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Does depersonalization/derealization ever go away?

It all feels like a surreal dream. It started with a bad mushroom trip about 5 months ago. I had my first expansion of the mind and I thought I was never coming back. However, I did come back. Briefly. About a month later, I tried an edible. Just a pot brownie. And that same feeling of dread slipped over me. At that point, I just decided "hey, its probably just the drugs. Just don't do drugs again, you will be fine." Boy was I wrong. I thought I was fine for a while. Got a new job over the summer. I was doing pretty well for myself. Then one day at work, I was handing a customer back their change and BOOM. It hit me like a truck. The world felt like it shifted again and I felt high without actually being high. I ended up going to the ER,thinking I was broken. Thinking somewhere down the line I messed up so bad that I never actually came back. They told me I was just having a panic attack, gave me valium and then sent me home. That of course, didnt work. 3 days later, I was back in the ER, going nuts again. This time they told me I had what was called a "silent UTI" which is common in old people, but can still appear in young ones (I'm 21). They told me it minics dementia and thats why I was feeling crazy. Since then, I have been back to the ER twice. After a week of antibiotics and finishing them, the UTI was not gone. They put me on 10 more days of them. Then I decided to take out my nexplanon implant because I read about it and thought that maybe THAT was the cause. I finished my antibiotics, and have had the implant out for over a week now, but the dread will NOT go away. I just got back from the ER,  where they told me I still had trace amounts of bacteria in my urine, but they were going to let it culture over night to see if I still was infected. Which of course, sent me into a panic attack. I don't want to wait for answers. I'm tired of feeling like I'm going to die. I'm tired of questioning my mortality or what actually happens when you die. I'm so exhausted and the world feels like I'm looking at it through a window. I have trouble feeling anything outside of my panic attacks and my poor boyfriend has to bear the brunt of my crazy. I have weird, unnatural thoughts and images flash through my brain all day. I have trouble eating and sleeping. I feel like if I sleep I will die and no one will wake up to save me. I also spend like at least 2 hours combined through the day running in and out of the bathroom to either poop or pee, but its just so frequent its scary. I am absolutely terrified. I can't even go into public without getting surreal feelings and tunnel vision. It makes me want to leave immediately. I only feel moderately safe in my room, playing happy videogames or watching a happy movie. I NEVER used to be like this. Please, someone tell me this has happened to you. Please tell me this goes away, because I'm so scared that I'm stuck. I'm on buspirone and I take the valium only when the panic becomes unbearable, but even then it usually just puts me to sleep and sometimes I wake up still panicking. Please... someone tell me this nightmare ends.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor.

This sounds like a disorder. A lot of dissociative disorders have this kind of problem. I can't remember which one it was (although it may have been Depersonalization-Derealization Disorder), but one of them has what you're talking about--persistent sensations of hyper-reality.

According to people who have it, or who have developed it, it does not go away entirely. It is helped primarily via talk therapy and medicine (anti-depressants). It has been found to be common in people who have had traumatic experiences.

My suggestion would be to stop seeing doctors for now (who are going to be searching for a physical ailment) and to instead visit a mental health specialist. If the specialist finds no reason to believe you have a disorder, they should also know where else to point you, whether back to doctors or otherwise.

Hope this helps, and hope you feel better!
Avatar universal
First, buspar hasn't had a very good history of working -- it's main use now is to augment an ssri.  It never did that well in clinical trials either.  Second, this is most likely what happened to you.  Many people have their first anxiety attacks while stoned.  It's common.  If your mind latches on to that you can develop chronic anxiety, which is what most likely has happened to you.  The first thing to do if this happens is get right into therapy with a psychologist who specializes in treating anxiety so you can nip it in the bud before it becomes your natural way of thinking.  Most likely, this was inside you, but might never have come out without something to bring it out.  It could have been some event, in your case as in so many others it was taking drugs.  It happens.  Often.  Now, most people don't get lost in it, but some do because they have a proclivity for anxiety.  So before you succumb completely to this, again, get into therapy with someone who treats anxiety.  You can go from there.  As for your thoughts about mortality and such, thoughtful people have these thoughts.  How much they bother you is dependent on the individual, but without such thoughts there would be no movies, art, books, etc.  Don't fear thinking; only concern yourself with the obsession of it that's driving you nuts.  As you look for a therapist, try writing down what you're thinking -- who knows, maybe there's a hidden writer inside of you, God forbid.  
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