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Registered: 06/06/03
Posts: 60,955
Loc: the sky
Fear of Heartbeat (Please Read)
    #3798145 - 02/18/05 01:37 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

This post is on behalf of my girlfriend, Lucy (really, I mean a girl named Lucy, not acid. :smile:)  I hope you'll take the time to read it.

I love acid.  Lucy knows this, and she tried it with me Nov. 1st, 2003, and we had a wild experience.  She'd like to do it again. And I just stumbled into it.  But there's a problem.

A little while after that experience, we were on this stupid, brief three-month kick of doing coke while watching America's Next Top Model, which seemed like the funniest thing ever.  Someone had hooked us up with a really good-quality 8-ball, cheap, and so we dove into it. One night, almost exactly a year ago today, we really hadn't chopped it up enough and it needed to be cut.  Long story short, a small amount went a long way and I have never seen anyone so frightened, nor felt so frightened myself.  Her heart was going BUCKWILD.  The most irregular, sped-up heartbeat I have ever felt.  I actually logged on to Shroomery to see if any of the mods could gimme some advice and a couple, can't remember who, PM'ed me with pretty calming words that helped her relax and see it was going to pass, and that she didn't need to go to the hospital.

Last night we went to our favorite bar for some gin-and-tonics before dinner and got to talking about the LSD I'd gotten, and she opened up about this nervousness to do psychedelic drugs that has come to her in the last year.  Ever since that awful night, she feels more aware of her body than she ever was before, especially her heart.  Even when she smokes, there is always a certain level of anxiety that comes with her high.  She feels like her brain has become cyclical and slightly obsessive too, like she really focuses in on one thing at a time.  She really wants to trip with me and our three friends.  I mean, we have a really great group planned.  Set and Setting could not be more wonderful for what we have in mind, but she's just worried that she's going to not be able to stop paying attention to her heart, especially since this is acid, and the heart tends to go a little wild while you're on it.

I told her I thought while mushrooms would be a bad idea for her, since they can get so gruelingly personal sometimes, that with acid it would be much easier, because rather than you coming out of your body to meet the world, it's sort of like all the love of the world coming into you and just giving you that awesome glow we all know and love who have done it.  Essentially, at the end of our drinks she was of this mind:  I really want to do it, but I am afraid.  And I asked if it was fear, or nervousness, or anxiety, which to me are three different things.  And she said that while it was mostly nervousness, there was fear in the back of her mind and I told her, you know, don't do it if you're afraid of it because that will work against you.

But we have a month until we're (or I'm) gonna do it, and she wants to have that time to really think it over.  She says she thinks about it every single day.  I really want to have her there, and she said that she would hang out with us even if she didn't drop one, but that it would kill her because she would want to be sharing in the experience with us.  So I just wanted to see what all you guys had to say, and then show it to her, whether your words are words of encouragement or discouragement, just so she can hear what other people have to say about it besides the two of us.

I think she should take this month to think it over, read the Psychedelic Experience again, then drink a couple of gin-and-tonics to loosen up, and slide her namesake onto the top of her tongue.  Thanks guys.

Acid doesn't give you truths; it builds machines that push the envelope of perception. Whatever revelations came to me then have dissolved like skywriting. All I really know is that those few years saddled me with a faith in the redemptive potential of the imagination which, however flat, stale and unprofitable the world seems to me now, I cannot for the life of me shake.

-Erik Davis

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Registered: 01/13/05
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Re: Fear of Heartbeat (Please Read) [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #3798353 - 02/18/05 02:29 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

You need Kava. Take either the capsules or the drink before smoking and see if that helps her anxiety/fear/heart rate. I used to take kava everytime before I smoked to deal with anxiety and panic attacks and it worked very well for me. Its also a wonderful plant on its own. And don't believe the stories about liver damage. Those were done on alcoholics who also did kava so its a o_0 study.

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insubordinate and churlish

Registered: 02/11/05
Posts: 1,123
Re: Fear of Heartbeat (Please Read) [Re: passitbobbie]
    #3798442 - 02/18/05 02:48 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

I don't think people with anxiety like that should be taking a mind-manifesting drug like acid. Usually if a person has any kind of general apprehension going into the trip, well you know how it goes...

I'd hate to see your girlfriend freak out again like she did with the coke experience. As you know, acid lasts quite a bit longer than a coke high.

From a different angle, I can understand what it's like having serious apprehensions but also reallllly having a deep interest and fascination for experimenting with lsd or mushrooms. Hmmmm, just assure her that she'll be with several people who will be watching over her, taking care of her, and also that she needs to focus on separating fact from fiction. Just remind her that there is NO way the acid is going to induce a heart attack, that it just doesn't do that, that the psychedelic experience is all in your mind.

Ultimately this is a very tough situation for you or I to answer. Only your girlfriend can make this decision. Look on the bright side though, acid is not a lethal drug at regular doses (not even in moderately high doses). This trip is NOT going to physically damage Lucy...she needs to know that, believe it, accept it. Coke is a completely different thing, so any experience she had on that drug should not at all be interpreted in relation to an lsd trip.

Good luck. Whichever it is, the right answer will come in time.


The man in the black pajamas, Dude. Worthy fuckin' adversary.

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Registered: 05/13/04
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Re: Fear of Heartbeat (Please Read) [Re: Soularize]
    #3798574 - 02/18/05 03:18 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

There is always a little bit of fear involved in a psychedelic trip. If there wasn't then you probably aren't human. She is displaying a completely normal human reaction to the unknown. Only by drifting out into the sea can she see the view of the whole island.

No ONE wants to know the ultimate TRUTH, as soon as YOU find IT out, YOU want to forget IT.

You are everything's way of feeling itself.

Happy Schwag, everygodly!

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Human Being

Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 7,894
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Re: Fear of Heartbeat (Please Read) [Re: mecreateme]
    #3799120 - 02/18/05 05:17 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

After a particularly "bad" trip, I too developed a mild somatoform disorder, similar to the one you described, of an acute awareness of the heart. It is classical clinical anxiety. There are two approaches to dealing with it: physiological and psychological. If you choose to go with the first one, then something such as Kava or a benzo (valium, xanax, klonopin, etc) would certainly work wonders. If you choose the latter approach, then you would have to converse with her and explain to her the way LSD works, and that there isn't even a possibility of the LSD physically hurting her. It really is all in her mind. Generally, a combination of the two is the best way to go. In the end however, it is her decision.

"What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"

"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer

Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -Abraham Lincoln

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Re: Fear of Heartbeat (Please Read) [Re: dblaney]
    #3799186 - 02/18/05 05:43 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Wow, while reading your post, I felt as if you had known me for the past three years. Three years ago I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. I was only 22 years old. I drank alot and smoked on occasion. It was brought on by being over-weight, but I ultimately landed in the hospital because I was drinking too much and started feeling sick. I lost alot of the weight and was put on HBP medication. I turned into a headcase about my heart. I was continually checking my pulse and BP. After a year or so I started to loosen up and partying again, but everytime I smoked I would be checking my pulse and seeing it skyrocket, usually almost doubling. This was definetly brought on by anxiety. I continued to try and smoke every month or so but always the same bad time. I finnally sat myself down and talked myself into the notion that nothing bad was going to happen when I smoke. Then over a period of a week or two I made myself smoke until I was retarded, in the comfort of my house and continually telling and showing myself that I would be fine, that nothing was going to be wrong. And, I tell you what, It worked. I have not tried psychedelics yet but plan to in the next month. I am hoping that my method of calming myself down will work if I start to think something is going wrong. i know I rambled, but Robot, please let your girl know that others suffer the same thing and there are nor reported cases of heart attack or stroke from these substances. I think if she get it right in her head and truly believe nothing bad will happen, she will be OK.

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Registered: 04/20/03
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Re: Fear of Heartbeat (Please Read) [Re: PennyPincher]
    #3799756 - 02/18/05 07:29 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

i got this same thing from smoking too much weed. whenever i got high my heart would race even if i was mentally calm. i kept on smoking and dealing with it for months and months but finally i had to quit. the first time i tried shrooms i was terified of what they might to do my heart but when they kicked in my heart rate did not seem to increase at all, they were much much gentler on the heart than marijuana and i was so relieved i didn't even think about it for the rest of the trip. i haven't tried acid yet, does it stimulate the heart a lot more than shrooms? if so i would recommend she take shrooms instead. maybe having a succesful trip on those would help her stop thinking about her heart.

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Re: Fear of Heartbeat (Please Read) [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #3800096 - 02/18/05 08:40 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

That's a pretty sticky situation. I'll give you my short answer now, and maybe a more complete answer later. Benzodiazepines could really help. Since you guys are used to doing a drug as severe as cocaine, I'm going to disagree with the kava suggestion and say go for the benzos.

This is the sort of problem that is likely to manifest itself psychosomatically. What I mean by that is obsessing about your heart beating will cause your heart to beat more rapidly (to a point), and then you're already sunk, because you've been caught in a vicious mind-body cycle. The point is, thoughts of this nature can quickly spiral out of control, especially when you're tripping.

Benzodiazepines are regarded as the most efficacious drugs to combat moderate-to-severe anxiety - the so-called "magic bullets". I've had real problems with anxiety (including panic attacks), and have gone through many years of therapy and many different medications, so I know a lot about the problem, and I can say that these drugs have worked wonders for me. They are extremely safe (unless combined with other depressants), and I would say the worst side effects are short-term memory loss and sleepiness - which I'll take any day over feeling like my skin's about to split like a sausage and I'm just going to explode, screaming.

From least to most powerful, here's how I personally rate the common benzos: librium, ativan, klonopin, xanax, and valium. So see if you guys can't get something in the top 3, then have Lucy test them alone a few times to see how they work for her. (They don't work for everyone.) Now of course, there's no drug that will specifically eliminate the risk of her freaking out over her heartbeat, but these should relax her to the point where she is less susceptible to that reaction.

Also, if you guys are doing something that is distracting enough to keep her mind off of things, she's less likely to fall into the trap. Good luck!

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