Hyper awareness to my existence

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Hi everyone,

I've been diagnosed recently with an anxiety disorder and i'm on my first week on escitalopram after trying citalopram which didn't seem to help.

For the past two weeks I've been struggling with a thought/feeling that I'm overly aware about my own existence and consciousness, those "flashes of consciousness" makes everything feels weird and different. I know it sounds crazy but it's like I'm afraid of being alive, like I suddenly realized that I'm human and alive and stuck in my body.

It seems like I can't get this thought out of my head. I've read somewhere that it might be "hyper awareness OCD" .

Is anyone ever felt like that before??

I don't want to be scared of living...

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  • Edited

    Hi i think you are maybe having in general fear of how you are going to feel just being you . Your probably nervous sick like and afraid because you are nervous . you probably are just afraid of feeling something in your body like your anxiety . You are just at a real state of awareness right now . Your body might kind of be in a fight or flight response . Iv had similiar symotoms during times of stress and coming of an antidepressanys more than once . I was uncomfortable and afraid of being alone . Try mindfullness and breathing in to a cound of 5 secs holding for 2 and exhalimg through mouth yo count if 10. A warm bath and just try to be good to yourself right now. You could try breathing methoods to activate your parasympathetic nervous system. look into it its amazing how it helps your body relax and helps balance the nervous system. it can get stuck in flight or fight response . Good luck to you and it doesnt sound crazy at all. make sute you keep your doctor up to date on how you are feelimg and any new symptoms you have. Not all medicines work on everybody and if new or worsening symptoms occur you should tell them immediately..Its just finding the right antidepressant that works for you. By the way different ones work on different chemicals in the brain and in different ways . One important tip ,try to eat even if you feel anxious right now although you may not want to. This helps your body as well . Hang in there .

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    • Edited

      Thank you for your reply tam.

      I understand what you're saying but, still I feel like its the thought that drives me crazy.

      It in-golfs me 24/7, utilizing 95% of my thinking capacity.

      I haven't encountered anyone who shares the same feelings as I, that alone making me more anxious.

      How can it be that all of a sudden I feel weird being conscious and alive?!

      I'm feeling as if its never going to pass and I will be stuck in this state forever..:(

      I'm so confused right now...

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    • Posted

      Hi. I believe that i most recently have felt like this, but right now it seems like its been this way for a long time. I am so aware that i am existing right now and its so strange. everyday feels the exact same and i feel like im going insane. im not even sure if this even makes sense because this feeling is so hard to explain. But i think i understand what you're saying and i am glad someone else is dealing with this because i am so confused. I do sound really crazy, but its just like all of a sudden i've like woken up and im seeing life for what it really is and i dont know.

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    • Posted

      i know EXACTLY how you feel. I felt like i could not explain it to anyone else but I am so relived ive seen your comment because when i say this is exactly how i feel i mean exactly. I will be on my phone and then i get a weird flash of consciences realising my existence and i feel like its completely changed my life. Almost as if i was born yesterday and havent got used to life. Its the scariest feeling ever snd it makes me question the present moment like what actually is this right night this very moment i cant comprehend it. It also makes me question what it means to think like the human mind is limitless and its so scary but im so thankful you understand. How are you now ?

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  • Posted

    I can absolutely relate to this, I've had this for about 8 months now after starting citalopram. It is almost identical to what you're describing. It's really a weird feeling and causes a lot of anxiety and seems to hang around in your thinking all day long. It was really bad for the first 6-7 months of taking celexa, I was about to let my doctor switch me to something different when I started to decrease the meds myself and it seemed like I went down 5mg and it started getting better, maybe I was taking too much, I dont know. It still happens here and there but it feels like its gotten a little better.

    Also, as far as this recurring thoughts it seems its much worse the higher my anxiety is, such as: when I am really tired and about to fall asleep at night it slows down quite a bit, but during the day when I have coffee or a soda it gets worse, so I really think it has to do with getting a hold on your anxiousness and just slowing down your thoughts. I did research this quite a bit after I got it and felt like it was just there all day and really stressing me out and that is what I've come up with also, its OCD hyper awareness. Not sure why it happens but you are not alone in this, I can sympathize with you.

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  • Edited

    There is actually another recent post on here very similar to this if you search it. Before I thought I was the only one who went through this but apparently not, its more common then we think.

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    • Posted

      Finally! someone who gets what I'm feeling!! I'm having hard time explaining my therapist what I'm going through.

      Exactly as you said, when I wake up in the morning (when anxiety is at its highest) that thought/feeling is most potent and as the day goes by and I get numb and tired towards the evening the thought/feeling gets a little better.

      This in golfs me 24/7 and I don't know what to do anymore, is it ever going to pass??

      I'll be happy to hear from you about your coping method.

      Thank you very much

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    • Edited

      I would assume it's the same as most OCD it's a recurring thought/pattern. This just happens to be something we thought about and our mind reacted to it causing anxiety and now it's just stuck on auto loop. Once you've worked through the thought that bothers you so much and don't fear it anymore or let it make you anxious it will subside, or at least if you think about it you won't get the negative reaction that you do now, you can think it and just let it go, and go about your day. Here is something that I read that explains why this happens and it makes so much sense.

      'What keeps OCD alive and well is not the experience of intrusive thoughts but actually one’s reaction to them. The more one dislikes experiencing intrusive thoughts and then tries to repress or fight with these thoughts, the greater the frequency of intrusive thoughts one will experience. The very act of trying to “not have” a bothersome thought guarantees its resurfacing.'

      There are some steps that I've learned to help do that. Such as:

      Finding an antidepressant that works for you and getting to the right dose to help relieve the anxiety that fuels it.

      Inviting that thought and not trying to push it away so that you're thought will lose its power to make you obsess over it.

      Not avoiding situations that cause it to act up.

      There is a lot of helpful information on this type of thing that can really help you overcome it. You can also google success stories on YT, I've found many that really helped me. Or even see a therapist that specializes in OCD and intrusive thoughts (make sure you ask if they have dealt with this and know what they are doing)

      If you ever want to chat about it, feel free to pm me anytime.

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    • Edited

      Wow! you are the best!

      The very own idea that I'm not alone in this is comforting.

      I'll try not to fight the thought but accept it. I guess its extra hard now because I'm only on the first few days on escitalopram so the anxiety is high.

      Thank you very very much!

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    • Edited

      It's not easy but definitely do able! Stick with it, and keep reading success stories, practicing the techniques and build yourself back up. You got this!

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  • Edited

    I cant even tell you how glad I am to have found this post and I am not sure why it didn't occur to me to try to good this sooner. I think it's because I never even knew how to explain it. I will say my process is somewhat different. I dont have any diagnosis of anxiety or depression like I have seen some others in different forums say. My scary episodes of hyper self awareness seem to get triggered when I am watching a movie or tv show that deals with the conscious. For example, tonight I watched the movie Source Code and it triggered that "hyper conscienceness" about my existence. Other times I'll just be sitting there and suddenly it comes over me- that weird feeling you described. For me it feels like I'm suddenly aware that my mind and body are separate and I feel a weird detachment. its almost like my consciousness is normally on autopilot and I am seeing and experiencing everything through my eyes like normal, unaware of the detachment, but then sometimes my brain becomes conscious that it is its own entity and its almost like I am seeing myself as a third person and it also makes everything and anyone around me seem surreal and scary. i have to literally pinch myself. thats the only way I know how to describe it. does this match your experience? Im sorry that i cant give helpful tips as others have, i dont feel locked into that state for long periods of time, it comes and goes but once i rememeber I am capable of feeling this way, my brain goes into the state. its kind of like how we can actually see our nose, we just dont pay attention to it, then once you remember, you keep looking at it without meaning to, it goes on for a while then you finally forget and all returns to normal for a while.

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    • Edited

      Oh my gosh I have been experiencing this since sixth grade (I'm seventeen now) and have never been able to put it into words. When I first ever experienced this it was always brought on while watching some kind of futuristic movie (I think I was watching divergent when it first happened). I remember having a panic attack because nothing felt real, but now that I've experienced it more I realize that it actually was that I became aware of how real everything was. For years the only way I knew how to explain it was that I was "zoomed out", like I suddenly become aware that I am a person living on earth and this is the only life I get. It never lasts long - usually less than a minute. The intensity depends on how much I resist it by distracting myself. If I fully let myself fall into it I usually have some sort of panic attack or my heart just starts beating really fast. But when I distract myself from it I can usually stay calm and ground myself. I believe in God so usually if I set my mind on scripture that also helps me calm down during the episode. It is usually brought on by thinking about my existence or sometimes looking at myself in the mirror too long. It kind of feels like I become aware of my own existence and that my body and soul are separate. I never knew other people experienced this how I have until I looked it up. In the past I've looked into depersonalization/derealization but the descriptions of those don't quite seem to fit what I experience.

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    • Posted

      It's incredible to know that there are others that experience this too. For me, it feels like someone has flicked a switch and I'm just suddenly hyperaware of being alive. It's terrifying and shocking. I can't believe that I'm in a body. I look at my boyfriend and think 'this is the guy I supposedly call my boyfriend'. I look at the room and its walls and think 'this is the place that I supposedly call home'. I find it so hard to describe - probably because I'm mostly experiencing intense fear, rather than thinking. Like olivia38940 (below), I can end up having a panic attack when I lean into this scary feeling.

      I've had these episodes for years and I probably get one every 2 months or so. I've noticed that they've become more frequent since I met my boyfriend 3 years ago, and they only happen when I'm getting ready for bed and he's around. But I'm not quite sure what the trigger is, because I don't have them every single night. A bit like olivia38940, my episode probably lasts a minute or two, but it feels longer due to how much emotion I feel in a short amount of time.

      I agree, depersonalisation/derealisation/dissociation doesn't quite fit my experience because it's actually the opposite to the disconnected, spacey feeling... instead, I'm intensely aware of my existence.

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