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Possible Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, or Depersonalization/Derealization?

I am a 24 year old female.Just to give you some background: I didn't have the best childhood, so I was diagnosed with PTSD, 3 years ago. I have anxiety, that just makes my stomach feel upset at different times throughout the day. However, I am a very driven and active person, I work, I am in the second year of attaining my Bachelor's degree and Teaching Certificate. I have also been seeing a therapist once a week for the last year, working through the things from my childhood; and although I feel I have worked through a lot of problems I still feel sick from anxiety and random adrenaline bursts.

That being said:

In the last 4-5 months I have had some strange...let's call them "episodes." The first experience I had was at my house on a normal calm day. I was standing in my office listing to my boyfriend talk to me from the kitchen. All of the sudden, it was like everything was hyper focused, and I could swear that I had heard/seen what he was saying before. My body became stiff and I couldn't make my self move. It was like Deja Vu, but nothing I have ever experienced before. Then my body started getting cold and hot sweats (like when you have the flu) it lasted a few more seconds (I think) and then I instantly threw up afterwards. I tried not to throw up, but it was just like having the flu, I realized that it was going to happen, and I ran for the trash can. After all of this, my boyfriend said that he kept trying to talk to me, but I wouldn't respond (or when i did he said I just sort of mumbled and it didn't make sense.) (Each of my "episodes" have lasted 40 seconds to 2min)

After this first episode, I just returned to normal life, however it happened three more times over the next 3-4 months. At this point I was getting a little concerned, and the episodes, are unlike anything I have experienced, they are scary. So I searched for Deja Vu and throwing up, and Temporal Lobe Epilepsy was the first thing to pop up. Reading the symptom description resonated a lot with me, but I didn't want to bring it up to my therapist, because I figured it was just coincidence, or that I was finding myself a Scapegoat.

However, yesterday I had another episode. It was right after I woke up and my boyfriend was talking to me, I remember that he showed me a picture of the U.S. with different colors on the states; and I knew the colors were supposed to represent some sort of demographic. However, it felt like Deja Vu, it felt like it had definitely happened before, I could hear him talking, but it was like the voices form the Deja vu feeling made his words just not make sense to me, and my body did the cold-hot sweats, but it was a lot worse than the other times. I had my palms pressed against my legs, trying to feel the pressure, and not pay attention to everything else that was going on in my body. It didn't work though, and as soon as it was over, I jumped out of bed and threw up nothing but bile, (the same as every other episode.) This episode was the worst one so I decided to talk to my therapist, I told her everything that I had experienced, and asked if she thought it could be MTLE, and she said that I didn't have that and diagnosed me with Depersonalizaltion/Derealization Disorder. I accepted what she said, I was upset, but I was ready to work through it. Not knowing about Depersonalizaltion Disorder, I started doing research, and reading blogs and experiences other people have with Depersonalization Disorder. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, "This disorder involves ongoing feelings of detachment from actions, feelings, thoughts and sensations as if they are watching a movie (depersonalization). Sometimes other people and things may feel like people and things in the world around them are unreal (derealization)"...."The average onset age is 16, although depersonalization episodes can start anywhere from early to mid childhood. Less than 20% of people with this disorder start experiencing episodes after the age of 20."

I am 24 years old, It would be pretty rare for me to be experiencing Depersonalization for the first time at my age, not to mention that the symptoms do not line up with what has happened to me. She said that I didn't need to do an MRI or anything, to rule out physical causes. She said that she knew that it was Depersonalization.

I would appreciated any advice, from what I have read Depersonalizaiton is just as big of a deal as MTLE is, I just feel like I should make sure that there are no physical causes. To rule it out and make sure that I am treated for the right thing.

If you don't think it is MTLE or Depersonalization, I would appreciate any guidance as to what else might be causing my symptoms or "episodes."  
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Well those sound pretty similar to my seizures honestly. I don't vomit, but I get the same exact feeling, a change of aura, and I don't respond to a thing anyone is saying, but I know what is happening, like I've been in this same exact situation before, and I also get a "wooshy" sound in my ears, almost like bass from a loud car, then I begin to convulse. Usually last about a minute or 2. I usually get up and take off afterwards (running down the street in my underwear, hopping fences, true story lol) wich is weird, remembering bits and parts. The brain is nothing to mess with and if you're worried at all I would go see a neurologist, or at least your general practitioner. I had never shown any form of epilepsy until I was 18 so it doesn't always show up as a kid. There are many types of seizures and not everyone has convulsions, some people just sit there, staring into open space. Like I said I wouldn't play with it and would have it checked out!
Avatar universal
Continue with both of you since I was a baby I had traumatic experiences that let up to and from birth I had a brain lesion that only grew til I was 10, I had the symptoms both da'javu and when I  was 12 I went through getting brain surgery. Not by my choice but it made everything worse now I have full blown seizures that only occur in the morning, and have narrowed it down to stress, medications, and repetitiveness (things in routine manners like cleaning) but get checked for ptsd. I'm 26 now and no body can come up with a real reason or cause. So they just labeled me and gave me meds now my whole well being in dependant on 80% controlled the rest is stress caused passively... so try not to be in stressful environments or around anxious people, it truly rubs off on to us.
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