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derealization - February 4th 2018, 06:48 PM

i started smoking weed in january of this year, mostly just socially as i've only done it once by myself and it wasn't as fun.
i've been doing it 2-3 times each week. the last time i smoked was on friday, and i only took a few small hits because i didn't want to get that high.
on saturday i was at work and was in the middle of telling my coworker a story when all of a sudden it felt like i was dreaming. i was really lightheaded and it almost felt like i wasn't inside my own brain anymore. it was like i was on the outside, just watching, instead of being in control.
it did feel like i was high in that sense, but without the feeling of relaxation and painlessness. it was just like if i smoked and only got a little head high, and nothing more. but i wasn't even laughing or completely euphoric like i am when i'm actually high, i was just confused and felt trapped.

my responses and movements were noticeably slow, which i know because my manager was giving me weird looks and would ask me things multiple times because i wouldn't respond the first time. i remember things from last night. i pretty much remember all of them. but it was all in a trance like state. i just wanted to wake up from it. although i felt high, it was extremely uncomfortable and a little scary.

i didn't eat a lot on saturday, and from maybe 4 until midnight when i got off, i didn't have anything to eat. i'm wondering if maybe it was from being lightheaded from not eating?
i also have a terrible sleep schedule and it's been a long time since i've worked the closing shift, so maybe i was tired? but i don't think that would give me that same kind of feeling.

i do have to get carts from outside and they're often in heavy stacks that i have to push slightly up a hill. so maybe with not eating and then "working out" a bit, something happened with the THC that's stored in my fat?
i still don't know how all of that works or how long it stays in my body, and i read somewhere that this can happen when you're new to smoking.

this happened once before when i got high late at night and didn't eat anything until the next morning. after i ate, i felt high again, but it was a normal high feeling. like i was laughing and happy and everything.

this just feels terrible and it's happening again right now. i don't know what's wrong with me, and i don't know if it means i should smoke more or stop smoking all together. i really don't want to stop, but i don't want to continue if this is going to keep up. i've read about people feeling like this for months straight, and i can barely deal with a few hours.

also, side note, last night after work i came home and ate and after i ate i felt like i "woke up" and was back to reality.
but today, right now, it started up again right after i ate.

i just want to be back in reality, because this in between feeling is torture. i've been trying to use the exercises i did when i would feel panic attacks coming, like bringing myself to the present by touching things, smelling things, feeling cold things, etc. but none of it seems to be working.


(also i'm sorry i know i probably won't get much help here but on the weed forums they just roast you and call you a hypochondriac if you complain about the side affects/possible side affects of weed. they make fun of you if you worry about any of it so idk i'm not trying to deal with that just yet. plus they get mad if you make a thread similar to one that someone arleady made befoer)


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Re: derealization - February 4th 2018, 07:08 PM

Hey there,
So some research into weed earlier has given me an idea about this. People react in the way you described to weed/mushrooms/LSD often have anxiety issues. The drug induced "high" state often causes derealisation/depersonalition feelings to occur. However, it's a good idea to remember that a concrete cause has not been discovered yet.
One of the more commonly thought causes is the fact that drugs like weed alter your brain chemistry. That causes your brain to crave that feeling and thus it tries to self induce. While marijuana is not physically addictive (in that you will not have physical issues if you quit), mentally it can be. So, this could be why it happened.
The understanding I have is that if you have derealisation etc you should stop doing the drug. Given you mentioned having panic attacks etc after weed, I think its a good idea to steer clear.

This source does provide some info about derealisation incase you're interested.


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Re: derealization - February 7th 2018, 02:42 AM

do you have any articles i could check out about that weed relation to anxiety? it's not that i don't trust you lol i've actually been trying to find information like that, because it does seem like i've had more anxiety ever since starting to smoke. but everything i've been able to find online has just been about anxiety during smoking/being high, not afterwards and after the high is over.

most of the weed forums i've found this same or similar problems on have just said to keep smoking because this usually happens with new smokers. but i don't know. it's hard because there seems to be information for and against every single aspect of weed... like there are studies that prove it doesn't do harm and there are studies that prove it does do harm.

also, i didn't start having panic attacks after smoking. actually i haven't had one ever since smoking, but that's probably unrelated. i've never had really bad or noticeable anxiety, but it has been getting more prevalent in my life ever since smoking. but that could be unrelated as well.
this shit is terrible though. it will randomly hit me and i just won't feel real anymore. i just have to accept being on autopilot until it suddenly stops. i hate feeling like i'm living behind this cloud. it happened to me for almost all day today. i kind of feel like it will hit me even if i just think about it.


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Re: derealization - February 8th 2018, 05:08 AM

i haven't smoked since friday. i did end up posting on a weed forum and they said to just stop smoking for awhile and that i was smoking a lot for a newbie so to just chill with it. one person also said i'm too young to be smoking but eh.
i was happy because i went almost all day today without feeling depersonalized or this dissociation. but then it hit me. i had work in the morning so i didn't have my coffee until after i got off, and the derealization hit me this evening. so i'm wondering if maybe the caffeine could have something to do with it? i'm going to try going tomorrow without coffee and see how that works.

i just want to see a doctor or someone to talk to about this but like always i have no one who will understand. but i'm convinced that if hell is real, this is what it feels like. i had this weird moment where i was looking in the mirror and i didn't feel like i was looking at myself, it felt like i was looking at a girl who used to be me but now my body belonged to someone else. it's fucking horrible man i just want to escape.
my dad was talking to me earlier and for some reason i kept expecting him to just disappear if i looked away and then looked back. like i was genuinely surprised that he was real. nobody else feels real and i'm barely real. it feels like this is all just a dream but i cannot wake up from it for the life of me.
i tried meditating but it didn't work in snapping me out of it. i'm going to exercise right now and cut the junk food out for awhile. honestly everything in my life.. exercise, sleep, eating, etc. is all completely random and irregular and i'm probably the unhealthiest i've been in a long time right now. i'm hoping it's all contributing to it and if i fix everything it will go away.


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Re: derealization - February 8th 2018, 09:19 PM

I don't know much about weed at all but have heard some people experience dissociation as a result of using weed.

It's a horrible feeling, but it will pass, so it's good to try not to focus on the feeling. You can try some grounding exercises- stamping your feet, holding an ice cube/running cold water over your hands, focusing on the sensations of a cold drink, splashing water on your face etc. I'm not sure if it will help you, but playing repetitive games can help to briefly break you out of it, at least I have found anyway.

I'm not sure if it's a proven link, but I have heard that caffeine can make anxiety worse, so it's possible it could also make dissociation worse too.

Doctors and other professionals should try to remain unbiased and not judgemental, so they should take you seriously, if you choose to talk to a doctor.


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Re: derealization - February 10th 2018, 11:34 PM

i didn't smoke for a whole week so yesterday i smoked again. it actually felt like an escape from the feeling i've been getting so it helped in that sense. but usually after i come down from a high, reality just "clicks" back and i can tell that i've "waken up" from it. that moment never came yesterday, so i'm assuming i just experienced whatever i've been experiencing and it overlapped with the high.
i tried going a day without coffee, and i did manage to go a whole day. but the next day, when i started feeling the dissociation again, i just gave up and drank another cup. (i get seriously bad headaches if i don't have coffee so the headache was making it all worse anyway.)

i think i'm going to talk to my mom about seeing a doctor. school is starting next week and there's absolutely no way i will be able to completely my classes with this feeling. plus today marks it going on for a whole week, so i'm getting even more worried. i feel like my brain is dying away.

i also have been experiencing this pressure in my lower left lung. it's not painful at all, but it's there. it feels like something is pushing against or crawling inside my back from inside my lung.
is it possible this isn't related to weed at all? i mean i've been smoking since january and never even felt like this until february 3rd. that week i did smoke more frequently than ever before, so i assumed it was just from smoking more than i should have. but if that was the case i think it would've stopped by now, even with smoking yesterday.


i wrote down all my symptoms to take to the doctor. they're brain fog/fuzzy head, constant mild pressure in head and sinuses, detached from reality, don't feel real, feel asleep mentally, trapped inside my head, and the pressure in my lung.
does this sound like dissociation/derealization?


also can a doctor tell the police or my parents if i tell them i'm smoking weed? i live in california in the usa and even though weed is legal the smoking age is 21 so it's technically illegal for me.


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Re: derealization - February 12th 2018, 10:17 PM

I would say that your symptoms do match dissociation- brain fog/fuzzy head, unreality, detachment from reality etc. Not sure about the pressure in your lung though. It might not be related to the weed since you've not been smoking it for long and usually lung issues are more of a long term problem. That said, I could be wrong.

A doctor may be unlikely to tell your parents given that in the eyes of the law, you are an adult. Not sure about the police though, sorry. Is there anyone else that you could ask? They might not since they are there to treat health issues, and usually only report things where you are at risk of hurting yourself or others. But I'm not too sure. It would be good to mention the weed, however, as dissociation can have many causes, and doctors may ask about drug usage anyway.


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Re: derealization - February 18th 2018, 06:05 AM

So I went to the doctor yesterday and I actually feel worse. I thought going to the doctor would at least help me know what's going on, but I feel even more alone than I did before because I don't think the doctor even cares. I was in there for like five minutes and he quickly said that my lung/chest pain was just a "muscle spasm" from working out and to give it a rest and take some painkillers. I know what exercise related strains, stretches, and muscle spasms feel like because I've gotten them before. This feels more internal and it's not going away with just not exercising. I also get sharp pains in my chest and near my shoulder pretty frequently.

And I literally started off describing my mental state by telling him, "Nothing feels real anymore, everything feels like a dream, I don't feel like I'm here or alive anymore." And he said, "Ahh so you feel depressed." No. It's a completely different mental state. Like it's not even me anymore. I do feel depressed, but I think it's this fucking mental thing that has been making me depressed. So he recommended me to the psychiatry department and they're supposed to call me "soon" and evaluate me over the phone.

So yeah. It sounds stupid but I've pretty much just accepted that my brain is dying and my body is dying along with it. Of course that's probably not the case, but that's definitely what it feels like.
I also wanted to note that this dissociation shit happens every day around the same time. It feels like it's on some sort of cycle. It's usually the late afternoon when it starts, and it doesn't stop for a few hours or until I go to sleep. I've been wondering if it's lack of sleep but I think I get enough sleep. So I don't know if there's a specific thing happening to trigger it or what.


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Re: derealization - February 18th 2018, 05:10 PM

That's a real shame about the doctors! Although it's still good that you went along anyway and now know that the lung issue is most likely a muscle spasm.

I guess that since doctors aren't specialists in mental health then I can understand why the doctor would think you are depressed and not really consider dissociation. But hope the referral to a psychiatrist helps a little.

With the dissociation, are you expecting it to happen at certain times? I found that when I was at my worst and experiencing dissociation often, it didn't help that I was either worried about it or expecting it to happen again, and somehow it always did happen. Then again, it could be a lack of sleep or anything in your environment that triggers it- for some people, walking into shops with lots of people and fluorescent lights can trigger dissociation.


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Re: derealization - February 26th 2018, 05:58 AM

yeah the referral turned out to be bs too. they called me and did a basic phone interview where i rated certain things i felt on a level of 1-5. then after that the lady told me that their program isn't about talking about your issues, it's about giving you ways to deal with them and ways to solve your problems. what i really want is someone who i can talk to about my problems and i really just want a professional fucking diagnosis of some sort. i legitimately do not understand what's going on with me and a diagnosis would be the start. i was hoping that by finally seeing a psychiatrist i could finally be diagnosed, but even that isn't going to happen now.
so i told the lady i'll "think about it" and call back if i want to make an appointment. but i'd rather just go do free counseling at my college. only downside is that they can't diagnose me, but at least it'll be someone i can actually talk to.

i read your reply awhile back and i did expect it to happen during the evenings. so i started distracting myself during that time and stopped myself from thinking about it so much, and it eventually went away. it was gone for a wonderful week or so until a few days ago, when it started back up. and now it seems worse.
my biggest fear is that i'll lose myself completely. because when the dissociation happens, there's still a part of me that's there. and i'll often repeat over and over in my head or outlloud "i'm here, i'm here, i'm here." to try and remind myself that i'm still "alive" and "real".
there was a moment yesterday where i feel like i lost myself for a brief second, and that threw me over the edge. i had a panic attack and i don't even know what really happened. all i know is there was a little blip where i feel like i lost a little bit of life, like two seconds where i wasn't there anymore. it's really hard to explain, but i don't remember losing it, i just remember coming back.

i probably sound really insane right now and the more this happens the more i think i am. whenever i dissociate and i hear people talking and laughing i know it's definitely about me. other people seem fake, like those animatronic robots at kids pizza places. it literally feels like they're not real, and i'm just playing a part in some random skit or play. it feels like i'm the only human, but even i don't feel human. i feel like my mind is floating inside my head and i'm just watching some person live life.
it's just terrible. i know it will pass eventually, because the last phase did too. but i don't want to keep on living knowing that another phase of dissociation is going to come sooner or later.


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Re: derealization - February 26th 2018, 09:19 PM

Sorry to hear the referral wasn't worth it. I understand that trying to get a diagnosis would be a starting point, and that at least with counselling you'll have someone to talk to. Even though counsellors can't diagnose, I'm wondering if they can give you some insight as to what you might be dealing with? My first counsellor gave me anxiety and depression assessments, and my current counsellor was able to tell me what she observed, as she is a trauma specialist. It doesn't count as an official diagnose, but can be good to get some idea. That said, remember that whatever your potential diagnosis could be, you are more than that!

Glad to hear that you were able to stave off the dissociation for a little while. I hear you though in that in can be very scary when we lose moments and don't know what happened, only when we come back. It's also understandable that this could lead to panic attacks too. It's good that you try to keep grounded and remind yourself that you are real and everything else around you is real too. It can also be helpful to try to carry on doing things you usually do, if you feel safe enough to do some. It can be tempting to hide away when we deal with dissociation, but in the long run, we may just be causing ourselves more anxiety.

You aren't insane, even if you feel that way. I know things can feel very 'off' when we dissociate, but others might not necessarily be talking about you as sometimes dissociation can go undetected by others.

I hope you are able to talk to a counsellor and get help for dissociation. I do understand your concerns that even though you know it will pass, that you are still worried about it returning. This is definitely worth talking about as you deserve a life free from worrying about dissociation!


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