Hello. I am new and this is my first post. I've been disabled for almost 3 years. I've been hospitalized 4 times and been in outpatient 5 times. I've also seen doctors outside the hospital setting. I don't have a clear-cut diagnosis, besides Asperger's Syndrome. In the past, I've been told I have undifferentiated schizophrenia (and that I don't), that I may have a personality disorder, that I might have psychotic depression, and that I might have substance induced psychotic disorder. Despite believing I'm psychotic sometimes, I've been told I may not be. I'm starting to believe I'm not truly psychotic. I've been on several medications over the years, which have worsened my condition tremendously.
It all started when I transferred to a university my junior year. I was under tremendous stress and performing badly. I wanted to fit in socially, so I started drinking heavily, smoking pot, and salvia. On top of this, I was drinking Monsters. At the time, I thought I was experiencing slight dementia. I worked my ass off, yet I was getting Cs because of cognitive problems. I attributed this to the energy drinks. I've been addicted to them for years and notice my memory and intelligence increase after quitting them for at least 2 weeks. I know I'm not stupid because I've been told I solve problems and understand the material better than most.
One day, I wanted to become "enlightened" so I smoked a lot of marijuana (turns out it was skunk weed). Long story short, I ended up having a near death experience where I talked to and experienced God and became one with the universe. It changed my life. I tried to stay in school, but I had to drop out 4 weeks later. After doing some research, I believe my core symptoms were depersonalization, derealization, fear/panic, feelings of amnesia/confusion, jamais vu, problems understanding/comprehending material in my classes, and disturbing thoughts. I believe I was becoming delusional because I thought reality was an illusion/not real; I tried coming up with scenarios where “god” could exist to validate my spiritual experience that felt so real. I was an atheist at the time. In fact, I tried proving a universe could have no beginning. When I failed, I had the near death experience. When I started medication, it just made things 100x worse; my symptoms were now 24/7 and I had new symptoms that were serious. I believe this is why I was diagnosed with schizophrenia by an outside doctor. He told me if one has Asperger's and delusions it usually is diagnosed as schizophrenia.
Reflecting back, I'm not sure I agree. Yes, I had strange, obsessive ideas that were borderline delusional, but I was pretty rational about it. My unusual ideas are usually precipitated by derealization/jamais vu "attacks", which decrease or halt in intensity and frequency in the following days as I improve. I also don't have visual or auditory hallucinations, paranoia, catatonia, and I'm not disorganized. I do feel like I'm going insane a lot, however.
I've been off all medications for over 3 months now, and for the first time I actually feel stabilized. However, I had a really bad "attack" about 2 weeks ago that challenged my sanity. I was on vacation, and I started drinking 3 Monsters a day. I started dissociating and time started going by faster over several days. I remember I had this "attack" in which I felt like I was having intense jamais vu, derealization, confusion, altered states of consciousness, amnesia, memory loss, followed by automatism/acting like a robot/zombie, and "autistic" behavior. I also had problems with daily functions (taking showers, interacting with people, getting anything done) and understanding language. Despite this, nobody could tell I was sick. I looked and acted “normal”. Everything was experienced internally.
Some relevant information:
1. In my last hospitalization, I was put on new medications. While I was there, I was solving a lot of Sudoku puzzles. I ended up seeing hundreds (maybe thousands) of clear/transparent numbers on floors. This lasted 2 days.
2. Also, when I was 16, I believe I had a scary hallucination after I was staring off in space euphorically for about 10 minutes. I thought it was real for years, until I got sick and questioned the absurdity of it.
3. I also see colored circles and random shapes sometimes.
4. I have memory loss, and problems learning new things.
5. My personality is changing in a very bad way. For instance, I'm starting to become very anti-government for moral reasons.
6. I'm more impulsive.
7. I'm not religious, but I am obsessed with math and understanding the universe. I feel everything is math and must adhere to logic. I guess I find beauty in it.
8. My father doesn't understand my illness. He doesn't understand how I can be smart, able to drive, and play video games, yet I can't get a job or be independent.
9. I'll never be able to go back to school or get a job unless I get better.
10. I'm now very philosophical. I wasn't before.
11. I am more empathetic and compassionate.
12. I feel pretty normal and good if I cut the Monsters. The problem is I have a compulsion to drink 2 a day.
13. Having a beer, seems to decrease/relieve my symptoms.
14. I've been on Topamax to “slow my brain down” and help me lose weight.
15. I've had a CT scan and EKG. I don't believe the doctors suspected anything.
Thank you for reading! I plan on seeing a neurologist soon. I read the psych symptoms of TLE online, and I can relate. I am hoping this is it. I always thought to have epilepsy, one has to have convulsions or foam from the mouth. I know I need to quit the Monster drinks, but I am finding it difficult. I believe I use them to cope because of stress. I welcome any questions. Sorry for sounding strange, and I hope I don't offend anyone.