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Brain & Nervous System Disorders Message Board

Brain & Nervous System Disorders Board Index goes...this is a somewhat long, convoluted tale, but if anyone out there is fond or adept at problem solving, please read through..if not, skip to the bottom and see my absurdly long list of question.

A little over a year ago, I woke up in the morning with a strange, pressure like sensation in my forehead (please be aware of the fact that I was a recreational drug user for about a year and this change occurred about a week after a binge period of cocaine and ecstasy) -- accompanying this feeling was one of slight mental stupor. At first I associated the problem with a developing cold/sinus infection. However, as weeks passed, the pressure augmented -- I felt like my entire head was in a vacuum -- also the mental stupor evolved into something much larger -- I could not focus on anything, understand anything or articulate myself properly (literally)-- I felt trapped in the twighlight zone -- nothing made sense to me anymore and I thought I was going insane.

I saw specialist after specialist (general practicitioners, neurologists, allergists etc) and they performed numerous tests (like cat scan of sinuses and head, eeg and mri). They found nothing -- Meanwhile as I moved slowyly through life wondering what the hell was wrong with me, my depersonalization developed along with severe panic attacks.

I took every type of medication available (neurontin, depakote, nortriptyline, midrin) --they all worked slightly but the effects were fleeting, lasting only about 2 days. Then, I would revert back to my normal, depressed, anxious, perplexed, chronic pain ridden and intellectually hindered self.

Finally, I was referred to psychiatry -- my psychiatrist put me on clonopin and paxil because he thought that i was just really stressed -- again the cocktail worked at the beginning for about 2 days but then i felt crappy again.

Now, i am on 40mgs daily of paxil..granted, i feel slightly better but i still feel miserable.

What I really need to know is what the heck happened to me?

Could this have been a minor stroke?

Could it be severe anxiety?

What can be done for the head pain?

Why is it that now I can utter a few words verbally but not be able to continue talking coherently? ie, I say something to someone but then i forget what i want to say next and become lost and confused.

please please please,

any suggestions or just anything at all would be helpful.

thank you all in advance so much for your input

I have similar symptoms to what some of you describe. I was also a regular user of ecstacy but had pretty much stopped taking them altogether. That was until the 10th of April when I went out, got carried away and ended up taking about 7-8 pills over about 12-16 hrs. I thought nothing of this as I'd taken amounts similar to this or more even many a time in the past and suffered no ill effects whatsoever. I continued doing well at school and uni whilst taking drugs so I think I perhaps stopped giving them the respect they deserve.

I had a terrible 'come-down' and felt awful the couple of days after that weekend but by about the thrid or fourth day I felt a bit better I went to bed feeling ok but woke the next day and got out of bed feeling somewhat detached and dizzy. My head felt strange. The following day, or the day after that (I struggle to remember the exact sequence of things) I started to come
down with a nasty head cold. About this time I started to notice a feeling of pressure developing in my head. It was difficult to localise where it was coming from but if anything it felt more to the left hand side. The pressure was sort of constant for the next few days but then one evening it got much more intense very quickly. I sort of panicked a bit at this stage and had some of the symptoms of anxiety. I didn't sleep well and I had pains in my chest and tingling/burning in my arms.

The following night I managed to get some sleep and woke with the pressure feeling much reduced but still feeling dizzy and detached. However, within a couple of hrs of getting out of bed the pressure beagan to return and increased slowly. At about 9-10pm it reached its peak and at this point it felt very severe so I decided I needed to see the doctor.

I had to wait a week for my appointment and I basically continued along the same daily cycle. I would wake and immediately notice I still felt a bit dizzy, not quite 'with-it'. Within an hr or two of getting up the pressure sensation (pressure is the best way I can describe it, sometimes I feel kind of wired and when its at its worsed I find it really hard to concentrate or to think about anything other than how I feel) would begin to return and would increase slowly usually getting noticeably worse around 9-10 in the evening. Some days aren't as bad and I had two days just gone when it was the best it had been for a while but then it came back as bad as every yesterday.

I told the doctor how i'd been feeling and that I'd taken drugs before it happened. He brushed off the drugs as not being important although I did not tell him how many I'd taken. I'd had some blockage of my ears during my head cold and when he looked in my ears they were totally blocked with wax and he believed this and possibly blockage of my euthesian (something like that) tubes. I booked to have my ears syringed. I have now had this done and it has done nothing to help whatsoever. It is as bad now as it has ever been.

I see many people have theses symptoms from anxiety so put it down to that. I'm just about to sit my final year exams at uni so this couldn't have happened at a worse time as I am stressed ot and anxious. However, I've been coping with it better these last few days and feeling pretty relaxed with it all just tellin myself it may take some time to clear but will eventually. Even when I don't feel at all anxious etc though the pressure felling still comes on. Some times it feels so intense that I can't believe that it could be caused by anxiety alone. Just these last few days I've been beginning to get slight headaches or localised pain along with the pressure aswell.

I will go back to the doctor tomorrow but do so expecting to get sent round the houses without anyone really knowing what to do with me, that or I'll get passed off as just another student trying to get extenuating cicumstances for my exams. I empathise with those who say their friends dont understand etc. I can't explain to them how I feel as its so hard to describe, yet when its at its worse it completely takes over my life.

At 1st I'd convinced myself I'd damaged my braing with the drugs but I just can't see how that would be considering I've taken similar doese many times and always been fine. Also I can't see how these symptoms would be consistent with damage caused to serotonin neurons. I hardly feel depressed or anxious at all when the pressure is mild and am sure that when I do feel anxious this is a result of the feelings worsening as opposed to the other way round.

Its good to hear of other people having similar problems, its horrible feelin completely alone in this. The bad thing is nobody seems to have made a speedy or full recovery. I just cling on to the hope that things will improve at some stage, this by far the worst time of my life :(
I many yrs ago suffered from panic attacks after smoking pot, trust me I hardly ever smoked. After that I never felt quite right. I would get weird sensations,problems with vertigo, jolt in my head, noise in the ears etc... After 20 yrs it came back, after a sinus infection. I went to a Dr who looks at panic diorder in a different way, and man I can connect. I read his book called Phobia Free. by Dr Harold Levinson, some people are skeptics. Not me. They ran inner ear test on me and I am all over the place. When i am in a standstill postion, I have alot of eyemovemets. So I feel like the floor is moving, thus my anxiety levels goes up!!!1. He believes in some cases its a vestibular problem, not in all. Xanax has helped me alot thru th yrs, but after returning last yr he has added Prozac, which has been great for me, He also uses antihistimines , motionsicness meds. Read the book!!!-jojo65
im definitely glad that someone resurrected this post. i have felt the same way for years with no relief. if anyone finds a cure please advise!!


Have been reading the posts wit interest. I myself have not done drug so we part company there but I have the weird pressure in the head, dizzy in the head and the ground moving thing too. I was initially diagnosed as having labs and then is it in your head or the favourite is it anxiety? Any ways 3 years on I too had al the vestibular tests and YES I do have an inner ear problem, the result of damage done by the virus labs. So any ways just throwing that in for a thought. Oh and I had an anxiety issue a few yaers before so know what you mean about depersonilisation/derealisation, been there and done that and am fine now.
Wow. I've gone through all this too. I used to sometimes use LSD/acid and smoked a lot of weed. The last time I did acid, which was 5 years ago, was the most horrible experience i've ever had. I thought It did permanent damage to my brain. Ever since then i've had a lot of problems with depression and anxiety. I get these weird feelings in my head, like a pressure, what you guys have been talking about. I got a catscan done and they said everything was 'normal'. I've done other tests and everything seems to be 'normal'. My anti-depressant medication helps a little but i still get scared about this 'pressure' feeling.
Oh, and I also get a lot of derealization/depersonalization.
Hi all - it is a Seratonin issue. Too much E, or just a little immediately depletes the seratonin in our brains - this is what controls mood and anxiety - therefore, you would probably benefit from an SSRI - Paxil, Lexapro, etc. as they provide Seratonin.

Jaw :D
I hate to tell you but the X you took is your problem. If you've ever researched would realize what it does to your brain and your body......permanently......
Yea rec drugs are pure evil.,,,,Differnt people react to differnt substances in differnt ways....i dropped a half a tab of beavis n butthead lsd back in 94 .and 10 years later im lookin now, at not being able to move soon,,,been a slow steady decline.. muscle tremors / spasms / stiffness from head to toe for the last 3500 odd days ...but after spending prolly 20 to 30 grand on the problem im still none the diagnosis still...

like that other chap mentioned....when i drink its the only time i "feel normal"..thats simply cuz were numbing our nervous systems ....but what i go thru the next day is hell basically drinking is just worsening our problem....numbs u while doing it but in the long run its progressing ur problem....can look at it in 2 ways ...either ur happy at least ur living some of ur life doing what u want and enjoying the releif a drink brings...or in my case...ive probably pushed myself 2 years closer to being in a wheelchair simply by having the odd drinking session knowing damn well it makes me sicker.....

anyhow.......we made our beds ,,guess now we gotta sleep in em

I have the same feelings as you guys! I always though I was alone, and the only person that drugs effected and made me have very bad panic attacks. One time I smoked alot of green bud and got really up tight of how I felt and that I had no control anymore. It seemed like i was a robot, and sombody was controlling me. I went to the hopsital and they said to never do it again or I could die. (my heart rate was over 200) I figured I could try it again. Nothing happend the next few times untill i was by my self and smoked some, and my hands went numb and It seemed like soembody was controlling me again. Went to the hospital again, and decided I would never do any drugs again. Ever sence that last time I have really bad panic attacks. I will be doing something and all of a sudden my heart rate will spike really high, my hands will go numb and start to tingle, it feels like im floating, shortness of breath, pain in my chest, and feeling like im stoned again. I have had so many attacks and its so frequent (I have literally had 2 small panic attacks just sitting here and thinking about all this!) its all I think about, and when I think about them I start to think about the same feelings and then I have a panic attack. Its just a big ongoing cycle! I hate it, and my Dr JUST prescribed me lexapro, so hopfully it will get better.
Three things came to me:

1. Needs deliverance

2. I do not know if to laugh or cry

and 3. Too lost for words at the choices some individuals make.
As a former Paxil user and rec drug user, I can tell you that certain drugs (prescription and illegal) can really screw with your brain chemicals and cause all sorts of weird sypmtoms. I agree with other advice here to detox off all drugs and even the meds. Paxil worked great for me, but it's not a long-term solution, and getting off of it was HELL. You can't quit it cold turkey - you have to wean off it. One step at a time! Good luck!
Boy i hope people still read this cos i've joined the club....
No details required....heavy e use (stoopidly did 9 pills one night) and since then....pressure sensation, kind of like a fried dense feeling right?, we all describe it differently but it is the same thing.... it was soooo bad in the first ten days after it happened, but then suddenly it went...but not completely and keeps coming back with varying's been about 10 months for me now...alcohol helps temporarily ....blah blah....

How are all of you? Let me know.....hope u're better

Do you think the anxiety we felt after it happened, remained and that is what we feel? - just memory of thinking "what have i done". I do not underestimate the psycological aspect...but can it really be all psycological. Who knows.... but the body is a wonderful thing......

i've started thinking it was brain damage recently but reading your posts, if i get a scan they'll probably just tell me that there's nothing wrong.....but here's a thought:

We feel like we should feel the way we do because of our e abuse (or whatever). Why should that go for no reason. Shouldn't we have to earn our normal brain feeling back? Just the reverse of why it happened in the first place...? We did something bad - we feel bad....we do something good - we feel good. Exercise, good sleep, no alcohol, (is no caffeine that important?) no drugs of course, good attitude, good lifestyle, ambition, love, and why not reiki, yoga, spiritual healing, etc etc

in however long it takes - 1 year, 5 years or 20 years...if we do should go.....right?
one more thing while i'm online that i have noticed in my research

if i came up to you, or posted a reply, saying that i am an expert neurologist in the field of narcotics and i have done extensive research on ecstacy and its effect on the brain, and told you that you have done permanent severe brain damage that will never repair.... u will all get really worried and how bad it feels will suddenly multiply 1000x fold.

If i said the same thing about who i was, but now instead i believed you had done very very minor damage that will repair itself in a couple of years at most and u will undoubtedly make a full recovery......u would feel GREAT. These feelings would suddenly become no more than a little tingle.

Hi Crazy, and anyone else who is still listening.

Its been over 6 months since my bad E experience, -without a doubt, it remains the scariest experience of my life. I have a number of updates, -where to begin?

First of all, I went to see 3 neurologists who said my condition was entirely psychological, -but then I finally got to see a true expert, and he noticed something the others had missed, (namely, the tremor). The others were just confused by the weirdness of the symptoms and literally did not see the tremor during the neurological tests.

So, the Dr. who saw the tremor thought that the bad E might have caused a stroke, so he sent me to get an MRI, and here my story seems to differ from everyone else's, because they actually found something: what appears to be a small basal ganglia infarct on the right side of my brain. While they can't determine what this area is with 100% certainty, it would appear that yes, I had a stroke.

And many of you may have had strokes as well, but you may have had numerous small ones that wouldn't show up on an MRI, rather than 1 large one.

Which is not to say I am 100% convinced. Another possibility has been intriguing me recently. I know I was VERY VERY sick with unfamiliar Asian bugs when I took the X. Recent studies prove that X dramatically lowers the imune system and makes people succeptible to all kinds of weird infections, including Menengitis. I think I may have had Menengitis. I was so sick the next day that I went to a Doctor in China to get antibiotics. If I had Menengitis without knowing it, taking the antibiotics for what I thought was a bad cold may have saved my life.

So, how am I doing? Partially recovered is the best description I can give. One thing that is still around is the fact that I am, in general, more prone to tremor of all kinds than I was before. If something scares me, for example, my hands, particularly the left, will tend to shake. Hey - it kind of sucks, but I consider myself lucky. Having a shaky hand every so often is not going to decrease the over-all happiness of my life.

The whole experience did throw me for a major loop, though. I took a month off for disability, then went back to work. I have about 90% of the energy I did before. Sometimes, my feelings of lethargy do impact my job, but I feel like this is going away. I got on Lexapro for a little while because the experience seemed to have triggered an episode of depression, which I am prone to anyway. I am still taking the Lexapro now, but it is not a permanent result of my E experience, just something I do when I need it.

Caffeine, by the way, is absolute poison to me now. If I drink a coffee, I feel too jittery to work. If I have 2 coffees, I nearly go into convulsions. Funny, because I used to drink about 6 cups a day. Maybe the silver lining is that without Caffeine, my heart will be healthier and I will live longer. And I have not taken an illegal drug since my experience, so maybe sobriety is another silver lining. Though I have had powerful cravings for cigarettes.

Hey crazy, -9 hits? You were in the danger zone even if you had pure stuff!

Seriously though, I hope you are doing well now.

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