Unfamiliar

I’m going to Bogota (6 hours drive from where I live) on Friday to meet with a new psychiatrist. Since the “abandonment” of my old psychiatrist, with whom I only had about 3 or 4 appointments anyway, I have been out of treatment and my mental state has gotten much much worse than I would have imagined.

I want to get the best of it but at the same time I don’t know how, or have the energy to plan. I may sit now to write this blog, and stalk people a bit on facebook but it fills me with anxiety to even think about creating a plan to make the most of my appointment. I don’t even know what the guy will be like. I’m unsure of everything lately and even though I’ve been going the past few years with the label “depression” over my head, I wish someone who REALLY knew about it would sit and discuss it with me.

I’m afraid of beggining to take new medication, because i’m afraid of the withdrawal that would follow if they don’t work. This year I’ve had the worst possible time during the few days after I stop a medication. Nothing soothes my distress. I started having fantasies of using this distress as a lethal weapon in case I’m thrown into a postapocalypic world, where I’d subject my enemies to these horrible feelings and they’d all go to impale themselves with the nearest stick as long as they could escape the pain.

I’ve been sleeping in weird pattens, and I know this is not good for me, but it has been impossible to fix it. Two days ago I decided to act the way you would with Jet Lag and just not sleep until the next night.  It was hard, but not excessively so at the time.  I stayed 27 hours awake, and when I finally put my head on the pillow, I only slept for about 3 hours, waking up in the strangest of mental states. Sleep deprivation is a huge trigger for me, but I had never had such an intense experience. Everything looked the same, but at the same time it was unfamiliar. It’s like I had changed, like I was someone else, looking at the same world.  This is not methaphorical but a real mental experience*, that I can only explain by having entered a prolonged state of Jamais vu.

jamais vu involves a sense of eeriness and the observer’s impression of seeing the situation for the first time, despite rationally knowing that he or she has been in the situation before.

It was deeply disturbing, so I tried to ignore it and fall asleep again, and I suceeded somewhat, having to deal with strange lucid dreams instead that made for a very restless sleep.  Next thing I knew it was 8:30 am.  I opened my eyes… and, the situation had not changed.  Everything still looked unfamiliar.  I knew that my bed was my bed, but it seemed like I’m the one who was someone else, looking at a strangers bed.  I tried to shake off, got up, washed my face, talked to my family, watched tv.  It wouldn’t go away.  It was too disturbing.  My mom said I looked like when I was a kid and had night terrors.  She told me that perhaps I wasn’t completely awake and this freaked me out, because of course I was awake, wasn’t I? Everything felt like I had entered an unreal, disturbing universe.**

I wish I could explain it better but the only rational thing I have associated it with is Jamais vu, which then left me fretting about a possibility of having something in my temporal lobe.  Epilepsy? a tumor? I’ve never had true neurological tests done on me. What if I have something actually physical behind everything that happens to me? Or is it just an isolated consequence of sleep deprivation? I’ve been sleep deprived before and not gotten this, although it’s always a variety of disturbing.  It’s why the medical internship was so hard for me, it’s partly why it’s not possible for me to get a job now.  New docs are always getting the night shifts…

Anyway.  It could be nothing, it could be isolated.  I am afraid of bringing it up to the psychiatrist in fears that I’ll be considered some kind of mental hypocondriac, but I’m going to have to.

* No, I don’t do drugs.  Never have.

** I finally decided to go asleep again and after 5 or 6 hours, when I opened my eyes again, the world was normal at last.  It has stayed normal but I’m still in a messed up sleep schedule.

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