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    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2013
    My wife has depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and epilepsy.

    I'm high on stress.
  1.  (10999.2)
    @Argos - Not so. A Single Dose of 'Magic Mushrooms' Hallucinogen May Create Lasting Personality Change. Larry Hagman had quite a lot to say on the matter, too. With coke/heroin/speed, it destroys the frontal lobe because it's being snorted right up there. If it's not being snorted, the same brain damage doesn't happen. Instead, it just burns out your dopamine systems and wrecks your ability to feel joy.

    With drugs and my personal mental illnesses... well, coke makes me introspective and weed makes me hyper and talkative and want to clean things. My mother, reportedly, is the same. This is standard ADHD reactive behavior. I'd a roommate who was shocked and amazed at the difference in me when on adderall, and he begged me to get myself more of it.

    My favorite thing in my early 20s was weed and speed. As an adult and being all responsible and whatnot, I ended up with a prescription for both morphine and adderall. I felt most like a normal human being than I ever had.
  2.  (10999.3)
    @razrangel: That 5-doses-acid-psychotic-break thing? Isn't that the same tired urban myth about acid that's made the rounds for decades? Your friend has got to be spreading horseshit, that too-many-hits story never makes any sense...

    Re: drugs/alcohol relative to mental issues - I can't accurately say what long-term effects I've experienced, but my severe depression was present years before I ever used anything, and to be honest I really don't think any of my recreational use has done lasting damage. In the short-term, I really have to be careful with weed, too much and it noticeably notches up my depression. Done a lot of salvia and honestly think my experiences with it were always helpful to some extent. I think everyone could use a full hallucinatory experience at least once in life (what Rachæl Tyrell commented on just now is exactly why - I think the findings are reflective of the positive change to perspective brought about by fully escaping into an experience completely alien to anything you've ever known, and not just some physical chemical trail left in shrooms' wake), and if you're apprehensive about hallucinogens but still curious, just do salvia. Rarely ever a bad trip, and even if you are unlucky enough to have one, you'll deal with it for all of 15 minutes. I steer clear of acid because it's such a time investment and the idea of a hellish 6-hour-long bad trip mortifies me. I know alcohol is bad for me but the social benefits are always wonderful.

    Moderation is everything, obviously. I've found that it's fine entering the fog/numbness/high/unreality to escape whatever ails me, as long as I escape that unreality at the right time, before it starts going to shit. As long as I manage that balance, the substance abuse doesn't seem to worsen my condition(s) and has actually been pretty therapeutic.

    Re: psychiatric prescriptions - everything I've been prescribed for ADD, anxiety, depression, has all followed the same sad routine. Initially (possibly placebo effect to some degree) I'll see a boost in mood or focus or whatever, then the effect diminishes to nil. I kinda just gave up on prescription treatments. The lack of money and good insurance co-conspired with my lack of positive results, of course.

    Semi-random note: Celexa is NOT Lexapro and I've personally known several people that had the same experience I did, where Lexapro was clearly a better fit but insurance didn't cover it and it was prohibitively expensive, so we received a scrip for Celexa instead, as the sorta-kinda-almost-generic for Lexapro. Which IT SO ISN'T. For me and everyone I know that's also been on both, Lexapro was far more effective and brought on zero side effects. Celexa showed far less effectiveness and made reaching orgasm a goddamn marathon for me.
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2013
    @doc.... er, yes. That's why my neuroscientist friend laughed so very hard. Supposedly it's still a guideline for the gub'mint. He wasn't spreading the belief but rather the ridicule.
  3.  (10999.5)
    Except that's never been a government policy anywhere...

    ETA Specifically: how do you test for life-long amount of hits? You can't measure it in the body, you can't rely on self-reporting, and you can't reliably account for varying potency. It also doesn't reflect the reality of what legally constitutes "insanity", which is based on behavioral incidents. This sort of policy has never been sourced to anywhere, ever, that actually did this. You'll never produce a person that was asked the question of acid hits, tested in any way, and on and on and on...

    Edit #2: Not to say the government won't ask about prior drug use. But asking if you've specifically done acid a specific number of times? Because it's going to make you have a psychotic break? Complete nonsense.
  4.  (10999.6)
    Regarding bad trips and the like - there's a magic bullet. Vitamin B. I used to carry Berocca with me everywhere in my 20s. Brought heaps of people back out of bad head spaces in a matter of minutes. So no, you don't have to endure hours of it if it's gone wrong on you. Just FYI.
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2013
    Em, yes. Hence why laughing is the best response. I'm not sure where I'm being unclear.
  5.  (10999.8)
    "Supposedly it's still a guideline for the gub'mint." It's not.

    ANYwhoozle... now planning on procuring vitamin B and some acid...
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2013
    [stepping out a little further... just a pinky, though, mind you...]

    i've never been diagnosed with anything [mostly because i've never been under any professional care, i assume] and my personal opinion is that i have lots of 'small things', but nothing serious. to put it another way: i have little problem 'functioning' in society, but there can be [and at many times are] massive up and downs and energy drains and confusing things going on with me that are outside the 'norm' [as attested by close friends that are either within this 'norm' or clearly way outside of it - again, no professional opinion there]. however i've come to the conclusion that most of my 'problems' stem from issues i have [or have had as i think i've gotten a very good grip on most of these issues by now] with identity, defintion and building of. and i've realized that it helps me a lot to view my identity as fluid but always within my control to shape and adjust, if i should feel the need to do so.

    reading through all of your posts, especially concerning how to use medication and other drugs as tools, i somehow get the impression that some of you find relief in an opposing direction. meaning: instead of looking for and identifying an identity and coming to terms with that, it seems to me that it works for some of you to let go of the identity concept altogether and just 'lose yourself' [bad term, but couldn't think of the words i'd want to use instead].

    anyone care to elaborate on that? perhaps i'm misunderstanding this?
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2013
    If I may offer my own subjective opinion ...

    I've done a lot of acid. More than 25 years ago now but, like, A LOT. I almost believe I did it purposely to see what it would do to me, 25+ years later. Well, here I am, still here. IT WON'T KILL YOU. (Probably. It might, ya never know.)

    I retain certain insights and always will. We are all connected, somehow. The world is magical and horrible in almost exactly equal amounts. For every good thing you can name, I can name ten bad things and vice versa. It's akin to ... being able to unhinge the jaw of your brain, like a snake. So you can wrap it around pretty much anything and not get all freaked out. Cary Grant, of all people, did extensive use of LSD before it was illegal, as a therapeutic tool. True fucking fact.

    Mushrooms are pretty awesome and a different experience than LSD. Some people get physically sick, like vomitty and then are fine. Again, no lasting detriment and certain intangible benefits. (I am not preaching the Gospel here. Do due research before you ever experiment with anything. Seems reasonable, no?) That said, I have noticed a "hangover" period with both. And yes, I've done certain stupid things under the effects of both, that injured me but not permanently. (NEVER play with knives, kids.)

    (The "hangover" period can exacerbate depression, too. So careful what you wish for.)

    Opiates and speed are a giraffe-and-a-half above my pay-grade or willingness to indulge. Thanks but no thanks.

    Coke turns people into assholes. For reals. Toxic, not worth it. Avoid.

    Marijuana, on the other hand, IS a lot like alcohol, in that it's fairly benign. On the other hand, alcohol isn't really all that benign and neither is weed. When they say pot isn't addictive? Yeah, they don't know what they're talking about.

    No pills for me, thanks. Thanks but No Thanks.
  6.  (10999.11)
    @badbear: Wow, it's taken me a while to respond to this. I do think you are right, at least one some level, and part of me is trying to get better about consistently waking up at a certain time. Hopefully with the new meds, I'll get better about that.

    @doclivingston: I'm surprised anyone would think that Celexa is the generic for Lexapro, especially since Celexa has it's own generic name (citalopram). From what I understand, Celexa and Lexapro are similar, but certainly not the same thing. Interestingly, I like Celexa better than Lexapro - I did try it, and it just wasn't enough.

    @werwolf: I've come to terms with the fact that I have depression (etc). I realize that I will probably have to deal with it on some level for the rest of the life. But there is no fucking way I'm going to let it be one of my defining features, and anything I can do to beat it is something I am going to work at. Depression sucks. It makes my life less full than it could be. There are times I wonder what I could be accomplishing if I didn't have what is effectively a ball and chain attached to me. A successful artist maybe? Married? Living in Italy or Trinidad or somewhere not cold, and doing exciting things? I suspect you mean well, but I don't like being depressed, and the idea that I might be running away from my identity by trying to do everything in my power to beat the shit out of it feels incredibly insulting. Who wants to be defined by the thing that makes their lives more difficult? Is it an aspect of me? Sure, but I am more than that.

    I'm all for finding a sense of self, but there are better ways. And if you can do it, get professional care, and get to the root of your problems, so you can actually deal with it, instead of stumbling around it. I'm not saying the first psychologist will have all the answers, but therapy can help, so if you can get it, why not take advantage of it? Besides, even if they are just "small things" every little bit helps.
  7.  (10999.12)
    " When they say pot isn't addictive? Yeah, they don't know what they're talking about."

    My take on that is, if you have an addictive personality, anything can be addictive. Whether it's booze, food, video games, exercise, sex...anything.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeMar 8th 2013
    @Rachael - ah, yeah that's a very good point about the snorting. One of my cog sci major friends was explaining the effects of drugs to me and why some are worse than others, but I don't remember him mentioning that snorting was a reason for frontal lobe damage, but I could have just forgotten (and in hindsight is very obvious).

    In an effort to not get too off track, my depression was there since I was a kid, ages before I ever touched alcohol or any other substances.
  8.  (10999.14)
    @Trini: Right. To go into better detail, what I meant by "sorta-kinda-almost-generic for Lexapro" was that a handful of doctors and my insurance company itself all suggested Celexa as a suitable, cheap substitute. A few doctors even used the phrase "it's basically like Lexapro's generic" because it's chemically similar (citalopram vs escitalopram), and talking with a few friends and an ex, we were ALL fed that same line. Except it's bullshit.

    Btw, holy crap, I just looked at the wiki. The patent expiration date for Lexapro finally came last year? Can you get a generic version of it now? Like I mentioned above, I gave up psychiatric treatment a while ago (maybe two years ago?) but if I can try Lexapro again for cheap I might wanna give it another go. Obviously everyone's different, but Lexapro treated me MUCH better than Celexa.
  9.  (10999.15)
    @docliving: Wow those doctors are shitty. There probably are going to be some generics soon, though when I did try Lexapro, they do have a free drug program if you prove you are sufficiently poor and have the prescription. I learned that because the doctors/clinic I have right now are completely awesome and do everything in their power to make everything affordable. In fact, the one of the biggest reasons I am getting so much better is because I can afford to go to see my psychologist as often as I want, I can afford to go to the doctor to figure out what the heck is wrong with me and try different things. It's amazing.

    And it's been brought up, but I've never gotten around to properly addressing it. In my family, the depression etc is absolutely genetic on my mom's side. My maternal grandmother had two sisters. One was a happy go lucky sunshine person. The other had periodic blue moods, who would then call my grandmother for comfort/cheering up. My mom has had depression as a teenager, though she didn't figure it out until later in life. Both my sister and I have depression, though it can manifest in different ways. My mom, sister and I all struggle with fatigue. And we all take meds. I think with proper levels of therapy etc, my mom could possibly get off the meds or go to minimal levels, but currently therapy is too expensive for her. If my sister went off her meds, my entire family would be doing everything in our power to get her back on them. She can be somewhat difficult on her meds, but she's a self destructive nightmare off them. My maternal grandfather and his father had scary mean streaks. They'd be laughing and joking one moment, and scary angry the next. One never crossed them without serious consequences. My sister can be like that too, but she didn't grow up around my grandfather, so I suspect that maybe there's some form of bipolar or something? It's hard to know. She's never been diagnosed as bipolar, so obviously the high/low tendencies aren't strong enough, but I have my suspicions.
  10.  (10999.16)
    i do have an addictive personality, hence my choice of no alcohol or drugs, other then caffeine
  11.  (10999.17)
    Just noticed this thread, so I'm sorry for being late to the party. Which I always am (on purpose) in real life, because I suffer from social anxiety and agoraphobia. Which will probably prove fatal to my comics-making career, by making it impossible for me to participate in cons anymore. The last one I went to about 5 years ago, which was only a local hotel-wedding-party-room affair, I ended up spending in a men's room stall (reading, not cruising) while my friends had fun. I did better in younger days, but I think the more I avoid the kinds of situations where I'd be uncomfortable, the more they bother me when I find myself in them.

    I'm acrophobic too, but that's easy enough to manage: stay off ladders, airplanes, tall buildings, and IMAX movies about superheroes.

    I have depression (usually manageable without meds), which I attribute (not blame, merely attribute ... the counseling has helped) to parental abuse/abandonment, the abrupt death 10 years ago of my boyfriend of 5 years (the only person I've ever really been in love with), and a being fired from every job I actually liked and was any good at ... except self-employment such as occasional hustling (that one I quit for my boyfriend, too old now to go back) and making comics (which makes me no money). I actually think I'd be OK if my life just didn't suck.

    One thing I have going for me is not having an "addictive personality". Yes, I do drink too much for my health and budget, but the answers to the red-flag alcoholism-quiz items about interfering with work, binging, DUI, blackouts, have always been "no" (not counting teens and early 20's). I've been a regular user of pot and pain-pills and sometimes MDMA, but when they weren't handy or when my boyfriend asked, I just stopped and didn't miss them beyond the occasional gosh-I-haven't-done-it-in-ages-I-could-go-for-that-right-now-fuck-I-don't-have-any-I'll-get-a-couple-beers-instead. Last year I even found about an eighth of pot I didn't bother to finish and forgot about a few years earlier.
  12.  (10999.18)
    When they say pot isn't addictive? Yeah, they don't know what they're talking about.

    When they say that, they're talking biochemically. When you stop, nothing special happens to your body chemistry, no withdrawal reaction happens ... the THC just gradually breaks down and washes from your system. If doing it's a habit, or part of your social pattern, it can be hard as fuck to adjust to it not being there, but that's not chemical addiction.
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2013
    @trini_naenae apologies, did not mean to insult. i'm just being curious, want to know more about the various methods each of us use to get a grip on whatever it is that we want to get a grip on. also, it seems to me that you're actually applying a similar method that i do: you choose an identity for yourself that is not dominated by your depression and then go about finding ways to make that happen, right? [by saying that you do not want depression to be a controlling factor you are changing your personal narrative to something that will be better for you - which could be desribed by using the words 'writing a better you', which can be viewed as a different identity. it's just semantics. i believe we're on the same page here.]

    what i'd like to know more about is those experiences where identity-borders become very blurry or even vanish altogether - and how those experiences might help [or have helped] in solving our problems?
  13.  (10999.20)
    I have come to the point where an identity in and of itself isn't really that important to me. I mean, how does one define concepts like identity and authenticity and so on without running into expectations that cannot be lived up to? I'm more interested in context and intention - concepts that allow for more variables and change. Because ultimately identity, and all of the issues that surround it are really about ideas, and well, ideas sometimes mean different things to different people. The definitions are inconsistent. How the hell can we be basing our existence on something so prone to such difficulties? I find it most helpful to realize that identity is very changeable and unreliable, and stop worrying about it altogether. That said, I'm no psychology (or philosophy, or whatever) professional - I have no degrees, just a set of opinions. I suspect you would find the most help with these ideas from someone who has a degree and is licensed to help you. Again, they may be able to get to the root of what is troubling you, and help you find some clarity.

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