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I've been lurking on this forum as a guest for several years now, was never comfortable with trying to tell my story, mostly because it's fairly convoluted and confusing. I don't have a "I was a totally happy, normal person, then I smoked weed or had a panic attack and I've been stuck this way ever since" experience like many of you have had. I mean, I have had those experiences, but they weren't the catalyst of my DP/DR. Something had always felt "off" about my feelings, emotions, and experiences that i could never really figure out. Growing up I had this vague feeling that something was not right about me, but I could not put my finger on exactly what was wrong. I felt like I was consistently "lost in thought" and not really fully penetrating reality, and I was very hyper-analytical about life. However, I was also very talented in almost everything I did, so nobody seemed to notice a problem. I just hoped that this wasn't how I was "supposed" to feel, and maybe thought it would go away as I got older and more confident in myself/abilities/whatever. Naive, yes, but what was I to think?

Then during my freshman year in college I had an experience smoking weed that is similar to what many have posted about, so I won't go into detail. I will just say that I felt like I had lost complete control, was dying, and called an ambulance. The experience lasted a few hours before I returned to my "normal" somewhat spacey, but not terrified state.

I continued my life and returned to school sophomore year. During that period I felt myself gradually becoming more and more spaced out, unaware of what was going on around me, difficult to pay attention to conversations, etc. at the time I thought it might have something to do with the content of my coursework (we had started getting into some pretty abstract stuff), so I wasn't too worried.

My junior year I was supposed to study in Paris, and that's when all hell broke loose. I was "on my own" most of the time, in a foreign country, and found myself just wandering around the city most of the time in a dense confused fog, and it was terrifying. I dealt with this for four months, trying anything and everything to calm me down, including seeking comfort from the few friends I had there, calling my parents all the time, alcohol, focusing intensely on my studies, only finding somewhat temporary relief. Eventually after a period where I did not sleep a wink for over 5 days, I decided it was time to call a doctor. I felt like I had meningitis or something. He took me to a hospital where they ran a few tests I think (I'm not sure, I was soooo out of it), and before I knew it I was locked up in a psych hospital.

Eventually my family came to release me, but I was never the same since. I've been in a perpetual foggy state of absolute nothingness since then (that was 14 years ago). I continued to try to live my life, graduated from college (it practically killed my, but the kindness of my professors and the support of the campus community helped me greatly). However, it eventually got to the point where life became too frustrating and painful to try to continue. After 2 failed attempts at grad school, I had to return to live with my parents. That was about 6 years ago, and that's when I decided to stop listening to the nonsense of doctors and looking into my condition for myself. At that time I had learned that part DP/DR was part of my experience. But I don't think it's the whole story. I do believe that I have something underlying the DP and anxiety. I was treated for Lyme disease and coinfections for about 2.5 years. It seemed to relieve some of my gastrointestinal symptoms, but not much else. Ive seen ENTs thinking it may be an inner ear issue or a sinus issue, and I'm probably going to see a headache specialist. I've tried so many forms of therapy over the years, bot the talking kind and the medication kind, and I only seem to be getting worse as time goes on.

So here I am now. I do feel like at this point I'm just waiting to die. I can't even pay attention to the plot of a television show, and I'm too dizzy to walk outside much past the end of the streets. I have almost no executive memory. I know that's not the most comforting or optimistic assessment, but I think it is realistic. Of course, I am always open to specific suggestions, perhaps from others whose stories seem similar to mine.

But for now. I just thought I would introduce myself and my story to the group.
 
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