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am i awake? tw

S

slugs

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No idea if this is the right forum to post in, but since things shifted after I experienced a traumatic event then I guess it might be the most appropriate. I'm not sure anything is real. I can't connect with anything... my feelings, other people, my surroundings. It feels less solid than a dream; things look bizarre and fuzzy most of the time. In fact when I dream it's far more vivid and realistic than when I'm apparently awake. I'm almost entirely convinced I'm not actually awake, and I get a multitude of signs telling me that I'm not in the 'real' world and I need to wake up. Like I'm being held against my will in some sort of sedated state, or an induced coma. Or a state of catatonia I receded into in order to escape. I know this sounds ridiculous and I'm capable of rationalising these thoughts as potentially delusional, but nothing looks or sounds or feels real... and I realise the folly of posting this at all if in fact the whole thing is a mental construction as everything in it including this forum would be in my mind. I used to be sharp and witty and coherent and now I struggle to string sentences together. As an artist I used to be inspired and full of life and in touch with this profound creativity that flowed from me effortlessly and now I'm in this insipid mire and everything is without colour.

A few years ago I was gang raped at an outdoor rave by three men and a woman. For reference I'm male. I was 19 at the time. I'd taken speed and was a bit overwhelmed by my emotions and the woman suggested I go on a walk with her which led us away from the bulk of the crowd. After it happened I went and sat in a tent and swinging in and out of a panic attack except I was panicking about having done something wrong, getting really upset for some reason about how I'd done something wrong and I couldn't figure out what I'd done, and whenever I went quiet I could hear people talking about me and taking the piss out of me and saying they should have shoved me off one of the cliffs, so I was convinced they were going to do something to hurt me. I've never felt so confused and embarrassed and scared.

Following that night I couldn't think about anything else for months. Not out of choice, it just kept repeating in my mind, over and over and I'd get intensely frustrated and upset. Everyone from that scene actively shunned me. They were a toxic group of drug users with a strange hierarchy that functioned in a clique, and in some ways I guess it's a blessing that it happened, because it forced me to extract myself from unhealthy people whose lives revolved around using drugs, but I was suffocated for years by this guilt and feeling like I'd somehow prompted the attack. I didn't fight back when it happened. I didn't know what to do. I felt like I should have noticed warnings signs and removed myself from that scene before it happened. The woman once said to me 'if you were older we'd have f*cked you.' We being her and her husband. They were maybe 15/20 years older than me. All four of them were supposed to be my friends. I spent time at their houses. Why at the rave?

And then it's faded into this absence. I'm not really here. I once walked down the canal path and on the floor was spray painted 'wake up'. A few days later it wasn't there. I hear voices at night and experience sleep paralysis and then enter dreams that are so lifelike and vivid and colossal I can't believe that those are meant to be the dream and this strange blank fuzzy non-life is the waking world. I can't feel or care about anything to the point I wonder if it's possible to develop a kind of psuedo sociopathy. I imagine people will suggest therapy. I've been in therapy. CBT. DBT. Dissociative coping strategies. Well, that doesn't turn the colour back on. I just want to wake up.
 
NWiddi

NWiddi

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All I can say is you're not in a dream, I'm real and you have reached out for help and I hope I can provide some.

I'm no doctor so I can't recommend any specific treatment but I can tell you my experiences and what has helped for me.

First off, I'm a voice hearer with three and a half years experience. I just hear the one voice and since he doesn't have a name I just call him my 'head-mate' although we are far from being friends. I've experienced sleep paralysis and nightmares where my voice would attack me in my dreams, he claimed responsibility for doing both to me and I believe him, thankfully when I started taking anti-psychotics which lower the volume of him by around 95% they also stopped the paralysis and dreams, my dreams are significantly different now and completely my own and my voice hates it.

When I first started hearing the voice I believe he found a way to create an overabundance of the psychoactive compound called Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) naturally produced by the Pineal gland but is usually broken down to safe levels by an enzyme produced by the liver called Monoamine Oxidase (MAO), while on DMT it felt like I was in another world and the line between reality and a dream state became blurred, doctors called this psychosis. Perhaps this is what is happening to you? Again anti-psychotics seem to prevent my voice from doing this to me and messing with my sense of reality.

Because of his apparent ability to know and influence my dreams, to be able to cause paralysis and his ability to manipulate my organs and glands to overproduce chemicals I believe he is a physical part of me.

Can you tell me more about the voice you hear at night?
 
S

slugs

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I've theorised similarly about the involvement of DMT in psychotic experiences. Could be. DMT can also induce experiences that feel fully immersive and some people have lived what feels to them like entire lives during a trip. Chemical mechanism could still indicate this being imaginary. I mean I'm here debating it so either I'm talking to figments or I'm having a valid discussion. Both somehow feel insane, lol.

I experience a variety of voices. It's like a radio being tuned in and out. Chunks of random irrelevant conversation and a whole array of noises. I get some that are obviously directed at me, saying my name or shouting it. A lot of it is really bizarre nonsense. I've been attacked by invisible entities during sleep paralysis as well but I figured that was a flashback since the attacks are regularly sexual and I'm incapable of doing anything while it's happening.
 
NWiddi

NWiddi

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so either I'm talking to figments or I'm having a valid discussion. Both somehow feel insane, lol.
You don't seem insane to me, on the contrary. You're here asking for help so that tells me you have insight, when I was going through psychosis I didn't have any insight to question my delusions or even think about coming to a place like this for help.

It definitely sounds like you have a misbehaving voice that could use some therapy himself to help him get over your shared experience, mine often talks nonsense when I'm trying to fall asleep at night, complete gibberish even when I'm on the verge of falling asleep. Other than that he talks just like any human being would during the day and because I've been ignoring him for the past three years due to his bad behaviour he's frequently saying my name 40-50 times day at the moment.

Mine has also attacked me in my dreams as an invisible entity, so much so I actually felt him touching me physically and it woke me up. He's also appeared as a woman pushing down on my chest and as my doppelganger and sexually assaulted me.

I'd seriously consider returning to your GP or a mental health specialist and telling them about your voice and if they offer you an anti-psychotic accept them and give them a try, they may even bring you out of this dream state you believe you're in.
 
S

slugs

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Messages
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Location
uk
Pretty much exactly how it goes in sleep paralysis. It's like there's someone or something there physically and I can feel it as if there's legitimately someone assaulting me, except I can't see anyone. I sometimes end up getting 'dragged' down into unconsciousness while in this state. Hypnagogia, I guess.

I was prescribed risperidone for a while following a hospital admission after a suicide attempt. I guess there's others I could try but I'm aware most of them cause horrendous weight gain and I already have issues with food restriction.
 
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