Derealization Due to Drugs

by Sefton
(Calgary Alberta Canada)

Hi, my name is Sefton and I am 16 years old. I have been struggling with derealization for 3 years. When I was in grade 7 I started to experiment with marijuana on a regular basis. I had a good group of friends and a good home life. Near the beginning of grade 8 I tried hallucinogenics and amphetamines. During my days using I felt some sort of detachment from my ego and started to experience visual distortions such as things whirling and colors looking less vivid than they should. I put those feelings aside thinking they must just be side effects from the drugs I had been experimenting with and carried on experimenting (STUPID IDEA). Finishing off the year I experienced a traumatic trip on LSD and that created a flip in my views on life and reality, I started to question myself in this world and others existence around me, all my opinions and beliefs collapsed inside and I constantly have anxiety, fear and depression, my vision is askew and everything looks like I'm looking through a glass of water, all of my thoughts are scrambled and I cant even keep one thought in my head at once and the list goes on... I went to a psychologist to figure out what the hell was wrong with me because it felt like I was losing my mind. They diagnosed me with derealization disorder. Since then I have felt no difference. I have yet to go a day without feeling like I am living a dream. I am in grade 11 now and sober for about 3 years. I feel panic every day and I have no way to deal with this. I may have to add I have had a history of depression and anxiety during my days of using drugs.

Thank you for reading.

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Jul 24, 2014
Same Experience!!
by: Anonymous

I couldn't believe this when I read it. I'm 24, but I experienced essentially the same thing after trying mushrooms a few times with friends. I can tell this post is quite old so I sincerely hope things have improved for you! And who knows if this will ever be seen, but I have to share this experience in case it can help anyone else.

There is hope!!

Very similar to you, I started smoking weed a few years ago socially with friends, I smoked pretty regularly, at least a few times a week when my "incident" occurred. Tried shrooms a few times with friends (all tries within the space of two months, terrrrrrible idea!) and had two really terrible trips.

The night after my terrible trip, I was home alone and same as you, suddenly began questioning my existence, I felt numb and dizzy and like I was spiraling into a hellish distance from everything I care about. I have never before felt depressed, but I have always had anxiety. Never a panic attack before this though. This feeling of numbness depressed me incredibly, I felt suicidal for the first time in my life. I experienced constant high level anxiety constantly, couldn't eat, pain in my chest, tight fear.

I also experienced the waviness and blurred vision, like I was still high even though I was sober, like you. Which of course increased my anxiety. It wasn't as often as you though. Only when I stared at certain textures, ceilings, carpets, etc.

I was terrified I had "broken" myself. Luckily, I already have a trusted therapist I see on occasion, so I scheduled an appointment right quick with her. We started working right away on ways to cope with my panic attacks and bring myself back down to reality when experiencing derealization.

She also recommended I ask my doctor for anxiety meds related to "acute symptoms". I got prescribed ativan and used it as sparingly as possible, but it helped sooooo much you guys! When I was panicked and spiraling it could bring me right down. I only took half of a 0.5mg dose. It doesn't take much to help.

I also began working hard to eat healthy and exercise. I can't say I've been hugely successful with either, but when I am, man it makes such a difference. It's amazing.

Now, my experience with shrooms was about 3 months ago. It was a painful path, learning ways to deal with my anxiety, depression, and derealization, but I was so fortunate to have help. You can't do it alone!! We all need support.

I had set backs during this time, but I've been going to see my therapist on a weekly basis and meeting with my doctor regularly. I was %100 honest with both about the drugs and my experiences and they were more than willing to help me.

After spiraling down again about a month ago, my therapist recommended a long-term medication, for about a year just to see if it would help.

I am so happy to report, you guys, I have been taking zoloft for three weeks and I feel amazing. I started on a tiny dose. Actually I started on Celexa and had terrible side effects, so switched to Zoloft. So don't give up if something doesn't work right away! Anywho, you guys, this is amazing. My depression has completely gone away, I have found my passions and loves again, therefore no more derealization. I still sometimes feel anxiety, but with therapeutic coping skills and medication to help control it, it is so minimal compared. I used to get panicked driving long distances (my boyfriend lives about 20 miles away) and since starting my medication, I'll get anxious waiting for the panic to come, even a slight hint, but it never does. I get through my drive just fine!

I do still see waviness in some textures, I notice it's more frequent when I'm anxious already. Anxiety and depression can play incredible tricks on your brain. I've come to realize though, these are just little wavy things I'll sometimes see. Do they hurt me? No. Do they cause anything? No. They're just there. Harmless little wobblies. It's hard not to associate them with anxiety, but it gets easier with time. Especially if you have help learning how.

I hope so much you are doing better than you were and you're no longer suffering. My heart goes out to you. For anyone else who reads this though, there is so much help!! You are absolutely not broken!! Things will be alright :)

Oct 31, 2012
There is hope for you.
by: Anonymous

The only problem you have is that you are looking for an answer. Your mind is exceptionally tired and has withdrawn a bit. This is not a disease, you have done no long term harm to yourself. The constant worrying about how you feel and checking in is what perpetuates this cycle. Now I know you are thinking well how can I stop thinking about it! IT SUCKS! Well, the key here is it is not a switch you flip. You have to re-engage in the real world, slowly. This feeling will dissolve like it does for countless other people once you decide to pay it no my mind. At first it will only be for maybe a few seconds, you will notice I feel great! Then a few minutes, then hours, then days, weeks etc. IT WILL NOT JUST TURN OFF AND SNAP YOU BACK INTO REALITY. It is a very slow process but very much worth the wait. You will have a new appreciation for life afterwards, and when/if the feelings ever do come back you will know what to do.

AND FOR THE LOVE OF JESUS, STOP GOOGLING FOR ANSWERS. :) There is no magic sentence, no magic pill. Stop searching. The answer lies in patience and understanding of why you feel the way you do. And then moving on with your life, however you may feel.

Read these sites, nothing else.
And this one

In the mean time, be kind to yourself. The drugs didnt hurt you. You thinking they hurt you, is where the issue is. Let go my friend. And congratulations on the being sober.

God Bless!

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