anonymous Asks ...
Hi, four weeks ago I decided to take a pill of a natural psychedelic (containing LSA as active substance). I never had it before and in general I am not a drug user, I took them from my holiday in Amsterdam. The experience was highly traumatic, I experienced a near-death experience, I was convincedI was dying and I had a panic attack, feeling my soul was going out of my body. My boyfriend that was with me took me to the hospital, they check and my blood pressure and heart rate were normal. After that day it has been hard for me to live. I had a panic attack one week after that event, I started being scared of myself, having suicidal thoughts, not feeling like anything in life can make me happy anymore (I had a great life before, a loving relationship and my own business, nothing excites me anymore), on Monday I went to the gym and while walking back I felt huge vertigo and a feeling like falling down, as if I didn't have control of my body anymore (a feeling I had during the psychedelic experience) that made me almost have a second panic attack. Today I had an appointment for a scan and I asked my boyfriend to take me and to be there with me the whole time. I feel depersonalisation, as if everything around me was not real, and the whole time I was feeling scared of interacting with people because I didn't know if I would have started acting weird or panicking again. I am scared of being around people, I constantly feel muscle tension and anxiety (I tried to take a cbd pill yesterday and it didn't help, today I took Rescue Remedy, which is bach flowers for anxiety and it didn't help). Every day I am getting more and more scared of myself, I don't know what is happening to me, I have never had panic attacks before and I am scared that my life, my business and my relationship can fall over because of this. I am just scared that I will never go back to normal and this thought is killing me. I feel unworthy of anything and a lot of bad thoughts often come to my mind.
If it might be relevant, when I was 18 to 20 I had a strong social anxiety, that I overcame working on myself and never consulting anyone. When I was 20 I started having eating disorders (light anorexia and bulimia and strong binge eating disorder) and I was prescribed with Lyrica (for generalized anxiety disorder) and was diagnosed with Cyclothymia. I stopped taking Lyrica at 26 because I felt like I was getting in control of my life after university and I started working on myself, doing physical activity, journaling etc... Of everything i have ever experienced on a psychological level, this is by far the worse and it's really hard to live like this. Less that one year ago my dad died after a long illness (15 years of Parkinson) and it felt like I was coping well with it, but after that trip, where I experienced death, I saw him when he was in the hospital and I experienced how he was feeling at the time, now I feel constantly anxious, as if I didn't deserve to be loved for all the mistakes I did in my life (like, when I was 18-27 I started partying a lot and becoming extremely superficial in order to escape the pain I was feeling for seeing my dad in pain, that was killing me inside and after so many years I feel like I am now facing the guilt of my whole life, when I tried to never stay close to him, and I just feel like I dont deserve love and I am a bad person).
Jim LaPierre Says ...
Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and your experience with me. By any standard, what you experienced was traumatic and as such, it continues to limit and hurt you. This is not the first time you've wrestled with copious amounts of anxiety but the biggest problem with having a panic attack is that we then develop anxiety around when the next panic attack will hut. A few suggestions: If/when you experience a panic attack, the very first thing you should do is be still, breathe deeply, and tell yourself, "I am going to feel much better in a few minutes." Panic attacks feel like a heart attack and they feel like they last forever but in truth they last typically 5-15 minutes for the worst of it. Telling yourself you'll feel better doesn't mean you'll feel good - the idea is that you're going to be ok and by telling yourself this you insert a healthy perspective into something that simply feels debilitating and lethal. I HIGHLY recommend that you see a therapist who specializes in trauma recovery and you would very likely be an excellent candidate for EMDR therapy after a stabilizing brief course of therapy. Please email me if I can answer questions or be helpful. Best, Jim