I've been reading reading reading, picking, prying & applying every piece of posted info, attempting to paste them all together into one convenient "superdisorder" and finally stamp it on my forehand, get a Pepsi and lay back in solace for the brunt of five years now. Here's my plight.
*When I was 17 I smoked some pot in late October 2001. My prior experiences with weed were not extensive but relatively fun nonetheless; however, this time I smoked half a blunt and was stricken down with some bizarre form of cannabis-induced psychosis so intense and inexplicable that even my pretentious grasp on the English language can't do much to summarize it (let's just say I melted into pseudo-reality, experienced space-time in rapid shutter-vision and fell pray to the voice of Satan who mocked me for my inability to control my body, that is, until the trip settled down into more of an extremely severe hypermanic train of uncanny thoughts and images that convinced me I was done for, until I came to in the emergency room hours later).
After that I fell into what I always tried to explain to people as major depression
: why this doesn't add up
: although it was really different
than that, despite the best assumptions from everyone else's 0.02. A better way to describe it would be a descent into existential reality. I began to perceive life as though it was all a movie (and a bad one to boot), and I was just an onlooker. I became detached from sensing that I was "here". I often felt I wasn't real, or died during the trip and now only existed as a ghost of sorts, and that nothing was real but was actually all a product of the inner workings of my mind, et al. I ruminated incessantly, becoming, so-to-speak, obsessed with my obsessive philosophical obsessings (good times!), and soon dropped out of high school due to brutal anxiety of being in crowds that this caused me. It was, in the most literal form of the word, unreal.
It was during this time that I became convinced that I was schizophrenic
(a truly nightmarish word in my mind for whatever reason; whether the tragic implications be real or imagined is beyond me) or, seemingly worse, in the stages of developing schizophrenia
: why this doesn't add up
: I was always very insightful of what was happening to me, perhaps too insightful, and never attributed these sensations to your typical delusions of grandeur or persecution, and although I entertained paranoid possibilities
constantly, I never fell susceptible to any bizarre beliefs. Auditory or visual hallucinations were not present and never have been, and I wasn't paranoid of people hurting me or out to get me, stealing my thoughts etc. If anything I had to have my close ones closer, and was horrified to be alone with myself, whereas I felt like an automaton. Still, despite my outward appearance of being relatively together, inside I felt beyond insane.
*I began to abuse alcohol not long afterward, which did wonders for the feelings I was having! Ethanol brought me back into reality 100% (the irony of this is that I felt most sober when I was drunk). By late 2002 I was feeling alright again, and moved to another city on a whim, began working out a lot and dieting intensely, and lost sixty pounds in three months. I felt great, but developed an eating disorder throughout 2003 after becoming obsessed with a perfect physique. My need to have to have my mind constantly fixated on something obsessively and then act on it led me to believe I may have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
: why this doesn't add up
: Actually, this one kind of does.
*In late 2004 I saw some paintings online by schizophrenic cat artist Louis Wain. The bizarre, kaleidescopic patterns of some of the cats reminded me of my experience with marijuana. I suddenly descended into that same feeling of existential dread and horror that preceded the psychotic weed episode three years before. My fear of developing schizophrenia ripped through me, and I began to abuse alcohol again in an attempt to ward it off. It didn't work this time however, but instead made me much worse. I suspected this time that my re-occuring fear of that experience may be posttraumatic stress disorder
: Why this doesn't add up:
Actually this kind of adds up too.
*I landed in a mental hospital. I passed all the reality testing despite subjective evidence to the contrary (read: I am neurotic beyond belief). After telling the psychiatrist of what I could only describe at the time as a fear of insanity, coupled with periods of what I could only describe as depression (although I've learned a better term for what I was actually feeling) and a happy period late 2002-2004, within twenty minutes I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder
: Why this doesn't add up
: I received this diagnosis in thirty minutes of talking. I don't chalk up my experiences of depression as actual depression, as they feel different than from what most described. I never felt suicidal during these periods, for one. Also, I've never experienced a non-drug induced manic phase, and I can hardly attest that my period of not feeling like an out-of-body automaton and losing a lot of weight as mania or even hypomania, as I wasn't so much euphoric as I was happy to feel connected to reality again. I also exhibited no grandiose behavior or mad arrogance much either, and actually still dealt with a lot of the lingering crap from the post-pot experience, just much less intense.
*At that point I left the hospital. The meds didn't work much at alleviating my "only half here" feelings, so I went back to alcohol. This time I couldn't stop drinking, however, and a year and a half later I ended up in the hospital with DTs. Now I've been in AA for six months, and I've come to the following conclusions:
1. I'm not going to go insane.
2. I'm not manic-depressive but irrefutably have signs of OCD, ADHD, hypochondria, and most of my problems may be related to what's called Depersonalization disorder
3. I should probably get some professional help.
How should I go about this? My problem is that I've just discovered something that really describes what I used to try to label as depression/anxiety/psychosis. Depersonalization is none
of those, really. It comes and goes and varies in intensity, but seems to be the root cause for all the discomfort and mental problems I've experienced since 2001. I don't know if anyone here deals with it, but it's sort of like living in that feeling deja-vu gives you. But I digress... maybe I am just depressed. But I don't trust professionals, because ya know, they're dumb.
Thanks for reading if you got this far.