Hello there SteadyHealth forum. This is my first time writing here so I'll try and make it as short and summed up as possible.
I have recently come to the conclusion that I've been suffering from depersonalization for the past year or so. It all started when I decided to take shrooms with a couple of my friends. 3 of these friends had been long time users of psychadelics and were well versed in those matters, 1 was tripping for the first time and for me that was my second time.
Now, where I live (Iceland), we get a big harvest of shrooms around september. You can find them around graveyards, the side of main roads and pretty much anywhere where car fumes have an effect on the environment. We had harvested around 1.500 shrooms over a period of 2-3 days and in light of this huge amount of trip-material we decided to go a little overboard and take around 120-130 shrooms per person. This great idea started off with us feeling ok and pretty trippy for about half an hour but after that point sh*t got seriously bad. We all split up except me and 2 of my friends, 1 being the first-timer, and went our own ways. What followed were basically the worst 5 hours of my life and to this day I fear nothing more than that living hell.
This all ended with me waking up to "kinda" conciousness, in my room with the cops, my mom, dad and even my grandmother standing over me and sort of playing along with my screwed up state (seriously wierd attitude). I remember thinking that the whole universe had shifted into a new realm of reality and that I just had to live in this near-psychotic state for the rest of my life. Thankfully though I came down about 30 minutes later and all I could think of was what had happened that night and how it was the worst thing I had ever done to myself.
Anyway! The next day I remember feeling like I was in a dream and comforted myself with the thought that it was just the aftershock of the shrooms(kinda feels like your brain shuts down) and much to my delight it was just that. In a couple of days I got better but I couldn't shake the feeling that something MUST have happened to me because the shock of all what had happened was pretty severe. So time goes by and one day I'm at this party and this was during my "My acohol consumption is going to kill me"-phase so I was very selfconcious about my drinking and hence was very uncomfortable at this party. Then, when people were getting ready to go downtown, I start to feel it again. This odd dreamlike feeling comes over me and nothing seems to be right anymore. I got very nervous and told everyone that I couldn't go downtown and that I had to go home.
Now with this in mind I would like to point out that I'm 21 years old. I've smoked since I was 18, drank alcohol since I was 17 and smoked the herb since I was 19. Before this period of my life I suffered from extreme depression and anxiety due to sh*t that happened in my grade school, the stuff that kills your soul. Much to my surprise, after I graduate from 10th grade I join a highschool of sorts (don't know the english word but it's for 16-20 year olds) where I kinda get to bloom for the first time ever. I make friends very quickly and within 2 years I manage to create a whole new persona that's super social, fun to be around, great storyteller and overall very popular in my school (and other schools as well), but wierdly enough it was like my supressed sh*t fueled that lust for success. I still had deep wounds from grade school and I had given up on trying to treat them so I just burried them deep within and went with these changes in my life.
So during this time, 16-19 years of age to be exact, I come across as a super nice and reliable guy but on the inside I pretty much hated my guts thinking every day that what I had at that school was the most important thing in my life and through these experiences I would become whole. But sadly I didn't think so clearly about everything. I saw alcohol as a way to be more super fun and loveable and also a means to create super legendary stories to justify my existance, which in a way countered my depressive nature. Cigs made me more calm in social situation so with that I started to control my social awkwardness and anxiety way better. Then the weed came along and it taught me how to relax for the first time in my life, I remember feeling that this beautiful herb was the secret to what I had been searching for; a way to just be myself and not worry about every single detail in my environment.
And it did just that. With those 3 powers combined, I became super-don'tgiveashit-masterofsocialsituations-potentialforanything-man. But most of all the don'tgiveashit guy because the following years (19-21) have basically been my descent into my worst fears. I dropped out of school thinking that I didn't need it and most of my friends and "fans" from school stopped taking notice of me thinking that I had just given up.
Now don't think that I'm any kind of alcoholic or heavyweight smoker, I'm just naturally very sensitive when it comes to substances of any kind. I would drink both days of the weekend for 4 years and the most weed I smoked was during a 8 month period or so where I would smoke socially about a gram a day and in isolation way less.
SORRY FOR THE LONG STORY but I'm very accute to details and I would like you to know me as well as possible before you answer back. So back to my predicament.
After the said party I would feel this dreamlike feeling once in a while untill one day I felt like my brain kinda stopped making any notable noises anymore. I was at work (I work nightshifts 1 week at a time and have for about 1 and a half year now) and I remember when I just stopped thinking, loudly anyway. It was like I had always had racing thoughts going on, but now all of the sudden it had stopped. The dreamlike state had become permanent and I found myself wandering around my everyday life thinking that nothing had any purpose anymore, non of it was real. I started to become more isolated in fear of what was happening to me and in desperation started to create my own spiritual version of what was happening because I dared not see a doctor.
My spiritual version was very deep and philosophical and it even came to the point where I felt I had a mission in life to save the planet! Yes, it sounds very insane but I'm sure people in my situation and with my substance habits have gotten similar wacky ideas. And as my codependancy would have it I started finding people who were in a similar state as I was and proceeded to preach to anyone who would listen. I would talk about super complex theories on what was happening to the world, who we were, why we were here and about all the pretty little theories of life I could muster, all in this dreamlike state and under the influence of le ganja.
It was all going well actually, I was starting to think that I really had a divine purpose in life. Eventually though reality caught up with me and one of my trusted devotees and fellow philosopher went totally bonkers. This guy who I had thought to be a very old spiritual being with an amazing connection to god and pretty much anything divine turned out to be just that, crazy and super paranoid. He got locked up in the hospital after suddenly deciding that while trying cocaine for the first time that doing so for 4 days straight without any sleep was a good idea!
That's when sh*t hit me in the face. That's when I saw what I had been doing to myself and the situation I was in. SO, for the past 4 months now I've been taking huge steps back and sorting my sh*t out. I'm in a sort of stable job, eating healthy again and I've been very succesful in drinking and smoking less, but all with the stress of possibly having played a huge part in making a good friend go insane, wrecking my potential for a good life and destroying what was left of my reputation of being an all around solid guy.
Consequently about 1 month ago I had this wierd hangover experience. It was the day after a night out drinking and I would tense up way more around people than usual. I would get these wierd neck twitches and this awful feeling came over me like I was unsafe anywhere I would go. This just lasted for a day. But the last time I went out (friday) it lasted for 3 days afterwards. I read somewhere that this has to do with anxiety and that my nervous system was freaking out. But this experience made me want to share my story somewhere, because I'm actually very afraid of what's happening to me :-(
So my question is this! Since I'm pretty sure that during the bad trip I had some sort of a major panic attack, could it be that it triggered this depersonalization? This feeling as if I'm in a dream every day 24/7 is very frustrating and makes any attempt at improving my life very hard and so far pretty much useless. I'd also like to point out that I don't have panic attacks while I'm sober but it tends to happen when I'm high. Not anything serious, but it's the basic paranoia thing, I start to think a lot of negative things about myself and I sometimes get these extreme reactions like I'm yelling at myself to stop smoking, so with a few exceptions smoking isn't that much fun anymore, and with this alcohol related nervous thing popping up I don't know what to do anymore. Is there anything obvious that I can do without the use of medication? Do I have to give up the ganja and/or alcohol for good?
THANK YOU if you managed to read all that:-| . This is very important to me so I had to make sure you guys got the big picture:-) . Hope to hear from someone soon!
P.S.! I meant 3 years when I said drank both days of the weekend, I slowed it down to like 2-3 times a month during last summer. Also ever since I got way more anxious I've felt this strange pressure on the top of my head and occasionally get kind of nauseus. Never right out sick nauseus but enough to make my body cringe:(
I've lived depersonalization, depression and anxiety oftentimes in the last 10 years. I am 21. I have been smoking le ganja everyday since i was 14.
I have read that marijuana can ''switch on'' , if you are predisposed to it by genes and/or environnement in which you live, mental illnesses like schzophrenia, anxiety, depression, depersonalization, etc. Some ppl dont react very well to alcohol consumption either. Everybody's body is different in some ways.
About the panic attack triggering the depersonalization, i think its possible. The stress caused by the panic may have caused your mind to shut down to protect myself, which is a normal defense mecanism produced by the body sometimes.
Just for an example, when my father died unexpectdly when i was 11, i did not cry, i wasnt mad, i didnt FEEL anything,i wasnt THINKING of anything at all i was living for the first time depersonalization. i read later in a psychology book that it is a normal Body Defense Mecanism that occurs sometimes when someone is under a lot of stress. It is done subconsciously. So it is possible.
If you smoke weed and feel anxiety right afterwards, it might mean you have new responsabilities in your life and your subconcious is telling you to attend to these.
Ive lived depersonalization many times and the best thing is not to concentrate on it. Actually with years gone by its got much better, less intense. I'm less worried bout it now i think.
If you want your mind clearer:
Meditation helps (not thinkin of anything, breathing correctly REALLY REALLY calms you)
Exercise. (walking, bike whatever. the endorphins will help you.)
I actually did LSD 4 days ago and was feeling depersonalization symptoms the day after, but it didnt last. Before i used to give in to the symptoms but now i think ''hey, im much stronger than this daze''
Some people induce on purpose depersonalization because they want to experience it. It is quite an experience.
Good luck, and take care.
JESUS this website's reply system is horrible!
Thanks for being patient Piece! I know it was long but I was still kinda freaked out after my last binge and I felt like everything had to be said:P
So here goes my third attempt to write back to you thanks to great pop-up gimmicks and such!
What you said about the brain shutting down and blocking any emotional response makes perfect sense to me. I remember not feeling anything special for the longest of time until I started to turn my life around again. I was watching this not so emotional movie and I just burst out crying like this scene I was watching was the saddest thing ever lol. Ever since then my emotions have somewhat been balancing themselves out, with great bursts of emotional glory from time to time, but I'm still a long way from home I think.
Also as far as I know there is some sort of hereditory mental illness in my dad's side of the family, but it's symptoms mainly consist of very sensitive nerves. For instance my dad respons poorly to negative feedback of any kind and is generally afraid of confrontation (this applies to me aswell, but not as much as I work in the security business lol). Also I know for a fact that from the age of 13- 21/22 my dad used pretty much every single drug that was available in my country at that time (basically everything except mabey PCP or opium) and the only notable scars only relate to his weak nerves. But he carries it well as has everyone that side of the family, there have never been any sort of hospitalisations or mental breakdowns, or at least that I know of.
I've been planning to start working out more, not much to start off with but the plan is to have made it into a force of habit around feburary or so. But I'm staying away from meditation. I meditated a lot during my super spiritual phase and I remember this one time when I meditated for about 20 minutes, when I stopped I felt even more dreamy and my environment at that time (my home) felt super unnatural, that lasted for 2-3 days and then it toned down again. So mabey I'll dare to meditate again in the future.
But other than that I've kinda decided that alcohol is not an improving factor in my life at this point. So I'm giving it thought to just go cold turkey for mabey a month or two. However if I should decide that I want to go downtown with a couple of friends (e.g. my birthday is next week) then I'd stick to mabey 2-3 glasses of wine, and if this extreme anxiety thing pops up again even after such a small ammount then yeah I guess there's no other way. Ganja wise I'll cut down to minimal and go back to recreational habits, something I've been working on now for the past months and it's going well.
Really though thanks for reading through all that:P just getting a reply made me cool off and a very informative reply it was. Made me rationalise my situation:)
So thanks so much Piece, take care in your future endevours :)
PS: If you have curiosity you may check the 1991 movie about the doors where it shows Jim Morrison as a messenger, to other realitys, and the band followed him, he was a very intelligent man, but yet totally burned by drugs. Good luck friend
Hey Andre I completely agree with you. Breaking out of that delusion of a reality was pretty much the hardest thing I've ever done, but in the end all it came down to was accepting life as it is, plus the fact that my friend turned out pretty bad really made me think about my situation.
I know that drugs have played the leading role in what's been happening to me. But I've recently learned that my true problem is that I'm way to worried of what other people think of me. Because of this I adapted to a perfectionism of being the best guy ever, not letting anyone down and just work my ass off to make everyone happy, which consequentialy drove my stress levels off the charts WHICH jumpstarted my obsession with a reality where I actually was some sort of ultimate good guy/messenger. But then as it turns out who we are never changes, just how we choose to portray ourselves. Being obsessed with being the ultimate good guy just made me hate my real self, which ironically in the end was a much more stable and awesome person then who I was trying to become.
Anyway, the biggest lesson I learned from this was to stop trying to fool myself and to just accept life as it is. Forcing things to be better only makes the darkness beneath worse, it's wierd. Hope this makes sense.
I'm sure the therapy will help. I think it's great that you are committed to getting better. My husband is having paranoid delusions, but doesn't know it. He strongly believes what he's saying is real, even with his family around him telling him it's not. It's scary and very, very heartbreaking.