I’ve visited this site so many times – read and reread the stories hoping to find my life story – to find some sort of explanation for my own feelings and thoughts.  I find comfort in knowing that I am not alone in these feelings yet cannot get seem to get past the fact that I am truly alone dealing with this affliction day after day, and am oh so tired of obsessing and fearing. My story starts after a bad “trip” to Amsterdam in my early 20s. I refer to the week-end as the “lost week-end” wherein after a girlfriend and I experimented with hash at the “Milky Way”, I fell into an incredibly lost state where I felt outside of my body and life didn’t seem real anymore (or rather 2 dimensional).  This feeling far outlasted the drug (for days) and then disappeared. It reappeared a few days later however when I was busy packing my bags to move from France, where I had been living, to return home. This continued throughout the next few months, with symptoms becoming more and more odd…feeling out of control, feeling like I was going to go crazy, feeling that I could harm my mother (I was afraid to go asleep at night for fear I would hurt her in my sleep – I even checked my pajamas each morning for blood!), obsessions with being HIV positive, and wanted so badly to be my old self once again.Somehow, I managed to get through my final school year at university and graduate. Sometime during this year, the feelings faded and life went back to normal. The next episode occurred seven years later while I was once again living overseas, this time in Japan. The feelings came on suddenly and paralyzed me for a couple weeks. I couldn’t get out of bed, eat, shower, talk, due to fear that was completely inexplicable. I would stay in my apartment all day and only venture out in the dark to walk to try to clear my head and get some idea of what was happening. I feared myself, I feared for other’s safety, I felt I had lost myself, and that I was outside myself going through the actions, yet not feeling anything. I talked to myself all day trying to convince myself I was OK, yet never felt at ease, comfortable in my body, my old self. This episode lasted a few months and eventually subsided.The next bout occurred to a much lesser extent three years later while I was in graduate school. Feelings of detachment and unreality hit but only lasted a couple months and did not incapacitate me with such vengeance…just managed to bring on great discomfort and questions of who I was and whether or not I truly was a crazy, evil person.The next episode hit with a vengeance three years later after a number of stressors occurred my life – financial problems, relationship problems, a move, work problems, etc. This one was the one I thought would throw me over the edge. I again could not eat, sleep, think clearly, saw the world in a fog, felt out of control, suffered from severe anxiety pains across my chest and head, thought I was going crazy, questioned my reality, feared I could lose it and hurt someone (as in, “fear me, I am not what you see”). I sought help on this one as I felt at that time that I needed to do something about the feelings and thoughts, and wanted someone to just say I was in fact crazy and commit me to a mental institution for the rest of my life. I wanted to be done with it as it is such a feeling of darkness and fear that it is indescribable. I went to a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with acute anxiety with OCD tendencies and put me on Paxil. I also found a Cognitive-Behavior therapist to help me through the crisis. This woman saved my life as far as I was concerned and after about 5 months, I felt normal again. I thought it was over and done with. Wrong!Five years later, I am back in the black hole, clawing my way out of it. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl six months ago and was looking so forward to the new life I would have with her and my family. Two weeks after she was born, I woke up in the hole and have been struggling since. Same symptoms – outside my body, feelings every minute as though I will lose control, do something crazy, feeling nervous, having feelings of “feeling”, unable to relax, enjoy those things I used to, questioning my existence, my thoughts, wondering if what I said was appropriate or weird, wondering if I do weird things when I’m alone, not wanting to be alone for fear I will do something crazy, fears of hurting my child. And this time it is the worst. I started Paxil again thinking it would help but it only made me feel worse. So I stopped it. I’m told my hormones may be reason for this. So, now I’m trying Zoloft hoping that it will have some effect. The doctor I saw this time diagnosed me with OCD, post trauma stress disorder, and post partum depression. I wake up each morning hoping the old me will be back and fear that this time it will be forever. I fear everything and do not want to get out of bed – but my daughter and husband need me – and most importantly I need me…the old me…I tell myself over and over that this will pass, that I’m a good person and that I will not lose control. But it is exhausting and frightening. I thank you for allowing me to share my story. And for having this site…it has helped a great deal. 

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