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Lack Of Reality... Mystery Diagnosis!


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#1 tmmontgomery

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 04:53 PM

So I have been feeling like this for over a month, and my body is tired. I haven't been taking any medicine until recently because I didn't know what was wrong... It has been such a journey.

I am having a general feeling like I cannot grip reality... like I am in a dream. Things that I do... I have to reassure myself that I am doing them. When I wake up in the morning, I have to reassure myself that I am who I am. When I walk, I kind of wonder, am I really walking? Or, am I really putting that peanut butter on that bread? It is a general foggy, loss of my self feeling. I told my mom at one point about three weeks ago that I felt like I was loosing my mind. It has debilitated me... I am not able to go anywhere... I am barely able to do daily function while I am here at home... and it is a struggle at that. When I talk, I feel like I am really not doing the talking. When I type something, I feel like I am really not doing the typing. The weird thing is, I have had some really odd physical symptoms that could suggest some type of autoimmune disease or some other kind of sickness. The problem is, I haven't be able to find out what it is. Here are some of my other symptoms:

  • General weakness in entire body
  • Fatigue and more pronounced weakness on left side of body, started in foot and then progressed to leg, then arm.
  • Feeling of being "full" in left side of abdomen, from nipple down to top of hip
  • vibrating sensation in body, mostly in legs
  • muscle spasms (they are very small and occur mostly in arms and legs)
  • loss of appetite
  • slight shaking sometimes
  • trouble swallowing
  • major trouble sleeping (I think I might be sleep deprived)
  • blood shot/tired eyes
  • "pass out" feeling.... feeling of "woahh" I need to sit down.
The feeling and loss of reality is definitely more pronounced when I got outside or away from the house, which I guess would be normal for the way I am feeling.

I have been under the care of a neurologist ever since I started having the weird feeling in the left side of my body, and he ordered a spine and brain MRI which came back normal. I have also been under the care of several doctors, have gotten a pretty significant amount of blood work done, all comes back normal. I am thinking that I might have some type of autoimmune disease, but I haven't found anything that really line up with the dreamy, out of touch feeling that I have. I was thinking for the longest time it might be MS... but from the MRI and physical exam, my nuero says it is definitely not.

A little history about me...

Back in about 2005... I started having this dreamy feeling, but it was not pronounced as it is now. I had a general feeling that I was not here... in a dream. But not really the loss of reality. I feel like I was more connected back then, mainly having more of a brain fog. I went to many many doctors and specialists. to no avail. Several brain scans, CT and MRI, and two nueros, nothing. Then I finally broke down and went to a psychiatrist who prescribed me Lexapro. It seemed to help me so I took it for a while. Before I knew it I was somewhat back to normal. I didn't feel all the way back to how I felt before I started getting sick, but I felt better. I was able to get back to my life, and still had some of the weird feelings sometimes, even having the "pass out" feeling sometimes (I think that the pass out feeling could be an anxiety attack... not really sure though.)

So I have been pretty much okay ever since then, up until about a month ago, which is when I got sick. I was originally diagnosed by an Urgent Care Clinic with Mycoplasma Pneumonia, but I wasn't convinced I had it because I wasn't exhibiting any of the symptoms. Thought it would get better, but it has only gotten much, much worse. As I said, I am at the point now that I can pretty much not function.

I have been under a lot of stress lately, mind you I usually handle it pretty well. I have had two family members die in the past year, someone from my work that I didn't know well committed suicide, my father is in Afghanistan (coming home in a few weeks, I want to be better for that!!!), a very devastating round of Tornadoes ripped through my area in Alabama, my sister has been very sick, etc etc etc...


So my question is.... could this be some type of depression/stress alone causing all of these symptoms?? I am SO desperate for relief... I cannot function. It sucks so bad. As I said, I was thinking that maybe it was some kind of disease, and it still might be, but what do I do??
My internal medicine doctor prescribed generic bupropion 75mg IR once a day which I have been taking for about a week now, and Lunesta, which I just now started taking last night because I was scared (don't judge, haha.)

So my question is... should I go ahead and see a psyche? I need to get better soon because my dad is coming home... but I have a bad feeling that it is going to be very hard to get back to normal. Should I get back on Lexapro? How does well does Wellbutrin work and is the generic just as good? Should I be taking it more often since it's just an IR tablet?

I am SO desperate for some type of relief. And I know it's not going to happen overnight, but I just feel like I almost don't have a mind anymore.... and I want it back! What do I do?!

Thank you so much for any help that you can provide.

-taylor

#2 BetterOff

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 06:04 PM

Taylor, you raise some good concerns but alas nobody on DF are professionals and cannot offer any advice as it may be destructive for you if we do so, what you are asking of us is something that should really be asked of your doctor or a psychiatrist. Perhaps lexapro is the answer but there are so many different anti-depressants out there. Perhaps wellbutrin, perhaps not, see each and every person reacts differently to different AD's and one never knows how a person will react until the medicine is tried. I wish I could give you a tried and true recommendation but the best I can say is to see a psychiatrist about this as they are the experts in diagnosing and prescribing the proper medical help for someone. Best even over a general practioner. Psychiatrists are the experts in this field.
Good Luck and best wishes.
Information supplied on Depression Forums by members should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for medical advice from a health professional or doctor.

#3 tmmontgomery

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 06:14 PM

Taylor, you raise some good concerns but alas nobody on DF are professionals and cannot offer any advice as it may be destructive for you if we do so, what you are asking of us is something that should really be asked of your doctor or a psychiatrist. Perhaps lexapro is the answer but there are so many different anti-depressants out there. Perhaps wellbutrin, perhaps not, see each and every person reacts differently to different AD's and one never knows how a person will react until the medicine is tried. I wish I could give you a tried and true recommendation but the best I can say is to see a psychiatrist about this as they are the experts in diagnosing and prescribing the proper medical help for someone. Best even over a general practioner. Psychiatrists are the experts in this field.
Good Luck and best wishes.


I understand that you all cannot provide that kind of advice, but I still would like to know if anyone else has had any of these symptoms and what kind of illness they could be related to. I just feel so bad and I am desperate for some kind of help, as I have been feeling this way for over a month with no relief.

#4 angelwings17

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 06:46 PM

Hi there,

Sorry your feeling this way, I can fully relate.
What you are suffering from is called Derealization.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Derealization (sometimes abbreviated as DR) is an alteration in the perception or experience of the external world so that it seems strange or unreal. Other symptoms include feeling as though one's environment is lacking in spontaneity, emotional coloring and depth.
The detachment of realization can be described as an immaterial substance that separates a person from the outside world, such as a sensory fog, a pane of glass, or a veil. Individuals may complain that what they see lacks vividness and emotional coloring. Emotional response to visual recognition of loved ones may be significantly reduced. Feelings of déjà vu or jamais vu are common. Familiar places may look alien, bizarre, and surreal. The world as perceived by the individual may feel like it is going through a dolly zoom effect. Such perceptual abnormalities may also extend to the senses of hearing, taste, and smell. Because degree of familiarity is itself among one's sensory and psychological data when experiencing a place, the process of derealization, by blocking identification with one's surroundings, itself contributes to the difference between one's perception of one's surroundings under derealization and what one's perception would be in the absence of derealization. For this reason, the more familiar a place normally seems, the more unfamiliar it seems when a person is experiencing derealization.

Frequently, derealization occurs in the context of constant worrying or 'intrusive thoughts' that people find hard to switch off. In such cases it can build unnoticed along with the underlying anxiety attached to these disturbing thoughts, and be recognized only in the aftermath of a realization of crisis, often a panic attack, subsequently seeming difficult or impossible to ignore. This type of anxiety can be crippling to the affected and may lead to avoidant behavior. Those who experience this phenomenon may feel concern over the cause of their derealization. It is often difficult to accept that such a disturbing symptom is simply a result of anxiety, and the individual may often think that the cause must be something more serious. This can, in turn, cause more anxiety and worsen the derealization.

Hope that helps some.

Edited by Trace, 14 June 2011 - 05:27 AM.
Links Removed as per TOS

GAD W/ Panic Attacks and Agoraphobia - Clonazepam 0.5mg as needed - Effexor 75mg - Zopiclone 7.5mg

#5 tmmontgomery

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 06:55 PM

Yes, I have read up on derealization and depersonalization, and I think that it definitely fits most of how I feel mentally. But I still need to make a connection between how I feel mentally and how I feel physically. I am trying to figure out if my physical symptoms are being caused by this disrealization or if my "mystery disease if causing me to feel the disrealization. Has anyone else had these feelings associated with another illness?

#6 angelwings17

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 11:16 PM

Yes, I have read up on derealization and depersonalization, and I think that it definitely fits most of how I feel mentally. But I still need to make a connection between how I feel mentally and how I feel physically. I am trying to figure out if my physical symptoms are being caused by this disrealization or if my "mystery disease if causing me to feel the disrealization. Has anyone else had these feelings associated with another illness?


I had myne from my anxiety disorders. Mine gets worse when my stress levels are high.
GAD W/ Panic Attacks and Agoraphobia - Clonazepam 0.5mg as needed - Effexor 75mg - Zopiclone 7.5mg

#7 dubbemiah

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:47 AM

Do you feel paranoid? I only ask, because the medication I'm on does this to me, so I am kind of seeking advice as well. I trimmed back to a much smaller dose, and I actually felt a good bit of the derealization lift last night. I still don't feel back to normal, but I want to keep working with this medication because it was actually working on both my anxiety and depression.


Derealization/Depersonalization is AWFUL! There are no other words to describe it. I would feel comforted if I knew it was anxiety induced, as well, as I guess I would be on the right track with this med. Perhaps it lifted due to the beneficial anxiety effect, although it still isn't gone. My worst symptom is paranoia, which hasn't seemed to pass since my last anxiety episode, so it's hard for me to pinpoint if it is being caused by my brain chemicals or this medication.

I'll create my own post for my issue. I don't want to take away from your post. Anxiety can create all sorts of symptoms in your body, and if you got help from Lexapro, do yourself a favor and try to stick with it. You can start noticing a difference on Lexapro within 2 weeks, but you are advised to stay on this kind of medication for 2-4 months to really notice a beneficial effect. I would definitely stay the Lexapro route, and see what happens.
"People accuse the mentally ill of weakness, but in fact they are amongst the bravest, because they face intense fear and pain every day." -[forum]Guest_Hannibal (of DF)

#8 tmmontgomery

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 10:30 AM

Hi dubbemiah,

Yes, I guess you could say that I am feeling paranoid. It's more about my health and physical condition... and "what if something bad happens!!?" I have been having heart palpitations and just a general weird feeling in my chest, but like I said I have been getting pretty much no sleep at all... thankfully though last night I got some okay sleep.

Yes, it really is the most horrible thing I have ever experienced. Just like I have told my mom many times, I can deal with physical symptoms any day, but when this thing starts happening where I seem to not know myself... it feels very very strange., and is scary. I am a sharp guy, usually always on top of things. But not for the past month.

How do you feel when you look in the mirror (when you were having the worst time with it?) How long were you going through it and during that time, was there anything that seemed to help you?

I am seriously thinking about starting the Lexapro back, that is if my doctor will prescribe it to me. I am hoping so... like I said it really seemed to help before... I am just hoping it will help this time because I am DESPERATE for some kind of relief from this and nothing seems to be working. Granted I have only been on this Wellbutrin for a week, I'm only taking one a day and I have read alot online about people taking at least two per day, especially if it is the low 75mg dose. I feel like I am just wasting time because I am feeling awful and I am on some medicine that I do not know is even working.

What kind of physical symptoms are you having with your anxiety? Just curious if any of them line up with mine. Like I said, I am so worried that something could be so wrong with me but I am not finding anything. I have absolutely no energy at all though... and it is hard to get up and do even simple things during the day.

Thanks for your input and any other info you can provide.


#9 angelwings17

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 07:56 PM

The physical symptoms I have with my anxiety are:

extreme fatigue
headaches
numbness and tingling in my arms and hands (doc said that was from to much carbon monoxide from shallow breathing)
shakys
restlessness
blurred vision
lack of concentration
muscle aches and pains and weakness
nausea
loss of appertite
palpitations
tachycardia
Loss of coordination
Slurred speech
Trouble getting words out, everything gets mixed up
dizziness/lightheaded
insomnia

Edited by angelwings17, 13 June 2011 - 07:57 PM.

GAD W/ Panic Attacks and Agoraphobia - Clonazepam 0.5mg as needed - Effexor 75mg - Zopiclone 7.5mg

#10 tmmontgomery

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 08:01 PM

That is definitely comforting then. Thank you so much for that angelwings. I am starting to wonder if I am having problems with my thyroid, but I know that depression/depersonalization is definitely a part of what I am feeling. :( it is so annoying and I am tired of feeling so crappy.

#11 angelwings17

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:27 PM

That is definitely comforting then. Thank you so much for that angelwings. I am starting to wonder if I am having problems with my thyroid, but I know that depression/depersonalization is definitely a part of what I am feeling. :( it is so annoying and I am tired of feeling so crappy.


Yeah wouldnt hurt to get that checked out and also get your B12 checked to, becauses being low in that can cause anxiety like symptoms as well.
GAD W/ Panic Attacks and Agoraphobia - Clonazepam 0.5mg as needed - Effexor 75mg - Zopiclone 7.5mg

#12 TheColdOne

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 11:44 PM

I am experiencing everything you feel too--weakness, fatigue, muscle spasms, loss of appetite and trouble sleeping except for the derealization feeling and that full feeling you get. One of my docs also thinks I may have MS. I'm not sure what's wrong but I hope you get some answers soon!

angelwings17--the entire list you made? I have every single symptom! I had no idea all that could come from anxiety disorder.

Life is a bumpy road. Wear a helmet.


#13 Liliah

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 08:12 AM

Hey,

According to Clinical Studies, the following medications have been most effective at treating depersonalization and derealization disorder; as well as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. A combination of an SSRI and Lamictal, a mood stablizer, has shown very promising effects, as has an SSRI coupled with Klonopin specifically. Of course, this is a conversation to have with a psychiatrist, but I thought the information might be interesting, and even something you could bring up in session if you feel it might be worthwhile.

*Fluoxetine, which comes in the brand names of Sarafem or Prozac, has led to incredible improvements in people suffering from this mental disorder. This medicine is a serotonin reuptake inhibitor and helps treat the depression arising from depersonalization disorder. In a study done recently, it was shown that treatment with Fluoxetine has caused reduction in anxiety and depression in several patients suffering from this mental disorder.

*Clomipramine is a tricyclic antidepressant, or TCA, which is helpful in the treatment of depersonalization disorder. According to clinical studies done on a number of subjects, this medication has resulted in noticeable improvement in patients suffering from associated depersonalization symptoms including depression and various obsessive disorders.

*Lamictal (Lamotrigine) is an anticonvulsant/mood stabilzer that has also been quite successful in the treatment of this disorder. It can also be taken in combination with other SSRIs such as Fuoxetine to treat the patient. Usually used to treat epilepsy and bipolar disorder, it is known to be an effective mood stabilizer. This drug is one of the only two FDA-approved drugs for treating depersonalization disorder drugs. They work by stabilizing mood and depression resulting from depersonalization disorder.

*Naloxone, which is an antagonist, is a highly used drug for the treatment of depersonalization disorder. Usually used for the treatment of opiate overdose, this antagonist has been found to effectively reduce various depersonalization symptoms.

*Naltrexone: This is similar to Naloxone and is also an opioid receptor antagonist. Also known by its trade names, Vivitriol and Revia, it is even more effective in depersonalization disorder treatment than Naloxone.

I hope this is at all helpful to read. Also, have to tried cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)? It is proven effective at treating this disorder due to its complexity. There IS hope.

Most sincerely,
Liliah

Edited by Liliah, 31 August 2011 - 08:13 AM.





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