I apologize for the length of this post, but my ongoing ordeal has been anything but brief. I'm 22 years old and 4 weeks and 2 days ago I checked out of a PRACS pharmaceutical study for the investigational drug "fampridine"--a medicine intended to improve the neurological functions of those suffering MS. About 50 participants and I took 30 pills each over the course of 5 days and (other than insomnia) felt nothing unusual during that time. The last day however, roughly 14 hours after our last dose I had a terrifying experience. I could only describe it as losing touch with reality or a bad trip. The supervising doctors called it a panic attack and told me to just relax and it would go away. I've never had a panic attack or anxiety in my life, I was feeling just fine until this sudden wave of paranoia and crippling panic hit me! This attack lasted well over 24 hours and was accompanied by a buzzing or creepy-crawly body and head "high". The following week was the most paralyzing and hardest thing I've ever endured. It was as though my personal bubble of sanity had been broken. My thoughts were erratic and incoherent. Nothing looked or seemed as it did before. I drove in a car, but it was not my car. I slept in my bed, but it was not my bed. I knew the words to my favorite songs, but they were strange and unfamiliar to me. I watched movies but even a comedy to me was as frightening as "Hostel." Do put it bluntly, my emotions during this time were so intense and uncontrollable that they completely change my definitions of terror, confusion, hopelessness, and despair. Day after day, I would struggle with this only by breathing in and out. I've done a lot of research in the past moth and what I've been experiencing is different from just anxiety or a panic attack in that I've never actually completely come back down to my former state of mind. I'm experiencing, what I've since discovered is known as, intense depersonalization. I've lost my sense of self and the ability to cope or organize. I'm operating through a fog in my mind and it's strongly affecting my cognition, memory, judgment, and sensibilities--as I write this, I feel little connection to the very words I'm typing--as though they were not my own, if that makes any sense. I've been suffering recurrent panic attacks with seemingly no trigger every few days since then. The silver lining is: I have been showing improvement by returning to work, my social life, and music, but even when I feel the most myself and my cognition I can target a specific feeling in my head. I feel a pressure in the back of my neck just where it meets my head and a scrambled fuzzy feeling in my forehead.
What is happening to me? What can I do? This seems entirely different and more intense than just a mental breakdown.