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Barbarannamated

Dyschronometria - distorted time perception

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Barbarannamated

I've been experiencing greatly altered perception of time, or a "time warp". For several months, days went v-e-r-y slowly as if I could hear every second ticking by. I attributed it to my lack of activity and boredom.

 

This past Friday flew by. I got up at about these same time as usual (5:30-6:00), did nothing special or unusual, but suddenly it was 4pm and I was struggling to remember what I did all day. I rarely watch TV or have anything regularly scheduled (aside from meds - YAY). I recalled writing 2 emails to doctors about my NeuroImmunlogy case to find a 2nd opinion.

 

Yesterday went back to slowly ticking by. The holiday weekend is tough for me. I have "everybody is out having fun but me" syndrome on weekends and especially holidays.

 

I'm asking for 2 reasons: the shift between Friday and Saturday was dramatic. Previous shifts had been gradual and lasted for chunks of time (months).

 

Secondly, I know that I have structural damage to my white matter from autoimmune disease per recent MRI. That is known to cause perceptual distortions, depression, and personality changes.

 

I'm trying to sort out these symptoms to know what to attribute to withdrawal, autoimmune white matter damage or drugs to treat current condition (steroids, most notably). I'm having particularly "altered" perception in the morning and early evening (6-8pm).

 

I remember feeling this way in 2008 after the hospital CTd me from Klonopin and and opiate for 3 days and switched alot of drugs around. I clearly recognize those feelings as withdrawal now. Strong deja vu. I had no idea what was going on.

 

I will change my signature to reflect recent MRI findings and drugs. Until then, please know that my situation is extreme. I don't want to alarm anyone or suggest that it is something common to all who took drugs. My genepool set me up. :(

 

Thanks for any input.

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Brandy

Hi, Barb!

 

I sent you a PM. I didn't post any input here yet because although I relate so much to "altered perceptions" re meds and even re the state of the world (hope that doesn't sound too "out there"!), I would have asked what meds you're on - and what med changes you've made for, say, the last year or so - if you hadn't mentioned that you'd be updating your signature.

 

Given the medical things you've been going through (hospital, tests, etc.) I've totally lost track of your meds and med history, and therefore what might be factors in what you're experiencing.

 

In the meantime, sending you lots of hugs!

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amg2012

Hello Barb,

 

As you know, some time ago I brought up that I felt "time warped" and you said OMG so do you and you thought you would start a topic on it.... and so you have. I am sorry you are having such a hard time. I really have not read enough to know "your story" but enough to see that you have had a rough time for a long time and I am saddened by this.

 

Since I have gotten off of Efexor, though I doubt that I am over it yet, I must say I am feeling better and better for the most part. I am sitll having some withdrawal symptoms but over all I feel much better. As of today I am down to 15 mg. of Prozac. Your topic has reminded me of time warp and I realize that I don't think I am experiencing that anymore. Therefore, I might conclude that it is the drugs that cause this imbalance with our natural sense of time. Thinking broadly about all of these pschye drugs, there seems to me an endless variety of broken brain circuits that result in side effects and one is much better off of them IF possible.

 

Gosh I wish I could say something more helpful for you.

If it is of any consolation, I am not "out there on this long weekend having fun either." :(

I too send you ((hugs)).

 

AMG

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Shanti

I haven't noticed anything like this, but I did see something on a documentary once about how our perceptions of time is in our brain. An inner clock. It doesn't seem unlikely that having issues with your brain chemistry could effect perceptions of time.

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starlitegirlx

I remember reading some research on this as well as seeing something in a quick news blurb I think. IIRC it has to do with a supply of something in our brain that depletes as we get older which is why older people tend to feel time moves very quickly whereas younger will tend to get bored and feel it drags.

 

I wonder if this is something that gets messed up with the drug use. Sadly, there's no real way to knew beyond (if it were possible to measure the amount of this substance or whatever it is) doing autopsies on the brains of a massive random sample of people and including different age groups that never took any kind of AD or other psych drugs - they would be the control group. Then get samples from people who have used psych drugs and even or most especially those who have gone through withdrawal. Ah, finally, something that could be measured unlike the rest of the psych stuff out there.

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Jemima

The holiday weekend is tough for me. I have "everybody is out having fun but me" syndrome on weekends and especially holidays.

 

I have this problem as well. I just *know* that everyone in the USA (except for you, AMG, a friend in Illinois, and me) is out having a smashing holiday weekend that they will remember for years to come. Never mind that I know better on a rational level.

 

I haven't experienced the time-warp phenomena from antidepressants or AD withdrawal, but I certainly did decades ago with recreational drugs, long before SSRIs were even invented. It's likely that other drugs might have this effect, too.

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Barbarannamated

I remember reading some research on this as well as seeing something in a quick news blurb I think. IIRC it has to do with a supply of something in our brain that depletes as we get older which is why older people tend to feel time moves very quickly whereas younger will tend to get bored and feel it drags.

 

I wonder if this is something that gets messed up with the drug use. Sadly, there's no real way to knew beyond (if it were possible to measure the amount of this substance or whatever it is) doing autopsies on the brains of a massive random sample of people and including different age groups that never took any kind of AD or other psych drugs - they would be the control group. Then get samples from people who have used psych drugs and even or most especially those who have gone through withdrawal. Ah, finally, something that could be measured unlike the rest of the psych stuff out there.

 

What is IIRC?

 

This does make sense with my MRI findings if the substance is white matter or glia. I have damage (holes) in that area that appear to have started awhile ago. My undestsnding is that white matter damage/hyperintensities are a *normal* part of aging, but mine is advanced (and I have neurologic symptoms). I'm trying to find a neuroimmunologist to consult on my case. I'd like to know if my brain is closer to a healthy 60 yo or 90 yo (I'm 50).

I have a friend who has had 'neurologic variability' for awhile. His MRI showed white matter hyperintensities, but the doctors didnt feel it was significant (also 50 yo). I think this is a relatively new area of research. Focus has been on gray matter up until the last 10 years or thereabouts.

 

I'm trying to use it to slow the loss.

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Jemima

IIRC = If I recall correctly

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UnfoldingSky

I can't quite recall if I have ever written about this before, but, ever since I reacted to an SSRI and then had to c/t, I have had extreme difficulty estimating how much time is elapsing. For about a month after c/t it was severe, while I was poly-drugged to treat the reaction and c/t, and then it lessened significantly when I got off one drug, but it never fully healed.

 

This one symptom is causing me a LOT of problems in my life. People I don't know well don't understand that I might talk too much, for instance, or show up somewhere too late (when you have to be somewhere at an approximate time but no exact time is ever given, so you can't simply keep looking at your watch to make sure you are on time) because I have no idea how much time has passed. And it's nearly impossible to explain to people you don't know well why it is that you have no sense of time passing without telling them about the drugs, which I have no interest in doing anymore. Even if I just tell people I had a drug reaction and don't tell them what the drug was, it doesn't seem to work out well for me. And of course it seems pretty bizarre to tell people whom are nearly total strangers about your health problems if they didn't solicit for that info.

 

If anyone else has this problem, have you found a solution for it?

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Narcissus

I have experienced this as well, but when dealing with longer periods of time (days/weeks/months). This is probably less debilitating than what you're describing. I'm not sure that I have any particular advice, but I'm sorry to hear of your troubles. Is your memory impaired apart from this?

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Barbarannamated

USky,

 

I experience this from hour to hour and also through the year. For example, I just realized that it's been 3 months since the holidays. It seems like a few weeks ago. I wrote about it ina thread, but didn't know the name of it. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2893-time-warp-time-distortion-time-perception/page__fromsearch__1

 

I'm sorry i dont have any good suggestions for you.

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GiaK

I'm like this too...you can use a watch or clock...it helps me a lot. When you know you have to be thinking about the time you look at the clock and go from there. It's second nature for me at this point and I don't experience the issue as much of a problem anymore...just a nuisance.

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Meimeiquest

I have also found phone alarms to be my friends

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GiaK

yes, I use my kitchen timer for all sorts of things too...I bought one that I can set at a few minutes or a few hours...very versatile

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Barbarannamated

USky,

 

How do you feel this relates to talking too much? I'm not sure I understand that part.

 

I rarely go anywhere or meet up with people, but i use the alarm feature on my cell phone when I have an appointment. I also use the timer feature (not the Cook Time) on microwave occasionally.

 

This is one of my most disturbing symptoms, most of which fall into the perceptual category. Very disorienting.

 

Thanks for giving it a name.

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Narcissus

How do you feel this relates to talking too much? I'm not sure I understand that part.

I think he/she meant that that with such a poor memory it had become difficult to keep track of how long they'd been talking.

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UnfoldingSky

Sorry I have taken so long to respond, withdrawal issues and other problems have kept me from answering.

 

I have experienced this as well, but when dealing with longer periods of time (days/weeks/months). This is probably less debilitating than what you're describing. I'm not sure that I have any particular advice, but I'm sorry to hear of your troubles. Is your memory impaired apart from this?

 

Thank you for replying to me Narcissus, and sorry you are having similar issues. Unfortunately, yes, my memory is very much affected. I lost pretty well all of my memory while on drugs, and have only lately gotten some of it back. But there remains a core deficit I have no easy way to explain anymore--basically I can get at a lot of memories now, but they are vague and I now rely heavily on other people's accounts of what happened, because I often have no clear way to figure out if I am getting things right. Sometimes I have to make them up to a degree, as in, I have to fill in the details of old memories. And creating new memories isn't working out well...I know some of what I did, but by no means all of it, plus the chronology of events winds up very jumbled in my mind.

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UnfoldingSky

USky,

 

I experience this from hour to hour and also through the year. For example, I just realized that it's been 3 months since the holidays. It seems like a few weeks ago. I wrote about it ina thread, but didn't know the name of it. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/2893-time-warp-time-distortion-time-perception/page__fromsearch__1

 

I'm sorry i dont have any good suggestions for you.

 

Oh, I am sorry you are in the same boat. It is scary isn't it? I know EXACTLY what you mean about it seeming like only a few weeks has gone by. I am continually startled by how quickly it seems time is elapsing, and how confused I seem to be about what month it is. Sometimes I am off by as much as two months...and how doctors continue to maintain there is nothing substantially wrong here I will never understand. Have you had any recognition that this is happening or what caused it? I know mine is from drugs, there is no other possible cause as I have been through every test imaginable, but it would be nice if they even admitted I had a problem with time. I had no idea until I found this term online that it was even known of in medicine, though surely people with head injuries and the like must suffer it in some instances.

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Barbarannamated

This has been very bad in the last several weeks. Or perhaps I've had more reminders of my loss of ability to track time. For years, I attributed this to not having a job, kids... life events that force one to track time, be it hours, days (weekdays/ends), years/birthdays/anniversaries.

 

Every day seems disconnected from the previous (Groundhog Day effect). The lack of continuity is MADDENING. It feels like I've been asleep - or in another world - for many years (Rip van Winkle effect). When anyone asks how old I am, my immediate feeling (before I stop to think) puts me in my early 30s. That's when I began on SSRIs, almost 20 years ago. I remember things that happened, but they *feel* like they were in a parallel world. Or, I can't FEEL the emotions attached to those events. Disconnected, dissociated.

 

I am aware that I have vascular brain lesions (per MRI). I dont know if that is related and dont want to scare anyone else who has this symptom of time distortion, but I hope anyone who has experienced this can tell me if it ever resolves. Does lost time reconcile itself??

 

Most importantly, if this is related to the cerebrovascular damage, I wonder if it will get better or worse. I want to believe that this is withdrawal-related and I am HEALING, but very scared that this may be progressing.

 

The doctor who found the lesions attributed it to autoimmune damage in brain but couldn't explain why the symptoms flared with withdrawal of Pristiq. He prescribed hydrocortisone but I reacted very badly to it (suicidal thoughts upon wakening).

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alexjuice

Barb,

 

One school of thought contends that a lot of autoimmunity comes from the gut. GAPS diet is based on this idea but there are other proponents beyond the founder of GAPS. Have you ever had a metametrix stool test, Barb? If I was in your shoes, I'd order one.

 

Hang in there,

Alex

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Altostrata

Merged two similar topics on a very interesting subject.

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Barbarannamated

Just had an episode of this. Felt like I hadn't communicated with a friend in a few weeks. Left a message on Facebook and saw that we last chatted on Saturday. I recall the content of the brief exchange, but I was shocked that it was just a few days ago. I'm certain this is contributing to the feeling of time going slowly, painful boredom, and life seeming very long.

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Nomoreheadmeds

Is it just me ? I think since being in WD time has slowed down for me.Why I don't know is it that it's such a horrible experience ?

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Cressida

Yes I think so. Think reached point where can't quite remember what's its like to be normal, suffering seems interminable, instead of being looked forward to days become something to be got through. Hard to imagine being free of all this. And in acute, days can be got through minute by agonising minute. But when we re normal again, hopefully this will seem like a bad dream

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Nomoreheadmeds

wake me up  :D

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Cressida

Lol. Pleased your sense of humour is surviving

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clearday

Agreed. When feeling normal, the years fly by.

 

Now, months drag by slowly.

 

I've only had this head noise for ten months, and it seems like a lifetime.

 

Hard to imagine that I might have to deal with this for a few more years.

 

I'm just getting by hour by hour this past week. Yet two weeks ago, best windows ever, symptom-free and feeling great. I was already writing my success story in my head, it was that good, for a few days. I was thinking of those poor folks on SA, suffering, as if I was no longer one of them. But the joke was on me. Something in me knew it was just a window......and slowly, the symptoms crept back.... 

 

During windows, I quickly forget the severity of my symptoms, and begin planning to live normally again. My mind wants to move on, at any sign of real improvement. I think that's how we are, we move quickly to get past the trauma.

 

I ran three miles just now, and the constant head noise disappeared for an hour. Oh happy day!

 

It's amazing to think of how much money I would pay to be cured. That's one way to know just how bad this is.

 

Once we are normal, we will compress this agonizing time into a single block of memory and feeling.

 

We will get on with life, and begin to complain about little inconveniences again. But I'm sure we'll carry a few lessons learned from this time: among them - when you have your health, you have everything.

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Nomoreheadmeds

Its very cruel I only have very short Windows couple of hours at most.I'm grateful for that then back to the nightmare.

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Petunia

Withdrawal has made my days drag by agonizingly slow, but weeks have flown by and months seem to have passed even faster. I've lost 4 years of my life and looking back its like they only took a few months to pass. My daughter turned from a teenager into a young professional and I don't know how it happened, I missed it all.

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Darwin

long withdrawal terrifies me, & i agree w/ pteunia time does go by fast ,but I'm not proud of the lack of things i've accomplished these past few months. it's almost as if I'm already a dead man at 17

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LucaDiProspero

Time is incredibly slow, I check my watch all the day long. But, hey!, nearly a year has passed from when the nightmare started. And i have a void in my head if I try to recollect memories of these past months, scary thing!

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Mort81

What's weird for me is I feel time is going by fast. Mainly because I am watching everything around me evolve. Friends having babies, weddings etc..and I feel like its groundhog day for me, nothing changes stuck in a nightmare but yet time is going by eventhough my symptoms are heavy..can't wait for the nightmare to end.

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Nomoreheadmeds

Theres a name for it great.

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Muddles

I have no perception of time at all. I think this is because of the severe dp/dr - every minute of the day is the same.

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