Meditation caused first ever incident of derealisation. Type 1 Diabetic seeking anxiety relief.

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Hi, ive recently started meditation to try and find inner peace and get relief from health anxiety due to 14 years of type 1 diabetes. I have tried meditating in the past a few times (blips of ten minute meditation for 2 - 3 days at a time, always seemed to just forget about it or not continue after that). However over the past 5 - 6 days ive been meditating at least twice a day for 10 - 20 minutes at a time. At first relief from my anxiety and compulsive health worries was excellent. After meditating id feel at one with everything, very relaxed and calm and get a general sense of well being. However, today at work after meditating for 10 minutes on my break, i started feeling seperated from reality (derealisation). It fealt as if my good work colleague and my boss werent real, and started questioning existance. I fealt as though everything i saw was an illusion and i fealt like i was the universe and that if there was no one to say (prove) otherwise how could i tell that this isnt all that there is? That my manifestation of things could just be everything in existance. I fealt very alone and massivley concerned at the time. This subsided after about 30 minutes of wondering if anything was real and i was even trying to make objects move with my mind (i did well to hide it, went away and did a slot location validation. I had my headphones on and avoided eye contact and talking as much as possible). I must say im glad it subsided, it was an experience thats for sure!! Its the first episode of derealisation ive ever had (I always question existance and have very philosophical thoughts, but its never manifested as literally losing touch with reality and believing that nothing was real but my own interpretation of things- although its been a thought in the past) I used to use pot regularly and it used to help me a great deal with stress (bit of a difficult upbringing, found pot was the only thing i had to help me relax and forget) but due to its anxiety enhancing effects in recent times i decided to cut down massively, and as of last week decided to quit for a good while if not for good. I have used psilocybin (magic mushrooms) with hope to help my anxiety in the past and that helped a load last year when i was going through a pretty bad phase of anxiety (depressed aswell i guess but hate saying im depressed because my outlook on life is so positive). I fealt connected with the earth and saw indescribably beautiful geometric imagery as well as appreciated music like never before. Id say i was on the border of a high dose but have never pushed it to the point of ego death (with me being diabetic that could be a problem.. i could certainly have a journey in the early hours of the morning as my blood sugars stay stable at this time, if anything go a little higher) I also have read and done a lot of reasearch on the depression and anxiety curing effects of high dose sessions with psilocybin. With my health anxiety and fear of dying, i believe psilocybin could be of great help and even moderate doses helped me a lot. There was only one incident when i was going through a terrible phase of anxiety i decided to do mushrooms with a not so close friend. 2g dose and fealt like id took a dodgy mushroom, was contemplating ringing an ambulance as my mind was saying youve took something dodgy you may die and i fealt great anxiety. When that subsided i went into what i call 'the appreciation phase' (has happened on every shroom trip ive had) which is where everything in life is put into perspective and you can only feel love and see the true miraculous beauty of what we are and the planet itself. This tends to be on the tailing off part of the experience when youre not tripping so hard but are sort of heading back to baseline. Thats what i want... I want to feel a sense of interconnectedness and security and to feel blessed and loved, and mushrooms have certainly helped me with that side of things. I'd love to do a high dose session at some point and rebuild my ego and thought processes... I just cant understand why i would feel derealisation from meditation... it seems like something that could benefit me massivley as my mind is always working overtime and worrying about my health. I plan to continue meditating for now as i dont believe ive gave myself enough time to explore its potentials, but really dont want to feel so detached from reality after meditation. Advice? Any personal experiences and/or ways to avoid this?  P.s my diabetes is well controlled although sometimes optimum control is difficult. On insulin injections 2 to 5 times and do around 40 blood sugar readings a day. Much much love people.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I don't have any personal experience as I've only just started with yoga and meditation a few weeks back - and at this point meditation just really isn't working yet, as in I can't seem to actually be able to do it... anyway at my last yoga class the teacher talked about meditation and relaxation in the 'theory' part of the class and did mention that derealisation is a fairly common side effect to lots of meditation, and then explained it as exactly when you described. So even tho I don't really have any advice of experience with this I just wanted to say lots of people have (apparently) felt this way around the time when they do lots of meditation. You could probably do some research about how to deal with this, I'm sure there's lots of stuff on the internet about it : )

    Oh and if you're into shroomz and the research being done with it check out an article from the new yorker, I don't think I can post links here but if you just put "the trip treatment" into any search engine you'll get that as the first result. It's really long but a really great read so I'd totally recommend. It made me really want to try it : )

    love & peace,

    Anya

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    • Posted

      It brings me reassurance to know its a potential side effect from meditation, maybe i just need to embrace those thoughts if they happen again in the future. Rather than fear it, accept it. I read through that whole article, was very touching and meaningful. Especially on the death acceptance side of things. Its a shame these amazing compounds arent available in therapy sessions now. Thankyou for your kind words. Peace and love, and all the best in your experience.
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  • Posted

    Hi had you heard and read about derealisation in the past?

    If so, and if you have bad health anxiety like you suggest, its quite likely that your own fear of derealisation created it in your mind. The mind is incredibly powerful and just the thought and feeling of slight derealisation can lead your anxiety to create a purpetuating circle of fear leading to greater and greater levels of anxiety and therefore derealisation. Derealisation is just a symptom of anxiety, but because you experience a shift in perception you start to question everything, and believe that everything could be a lie- this is just anxiety tricking your mind.

    Don't fear meditation it will be a great help for you, however, dyu to your fears you should contact a meditation teacher, I would suggest learning trancendental meditation, you will be taught slowly and eased into it so as to not experience any of these 'episodes' again.

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    • Posted

      Yo man, what your saying makes a lot of sense, it tends to be my own overthinking and annalyzation of things that creates it in my mind. Like i feel a physical symptom, then i start to believe its real and could be a more serious problem, and it could kill me... then before i know it ive forgot about it completely or there's something else on my mind; there was no need to think about it in such a bad way... I have heard of derealisation in the past for sure. As i said i do often question existance and think deeply about how everything works, how were here etc etc, but im good at accepting it and coming to more peaceful terms with it. Accepting what is, because we can never understand the whole truth in one human lifetime.. but it never manifests as dread or a feeling of total disconnection. And as of yesterday i have been feeling a bit more disconnected, not anything to be concerned about though. I have my usual racing thoughts about health and when im concentrating on tasks those thoughts of derealisation are none existant so im clearly still firmly attached to my ego. It could just be a side effect of laying off the dope (im not craving any weed though, as my mind knows potentially how anxious i could become from a toke so it doesnt bother me im not smoking). But it certainly came on right after my meditation yesterday. Im definately going to look for a meditation teacher, although im unsure there any many (if any) in my area. It seems as if a bit of guidance would be most useful, and then maybe i can start to reap the benefits of this amazing practice. Cheers for your words good sir, peace and love. All the best on this incredible journey.

       

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    • Posted

      But what you said about my fear of derealisation creating it in my mind makes a lot of sense. Just like when i feel something is up physically, i assume the worst and believe its real. Your words are wise, and i feel more at ease now with the whole situation. Thanks again.  
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