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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19335
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Hi there I have a question I had been stressed out as of late

Customer Question

Hi there I have a question I had been stressed out as of late when 3 weeks ago I woke up one morning and had this extreme fatigue and lightheaded feeling, this got worse over a few days and then I had this feeling like I am walking in a dream like I am not really here if that makes sense also hard to focus concentrate. i also suffer from colitis and my bowels were bad for a week which I got under control then I had this nausea which has gone but the deperonslisation feeling is continuing just feel out of it. I am not sleeping great either. over the years since my early twenties I remember having bouts of these one day I would just wake up like this and over time the symtoms go. I had an MRI 10 years ago which showed all clear, i have had all the blood tests which were all negative too. what do you think?I am also moving away in two weeks time to portugal with my partner a longterm move
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
Hello from JustAnswer. I will be glad to try to assist you today.
First, I want to clarify the situation.
Starting in your early 20s, you have been having episodes of depersonalization, correct?
How long do these episodes typically last?
Do you know what blood tests were done (there is no such thing as “all blood tests”)?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes since my early twenties. They are usually quite bad at first extreme tiredness and feeling sick then the sypmtoms would disiptate by themselves the bouts could last from a month to 5 months I have not had this for about 5 years. i also suffer from ulcerative colitis which flares this seems to coincide with the other thing. I had full blood count done, tested for thyroid, diabetes, inflammation and two more which I cant remember. Today the depersonlisation feeling is not as bad as it was two weeks ago but it is still there. Also would like to mention I did have chronic migraines from age of 15 to about 21. I had an MRI scan too in my twenties and this was clear

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.

There are several conditions that can cause fatigue and depersonalization, and some of these conditions are physical and others are psychologic.

You have had an extensive evaluation for most of the physical causes of fatigue and depersonalization. The most common category of physical cause for these symptoms would be from neurologic diseases. Although you have had a neurologic evaluation, including an MRI, it appears to have been done some time back, so it would be appropriate to be seen again by a Neurologist and consider repeating the MRI.

The other major type of problem that can cause these symptoms are conditions that can cause sleep disturbance, as prolonged sleep deprivation can also cause these symptoms. There are certain problems that are primary sleep issue, but there are conditions of other organ systems that can also affect sleep. The two most common are sleep apnea and acid reflux, and for a person that thinks that there is adequate sleep, sleep apnea could still be present. Sleep apnea will cause the person to fail to enter deeper stages of sleep, so do not have restorative sleep. These people are asleep for the usual length of time, but since they do not get restorative sleep, they still can develop sleep deprivation symptoms.

The other major category of illness are psychologic conditions. There are many psychologic conditions that can have fatigue and depersonalization, but the most common are depression, anxiety, and bipolar disease. There also is a primary psychologic condition in which the depersonalization is the primary or sole symptom, but this is less common.

At this point, it is appropriate to pursue a repeat neurologic evaluation and an evaluation of sleep, such as with a sleep study. If no physical cause of the symptoms can be found, then it would be appropriate to pursue a psychiatric evaluation.

If I can provide any further information, please let me know.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am not i a postion to go to a neurologist just now as I am moving in two weeks time, my doctor thinks it is depersonalisation disorder connected with anxiety

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
That certainly is one of the common psychologic conditions that can cause these symptoms, as noted above.