an edible and was having a panic attack. He talked me through it as I paced in front of the auditorium, trying not to freak out. Everything was so scary. I felt like an alien, in a sense. When I looked at my mom, she didn't even look like a human to me. It's not that I was hallucinating, but it felt as if any sense of reality I ever had was gone. It was the worst thing I've ever experienced. I started to convince myself that what i was experiencing was what "hell" feels like. It's the morning after right now, and I still feel disconnected as hell. I'm very good at hiding this feeling, I had a conversation with my mom this morning and to her, I seemed normal. I hate this feeling so much. Everything I've done for the past few months havent felt real. I feel as if nothing is tangible, and I'm scared I'm never going to feel the way I felt before this ever again. I've always been scared of the fact that I'll never fully understand the meaning of life or why all of this world exists, and now it feels as if that fear as matriculated into a greater reality, where that's the only thing I can focus on. I might start going back to temple. I've never considered myself a religious person, but I think I need something to ground me. I've often been told by people I know that they rely on religion because it makes them feel like there is a greater meaning in life, and that as humans, it's not their responsibility to know what that meaning is, and that they should just enjoy life. I'm hoping that talking to a Rabbi might help me, but I'm not sure. Just a word of advice; if you have ever experienced feelings of depersonalization or dissociation, even on a minute level, weed can make it 10000 times worse. Last night was definitely the worst experience of my life, I would rather be physically tortured than ever feel that way again. I'm so scared that this feeling is going to last and that I'm permanently messed up. I'm trying to distract myself with other things, such as writing this long, badly written 'essay'. Also, I only heard of the term depersonalization this morning when I was researching stuff. I read a few posts and quickly realized that this was exactly what I was experiencing. It's so hard to put this feeling into words, and what I've written doesn't do it justice at all. But, seeing that there are other people who experience this is the most comforting thing I've experienced in a long, long time. I'm glad I'm not alone.