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Old 09-05-2006, 10:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Depersonalization disorder (or: why I hate pot and am neurotic beyond belief)


Alright, folks.

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.
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Old 09-06-2006, 01:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well I for one don't know what is wrong with you, but you sound like a very intelligent, insightful person. Could be something wrong or could be you spend too much time worrying something is wrong. When I was younger I got into myself way too much and read every self help book out there. Was convinced something was wrong. Well 30 years later, I think it is called life. Hugs, Marle (p.s. I am also one who thinks that I am incredibly neurotic, may be why I majored in psychology in college )
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Old 09-11-2006, 12:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have smoked a ton of pot in my day. That blunt you smoked was laced. It could have had PCP, formaldehyde, opium, exotic herbs, or any other number of things but your blunt was laced, I swear! My ex's brother had a big massive panic attack but he didn't hallucinate or hear voices. Look into the effects of PCP and you are probably going to realize that is what it was. One time I had a joint with wormwood and I saw interesting things in existing patterns. One time I was smoking a joint and my lips felt numb and my friend came home and said "who's smoking crack?" It happens to most pot smokers at least once.
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Old 09-12-2006, 04:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I had thought of that many times, tried to hope it was true, but here's the problem with that theory:

1. I bought the sack from a trusted source
2. I had smoked from that same sack days prior without any effects outside the normal newbie weed experience
3. My mom had no kind of reaction smoking the same stuff, and we examined it afterward and noticed nothing strange about the weed
4. In the hospital, a toxicology report was ran and only found a small amount of weed and alcohol in my system

The only possibility we could think of was that a strange kid I didn't know too well who was at my house that night may have slipped something in my opened drink while I was away, just to be a jerk I guess, but that still doesn't explain why nothing showed up in the toxicology report. Given, the test doesn't look for everything (i.e. LSD), but the scenario seems unlikely.

A month later I tried smoking pot again, convinced that the blunt I lost my mind on was laced after all; however, the same thing happened (only on a much smaller scale). This was the start of my depression. I tried weed again a year later to see if I was able to handle it, and although I experienced some euphoria, the same sense of panic, dread and depersonalization overwhelmed me, albeit only mildly frightening in comparison to the two prior trips. That was the last time I've ever touched pot (roughly four years ago), but things haven't been the same since that first horrible experience.
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Old 09-15-2006, 04:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah LSD can't be reliably tested for...

I guess I'm wrong but it just seems so odd...I knew a chick who was allergic to it and she said she didn't have reactions to it just allergy symptoms, but I heard about some kid getting psychotic around magic marker fumes too. I hope you find peace with this. I am pretty sure that this disorder would be treated with anti-psychotic drugs rather than therapy so I'd be careful about this. They have horrible side effects and can cause permanent damage resulting in tardive dyskenisia, (sp?) that is a disorder where body movements can become twitchy and uncontrollable. You are smart enough to probably be aware of that, however. Good luck!
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Old 09-16-2006, 02:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm not psychotic so I'll pass if they try to pass antipsychotics on me, although nowadays they prescribe antipsychotics for hypomania, depersonalization, OCD et al.
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Old 03-08-2009, 11:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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hi,

I am not recovering from any sort of addiction. I wasn't a member of this site, but I had to join so that I could respond to your post. I came across your post when I was searching google for information about depersonalization disorder. I have been suffering from symptoms similar to yours for some time now, and after doing some research, I am positive I have depersonalization disorder.

I wanted to tell you a few things-

1. don't let anyone tell you that you are thinking too much into it and that you are actually fine.
2. marijuana is a huge trigger for a lot of people for a phase of depersonalization. it happens to me too. your stuff wasn't laced.
3. search dpselfhelp and you will find an awesome site. (I can't post links on here for some reason)
I found the site about a week ago. they have tons of information.

I hope this helps! =)
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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why dont you talk to the drs about it, it is the reason why they have been to school for years.......self dignosis is the worst form of recovery........you actually believe that this one thing is wrong with you and try treating it yourself only to find out years later it isnt....................as for the pot I was an everyday ( and I mean everyday about a half to an oz a day smoker) for over 15 years....NEVER did anything like that happen to me not even the stuff laced with coke and pcp............good luck with that though.....
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by WLDKATZ View Post
why dont you talk to the drs about it, it is the reason why they have been to school for years.......self dignosis is the worst form of recovery........you actually believe that this one thing is wrong with you and try treating it yourself only to find out years later it isnt....................as for the pot I was an everyday ( and I mean everyday about a half to an oz a day smoker) for over 15 years....NEVER did anything like that happen to me not even the stuff laced with coke and pcp............good luck with that though.....

Just because you smoked a half-O a day (whatever) without suffering from depersonalisation,doesn't mean everyone can. I myself suffer from panic attacks/derealisation at times,and sometimes it seems like just smoking a cigarette can be the trigger for me. Moral of the story... Why bother responding to a post if you can't relate.?!?! No offense.
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Actually, wldkatz made a great point.
she pointed out that a doc should be consulted; that it's hard enough to get a valid diagnoses; and to self diagnoses ourselves can waste valuable years of treatment time.

To ask others online to diagnose us is worse. We're not doctors and no valid doctor would even try to diagnose online. Because they cannot meet with us and give us the throughough exam that's necessary to rule out alternative medical issues.

So, let's just take a deep breath and recognize the good points in each others posts as we move on. Remember what they say: Take what you need and leave the rest!

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Old 03-11-2009, 07:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost Dog View Post
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.
Have you considered severe panic attacks? The sense of depersonalization you described, sounds a lot like what I experienced in the midst of one.
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Old 03-12-2009, 03:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
3. I should probably get some professional help.
Ghost Dog,
Please do.
And let us know how it's going. We care.

Shalom!
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Old 03-13-2009, 06:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The opioid antagonist Naltrexone has been proven to be effective in treating depersonalization disorder, read up about it on google and talk to a doctor about it. Methylphenidate and other stimulants have also been shown to be effective and benzodiazepines to a lesser extent. SSRIs don't seem to help much.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:36 PM   #14 (permalink)
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People look to online diagnosis to help them find what might be wrong with them and get suggestions. I get online to look up my symptoms just to make sure that I am not dying and that I just have a minor issues that may go away on its own
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hey there: I think you already have your diagnosis here: OCD. I have just figured out today, because of another posters' suggestion, that I most probably have OCD "Pure O" type. Which means I have obsessive scary and bizarre thoughts that I can't seem to control. So, my take is this:

I've smoked pot on and off for years--in fact I stopped for a long time, because I felt really disassociated from reality--not in a delusional way, but that feeling you describe where you feel like your walking around in a movie and it isn't real--perfect. Also, I found that pot really exacerbated my obsessive thinking which could sometimes bring on a sever panic attack.
I started smoking pot again a while back, and I remember going through some mental mojo to get past some of that. However, when I smoke pot, I always get that sense of unreality--I wonder who the hell my husband really is and how I got here ( in this house with this person, in this life..) none of it seems real. Personally, I think that's your OCD talking. Your basically tripping your self out. Everyone has that feeling, but it takes a person with obsessional thinking to really turn the experience into a bad trip.
In fact, I've always suspected that that is what is really behind the whole "bad trip" scenario in regard to weed and or hallucinogens. You start obsessing on a thought and it becomes a nightmare.
I have experience in this dept...trust me.

That's my two cents!
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