Depersonalization Support Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,416 Posts
Interesting subject. My dp/dr began with a Vagus nerve event. I experienced something called "Epigastric aura" (in Europe) or abdominal aura in the USA. It is a seizure that

precedes and predicts a larger temporal lobe seizure. I didn't understand what happened to me for over 40 years. Then, I matched the symptoms of the event which

occurred when I was 17, to those I found in a British Neurological Text. They matched. I had been epileptic for 40 years without diagnosis or treatment.

Now I know that 50% of individuals suffering retractable seizures have their temporal lobe seizures begin with abdominal aura involving the Vagus nerve.

Who would've thought? It's all connected, I guess. My epileptic syndrome is said to be rare and difficult to diagnosis. The worst case scenario is when

the post ictal psychosis segues into an affective disorder of major depression. That's me! If you follow up with Wikipedia, you will note that VNS is

used for treatment of epilepsy and major depression. I don't know about efficacy of VNS. I do know from personal experience, that it is all related: epilepsy,

depression, ocular migraines and the Vagus Nerve. What the exact relation is, I have no clue. My depression responded splendidly to ECT.

The electrical storms of epilepsy were the genesis of my illness, and I hope ECT is the conclusion. I have been depression free for over 5 years since the ECT.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
821 Posts
What is an epigastric aura? My dp started with eating marijuana and fainting. I woke up with bad neck pain and very severe abdominal pain. Like I was being stabbed. I had to curl into the faetal position and ride it out. Then looked in the mirror and had a white face with blue lips and my eyelid was half shut (looked like a stroke). THEN I had the panic attack...

I am investigatin the vagus nerve myself again recently. I am focusing on the coolness of the breath in the nose as a meditation. I will feedback if there are results. The main neurotransmitter of the vagus nerve is acetylcholine. You can take supplements to suppress it's breakdown (almost like an SSRI does to serotonin). 2 examples are bacopa (started 2 days ago) and I ordered some huperzine A. Choline is a supplement but really, we get enough from our diet anyway.. I may order some anyways though.

VNS does look promising for depression and anxiety. It's hard to day if it will help dissociation as some say that is too much parasympathetic stimulation... to me this feels like hyperarousal to the stage if burnout.. so Im guna stick with my meditation and supplements for now. I am also jogging again but trying to focus again just on the coolness in the nose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,416 Posts
The epigastric aura began almost immediately after aggressively smoking/sharing 2 joints. It started as an odd movement of my stomach and a jabbing pain in my stomach. I was sitting down, so I stood up to check myself out, and an odd sensation rose up through my abdomen. It was

like a hot smoky feeling. I could say it was like my stomach was a hot air balloon, and it got punctured and the hot air was rising up into my chest. The sensation was accompanied by a strong feeling of impending doom. Like - Oh Shit, something really bad is happening right now.

My heart rate went from 55 beats per minute to 240 beats per minute in about 3 seconds. I thought it was going to pound right out of my chest. The sensation continued upward into my head, and I felt like I had a halo of stars revolving around my head like you see in cartoons when

someone gets hit in the head real hard. I guess that was the end of the abdominal aura, What had really happened was that a seizure began at the base of my Vagus nerve which is in the stomach area. The tingling slowly climbs up the Vagus nerve through you chest and neck and into the brain.

Then, its like a bell rings and it's time for your temporal lobe seizure. The generalized tingling in my head gathered and concentrated in the left front of my head. One side of my head was cold and numb and tingly

(the left side), and the right side was relatively normal. It was as if there was a line drawn down the middle of my head. Then, the mass of tingles (about the size of a half dollar) slowly marched from the left front to the left rear of my head. Meantime, my vision was totally whacked.

I was seeing things like a slide show. There was no motion, it was all still frames, and the darkness between frames was getting longer and longer. I felt like I was being psychichy waterboarded. When the tingles got to their destination (hippocampus?), I started to feel a tensing

there. I now assume that sensation was caused by the polarization of my brain neurons. I charged up for about 5 seconds, the I arced over in an epileptic discharge. When the discharge took place, my vision zoomed as if I were suddenly looking through the wrong end of

binoculars. That only lasted a second or two, but then the tensing began again and in 5 seconds I had another discharge, and another, and another, and another so for every 5 seconds for 3 minutes, I had a discharge and a zoom hallucination. Then it was over, and my brain

was permanently fried as evidenced by EEG testing, and my post ictal psychosis segued into an affective disorder of recurrent major depression and it was game on! Interesting you mention your complexion. I remember having a horrible pallor after the seizure. I looked almost yellow.

Later, when I saw a comprehensive list of symptoms associated with such a seizure, it explained everything I had experienced in minute detail, including the pallor. That is how I knew, after 40 years of wandering the desert, I had solved the riddle of my mental illness. I was suffering

from "a rare and difficult to diagnose epileptic syndrome" and I was "a worst case scenario" because of being stuck with major depression. And I did a lot of research until I was satisfied that I had answered all the questions that plagued me for 40 years. I remember reading an explanation

for the depression. It's like a pathway has been carved into your brain by the first horrible episode, and you may be forced to walk that pathway again, on average 4 or 5 times in your life. Truthfully, If I had known this, I probably would have committed suicide at age 17. Instead, after

working very hard to distance myself from the experience of a major depressive episode, I would have another on intervals of about 8 years, until I reached my average of 5. Each episode was an epic struggle for survival, taking me down for 6 whole months, and taking about 18 months to fully

recover. At 2 years per episode, and 5 episodes over 40 years, I was actively battling serious mental illness for 25% of my life. And it was very frustrating that no one could give me an intervention, a diagnosis, or some decent treatment.

When I finally solved it all and got the tests that verified my self diagnosis, they were like....your disabled....take this paperwork to social security. Social security said - here is your first check! And I was like....this is all well and good, but I just lost 40 years of my life. C'est La Vie!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
821 Posts
God that sounds awful I'm sorry to hear that mate. I think potentially when my face went dead white with blue lips and my eyelid drooped that the blood flow was so severe I may have damaged the nerves to my face. The trigeminal nerve for the face does goes to the spinal trigeminal nucleus, which is where the vagus nerve starts.. so by focusing on the coolness in the nose it could potentially stimulate it. I have tried many many types of meditation and lots on the breath, but focusing on specifically the nose and the cold sensation seems to be the most effective for me now, I don't know if this is because of the vagus nerve though...
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top