What could be the possibilities of what's wrong with me?

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It started after a night out of drinking alcohol on Halloween night, and after that, I haven't been the same and to this day I still feel weird. It feels like I'm in a dream. When I look at myself through a mirror and look at my hands it feels like I'm in a dream or somewhat not like myself and everything I see such as people and buildings seem unreal. When I talk to people I don't feel a connection like I would before and when I speak it doesn't seem like me. Even when I'm with my own family and talk to them, it feels weird. I kind of feel like I'm getting used to being a human again. My vision is messed up, it's like I miss moments in what I see and my eyes are sensitive to sunlight. I also feel like i lost my identity and my hearing isn't all there, it's like I have to really listen to understand what someone is saying. It's hard to remember things that I did throughout the day and hard to concentrate on things. I lose track of time easily and I'm going crazy wondering what is wrong with me. I barely eat and drink, sometimes it's hard for me to put sentences together, I get lonely (even though my family are around me), sad, and my thoughts are everywhere. I just want to feel normal, just like I did before I started feeling like this. I'm also going through a breakup with my ex gf of 4 years whom I have a daughter with and she has a bf already and I used to think or worry a lot about her before I got like this. I'm thinking maybe the alcohol brought out the stress and now I'm feeling like this. I hope yous can help me.

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  • Posted

    Merlin, was it just alcohol or could one of your drinks have been spiked? Some people can have a prolonged reaction to their first exposure to hallucinogens. On the other hand, it does sound as if you were already under stress before the drinking episode, as you point out.

    Either way, you need to discuss this with a doctor. You can't get diagnosed on a forum.

    Get some professional help for this. It may well be that you just need to talk to someone about all the stress you've been bottling up.

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    • Posted

      I don't believe that my drinks were spiked because everyone who I know drank that night aren't having the symptoms that I'm feeling. And I'm seeing a counsellor who is referring me to a physchiatrist so I hope to see one quick. This is hell living like this, I wouldn't want anyone to get this, not even my enemies.
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    • Posted

      I take your point Merlin, but it still might be possible that just your drink was spiked. But in any case, the important thing is that you're now going to see a psychiatrist. You're going to need to be completely open about everything that's going on in your life, and be prepared to work with the psychiatrist to find the root of all this. He/she's not going to give you a magic pill to make it all better.

      Just one other possibility. I'm assuming you've seen your GP about this and been examined, including full blood tests. Sudden mental changes can sometimes be the result of physical illness, so you should always start with a general check-up. It looks as if you're still in the right age range to be susceptible to infectious mononucleosis (glandular fever). This can sometimes cause what seem to be psychiatric symptoms in the aftermath, especially among young people. There's also the possibility of some kind of neurological condition.

      I'm sure you'll end up getting the help you need. Don't despair.

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  • Posted

    Everything you mention sounds like withdrawal effects from psych meds!  Are you on any meds?  Your nervous system suffered some kind of insult that messed with your neurotransmitters, it sounds like.  I would be careful, though, about starting any psych meds while like this because it would only unbalance your system more.  People are led to believe that they have an imbalance that must be fixed by these drugs, but there is no proof scientifically that depression or anxiety are caused by neurotransmitter imbalances.  High serotonin has been found in depressed people!  When taking these drugs, an imbalance is CREATED which the system must adjust to.  If any doctor suggests going on a med, please do a search for that drug on patient to see what peoples' experiences are before taking it!

    Did you take any antibiotics around that time? Cipro is one that is known to have psych fallout.

    Magnesium is a gentle supplement that can help ease the nervous system (insomnia, anxiety).  It is best taken in a chelated form, such as magnesium glycinate.  You might start with the 200 mg size, morning and bedtime, and up as needed.  You can also take epsom salt baths, a form of magnesium that can be absorbed through the skin.

    Inositol powder could also be tried, starting with 5 grams (heaping teaspoon, I think) in tea, coffee, juice.  It tastes sweet.

    Nurture yourself through this.  Be kind to yourself and protect yourself from any additional stressors.  And yes, talk with your counselor about ways to effectively deal with stress.  Just be careful about adding any drugs, over the counter or prescription, to your already sensitized nervous system!

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    • Posted

      No I'm not on any psych meds, the only meds I've been taking is arthritis medication and supplements such vitamin d and b1. I also feel tired throughout the day but seem to wake up when it's about bed time.
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    • Posted

      You're taking arthritis medication? Not Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine)? This can cause hearing loss, eye problems, depression, hallucinations and a range of other mental symptoms. I don't think perceptual problems or depersonalisation are actually on the list, but they would fall into the general remit of depression and hallucinations. I've never taken Plaquenil but know others who have, and who've reported worrying symptoms not dissimilar to yours.

      Alternatively, is your arthritis part of a more generalised auto-immune syndrome? Flare-ups of some of these conditions can cause extreme fatigue, occasionally with similar mental symptoms to the ones you're describing.

      I've had a recent experience with the latter myself. I have Sjogren's syndrome, an auto-immune condition which usually includes joint problems in its ragbag of symptoms.

      I recently had a nasty flare-up of the condition as a result of a reaction to a powerful probiotic prescribed by my doctor, and was shocked by some of the symptoms I got. As well as severe joint, muscle and tendon pains, I suffered extreme fatigue - the worst I've ever experienced during a flare-up. At the height of this, I started getting weird mental symptoms too. Depersonalisation - the feeling I was someone else or was watching my own actions - and feelings of unreality. Or maybe even a kind of hyper-reality that's hard to describe. Seeming to see everything in heightened colour and detail - e.g. looking at a tree and seeing all the veins on all the leaves. Sounds great but it was a scary experience. Other days I seemed to lose touch with reality altogether. One day I got lost coming home from the office, ended up sitting on a park bench crying because I couldn't remember how to get home!

      After a week or so of this it dawned on me it might be a reaction to the probiotic. I stopped it and quickly recovered.

      Regardless of whether or not you're taking Plaquenil I really think you should see your GP and get some blood tests. If you are on Plaquenil, consider stopping it.

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    • Posted

      I'm taking Mylan- hydroxychloroquine for my arthritis and haven't been taking it ever since I felt like this which was about a month ago. So maybe it's a good thing that I'm not taking it?
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    • Posted

      Yes - I suspect it is indeed a good thing you stopped taking it. I don't have any personal experience of taking the stuff (I'm a former nurse and wouldn't touch it with a barge-pole!) but I'm in the Sjogren's group on this site and I've heard a few horror stories from people on there who have taken it. And also, to be fair, a lot of stories from people who've been helped by it. We're all different.

      Why don't you try starting a new thread headed something like "Side-effects of hydroxychloroquine?" in one or more of the forums where people are likely to be taking it? Quite a lot of chat about it on the Sjogren's board, but I'm sure you'd also find references to it under arthritis, lupus, possibly scleroderma and auto-immune.

      But you should still see your GP if you haven't recently. As already mentioned, flare-ups of auto-immune conditions can in themselves occasionally cause strange mental symptoms.

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  • Posted

    I agree with Lily - fascinating information about the probiotic! Probiotics affect our whole system.  Our gut flora accounts for about 80% of our immune system, and I've read papers on how certain bacteria can cause depression!  A friend who is in psych drug WD had to start with just a knife-tip's amount of probiotic in the beginning, otherwise she had an extreme response!

    I think, Merlin, that you've got a tricky situation going on where something was getting ready to break and the drinking tipped you over the edge.

    I went through protracted withdrawal from a psych drug last year, very frightening experience since I didn't know what was happening, so have since joined forums about the subject. People become dependent on all kinds of things and then develop what's called "tolerance withdrawal," where the same amount of drug no longer works and withdrawal symptoms occur!  This happens with any drug that affects the function of neurons and neurotransmitters or even enzymes, and those are located everywhere in the body.  There are people talking about having to taper acid blockers because sudden cessation causes problems!

    So, how long have you been on that drug?  It may be you reached tolerance.  Have the symptoms stayed the same since you stopped it, or gotten worse?

    Are you on just B1 or a B complex?  Some people find the B vitamins to be too activating, especially when in withdrawal.

    I agree that you should see your GP, but am worried he will throw you on psych meds which may only worsen the scenario!

    Well, we are here for you and I'm sure the mystery will be solved!

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    • Posted

      I've probably been taking the arthritis medication for a year now and I'm only taking vitamin B1 as of recently because I read online that it may help with the symptoms that I have. I'm also taking vitamin D and fish oil to see if that helps because it says on the label that it helps with brain function or cognitive function.
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    • Posted

      Yes, D and fish oil are definitely recommended for brain function/healing, and I had heard more about B6 than B1.

       

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    • Posted

      Yes, I too am worried about Merlin's GP putting him on a psychotropic medication he doesn't fully understand. (By "he" I mean both Merlin and the GP, btw!) Speaking from quite a lot of experience - as a volunteer on a crisis line and someone who recently lost a dear friend partly as a result of outrageous over-prescribing of anti-psychotics - I have reservations about this class of drug being prescribed by anyone other than psychiatrists or GPs who've had special training in the area. (Which most of them haven't.) I've heard too many stories of people trapped for a lifetime between the unpleasant side-effects of many of these drugs and the even worse withdrawal symptoms.

      Merlin, my original suggestion still stands. Get yourself checked out by your GP if you haven't already. I mean blood tests and a basic neuro examination, as some of your symptoms might just be down to a neurological problem. But remember you're not obliged to actually take everything that's prescribed! Fortunately, the law requires pharmacists to leave the notices in packs of medication these days. (Unbelievably, when I was a young woman, these were actually removed so as not to "worry" the patient!) Read the notice before starting, google the med thoroughly and, if you decide to go ahead with it, start on the smallest possible dose.

      When you get to see the psychiatrist, tell him your medical history and also mention you were taking hydroxychloroquine.

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  • Posted

    This is what I got when I checked your drug on drugs dot com:

    http://www.drugs.com/sfx/hydroxychloroquine-side-effects.html

    Emis Moderator comment: I have removed the article that was pasted in full here as it may breach other website's copyright. Please do not paste whole articles in posts. You can add a link to it and this will be approved as long as it complies with rules for posting links. If it doesn't then links can be exchanged via the Private Message service.

    http://patient.uservoice.com/knowledgebase/articles/398331-private-messages

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    • Posted

      Betsy, Merlin, this is the list of side-effects the manufacturer is admitting to, or knows about. That's the whole problem with Big Pharma. The whole history of modern drug development is littered with examples of drugs being withdrawn because of dangerous side-effects that came to light only after many years on the market. Vioxx (another arthritis drug) is a case in point. Ditto cerivastatin - though I wouldn't be surprised if all statins were phased out in a few years time, the way things are going right now.

      I'm not saying this is necessarily fraud on the part of the drug companies, though I suspect there is sometimes a rush to get to market before the competition. It's mainly that the first 10 or 20 years on the market inevitably act as a sort of extended trial of any drug, once millions of people start taking it.

      That's why, when starting a drug that's new to you, it's a good idea to seek out a population of people who've already taken it, via forums like this one, for example. Within the bounds of common sense, of course - obviously if you had a severe infection you'd start taking the prescribed antibiotic immediately. I'm referring mainly to pain-killers, anti-inflammatories and psycho-active drugs prescribed for minor psychiatric conditions like anxiety - often, in the latter case, by GPs who know very little about their side- and withdrawal effects. Oh and statins too... but don't get me started on that one!rolleyes

      Betsy, you might be wondering why I broke my own rule when rushing headlong onto a full dose of the probiotic I took recently. And that would be a good question! I'm normally very cautious, beginning with a tiny dose even when starting on a new OTC supplement. I think I was lulled into a false sense of security by the fact that my current GP, who I trust implicitly and who openly expresses his distrust of Big Pharma at every available opportunity, recommended it so warmly. That lesson has now been learned!

       

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    • Posted

      Lily, excellent post!  I'm glad you have such a reasonable GP!  Lesson learned the hard way.  Heck, everyone is tauting the benefits of probiotics now and they appear for all intents and purposes to be quite benign because they aren't a DRUG,  so I wouldn't blame the GP too much.  I am taking probiotics and never have had an issue, but that doesn't mean much.  I am very sensitive to small drops in my psych meds (tapering off of them very slowly after a horrible protracted withdrawal from Effexor last year); others seem to be able to go off faster without trouble.  We are all different.  Now you have the knowledge to proceed cautiously in all things :-)
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