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Scary and intense derealization episodes.


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Ok so this is the second time this has happened to me now. I wonder if anyone else has experienced it. It happened on Saturday at work when it was very busy and stressful. This is also what triggered it last time. I was talking to someone and I started noticing that all the "edges" of his facial features and everything around me became very sharp and high in contrast this made my heart rate go up and I had that fear feeling you get all across your chest. Then things got much worse and my hearing and sense of touch was affected and reality just dissolved into a confusing bundle of jumbled sensory input. People's faces turned cartoonish and false looking and objects looked very unusual. It is impossible to put the experience completely into words but it's a very frightening experience. I found it slightly easier to deal with this time as I kept telling myself that it will pass like it did before just stay calm nobody knows what is going on in your head you look normal. Reality returned to normal after about 15 mins or so and then I experienced a very strong tinnitus like you get when you are about to pass out. Has anyone else experienced something similar? The only other way I can describe it is that it's very similar to an intense salvia trip. It's definitely got to be some sort of disociative problem. Since it happened a lot of my other symptoms have worsened. I feel like I am not in control of my hands and have kind of an out of body experience while driving.

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I think if I was in my home environment or out with friends etc it wouldn't bother me as much but when I'm trying to do my job it becomes a nightmare. I think its just a panic attack and the mind just kind of shuts off in defence. After the peak of the experience I was left with an afterglow of weird visual perception for a few hours. I do find it interesting at the same time though I would love to know what is actually happening in the brain to cause such a bizarre experience.

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Yeah I find that if you have to stare at something, particularly people, my visual perception and recognition starts to break down. I was at a lecture and I had to keep looking away from the lecturer to try and keep under control. It makes sense though as human brains have evolved to recognise complex facial expressions etc which actually requires a massive amount of brain activity to sustain it.

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Ok so this is the second time this has happened to me now. I wonder if anyone else has experienced it. It happened on Saturday at work when it was very busy and stressful. This is also what triggered it last time. I was talking to someone and I started noticing that all the "edges" of his facial features and everything around me became very sharp and high in contrast this made my heart rate go up and I had that fear feeling you get all across your chest. Then things got much worse and my hearing and sense of touch was affected and reality just dissolved into a confusing bundle of jumbled sensory input. People's faces turned cartoonish and false looking and objects looked very unusual. It is impossible to put the experience completely into words but it's a very frightening experience. I found it slightly easier to deal with this time as I kept telling myself that it will pass like it did before just stay calm nobody knows what is going on in your head you look normal. Reality returned to normal after about 15 mins or so and then I experienced a very strong tinnitus like you get when you are about to pass out. Has anyone else experienced something similar? The only other way I can describe it is that it's very similar to an intense salvia trip. It's definitely got to be some sort of disociative problem. Since it happened a lot of my other symptoms have worsened. I feel like I am not in control of my hands and have kind of an out of body experience while driving.

 

Can you describe more about what was common between these 2 episodes?  Time of day?  What you had eaten or were drinking?  Etc...?

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They both happened when I was feeling "heavy" tired and hungry. I hadn't had much to eat or drink before they happened. The first time it happened in the early evening just before I was about to finish my shift. The second time it was just before my lunch break. The environment I work in is incredibly brightly lit with white floor tiles, white walls and white ceiling which is the worst possible environment for someone with HPPD. It has only happened when I was at work. On both occasions I felt very stressed because it was very busy and I was rushing from customer to customer and I felt exhausted. On both occasions it started while I was talking to someone face to face. Both times my perception of motion and size were altered. I have had "mini-episodes" when talking face to face with people where part of them will change colour or appearance while staring at them. It always happens when I am in a social situation with someone. I have mild social anxiety so this probably doesn't help. It has now been 8 months since I had my bad trip and I haven't even touched alcohol yet I am still having these problems. Hopefully it will gradually fade. At the moment I feel like every day at work is a battle to defend my "safe zone" from breaking down.

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The worst thing for somebody with HPPD is having a flashlight shined in your face ! I've been sent into 2 minute trips because after having the light shined in my face, there were blotchy colors taking over almost my entire vision and I was going nuts and it sent me into a derealization craze for the rest of the day

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The worst thing for somebody with HPPD is having a flashlight shined in your face ! I've been sent into 2 minute trips because after having the light shined in my face, there were blotchy colors taking over almost my entire vision and I was going nuts and it sent me into a derealization craze for the rest of the day

 

Sounds awful.  My reaction has been limited to the whole visual field lighting up (white-out) and poor night vision

 

 

They both happened when I was feeling "heavy" tired and hungry. I hadn't had much to eat or drink before they happened. The first time it happened in the early evening just before I was about to finish my shift. The second time it was just before my lunch break. The environment I work in is incredibly brightly lit with white floor tiles, white walls and white ceiling which is the worst possible environment for someone with HPPD. It has only happened when I was at work. On both occasions I felt very stressed because it was very busy and I was rushing from customer to customer and I felt exhausted. On both occasions it started while I was talking to someone face to face. Both times my perception of motion and size were altered. I have had "mini-episodes" when talking face to face with people where part of them will change colour or appearance while staring at them. It always happens when I am in a social situation with someone. I have mild social anxiety so this probably doesn't help. It has now been 8 months since I had my bad trip and I haven't even touched alcohol yet I am still having these problems. Hopefully it will gradually fade. At the moment I feel like every day at work is a battle to defend my "safe zone" from breaking down.

 

Anxiety often triggers, but so does blood sugar.  Do you notice any changes if you eat a cookie or soda (sugar) on an empty stomach?

 

I've some weird ANS issues since this all began (something common with PD and the like).  Primarily use gabapentin for this.  Sometimes will get 'high' drinking a tall glass of water.  Sugar (sweet) can be a problem.  For example, last fall couldn't eat anything sweet ... a half apple would cause heart to race, fatigue to set in, and general feeling of crap.  This strange sensitivity to sweet continued 2 weeks until I took a couple extra gabapentin capsules.  After that ate 3-4 apples a day for 3 months (have apples trees) with no difficulty.  Somehow was able to 'reset' the autonomic nervous system response ... but remain touchy (no pigging out on cookies or chips).

 

Thiamine (a new topic of research for me) is intimately involved in energy metabolism (glucose and ketones).  For these reasons, am now asking peoples reaction to sugar and hypoglycemia and how it affects HPPD symptoms.  Some have tried ketogenic diets (such as done by epileptics) with some help for HPPD.  

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Ever close your eyes in the dark but it is bright ? I close my eyes and it seems like the lights are on when they are off

 

Not bright, but absent of being dark.  Hard to describe ... perhaps comparing flat-black which has a matte sheen to gloss-black (when not reflecting).  This was the only visual symptom that Klonopin helped (though haven't been taking Klonopin for years now).

 

Note: Perhaps it can be compared to the temporary lack-of-black after bright light that normally occurs because of the time it takes for retinal-photo-receptors to chemically recharge.  Except it doesn't go away if a few minutes.

 

 

While the gloss black shines, if you look at the part that isn't reflecting, it is dark-black.  Whereas the matte isn't as dark.

 

MTI4ODM2MTc2MzkwOTY1MjU4.jpg

 

 

 

An example of countertop laminate - Gloss is darker

FH04OCT_SELCOU_04.JPG

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I think I am definitely more likely to have problems if my blood sugar is low. I find that if I have eaten sweet things this actually has a beneficial effect on my hppd. It's as if I need energy to control my derealization and when my energy levels are low I find it harder to prevent my conciousness being altered. I have been ok for the last few days but it hasn't been tgat busy in work. I think that I could be in for another episode this Saturday though when it gets a hell of lot busier. I just have to adapt and get on with it though as I need to pay my bills. I'm getting married at the end of this year and my biggest fear is that I go into a major derealization episode while I am doing my speech.

That does sound awful about the torch. I get problems with afterimages if I see any lights in my vision or if there are two objects of contrasting colours. Bright light is horrible for hppd sufferers. When you think about it the brighter the light, the stronger the stimulation to your brain and the worse the symptoms. I much prefer night time since getting hppd. During the day I feel like I am constantly having a mild trip.

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Gaz did you try vitamin b12...when i had hppd it helped me a lot to deal with dp/dr even though my vitamin b complex doesnt contain so much b12 and it took 2 weeks to take effect...but it did and was great...so drinking a lot of smoothies and taking vitamin b complex everyday is a good help against energy loss and dp/dr since both these phenomenons often go hand in hand...if you havent tryed it i recommend it to you.

 

..get well

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Thanks I will pick some of that up next time I'm shopping and give it a try for a few weeks. I did notice a big improvement when I was eating half a grapefruit every morning. I don't know if they have b12 in.

I had a very strange new symptom develop today. All of a sudden I got a ringing in my right ear then my hearing in that ear was impaired which aggravated my derealization and anxiety. Now whenever there is any sound my ear has this bleeping sound like when you dial a telephone number. I still have it now. It just started happening out of the blue. There is just a constant bleeping now when people are talking to me or there is general background noise. When will it end!? lol. Thankfully it stops when there is no sound so it isn't affecting my ability to sleep.

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Happened to me, do you ever eel like your ears are clogged like you have water on them or are on a plane? That's dp/dr, the ringing is tinnitus which represents and overactive brain. All of these symptoms go away with time and lack of stress/anxiety

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Yes that's exactly how I feel. I knew that the tinnitus had to be neurological as I haven't been to any loud raves recently lol. Hopefully it will fade with time. I am amazed that I didn't have a derealization episode today because it was so stressful and busy in work. I just had the "level 1" mild derealization where everything seems slightly fake. It's seems like it's just luck of the draw if I go into them or not. I'm trying to find any correlations I can. Staring at someone's face while having a conversation with them is definitely the biggest trigger for me. I know that facial / expression recognition requires a lot of brain activity in the areas that psychedelics also have their effects.

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