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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 :(

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