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My name is Tina I’m 26 years old and live in Ma. I starting experimenting with drugs at the age of 11. It was just weed at first then I decided to smoke dust. I tried it once and didn’t care for it. Anyway, my grandmother took care of my sister and I, cause mom worked the night shift. I was to be home everyday at 5:00 for supper. This day I was not on time. It was after school and a “friend” of mine asked if I wanted to smoke a bone. Sure, I said. We went to another “friends” house and he got us a dime bag. There was 4 of us and we sat on a stoop in the projects and smoked. After we each took a few hits they told me to finish it, they were all set. So I finished it. I don’t remember a hour to an hour and a half after I was done smoking but I remember wakening up on the project park bench and feeling so high. (It’s a 2 minute walk from this kids house who lived in the projects to the project park.) When I came too, everything was disoriented. My speech, my site, my mind. Everything was in slow motion. There were several of my friends there hanging out, they walked me home and new something wasn’t right. The kids I smoked with went their separate way. I tried to jump in front of a couple of cars on the way home. It all is real fuzzy still, but I knew I wanted to die, I hated  feeling so “out of it.” When I got home they told my grandmother what had happened. My mom came home from work and watched me sleep all night. She didn’t want to take me to the hospital, cause she was scared they’d take me away from her. I need to tell you all that I come from a GREAT family. Very supportive and loving. Unfortunately my father was a drug user and alcoholic and still is. My mom and him divorced when I was 9 and since then my family life has been pretty normal, except for the depersonalization. After that night I swore I would never touch another drug again. A week went by and I was walking my friend to the bus stop and I fell “high” again. I was so scared and “out of it”. I ran home and was crying, I told my mom that I didn’t feel right and that I did not do any drugs, after about a half hour it passed and I felt fine. The next day kids were talking and I found out that the weed I smoked was laced with dust. Since that awful night, I suffer from depersonalization.  My mom took my to my pediatrician the following week  when I still kept getting the episode of depersonalization, they suggested I see a shrink  about the “out of it” feelings I was having. The only way I new how to describe the feeling was, “It’s like being high off Angle Dust and everything is in slow motion and I feel detached from myself.” Every time I have an attack it brings me back to the feeling of being high and out of it. I have seen a dozen shrinks in my life and they all told me I was fine and it was just my hormones changing, all part of being a teen. I knew something wasn’t right still. I never took any medication until about 4 years ago. My mother always pushed me (which I’m glad about)  when I wasn’t feeling good, she’d tell me not to let the feeling that I’m getting take over me to fight it. She never knew what I felt or what I was going through. It so hard to explain the feeling of depersonalization to someone who’s never felt it, but she always encouraged me to not let this “thing” get the best of me. I stopped see a shrink when I was about 19, cause there was nothing they could do to help me and told me I’d grow out of it. We’ll I turned 22 and still dealt with the attacks. I decided to see a shrink again. I found a great psychiatrist that listens to all my feeling. She new right off the bat that it was depersonalization, but to rule out any other diagnosis she sent me for an EEG. It came back normal. She put me on Zoloft which took the edge off. After all these years I finally got a diagnosis. I still deal with them on a constant basis. I’ve tried everything under the sun, from hypnosis to EMDR to seeing a healing priest. Unfortunately I’ve had no success with any thing I’ve tried. I don’t wish depersonalizations on anyone and I pray everyday that I will be healed and never have another depersonalization attacks again. I’ve never told strangers my story before, but reading everyone else’s story it’s inspired me to tell mine. Hopefully one day they have a magic cure for people who suffer from depersonalization.

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