Can you get Depersonalization from Weed – Cures to get rid of it
What is ‘depersonalization’?
Depersonalization is a medical term used to describe a state where someone feels separate or disconnected from the world.
What causes depersonalization?
The human brain is wired to protect us from scary and disturbing events, so its initial response to trauma is to create a distance between the memory and the mind. This is a coping mechanism, and in most cases it is short term. Any traumatic event such as a car crash, or a violent assault could cause this to happen.
What are the main symptoms of depersonalization?
- The bubble effect. This is the most common symptom, making sufferers feel like there is a barrier or window between them and everything/everyone else.
- Loss of control. Actions feel robotic, as if someone else is living in your body and you are simply watching on.
- No sense of time. It can be hard to pinpoint exactly when things happened, or feel like there are gaps of missing time in your mind.
- Feeling close to insanity. Sparked by anxiety these periods of panic can make someone fear they’ve lost their mind.
- Changed to vision. It may become distorted, make objects seem larger or smaller than they are, or make it difficult to accurately judge distances.
Can weed trigger depersonalization?
Drug-induced depersonalization (DPD) is not unusual amongst weed smokers, especially if smoking a strain of marijuana with high levels of THC, or mixing weed with alcohol/other drugs.
DPD is triggered by a bad experience, and in most cases it comes on around 30 minutes after smoking weed, and wears off within two hours. However in some cases it lasts longer, for weeks, months or even years, leading to cannabis-induced depersonalization-derealization disorder. This is most likely after repeated short term episodes of DPD amongst sufferers with a history of anxiety who smoke a lot of strong weed. Teenage and young men are also more at risk.
Tips for getting over DPD
- Keep calm
Acknowledge it is temporary and your mind trying to protect you; breathe deeply and stay in a safe place. Doing these things helps avoid further stress, which can prolong the symptoms.
- Do not smoke any more weed
It will never make you feel better, even if your brain suggests otherwise.
- No caffeine either
An energy drink or strong coffee may seem like a great way to ‘wake up’ your brain, but again it will only increase stress. Try herb tea instead.
- Do something calming to distract yourself
Gentle exercise like yoga, meditation, listening to music you know the words to, playing the piano – whatever you find soothing and absorbing is fine.
- Go with it
Don’t watch the clock, or dwell on what is happening, stay focused on something else instead. You will eventually notice you feel okay again.
Depersonalization can occur after any kind of trauma, and in most cases it doesn’t last forever. However, the risk of DPD becoming a chronic condition is something to consider before resuming that weed smoking habit.