Alright, so I will try to be as thorough as possible with this and provide any and all information that I think would be helpful. Sorry to be so long winded in my first post!
I have been experiencing some depersonalization symptoms for about 1-2 weeks now on a daily basis, at least a couple of times per day. Some days it's constant for an hour or more. I have out of body experiences(mainly while interacting with other people.) The best way I can describe it is, I hear my voice but it doesn't sound like mine, like I'm listening to myself and then realize that I'm the one talking. Or I will say things and wonder "where the hell did that come from?" because it doesn't seem like something I would normally say. Sometimes my arms/hands/ect seem too big for my body and strange. Once or twice I have looked in the mirror and it doesn't seem like I'm looking in a mirror, but more like a picture of somebody or something. I researched my symptoms after experiencing this for about a week, and depersonalization really seems to fit.
I have a history of addiction, I used meth intravenously for about 2 years. I now have 19 months clean and sober. I definitely think that I had meth-induced psychosis, and experienced bouts of paranoia for my first 30 or so days clean. I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety when I was 15(I used diet pills some but no drinking or other drugs,) and I was put on Prozac, then Zoloft. I ended up weaning myself off of Zoloft after about a month, and didn't have much depression thereafter.
I have been eating paleo for a couple of months now on and off(mostly on,) but not extremely strictly. A good friend of mine who eats paleo strictly thinks that some of the symptoms that I have been experiencing could have to due with gut health. I usually eat pretty "healthily", even before paleo. Fruits, veggies, all that jazz. I usually exercise pretty regularly. I don't have any diseases, and I don't take any medications. I'm not immunized. I usually take homeopathic medication, if anything.
Thanks in advance!
If I were you and wanted to attack this from a purely diet POV, I would try to consume a lot of saturated fat, cholesterol and DHA to repair any damage I may have done to the myelin sheaths on my neurons. That's kind of a wild stab out there, but who knows?
Now that I think of it, I'd probably want to take 5000IU of D3 a day and 100mcg of k-2. That would be on top of eating liver every week.
But yeah, pablo's right about the seriousness of such a thing, though I'm sure they're just going to try to treat the symptoms with meds.
What I would do in this condition is to try to strengthen my main consciousness during the normal daily life. Namely, trying to be "self-aware", be aware what my body is doing, what I am saying, in other words, be aware of "me".
If it becomes a habit, you might be able to sense the exact point when something tries to replace your main consciousness, and eventually suppress that thing.
You may want to consult a mental health professional. This sounds serious.
Make clear to them you are not looking to be medicated. Perhaps you can get a referral to something else, alternative.
I recommend you to see a psychotherapist specialised on trauma. What you describe is exactly what trauma patients experience when their traumatic memories who where dissociated through childhood begin to leak into their everyday consciousness.
Usually people are older when they begin to eperience this. If you are very young it might be connected to drug use. Anyway, I would see a trauma therapist, because dissociative thrusts are the consequence of split off personality parts (We all have them) you had to dissociate during childhood to endure traumatic moments your everyday personality wouldn't have endured if it didn't split off.
There are other things besides working with a practicioner which help in the process to integrate this personality parts into the main "you". That is
Medical drugs will never help you in the long term. They wreak havoc with your brain chemistry and coat the real reason you dissociate: Your memory and childhood experiences.
Having said that, I am sure diet can help. What others have said is quite helpful.
You can increase saturated fat intake, especially MCT's to heal your brain (if it is damaged, at all), decrease omega6/increase omega-3 and avoid any potential allergens or things which can disturb your gut:
That means mainly bone broth, fatty meats, fish, steamed veggies and fruits for a while.
It may be helpful to heal your gut this way. You can also take the following supplements to heal it:
These things all can support the main problem, which lies in your psyche but nutritional deficiences, leaky gut, allergens and inflammatory diet can exacerbate it.
I wish you the best!
I'd second Pablo. See a mental health provider. Start with your general practitioner and get a referral so that he/she can initially rule out medical causes of your symptom. Make it clear you don't want medication.
Ultimately, lots of folks experience depersonalization in varying degrees in their lifetime. You have a history of anxiety which can be related to depersonalization, this may merely be another manifestation of that issue. Either way, it warrants a full medical work up before moving forward with any type of treatment.
Just wanted to update this and say that the depersonalization episodes have gotten dramatically better, but not completely gone. I've definitely been making sure to include more fats, and I also have been doing some work on my steps(I belong to NA) as well as making sure I journal every night. I also have been under less stress, or at least doing better stress management.
Thanks again for everyone who answered. :)
I have epilepsy and will occasionally experience partial simple/complex seizures; these seizures are typically accompanied by a feeling of disorientation and dissociation. I wonder if, perhaps, you might be having seizures as well?
If per chance my dissociative seizures and your periods of depersonalization originate from the same area of the brain, then I'd suggest researching coconut oil. There's ample research that demonstrate a ketogenic diet + coconut oil (rich in MCTs) for the treatment of seizures. Also, Omega 3's (such as those found in fatty fish) also has been shown to help ameliorate these episodes.
Google dissociative seizures (which are NOT epileptic, just to clarify, and can arise out of nowhere) and partial complex/simple seizures and let me know if that sounds like what you may be experiencing. If it is, then perhaps the ketogenic+MCT+O3 diet may help? A quick google search also reveals that some patients have found relief through CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) in reducing the occurrence of their seizures.
I wish I could help further. I know my reply is based on the premise that you may be having seizures, so I apologize if I haven't been very useful to you. However, I do think Travis has offered an excellent suggestion, as well, in advising you to repair your brain through a healthy diet.
Good luck with everything! :)
Sorry I don't have any definitive answers for you, but it occurred to me while reading your story that maybe these are the effects of all the toxins your body has stored away during your years of drug use. Maybe they are finding their way back out into your system as you liberate your fat stores. Have you been working to get leaner?
EFT is a great tool (essentially acupressure tapping) to clear the early trauma that likely led to your depression, anxiety and addictions. Your current symptoms could be another manifestation of this distress.
You may want to search for a practitioner in your area to help you. Feel free to pm me if you want more info. (I'm a practitioner specializing in prenatal & birth trauma.)
There are "evolutionary psychiatrists" -- psychiatrists who know that the mainstream nutrition theory is bunk and that you can't diagnose or treat someone's mind apart from their body and their diet. Well, there is at least one such psychiatrist: Emily Deans: http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com . Maybe you should write to her and ask if she knows any psychiatrists in your area.
Help out my mother 5 Answers