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OfflineTheEschatologist
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Depression and entheogens: what have you found useful for self-medication?
    #26281654 - 10/28/19 08:55 AM (1 year, 4 months ago)

Hi all

Hope you find yourselves well today.

TLDR first: I'm interested to hear what folks with a history of depression use to heal or keep themselves going through life.

Thought it would be appropriate to ask on this forum since, in my experience, people who seek out entheogens (esp ayahuasca) tend to have some mental/emotional weight that needs to be relieved.

Brief personal: I have a history of clinical depression and had a major episode about ten years ago which i nearly didn't survive. Needless to say it left its mark on me. In the past two years or so it has reared its head again and I've been exploring ways to fight it via plant medicines (and other lifestyle choices). So far I've managed to avoid prescription anti-depressants, which is preferable since they didn't serve well in the past. That's not to say i think no-one should be prescribed meds - they definitely have their place.

Anyway, as anyone who has been diagnosed knows, depression can sometimes overwhelm and make you think there's no escaping the black hole that's pulling you in. I can fully sympathize with people who have committed suicide due to this pervasive state of mind. Hence the search.

To get the ball rolling I'll share what I've had success with. The main thing which has saved my ass when things get bad has been harmalas, specifically syrian rue (extracted in tea). About a week ago i was hit by a major wave, almost unbearable. As an emergency measure i started dosing with rue every night for a few days, and the difference in that short period has been incredible. Feels like i can breathe again. I would take it every day forever if it wasn't for the MAOI side effects (and awful taste, lol).

Anybody had similar experiences? What has worked best for you to improve quality of life?


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Invisibleninja cat 09
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Re: Depression and entheogens: what have you found useful for self-medication? [Re: TheEschatologist]
    #26281672 - 10/28/19 09:12 AM (1 year, 4 months ago)

I had a pretty strong depressive bout recently, mushrooms helped me quite a bit, but not how I expected. They pushed me towards action when inaction was the cause for my depression. For a while I've had almost no suicidal thoughts, but I'm not sure how much has to do with mushrooms and how much with the change of circumstances.

I've read that ketamine has also been successful, but I'm not sure how well it would work without accompanying therapy that's mentioned a lot in that type of study.


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OfflineTheEschatologist
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Re: Depression and entheogens: what have you found useful for self-medication? [Re: ninja cat 09]
    #26286209 - 10/30/19 03:15 AM (1 year, 4 months ago)

Hi ninja

Yeah mushrooms can be interesting for depression. As with your experience, they seem to provide a kind of 'atypical' treatment by shifting one's perspective rather than affecting neurotransmitters so much. In my experience they've been helpful and sometimes unhelpful, counterproductive even. Microdosing was a mixed bag and didn't really help with chronic depression IME, and tripping on big doses while you're depressed can be horrific actually. A light-medium dose now and then seems to be where it's at - giving you the energetic shift needed to make behaviour changes which in turn can help to break out of a slump.

I've been trying to get hold of ketamine for some time, but every time i get a potential contact they end up fading out. Frustrating, because from what i've read it creates lasting changes in the brain and repairs the damage caused by constant stress while you're depressed. You're probably right that clinical treatment/therapy is better for this than self administering. It's just so damn expensive and not covered by medical aid plans. I've been thinking of ordering some alternative RC dissos and giving it a shot.

In general, I also find that any activity and/or supplement that increase BDNF tend to ease the effects of acute depression. Harmalas, lion's mane, exercise, learning new things all help i've found


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Invisibleninja cat 09
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Re: Depression and entheogens: what have you found useful for self-medication? [Re: TheEschatologist]
    #26287228 - 10/30/19 03:15 PM (1 year, 4 months ago)

Quote:

TheEschatologist said:
You're probably right that clinical treatment/therapy is better for this than self administering. It's just so damn expensive and not covered by medical aid plans. I've been thinking of ordering some alternative RC dissos and giving it a shot.



I was under the impression that you could hire someone to trip-sit you through the webcam, but I'm not sure how good prices and the like are. Not to mention that since it's not exactly medical professionals administering this type of therapy you'd definitely want references.


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OfflineJohnRainy
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Re: Depression and entheogens: what have you found useful for self-medication? [Re: TheEschatologist]
    #26290344 - 10/31/19 07:50 PM (1 year, 4 months ago)

If you're looking for something like that to try, I suggest iboga.

You can get it online fairly easily, my favourite place is (no sources) Whoever answers the emails there is very helpful, Ive had 0 issues with them.

They only sell root bark powder.  Not the concentrated preparations of ibogaine.

Microdosing iboga is great psychological medicine.  Greatly helps one see their issues objectively, as merely temporary phenomenons associated with the evolution of consciousness.

Having a full blown ibogaine trip has helped people to clear out their bad psychology too, but it's a commitment.  It takes 2-4 days to go through, during which time you are bedridden.

Ibogaine is not like other psychedelics Ive tried.  It is particularly easy on the mind.  No freakouts or bad trips.  Plus it's lessons stick a lot better than the ones you get from LSD or psilocybin.  It has been described as "10 years worth of psychotherapy"


Edited by mndfreeze (01/12/20 11:07 PM)


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OfflineTheEschatologist
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Re: Depression and entheogens: what have you found useful for self-medication? [Re: JohnRainy]
    #26304108 - 11/07/19 05:22 AM (1 year, 3 months ago)

@Ninja I'd probably get paranoid having someone I don't know tripsit me via webcam haha. This is why i tend to stay under ceremony-level doses unless i'm in, well, a ceremony :laugh:

@JohnRainy So you've done a full blown iboga session? That's impressive. I have issues, but maybe not enough to warrant a 36 hour out-of-this-world therapy trip haha! Just a bit daunted by the idea is all - i tend to panic on large doses of psychedelics. But the microdosing sounds very interesting indeed. From the little i know the ibogaine molecule is super complex and affects a bunch of different receptors. I wonder what role it has to play with regards to long-term repair in the case of a depressed brain.

Also thanks for that vendor link, I'll check them out :thumbup:


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Re: Depression and entheogens: what have you found useful for self-medication? [Re: TheEschatologist]
    #26304250 - 11/07/19 08:16 AM (1 year, 3 months ago)

I think the experience gives me something I dont quite have in my day to day life. Im also depressive. And when I use, sometimes I think, this is what normal feels like. Then the next day I feel this flood of emotion. Not bad really. I just become more balanced and this lasts up to a month I think. Longer depending on the intensity of experience. A lot of it is about perspective for me. And giving myself some relief, even if its only for that sense of normality. Something to look forward to. Certainly not a cure, but it makes it easier to look past those bad times even when they are happening. A sense of.. impartiality, and an awakening of my true self/desires. A way to look at the different parts of nyself and choose what I want instead of letting them argue over it, if that makes sense. Its a confusing and paradoxical relationship, but its beneficial ultimately and quite beautiful honestly. I do have chronic pain and that makes it harder, but im glad i have psychedelics and am thankful to manage without nasty prescriptions. I may try the rue.. it is very cheap and fun to have around :smile:


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OfflineTheEschatologist
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Re: Depression and entheogens: what have you found useful for self-medication? [Re: Anonymous #1]
    #26313118 - 11/11/19 09:19 AM (1 year, 3 months ago)

Hey Anon

I get very close to what you're describing when I dose with rue - the heightened emotion and just feeling more comfortable in my skin. Not "cured" of depressive tendencies mind you, but a welcome abatement of the relentlessly reinforced negative self-image that depression convinces you is your true self. When that goes there is a subtle amazement at just being alive and the thought: "is this what normal people feel like? No wonder everyone gets so much shit done!" Haha. In my experience rue is more reliable than other psyches for this, probably due to the MAOi action. You seem experienced with psyches so I won't try to tell you your business, just obliged to say take proper precautions with rue and eating/drinking tyramines. That and to start at a lower dose and work up til you find what works best for you. In any case, if you do try it I hope it helps in some way. If not, well at least it's cheap like you said!

Regards, TE


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OnlineEnkidu
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Re: Depression and entheogens: what have you found useful for self-medication? [Re: TheEschatologist]
    #26325731 - 11/17/19 01:35 AM (1 year, 3 months ago)

Microdosing and macrodosing and time off tackling life

Reading
Meditation
Eating healthy
Exercise


--------------------
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OfflineTheEschatologist
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Re: Depression and entheogens: what have you found useful for self-medication? [Re: Enkidu]
    #26326515 - 11/17/19 12:33 PM (1 year, 3 months ago)

Thanks Enkidu

I find the catch 22 is that sometimes depression makes it difficult to maintain healthy living habits, which in turn feeds back into worsening symptoms. This is where macrodoses or more conventional anti-depressants can help one break out of stagnant behavior patterns.

As far as maintenance goes, exercise and healthy diet are the major pillars i think. To the list above I'd add 8 hours sleep and some kind of creative endeavor - work or hobbies. Or anything that gives you a feeling that you're spending your time meaningfully. Studies have shown that learning a new language or a musical instrument can have beneficial effects on the brain, but these may be a tall order for a depressed person. Meditation was a gamechanger for me when i started taking it seriously - I'd liken it to exercise for your emotional body. Some people seem to be put off by the religious aspect of it, but I'd recommend it to anyone. If you have a chance to do a legit meditation retreat they can also be good - kind of like tripping in slow motion (introspection without the colors)


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OnlineEnkidu
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Re: Depression and entheogens: what have you found useful for self-medication? [Re: TheEschatologist]
    #26326668 - 11/17/19 01:55 PM (1 year, 3 months ago)

Yeah meditation is definitely a declutter and exercise of the mind

I guess reading and journaling is as close as i get to creative endeavor

I need to spend more time with art

I might add goals and working toward them to that list as well

Lately reading has been my therapy and my constant for embracing new thought patterns and adopting new behavior

Helps keep me geared forward away from the old

Goals and working toward them are similar. Provide a focus for moving forward instead of staying stagnant


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Invisibleninja cat 09
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Re: Depression and entheogens: what have you found useful for self-medication? [Re: TheEschatologist]
    #26335334 - 11/21/19 10:47 AM (1 year, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Enkidu said:
Microdosing and macrodosing and time off tackling life




I forgot how necessary taking a break can be. I took a little vacation with my girl during this past long weekend and I feel so much better after coming back!

Quote:

TheEschatologist said:
Studies have shown that learning a new language or a musical instrument can have beneficial effects on the brain, but these may be a tall order for a depressed person.




I've been taking Russian classes for a while now and it's helped when I'm feeling especially down, since they're one to one classes it helps me commit to know that I'll probably let my teacher down if I cancel more than I absolutely need to.


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OfflineTheEschatologist
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Re: Depression and entheogens: what have you found useful for self-medication? [Re: ninja cat 09]
    #26372517 - 12/10/19 09:11 AM (1 year, 2 months ago)

Ok so I've reconsidered my opinion on psilocybin macro doses - they definitely work for breaking out of a depressive spiral. The trick seems to be finding the "goldilocks dose" where you can go deep enough to work through what you're carrying but without being beaten half to death with your own thoughts (i find mushrooms to be a hard taskmaster in this regard sometimes). The dose that worked for me recently was 1.5 grams - not an easy experience but felt very refreshed afterwards. (As a side note I seem to have developed a reverse tolerance to mushrooms, 1.5 these days is stronger than 3 grams a year ago. YMMV.) The afterglow lasted only 2 days max, but that was enough to enact some positive behavior changes that shifted me out of the funk from the previous weeks.

So yeah, not a microdose, not really a macrodose. A mesodose? Am thinking that  a mid-level experience like this more frequently (every 2-3 weeks) may be more beneficial for managing chronic depression specifically - as opposed to heroic doses every few months.

On the note of microdoses - I've been microdosing iboga (500mg root bark) every monday/thursday for the past 3 or 4 weeks. It certainly has an effect on the day it's taken, but no real long-lasting effect on the days inbetween. I find that if you use a 80mg - 100mg mushroom microdose along with the iboga, it gives a substantial mood lift and creative energy boost. Can't reasonably do this every day though, so it's best used when you have a hectic day ahead and need to get a lot of stuff done. It works especially well for physical chores.

I wonder if there might be a synergy to be had between more frequent dosing of rue and less frequent dosing of mushrooms. Hmmm. Then again, you don't want to be under the influence of psychoactives all the time if you can help it. I'll experiment a bit and report back in future.


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OfflineTheEschatologist
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Re: Depression and entheogens: what have you found useful for self-medication? [Re: TheEschatologist]
    #26429178 - 01/12/20 08:16 AM (1 year, 1 month ago)

This is more for my own notes than anything, but it's relevant to the topic and someone may find it informative down the line.

I hadn't microdosed iboga in quite some time, at least a month. I had three 0.5g root bark capsules left from my last order (effects described above). I had done more drugs than average over the past 2 weeks (holiday spirit) and felt a bit burned out/anhedonic. I remembered iboga was an addictive-cycle breaker (in larger doses at least), so thought i'd take the remaining 1.5 grams and just see what happens - didn't really have anything to lose.

Turns out this is a very interesting medicine indeed. My low grade depression vanished for a full day, replaced by a sustained rush of confident energy after the peak effects subsided. Major aftereffects lingered for another 1-2 days. When I went for my usual runs my natural pace was almost a sprint and i went further than on most zoned-in days.

I was laughing and smiling for seemingly no reason (but sanely, not like tripping) for 48 hours. It almost felt like a "healthy" speed buzz. Whereas the smaller microdoses weren't that impressive, this is discovery has made iboga another personal tool for breaking out of depressive cycles in future.

I'm excited to try slightly larger doses in future. The positive aftereffects are truly regenerative. Perhaps this is the year where I even attempt a flood dose ceremony?


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Re: Depression and entheogens: what have you found useful for self-medication? [Re: TheEschatologist]
    #26430139 - 01/12/20 08:31 PM (1 year, 1 month ago)

Ill be ohnest my depression comes from thinking to much like losing people are about.  I allways think about how sad ill be when my parents go. Most people will tell me i should cheer up but its hard its like an internal battle i have with my self.

Happiness is hard for me to finde i have a good job an amazing family an the best girlfriend ever yet im still not happy.


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OfflineTheEschatologist
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Re: Depression and entheogens: what have you found useful for self-medication? [Re: Mach z 800]
    #26430522 - 01/13/20 02:18 AM (1 year, 1 month ago)

@Mach z 800

Sorry to hear about your struggles brother. A chronic inability to feel happiness is an indicator of depression, or at least the beginning stages of an episode. People saying "cheer up" just means they don't understand clinical depression. If it's still only at the level of intrusive thoughts, meditation and/or therapy could help you work through it. At the very least you should talk to someone experienced - perhaps there are local counselling groups in your area?

If you have a relationship with psychedelics you could also try doing a few ceremonies with the intention of seeing what changes in your life are necessary.

It may or may not progress to where it becomes harder for you to function normally, in which case medication would be the next step. I'd suggest taking real steps to work on it right now before it potentially starts taking over your life, trust me you don't want to go there.


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Re: Depression and entheogens: what have you found useful for self-medication? [Re: TheEschatologist]
    #26431329 - 01/13/20 03:16 PM (1 year, 1 month ago)

I just started trying ketamine for depression/anxiety.  I dose once a week and not enough to k-hole. Just enough to feel a little weird for an hour or two.  Noticed an immediate difference a few hours after it wore off and it seems to stick around for about a week or so.

Ketamine IS addictive though, so tread carefully if you go this route.  Also, if you've never done it before you need to make sure you are home, don't drive, etc, etc.


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quote]Urb said:
I know... Its fucked up... Ill fix it minyana..[/quote]


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OfflineTheEschatologist
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Re: Depression and entheogens: what have you found useful for self-medication? [Re: mndfreeze]
    #26432437 - 01/14/20 02:44 AM (1 year, 1 month ago)

Hi mindfreeze, thanks for bringing up ketamine. I've been super interested in it for months, yet every time i seem to find a local source they ultimately let me down. This may change soon however, fingers crossed.

I'm especially interested by the studies reporting its restorative effects on certain neural pathways atrophied by runaway stress (i.e. anxiety/depression).

If i may ask for more detail, what is your procedure (before/after/during) for taking it therapeutically? I've seen a few self-treatment protocols on reddit - there seems to be more than one way to do it depending on the person. Am interested in what has worked best for you.

I hear you about the addiction potential, if i manage to get some i'll probably stick to dosing once a month or max once a week like yourself.


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Re: Depression and entheogens: what have you found useful for self-medication? [Re: TheEschatologist]
    #26432486 - 01/14/20 03:59 AM (1 year, 1 month ago)

No real procedure.  K is also a pain to get here even though Mexico is just a few hours away.  I have a little dental tool with one side thats sort of spoon shaped.  I scoop a little out, far less than most people would do recreationally, and snort it. 

I usually just put on some good electronica, play video games, or watch tv.


--------------------
Nothing says love like grannies prolapsed anus!

quote]Urb said:
I know... Its fucked up... Ill fix it minyana..[/quote]


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OfflineTheEschatologist
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Re: Depression and entheogens: what have you found useful for self-medication? [Re: mndfreeze]
    #26432513 - 01/14/20 04:53 AM (1 year, 1 month ago)

Well that sounds simple enough - even i shouldn't be able to mess it up haha. Thanks for the info. I just got the news that i'll be getting some in the next day or two. Will do a trial run over the weekend and report back. Am cautiously optimistic!


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