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Terrified that the world isn't real


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Hey guys! 

First post on this website. 

TLDR- I have an obsessive fear that the world isn't real. It's hard to know if I believe in this idea (solipsism) or not, because if I did fully embrace it I don't believe that I would be afraid of it/ feel intuitively like something is wrong. 

Backstory: Tripped on LSD two months ago, have never had any history of mental illness, got horribly depressed after the trip and started encountering this thought. I am obsessed with this thought, and think about it almost every second of the day. It's incredibly distressing, but I've started to develop habits to cope: spending time with family, seeing friends, running every day, exercising whenever I can, playing music. The power of the thought is definitely lessening-- I'm not as scared of it as I once was but I am exhausted by it: why do I obsess? It's so freaking annoying etc.

Counterthoughts that have helped me: 

There's zero proof of this thought to hold any weight. 

I've lived 24 years of NEVER believing or feeling this way, this is obviously not how I'm "supposed" to feel. 

If this reality was fake, does it really matter? If I'm still able to love the people around me and feel emotion towards them, then this is as REAL as I need it to be. 

Prior to this "thought" I was almost always happy, which is something that in retrospect I have realized I took for granted 100%. This my first venture into depression and mental health issues and it is truly terrifying. 

Would love some guidance or assistance with this/ if anyone has any similar thoughts/ feelings and how they were able to overcome. Need to beat this. 

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Hello priusboy, welcome to CB :)

Please know that if ever you have any questions, comments, concerns, inquiries, etc that you are always welcome to PM the staff member of your choice.

I'm curious to know if you are treating your depression at all? Untreated, it can lead to dissociation, for sure. And yet, when you can get the depression to go away, the dissociation often does as well. Alternatively, do you work with a therapist at all? They might be able to help you find ways to prove to yourself that the world is real, too.

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Hey WinterRosie! 

 

Thanks for the welcome. 

I am treating it: on Zoloft (25mg) and Ativan (.25mg). Been on meds for about a month. Definitely felt my mood lift a bit, since meds, so I think that's an encouraging sign? It's hard to know if this is true "dissociation" and I'm apprehensive to classify it as such. The world doesn't seem any different or look any different and my perception of my self hasn't changed. It's more that this thought plagues me continuously throughout the day. 

Thought spirals are as such: 

What if this isn't real? 

Well, how would you ever be able to know if it's definitively real?

You can't know. That's an impossible question to answer. 

But you never questioned this before, so at one point you "knew" in some capacity. 

How do I get back to that state of grace with reality? 

Also, I remember thinking this thought before. We've all seen The Matrix, and can appreciate the philosophical themes. It's just that with my current vulnerable mind the themes and thoughts are so much more terrifying. 

meh. 

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Hey Iceberg,

I agree, might have to up the Zoloft dose. I'm nervous to jump into the realm of antipsychotics as the side-effects seem pretty terrifying. That being said, maybe it's the best course of action in terms of being safe about this. I don't know, I don't feel like I have the hallmark signs of early psychosis: I'm extremely social (actually using social interaction as a way of medicating), Not detached, Able to function in my job/ have no feelings of grandiosity or paranoia around other people. All psychiatrists I've seen haven't perscribed me an antipsychotic/ seem to think this will blow over, although one psych did give me the diagnosis of drug-induced psychosis. Even then, he didn't think anti-psychs were a good option for me. 

I'm also in therapy, which I think helps? Need to figure out a way to just break the chain of obsessive thinking. 

 

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3 hours ago, priusboy said:

Hey Iceberg,

I agree, might have to up the Zoloft dose. I'm nervous to jump into the realm of antipsychotics as the side-effects seem pretty terrifying. That being said, maybe it's the best course of action in terms of being safe about this. I don't know, I don't feel like I have the hallmark signs of early psychosis: I'm extremely social (actually using social interaction as a way of medicating), Not detached, Able to function in my job/ have no feelings of grandiosity or paranoia around other people. All psychiatrists I've seen haven't perscribed me an antipsychotic/ seem to think this will blow over, although one psych did give me the diagnosis of drug-induced psychosis. Even then, he didn't think anti-psychs were a good option for me. 

I'm also in therapy, which I think helps? Need to figure out a way to just break the chain of obsessive thinking. 

 

Antipsychotics now have indications other than psychosis. Some have indications for depression, manic depression, or mania. Most all antipsychotics have some antidepressant effects, some like Abilify can be quite effective. If you are getting a feeling for the side effect profile is by reading internet sites remember people tend to report failures far more than successes. No one seems to be motivated to post about their successful experience with Antipsychotics. I take 15 mg of Abilify with few problems. I believe using antipsychotics for hallucinogen based psychosis is pretty standard. Delusions and thought disorders are part of psychosis.  

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@notloki thanks for the reply. I'm curious-- do you use abilify for OCD like symptoms or delusional thoughts? It's hard for me to imagine that a medication could help in anyway to get rid of a "thought", but then again it's hard for me to imagine how I could ever truly believe the world isn't real. I've done some research on Abilify, it sounds like it's pretty mild as far as side effects go?

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Akathesia is more of a risk with the older generation APs, which is one reason why newer AAPs are trialled first. The risk also goes up the higher your dosage, which is why you stop at the lowest dose that works for you.

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9 hours ago, priusboy said:

@notloki thanks for the reply. I'm curious-- do you use abilify for OCD like symptoms or delusional thoughts? It's hard for me to imagine that a medication could help in anyway to get rid of a "thought", but then again it's hard for me to imagine how I could ever truly believe the world isn't real. I've done some research on Abilify, it sounds like it's pretty mild as far as side effects go?

Neither, it is for depression.

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