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Culture Health

My Experience With Psychoactives and Psychiatric Disorder

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Many people will tell you not to take psychoactives if you have PTSD or other various psychiatric disorders. They warn against ‘bad trips’ and say you will have a bad time. Naturally, I decided to test this theory. 

I have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, intermittent explosive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and sensory processing disorder.

My BPD has a tendency to make me dissociative. I feel like my body isn’t real and I have a hard time connecting with it. Most of what I feel inside and out feels like a fabrication. Rather, I have a difficult time connecting what I experience with how I feel. If I do feel something, I feel it very intensely because I’m so used to feeling nothing. This extends into emotions as well.

With my PTSD, it’s more like C-PTSD but that’s not in the DSM yet, so my symptoms are a little atypical of traditional PTSD. However, I do have triggers and do experience enough of the criteria to be diagnosed. It usually leads me to having a severe panic attack and I go nonverbal for awhile.

My sensory processing disorder is the closest thing I can get to a diagnosis of autism without paying $1000 out of pocket to see a specialist. When I am touched, I feel it much more intensely than others. Certain sounds make me have panic attacks. I’m very sensitive to taste, touch, sight, and sound. Certain foods have textures I can’t eat and certain flavors have like “frequencies” that overstimulate my brain. I get overstimulated pretty often, and it makes it hard to navigate through the world. In addition to this, I also identify strongly with misophonia– as I can’t listen to other people eat or hear gum pop without having a blackout dissociative episode that leads into a panic attack.

The intermittent explosive disorder used to be a big problem before I started taking lamictal. Sometimes I have dissociative outbursts, but usually it just involves screaming at people sometimes. It’s very much under control at this point.

I’ve taken a number of psychoactives over the years, and they all tend to work in different ways.

LSD makes me very happy. I feel like it helps me connect. Not with reality, but it shows me things I can feel and see. The things it shows me are meaningful and I can think on them, instead of feeling lost all the time because of my dissociative disorders.

One issue is that I become super sensitive to sounds. Recently, I was tripping and there was a parade in my neighborhood. There were helicopters buzzing and planes flying around the area and the sounds started to drive me up the wall. Eventually, I went outside but the sound of the city was driving me mad as well. Eventually, I had a friend pick me up and take me to a quieter part of town. This is typically reserved for the end of the trip when I’m starting to sober up, but I’m sensitive to other people’s sounds much more intensely for a few days.

While one acid, I do feel rather happy because of the effects the drug has on serotonin. Suffering from depression, I tend to have an imbalance of serotonin.

I do see things. The walls move. My friend’s face was melting the other day very similar to a Getter video. However, none of the things I see startle me. I’m just happy to be able to interact and see a beautiful world for once in a less painful way instead of complete and utter nothingness.

The hypersensitivity from LSD lasts a few days after I’ve taken it, and even wearing ear plugs does not help.

I took mushrooms, cubensis to be exact, recently as well. I took an eighth, and it was my first time. Visuals were intense and eventually things became too intense and i had to go home. I was just processing all this stuff I was seeing and feeling. My only issue with mushrooms like that is that I probably need to do it alone. I had a friend with me who suffers from schizophrenia who thought I was joke when I kept screaming and crying for him to stop talking to me and to stop waving his hands in front of my face.

I never went to a dark place or felt bad things. I just was overstimulated.

I made ayahuasca for myself several years ago, and it was probably the most intense thing I’ve ever experienced. The air conditioning and my ex-wife taking a shower were very overstimulating but everything else was fine.

Most of the time because I’m dissociative, there’s really not much of ‘me’ present to be overwhelmed by fears or insecurities so I generally don’t have trips that are subjectively ‘bad.’ Just ones that are intense, or ones that overstimulate me and I can’t communicate properly that I need alone time because I’m deathly afraid of confrontation or being made fun of while I’m tripping. I suppose that’s one thing that doesn’t go away, my insecurities with dealing with other people.

The only thing that really gets exacerbated when I do psychoactives are my sensory processing disorder, so far.

I’ve also done a fair amount of MDMA. This drugs makes my depression go away full stop. The physical symptoms of depression are gone. I can walk without feeling like I weigh 1000 pounds, I have motivation to do things, and I don’t hate myself. I’m on the asexual spectrum, so I don’t really get ‘horny’ or even too terribly touchy-feely, but sometimes I do reach out for a hand to hold as a grounding technique. MDMA does not interact with my sensory processing disorder, and alleviates symptoms from BPD including depressive, dissociative, and otherwise anhedonic tendencies.

Marijuana just makes me really twitchy sometimes, and helps a little bit with the walking. All weed does is put me in a more creative mood in a general sense. It gives me some euphoria and lifts my mood, but nothing as much as MDMA does.

Nothing makes my anxiety worse. Nothing puts me in a bad mood. I find that LSD helps me spiritually and MDMA helps me physiologically. Mushrooms didn’t really help with anything, but it was a very interesting experience nonetheless, and it helped me learn a lot about myself.

Disclaimer:

I am not suggesting other people take these drugs without educating themselves first. This is just my personal experience. Psychoactives may not be for everyone and may exacerbate your mental health symptoms. I would talk to a professional, read erowid reports, and do your research before consuming. I am an advocate for harm reduction. I feel that anyone should be allowed partake in these things as long as they can do them safely and without harm to themselves or others. If these are illegal in your country, I do not advocate taking these substances.

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