By Dr. R. E. Freedman
It’s the same story over and over again. Someone smoked marijuana with a group of friends and within 24 hours, usually sooner, they begin feeling unreal, depersonalized, foggy and detached. They are convinced that the marijuana had to have been laced with something that created this uncomfortable and distressing sensation. They worry that some sort of “damage” has taken place inside their brain. When they contact the people they partied with, they are amazed to learn everyone else is feeling fine. Now they become very confused, worried and fearful.
This is not an unusual course of events. I hear this story time and again, in almost exactly the same detail. The individual is positive they have caused damage to themselves even though they are the only one experiencing these symptoms. They often resort to “doctor shopping” and taking medications which do little to resolve the problem. Frustration enters the picture as feelings of depersonalization/derealization often intensify.
There is a simple explanation for this chain of events. Once understood, recovery is not difficult. It requires a simple yet specific process.
Let’s rely on basic science and facts:
(1) Personality– Some individuals are basically more reactive than others. These are the people who are intelligent, creative, analytical and generally more reactive to outside stimuli. They often experience a greater reaction to stimuli where others may not. They may react in a stronger manner to:
– Excessive Sugar
– Temperature Changes
– Bright Light
– Lack of Sleep
– Recreational Drugs
(2) Habit of Fearful Worry– The mind quickly wraps around whatever it is dealing with, to create a sense of closure, whether the facts are true or not. Therefore, if one has recently smoked marijuana and is feeling “strange” or “odd” afterward, the mind, by process of elimination, deduces that some damage must have occurred. Every free moment is spent in self-blame and fearful worry that permanent damage has occurred when nothing could be further from the truth.
(3) Fatigued Mind– The mind quickly becomes exhausted, due to the continuous loop of worried thoughts. A tired mind is far less resilient and naturally the longer this loop continues, the foggier the mind becomes. The person may even lose their appetite, develop insomnia and find it difficult to concentrate or socialize with friends and family. They might even take time off from work, in order to recuperate, when this is completely unnecessary.
Once they understand what this is, what it is not and what to do, they are home free. It is important to note that one is not ill, nor have they ever been, which is why medication is not required. In a reactive individual, medication often may exacerbate the problem. This is merely the product of a tired mind and nothing more. The marijuana may have been the trigger but it is not the only trigger.
Triggers of Depersonalization
– Constant and Lingering Stress
– Certain Medications
– Traumatic Event, Shock
– Unresolved Issues
– Unresolved Anger
– Recreational Drugs
Resolution of Depersonalization Due to Marijuana Use
Resolution of this sensation is not difficult. It is based upon a Two-Fold Approach:
(1) Retrain the Brain- Learning how to refresh the fatigued mind. Thinking more productively. Through behavioral modification one is able to tame a mind that is overactive and unproductive.
(2) Food Therapy– Learning to use the correct foods, one already has in their own kitchen, to work for you rather than against you. Boosting Serotonin levels in the brain naturally and maintaining balanced blood sugar levels in the body to create a far less reactive mind and body. The correct foods will accelerate recovery when used in tandem with the proper behavioral modification techniques.
This two-fold approach is all that is required to overcome feelings of depersonalization, created by marijuana use, or any other trigger. It does not require a long or drawn out process at all. It does require that one follow the specific process, leading to rapid relief and permanent recovery.
Dr. R. E. Freedman
Anxiety Busters, Inc.
Office Telephone: 215-635-4700
Office Hours: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM, EST
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