Ecstasy induced 24/7 DP/DR.
I have never been into drugs but some of my friends are. They kept
telling me stories of great Ecstasy experiences. They made it sound
so amazing and appealing - curiosity eventually got the better of me.
I decided to take half an E. I didn't think it was really dangerous.
After all, I have friends that take the stuff regularly and in huge
quantities without any apparent side-effects.
I took it at a rave almost 2 years ago and had an awesome night - on top
of the world. The next day I felt a little hung-over, light-headed.
During the month after I had several dizzy-spells and felt constantly
"lightheaded" and tired. I began posting messages on a “rave”
website to see if others had experienced this. My first few weeks of
messages were re-assuring with people just telling me not to worry, etc.
I then got a VERY SCARY reply from a guy going by the name Peter Jones.
He said that the same thing happened to his brother and now he is in a
mental asylum with half his head numb!!!!
Understandably, this scared me like crazy. I immediately assumed the
worst and slipped into a full blown panic attack that lasted weeks with
thousands of questions and 'what ifs' running through my head. The
thought of losing my mind was too much for me - I was even suicidal.
I'm sure you can understand my despair and depression....
This event triggered a whole load of
physical symptoms – random muscle twitches/spasms and pins and needles in
different parts of my body, intense burning sensations in my left hand and
'floating' black lines, clouds and spots in my vision (later found out
these are floaters). I also awoke with partially numb hands almost
every morning. One night I awoke to find myself paralyzed from the
right shoulder down, and this lasted a scary minute or so. I was
also in a constant lightheaded dream-like state (I now know
this to be DP/DR).
During the initial period I emailed over 100 neurologists and MDMA
researchers with a “cry for help”. Most replied with advice about
keeping positive. Many suggested seeing a psychologist for help with
dealing with the emotional side of this situation. Some suggested
that many of my symptoms may be related to the anxiety I was experiencing.
The best news was that no-one had heard of any similar cases to my own, or
cases were ecstasy use had led to “Peter Jones” type situations. I
now believe that
the message was just someone's idea of a really, really bad joke.
I also saw a GP and a neurologist and went through a heap of testing – CT
scan, MRI, evoked potentials, ear tests, eye tests, blood tests, etc.
When nothing showed up both blamed all my symptoms on anxiety. Of
course, I knew there was more to it.
As a last resort I saw a psychologist
specializing in anxiety disorders. He also believed that anxiety was
causing my problems. He helped me to realize the very real
relationship between the mind and body and gave me my first glimpse of
hope after 3-4 months of constant panic.
Over the past 14 months or so I have
tried very hard to think positive and go on with my normal life - working,
playing sport, going out (no alcohol), etc. Most of the physical
symptoms have now gone, making me certain that these were caused by the
However, I am still in a light-headed, dream-like, state 24/7 (I now know
this as depersonalization/derealization (DP/DR)). The best way to
describe my general feeling is that I constantly feel as though I have had
2-3 drinks. Also, I have “wobbling” vision 24/7. Looking at
the moon is a good example. I look at it and it seems to jump
around, like I just can’t keep my focus stable.
I have recently found web-sites on DP/DR. I have read about other
cases where Ecstasy use caused permanent DP/DR. This has certainly
helped me, just to know there are others out there. Also, it is
reassuring to know that the condition doesn’t tend to get any worse with
time, and that it doesn't lead to madness.
Although what I am experiencing is very difficult, I know I can continue
to live a relatively normal life if the severity of my problem doesn’t
increase. A weird thing is thing is that I seem fine to everyone
around me. In fact, my wife is the only person who has any
idea what I am going through! Although I am now sure that much of
what I have experienced was caused by the anxiety, not the E, I am also
sure that the E is responsible for the underlying symptoms (DP/DR and
wobbling vision). I am also still very worried that my condition
will deteriorate with time. I am trying to stay positive………………
I am now seeing a psychiatrist. He has prescribed Klonopin to help
reduce my anxiety levels. Although this has helped relax me, it has
had no noticeable effect upon my DP/DR.
Thanks for reading this.
Feel free to email me at