If you vape on a regular basis, there’s a good chance that you have experienced symptoms of depersonalization and derealization as a result. Understanding why this happens can help reduce your stress and anxiety when vaping so that you don’t experience these feelings again.
There are many triggers linked to feelings of depersonalization and derealization but lately a high rate of reactivity to Vaping is reaching noticeable levels.
What is Depersonalization?
Depersonalization is a mental disorder that causes you to feel like you’re separated from your own body, as if you’re observing yourself from outside your physical being. People who experience depersonalization often describe feeling like they’re out of their own control and watching themselves from a distance. People with depersonalization often feel like others around them are distant and unreal, like they’re moving through a fog or a dream state. Some people also report feeling like a robot, going through the motions but not really feeling anything. Depersonalization can occur at any time, but it’s most common during times of extreme stress or anxiety.
Can Vaping Cause Depersonalization?
The quick answer is yes, but it’s not as cut and dry as you might think.
The exact reasons for why vaping causes depersonalization aren’t fully understood, but there are a couple of likely culprits. During vaping, you’re pulling in a large amount of vapor and smoke into your lungs. The high levels of carbon dioxide and other toxins present in the vapor can cause the blood vessels in your lungs to expand and contract. This can cause your heart rate to increase, which in turn causes your blood pressure to rise. Diseases and conditions that affect the heart’s ability to pump blood can also lead to high blood pressure, which in turn can cause your arteries to expand. This expansion can cause your brain to receive less blood than it needs, which can lead to feelings of depersonalization and derealization.
What is Derealization?
Derealization is a state in which the world around you feels unfamiliar and dreamlike. This sensation can range from feeling like everything around you is foggy to feeling like the walls around you are made of cardboard. People with derealization often describe feeling disconnected from the world around them, like they’re viewing it from behind a foggy or unclear pane of glass. They may also feel like the people around them are distant, like they’re moving through a fog or a dream state. Derealization is most often caused by severe stress or anxiety, although it can also occur after traumatic events.
Can Vaping Cause Derealization?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Vaping can cause derealization because it introduces artificial chemicals into your body that it would not normally experience. While the evidence is not conclusive, many doctors believe that vaping may cause derealization in some users due to the chemicals in the e-liquids.
The most likely culprit behind vaping-induced derealization is the high levels of carbon dioxide and other toxins present in the vapor. Carbon dioxide and other toxins are known to cause feelings of drowsiness and nausea in some people, both of which can lead to feelings of depersonalization and derealization. What’s more, toxins in the blood can also bind with important chemicals in the brain, reducing their ability to function normally. This can cause both depersonalization and derealization, as well as a number of other negative effects on your body. Derealization can also be caused by nicotine addiction, which is more common in those who vape frequently. Nicotine has been shown to reduce your brain’s ability to process information, causing you to become more foggy and unclear in the process.
Other Symptoms of Vaping Use:
Below are some common symptoms of vaping use:
- Feelings of Unreality and Detachment
- Severe Anxiety leading to Panic Attacks
- Severe Chest Pains when Breathing (which stop when use is discontinued)
- Lightheadedness, often extreme
- Racing Heart, Palpitations
- Sweating and Irritability
- Inability to Concentrate
Tips to Avoid Depersonalization and Derealization When Vaping
1 - Discontinue Vaping
The symptoms often abate when usage is discontinued with the exception of those who become sensitized to these reactions, creating further symptoms until they learn to interrupt the process of fearful worry.
It's essential that the individual recognizes the trigger and makes a choice concerning their health. Through proper approach one is able to interrupt the habit of fearful worry and allow a sensitized body to calm down, and a tired mind to refresh.
Application of the correct process is crucial for the fatigued mind to rejuvenate and a full return to clarity. One learns to interrupt this habit of fearful behavior and step out of one's own way. The process is simple to use but requires strict adherence by the individual.
2 - Begin the Process of Self Nurturing
Proper diet must be applied that creates a less reactive mind and body through naturally increased Serotonin levels in the brain and Stable Blood Sugar levels in the body.
Daily activity and exercise outdoors also boosts Serotonin levels in brain.
3 - Retrain the Brain to quiet the mind naturally rather than exacerbate the behavior of fearful thinking.
Learn how to train the mind to think correctly through a specific process which eliminates the habit of fearful thinking. This is not difficult but requires a different mindset that brings forth relief from these symptoms.
4 - Know Your Reactivity Levels
It's also necessary to realize that some individuals are highly reactive to outside stimuli, created out of Vaping. They contain substances that the reactive individual will find difficult to process and intrusive in their system.
Nicotine is a stimulant that the reactive person is going to process with difficulty.
5 - Find Other Ways to Relax Rather Than Vaping
- Choose true methods of relaxation such as:
- Proper Breathing, which makes a huge difference in our physical and mental health.
- Meditation (short 5 minute meditation is often a great release of tension)
- Breathing Correctly
Depersonalization and derealization can be scary and alarming, especially if you don’t know what’s causing your feelings of unreality. Thankfully, studies show that many people who experience feelings of depersonalization and derealization do so as a result of vaping. By cutting down on your vaping or taking some time away from it, you can help reduce your feelings of unreality, anxiety, and stress. While some people experience these side effects more than others, it’s important to remember that we’re all individuals and respond to different things in different ways. What works for one person may not work for another
Bottom line, you are in charge of how you feel and you have choices. When the mind and body are signaling you to stop using substances that result in negative reactions, LISTEN. Heed these signals and choose to nurture rather than hinder your body. Feelings of anxiety and depersonalization are essentially red flags that you are doing something to interfere with proper functioning of both mind and body. It is your choice, always your choice, to create a lifestyle that fuels good health. Make that choice and notice an immediate improvement in both mind and body.