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On the Verge of Insanity

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Xagan

Rising Star
Hi everyone,

I've been pretty absent from here for quite a while now, but that's because I've been struggling so much - I'm posting this thread because I'm in a state of desperation; I feel like I'm on the edge of collapsing. I can barely cope. I can't even put into words how impaired I am at the minute. This has been a slow, gradual decline, over many months (since April), but it's slowly getting to a point where I literally feel like I will soon be in a psychiatric hospital. I don't know how I'm still going through the motions every day; even writing this is a massive effort that will put a strain on me.

This kind of all started after my experience with psilocybin mushrooms, which was posted on The Nexian:


As you can see, I did gradually improve after the trip, but then one day in April 2016, things started to go in the opposite direction again; things started to slowly get worse. It started with an inability to sleep. Even now, some nights I barely sleep at all, but even if I do get some sleep, it's fragmented and I can honestly say that I never feel that I sleep deeply any more - I always feel like I'm in a dreamy state; always on the verge of being awake. It's horrible. It doesn't even feel like medication would work. It's hard to explain - it feels like medication or sleep aids would merely sedate me, but not put me into a state of actual sleep. Obviously I don't know for sure, but something feels drastically wrong with my sleep.

Since then, my cognition has slowly got worse. I saw a neurologist the other week, and he said that there are issues with my working memory and attention, and I'm booked in to see a neuropsychologist early next month for a two hour assessment. I just can't explain how I feel. It's bizarre. It feels impossible. I would describe it as a mild form of thought disorder (as seen in schizophrenia). I can't control my thoughts, I go blank a lot, I can't maintain my attention on one thing and my thoughts always go from one thing to the next uncontrollably.

Up until recently, I've been able to hide my issues, but lately, even my relatives have been saying that I'm acting odd and that I sometimes don't finish my sentences (although with massive effort, I can just about avoid this). I'm so withdrawn as well of late. I can only cope with doing one thing a day, like if I go to work (which I'm just about able to do), I can't do anything in the evening because I'm too mentally exhausted (yet unable to sleep). My fear of developing schizophrenia actually seems to be turning true...

I know 100% what has caused my issues: stress. Before the mushroom trip and even after, I feel like I've 'fried' my brain with constant stress and various severely traumatic events. My poor brain has been hammered to within an inch of its life. The stress has taken its toll. Thankfully, I don't experience significant stress any more, because I've finished university and I'm working part-time hours at a relatively easy job that I know well. In spite of this, I'm still slowly getting worse - it's like the damage is already done.

I've been supplementing with NAC since about January 2015 (so before the mushroom trip) - 600mg twice a day up until April 2016 (when I started getting worse again). I started supplementing with NAC after I developed rosacea (which is now almost non-existent since living healthily). In April 2016, I upped the dose to 1000mg twice a day, as well as adding 1000mg twice a day of sarcosine. NAC and sarcosine are both used in the treatment of schizophrenia, and both are effective in alleviating schizophrenia symptoms. I thought I'd start sarcosine and increase the NAC because it honestly does (and did) feel like I'm experiencing an emerging psychosis.

I'm not experiencing any hallucinations or delusions at all (although I do remember getting strangely paranoid when I ran out of NAC late in 2015 and went a day without it, which ended when I started the NAC again) - my symptoms are mainly thought related. It feels like I'm developing hebephrenic schizophrenia, which worries me because a psychiatrist wrote online that hebephrenia seems to be different in pathology to paranoid schizophrenia; it is more of a traumatic insanity and its symptoms are probably caused by brain degeneration, as opposed to deficiencies in the dopamine system.

I'm eating healthily, I'm exercising, I'm leading a relatively stress-free life and am just about clinging on to being able to participate in hobbies, but I feel like I'm on the verge of collapsing. I can't go on any longer. I'm just becoming so mentally impaired and I can't control my attention - it's like there's a horrible feeling of tension.

I feel like my supplements are either holding me together and that I would literally have a nervous breakdown if I stop them, or that they're actually causing my issues. To be honest, I can't find any reports of similar experiences online, and they're both very safe supplements it seems, so my issues seem too severe for the supplements to be the cause. I would feel very fearful of stopping them to be honest. On that note, I've been considering consuming lion's mane mushroom, but then again, I don't want to keep pumping substances into my body. I just don't know what to do. I feel like I'm on a knife-edge.

If this continues, I'm not going to cope. I'm not depressed or anything at all. Quite the contrary; I'm almost in that state of mind all the time where I feel excessively sleep deprived. I feel wired in a sense. I would describe it as a complete mindset shift from one moment to the next. It is almost impossible to describe, but it's now getting to the point where it's massively impacting my functioning in life.

I'm so sorry for the rambling message. Any advice would be much appreciated, and I'll drop messages in here with any updates. I'm already booked in to see the neuropsychologist, but if anyone here can offer any input, I would be very grateful. I just pray that I can get out of this situation, but I fear that I've irreversibly damaged my brain with all the stress I've experienced.

Thank you all <3
 
Xagan, I see you in chat every once in a while, But I never really had the chance to speak with you, I'm almost always online in chat, you can always come in and speak with me or someone else if you aren't feeling so great and need someone to speak with.
 
I like to believe that whatever we do to our brains and bodies can largely be reversed, except for something like cutting off a limb. It sounds like stress and the daily grind have taken a toll on your mind; it happens to a lot of people. You should probably avoid further usage of psychedelics to avoid potentially worsening the problem. Meditate on your concerns. Take down and reconstruct your existence with mindfulness and meditation and see what you find.

I know it is impossible for any one of us reading your message online to truly know what you are feeling, so it is difficult to offer concrete advice. But with your post, you clearly have motivation and intention to stop this problem for yourself, which is a very important step. Continue to seek medical help but also try reflecting deep within yourself to see where this is coming from. Much love and light! :)
 
I imagine you could really benefit from some simple nervine herbs. A few that come to mind include Milky Oat tincture, which is a mild calming remedy that is known as a trophorestoritive to the nervous system. This means that it restores a depleted nervous system to its healthy state. I would also look into Skullcap (Scuttelaria spp.) as a mildly calming herb that also has a beneficial influence on the functioning of the nervous system. Aswaghanda (Withania somnifera) might also be very helpful.

If you know of an herbalist around you that might be a good route to take. If you PM me I could try to give you some advice if you want, I work as an herbalist. I dont check my PMs all the time but will try to.

It seems like you are doing really well in terms of understanding what you are going through and being resourceful in figuring out how to help yourself.

P.S I am not saying don't go to the doctor/neurologist, just that herbs might be a nice supplement to whatever other forms of care you would like to incorporate.
 
Give yourself some room to breathe (and some time to finish your sentences ;) ).. And don't worry. <3

It takes years for a habit to wane, and stress is a damn habitual thing. Integration takes bandwidth, and takes a long time... It's hard to find enough room for the both of them at once sometimes.

No need to go fiddling with the hardware if you can just close some windows, y'know?
 
Hey mate

Make sure to catch up on chat with us.
The brain is very flexible, neuroplasticity is awesome and underrated in my opinion.


This part of your message doesn't cope with me "On that note, I've been considering consuming lion's mane mushroom, but then again, I don't want to keep pumping substances into my body." I fully agree

with the latter part, don't just consume anything and everything. But consuming a number of different herbal remedies should pose no threat, and in my case, it helped immensely.

Take note that I only speak from experience, but there are lot's of cheap nice and easy exercise methods and teas that help the brain repair itself.


Before you start serious medications, I suggest researching the following, and maybe even trying them out, to see how it goes. Trust me on this one, these things can be very profound.


So definitely look into the ketogenic diet. If you feel this issue is getting out of control, and you are willing to make bigger lifestyle changes, give it a shot and see how it goes. There is plenty of info on reddit.com/r/keto the diet is very safe but it can be unpopular even among doctors.

Saunas are next stop. Look around Rhonda Patrick, she has a lot of info on this subject. All in all it is a healthy habit and has neuroprotective elements also.

So, the Wim Hof method, where you combine a breathing exercise with meditation and cold showers. Again, plentiful free information on the internet, and the method is very cheap and easy to do. Worth exploring.

Daily meditation is also shown to have neurological properties. It is cheap, and there is a lot of info on the web.

As of last, in several cultures people were abstaining from sexuality in order to heal themselves. r/nofap has also a lot of info on this. It is cheap, it might help, so why not look around? Your choice tho.

Get into the habit of sudoku or chess maybe?

Giving these a try usually yield positive experiences. They are mostly cheap, safe, and easy methods of expanding consciousness/mending the brain. Combining them in various ways should not have negative effects in my opinion and experience.


Look into how you breathe, especially while you meditate can you observe this but you could be mindful of it and see if it is rhythmic. Not breathing properly also has symptoms such as you describe.
A great video about it


Apart from these, don't be shy to treat yourself with 3-4 teas daily. It is a healthy habit and there are a number of teas and supplements that have been shown to help repair damage. Again, neuroplasticity is huge. The brain strives to repair itself. I have experienced these medicines and consider them very effective.

Ginger and ginkgo biloba are my go-to. Cheap, reliable (Always be careful of heavy metal toxicity when looking for herbal supplements or teas!!) But I also like bacopa monierri, and a number of others (r/nootropics has a lot of great stuff, worth checking every now and then, be skeptical doe).



All of the following was said from experience, be careful and don't hurt yourself. Better to consult a professional if you don't feel safe. (altho, again, the stuff above really is cheap safe and effective on the most part..)


Peace and hope you get better m8
 
justB612 said:
Saunas are next stop. Look around Rhonda Patrick, she has a lot of info on this subject. All in all it is a healthy habit and has neuroprotective elements also.

I can also get behind saunas, as they boost your metabolism and help detox any unfortunate things in your body. But if you start going in saunas, you MUST be sure to take the right supplements, as your body can lose things like magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B along with the toxic stuff after saunaing.

Reducing the general load of toxicants in your life can also be helpful. I used to have problems with intrusive thoughts/OCD, but cutting down on the amount of plastic I come into contact with on a daily basis has helped tremendously. It's sometimes hard to believe that what we eat, drink, breathe, and come into contact with can have such a large effect on our mental health, but these things are definitely big factors.

Also, you should maybe look into getting some kind of water filter if you are just drinking tap water. Tap water can have all sorts of nasty, neurotoxic chemicals, such as lead and mercury. A good, researched filter could alleviate any problems arising from ingestion of these.
 
I would leave herbal supplements, breathing exercises, saunas, and anything like that aside for now.
Such things are rarely as innocuous as they might seem, and require as much experienced guidance as anything else in the realm of medicine or physical or psychological conditioning.

A change of scenery, a change of job might be enough to set you on a path to wellbeing.
I know I've been driven to the edge of implosion by work related stress and the accompanying sleep disturbance.

Otherwise the middle path is recommended. Nothing weird. Just good, healthy food. Good, moderate exercise. Associate with pleasant, no drama, low maintenance people. Abandon your quests, even if for just a while. Allow yourself to be as utterly normal, or as utterly weird, as you feel like.
 
Hi there Xagan!

I just wanna say I'm really sorry to hear about what you're going through. Reading your post made me sad. No one should have to go through what you're going through right now. I just want you to know you have my deepest empathy, my most heartfelt love and my best wishes. It might not mean much, but I just want you to know that I feel for you.

I second what everyone else said about the chat, come on there dude, talk to us, we're here for you man.

Hang in there man! You can get through this! Remember, time heals all wounds!

Much love dude!:love: :love: :love: :love: :love:
 
Jees said:
Love and waves of support to you.
:love:

Thank you Jees - I really appreciate that <3


Yumi said:
Xagan, I see you in chat every once in a while, But I never really had the chance to speak with you, I'm almost always online in chat, you can always come in and speak with me or someone else if you aren't feeling so great and need someone to speak with.

And thank you as well Yumi. That invite is much appreciated; it's always nice to know there's someone to talk to when things get difficult. I'm sure we'll catch up soon.


RAM said:
justB612 said:
Saunas are next stop. Look around Rhonda Patrick, she has a lot of info on this subject. All in all it is a healthy habit and has neuroprotective elements also.

I can also get behind saunas, as they boost your metabolism and help detox any unfortunate things in your body. But if you start going in saunas, you MUST be sure to take the right supplements, as your body can lose things like magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B along with the toxic stuff after saunaing.

Reducing the general load of toxicants in your life can also be helpful. I used to have problems with intrusive thoughts/OCD, but cutting down on the amount of plastic I come into contact with on a daily basis has helped tremendously. It's sometimes hard to believe that what we eat, drink, breathe, and come into contact with can have such a large effect on our mental health, but these things are definitely big factors.

Also, you should maybe look into getting some kind of water filter if you are just drinking tap water. Tap water can have all sorts of nasty, neurotoxic chemicals, such as lead and mercury. A good, researched filter could alleviate any problems arising from ingestion of these.

Your advice is much appreciated RAM - thank you. I'll certainly look into getting a filter. That sounds like a good idea, and in the meantime I'm going to make sure I consume only bottled water, with no exceptions. Every little thing could help.


urtica said:
I imagine you could really benefit from some simple nervine herbs. A few that come to mind include Milky Oat tincture, which is a mild calming remedy that is known as a trophorestoritive to the nervous system. This means that it restores a depleted nervous system to its healthy state. I would also look into Skullcap (Scuttelaria spp.) as a mildly calming herb that also has a beneficial influence on the functioning of the nervous system. Aswaghanda (Withania somnifera) might also be very helpful.

If you know of an herbalist around you that might be a good route to take. If you PM me I could try to give you some advice if you want, I work as an herbalist. I dont check my PMs all the time but will try to.

It seems like you are doing really well in terms of understanding what you are going through and being resourceful in figuring out how to help yourself.

P.S I am not saying don't go to the doctor/neurologist, just that herbs might be a nice supplement to whatever other forms of care you would like to incorporate.

Yes urtica, I know what you mean: supplementing with something helpful could really benefit me. I've chosen that if and when I do choose to start trying stuff out, I'm going to try lion's mane first, but thank you so much for the other suggestions, particularly the milky oat tincture. I've officially added them to my list of things to try out :)


Hiyo Quicksilver said:
Give yourself some room to breathe (and some time to finish your sentences ;) ).. And don't worry. <3

It takes years for a habit to wane, and stress is a damn habitual thing. Integration takes bandwidth, and takes a long time... It's hard to find enough room for the both of them at once sometimes.

No need to go fiddling with the hardware if you can just close some windows, y'know?

Hiyo Quicksilver, that's very true. Sometimes it feels like I'm putting up a massive fight against my symptoms, whereas sometimes it's best to just relax and let things flow. Thank you for reminding me of this.


justB612 said:
Hey mate

Make sure to catch up on chat with us.
The brain is very flexible, neuroplasticity is awesome and underrated in my opinion.


This part of your message doesn't cope with me "On that note, I've been considering consuming lion's mane mushroom, but then again, I don't want to keep pumping substances into my body." I fully agree

with the latter part, don't just consume anything and everything. But consuming a number of different herbal remedies should pose no threat, and in my case, it helped immensely.

Take note that I only speak from experience, but there are lot's of cheap nice and easy exercise methods and teas that help the brain repair itself.


Before you start serious medications, I suggest researching the following, and maybe even trying them out, to see how it goes. Trust me on this one, these things can be very profound.


So definitely look into the ketogenic diet. If you feel this issue is getting out of control, and you are willing to make bigger lifestyle changes, give it a shot and see how it goes. There is plenty of info on reddit.com/r/keto the diet is very safe but it can be unpopular even among doctors.

Saunas are next stop. Look around Rhonda Patrick, she has a lot of info on this subject. All in all it is a healthy habit and has neuroprotective elements also.

So, the Wim Hof method, where you combine a breathing exercise with meditation and cold showers. Again, plentiful free information on the internet, and the method is very cheap and easy to do. Worth exploring.

Daily meditation is also shown to have neurological properties. It is cheap, and there is a lot of info on the web.

As of last, in several cultures people were abstaining from sexuality in order to heal themselves. r/nofap has also a lot of info on this. It is cheap, it might help, so why not look around? Your choice tho.

Get into the habit of sudoku or chess maybe?

Giving these a try usually yield positive experiences. They are mostly cheap, safe, and easy methods of expanding consciousness/mending the brain. Combining them in various ways should not have negative effects in my opinion and experience.


Look into how you breathe, especially while you meditate can you observe this but you could be mindful of it and see if it is rhythmic. Not breathing properly also has symptoms such as you describe.
A great video about it


Apart from these, don't be shy to treat yourself with 3-4 teas daily. It is a healthy habit and there are a number of teas and supplements that have been shown to help repair damage. Again, neuroplasticity is huge. The brain strives to repair itself. I have experienced these medicines and consider them very effective.

Ginger and ginkgo biloba are my go-to. Cheap, reliable (Always be careful of heavy metal toxicity when looking for herbal supplements or teas!!) But I also like bacopa monierri, and a number of others (r/nootropics has a lot of great stuff, worth checking every now and then, be skeptical doe).



All of the following was said from experience, be careful and don't hurt yourself. Better to consult a professional if you don't feel safe. (altho, again, the stuff above really is cheap safe and effective on the most part..)


Peace and hope you get better m8

Hi justB612, thank you so much for all your suggestions. I really appreciate it and I've noted all of them down. I do already eat healthily, but I don't exactly eat ketogenic and I could certainly cut my sugar intake, so that's another avenue for me to try. Thanks again for your input :)


Swayambhu said:
I would leave herbal supplements, breathing exercises, saunas, and anything like that aside for now.
Such things are rarely as innocuous as they might seem, and require as much experienced guidance as anything else in the realm of medicine or physical or psychological conditioning.

A change of scenery, a change of job might be enough to set you on a path to wellbeing.
I know I've been driven to the edge of implosion by work related stress and the accompanying sleep disturbance.

Otherwise the middle path is recommended. Nothing weird. Just good, healthy food. Good, moderate exercise. Associate with pleasant, no drama, low maintenance people. Abandon your quests, even if for just a while. Allow yourself to be as utterly normal, or as utterly weird, as you feel like.

Swayambhu, that's a very good point. Although I'm rather free of stress at the moment at my job - which is good - I'm not exactly what I would call happy, even if I didn't have these cognitive issues going on. So when I have the energy and when my symptoms aren't too bad, I'm in the process of finding another job which will hopefully be better suited to me.


JustAnotherHuman said:
Hi there Xagan!

I just wanna say I'm really sorry to hear about what you're going through. Reading your post made me sad. No one should have to go through what you're going through right now. I just want you to know you have my deepest empathy, my most heartfelt love and my best wishes. It might not mean much, but I just want you to know that I feel for you.

I second what everyone else said about the chat, come on there dude, talk to us, we're here for you man.

Hang in there man! You can get through this! Remember, time heals all wounds!

Much love dude!:love: :love: :love: :love: :love:

Thank you so much JustAnotherHuman. I really appreciate your kind words - it means a lot to me. Much love to you too.



Thank you everyone. I do hope I get through this, but I'm having a bit of an existential crisis as well at the moment, and have been for a few months, because I don't see why I should be sparred from this suffering, when there are thousands of people worldwide going through even worse situations who never recover. The world can be so cruel.

Why should I recover? What gives me that right? I used to think that if people done the right things, the universe would work in their favour, but the world can be so horrible and merciless towards some people that I'm starting to think that there's no higher power in this world at all. That thought alone scares me; I like the idea of there being some kind of higher meaning in life.

That's another thing: I also have quite strong OCD tendencies. Like, I need and crave a meaning in life; a reason to exist and something to aim for. I know that might not sound like OCD, but I know for sure that those feelings and ideologies of mine stem from an OCD-like avenue.

Regarding my symptoms, does anyone think that the NAC/sarcosine could be contributing? It's a catch 22 situation, because if the NAC and sarcosine are actually preventing a complete collapse due to an underlying illness, then stopping them or lowering the dose would be a bad idea. I found an anecdotal report online of a schizophrenia sufferer who says that supplementing with sarcosine stops them from relapsing into psychosis.

On the other hand, if the supplements are causing the issues, then obviously that needs to be addressed. I don't know who to consult with about this. I have my neuropsychological appointment next month, but I wouldn't expect them to know the mechanisms of action and potential long-term effects of every single substance, especially sarcosine as it's not very well known. I basically want the NAC/sarcosine situation to be sorted so that I can then think about adding in other herbs/therapies; I don't want to start adding stuff if the cause is actually something that needs to be taken away. I'm very anxious about stopping the supplements after how I felt the last time I stopped taking NAC, and that was when I was solely on 600mg of NAC twice a day without any sarcosine.

Oh I feel like I'm in such a pickle, but at the same time, at least I can find hope in the fact that if the supplements are causing my issues, then there's probably no underlying pathology and hopefully I'll feel better when I discontinue them, or if the supplements are helping, then I'm actually doing the right thing by taking them.

On a completely separate note, I've had mild chest discomfort every morning when I wake up now for about a year (possibly longer). It's only mild, which is why I've never had it checked up on, but thinking about it, maybe I should have investigated it, as it is almost constant. It just feels like I've got a sore chest, and breathing can feel a tad uncomfortable first thing in the morning. Thinking about it, I do get sore throats quite often as well. It's probably got something to do with the NAC, because NAC is a mucolytic - I have a runny nose most evenings too.

Anyway my rambling is over - I just wanted to get some worries off my chest.

Thanks everyone <3
 
Xagan said:
On a completely separate note, I've had mild chest discomfort every morning when I wake up now for about a year (possibly longer). It's only mild, which is why I've never had it checked up on, but thinking about it, maybe I should have investigated it, as it is almost constant. It just feels like I've got a sore chest, and breathing can feel a tad uncomfortable first thing in the morning. Thinking about it, I do get sore throats quite often as well.

Could you be allergic to something in the air you breathe? I recommend reading about this: Sick building syndrome - Wikipedia

The cause of your issues could be something as benign as wallpaper glue. I of course do not want to reduce any traumas you have experienced to something as simple as an allergy, but I have seen firsthand what allergies can do to people. Before my mother discovered her gluten allergy, she was extremely depressed all of the time, sleeping a lot, and her hair was falling out. She also had anxiety problems. But once she discovered gluten as the source of her ills, she stopped eating it and just about fully recovered.

The scary thing is that these allergies can span more than just food - like with the link above, you can simply be allergic to weird stuff wherever you live. Maybe it is something worth investigating for you? You could maybe try staying at a friend's place or a hotel for a little or getting an air filter to see if your chest feels any better. Maybe this could be indicative of further allergies that could be causing mental distress as well.

Even if you are not actually allergic to these things, I find that having a clean and simple lifestyle where you know what is coming in contact with your body leads to more happiness.

Also a warning about bottled water: most of it is just tap water the company puts in bottles. There are actually fewer regulations on bottled water because the FDA classifies it as a food, yet is can be thousands of times more expensive per gallon than water from the tap. Also, you should be wary of the plastic it comes in, as you never know how old the bottles are and if they were exposed to heat, both of which can leach microplastics into the water. I would really recommend either a filter or researching what the best brand of bottled water is and seeing if you can get it in glass.

Some stores, like Whole Foods, also have big machines where you can fill jugs with purified water. Just something to look into. Good luck! :d
 
I am bi polar. It is something I have to manage. If I do not, I get lost in my mind.

The depression washes over me and I can barely get out of bed and want to sleep all the time. The mania washes over me and I can't sleep. These states can last for months, weeks, or days. The depression is one thing but the mania drives me crazy. I do crazy things. I say stupid things. I get out of control in my mind. It races constantly and I feel like I am going to explode. It can be a very overwhelming feeling of fight or flight constantly when in full gear.

So I manage it. I have learned to use self CBT(cognitive behavioral therapy). The whole idea is to watch and manage your thoughts. I have to observe which thoughts are feeding the flames and which are calming. I have to know which state of mind I am in. I felt like I was tossing in the ocean for years until I started CBT. My thoughts would become my world. They would take over everything. I often felt out of control. I was hardly ever ME anymore. I was hijacked. It took me a lot of practice to learn this CBT mind management skill. It was worth the time and effort and I am a happy and productive person with relatively few setbacks. I still struggle from time to time but it has become much easier through my efforts to heal myself. My setbacks are always stress related. I have learned to recognize my triggers. I have quite a few so I have to watch my mind.

There are many things that have helped me with my mental problems. I surround myself with supportive friends and know that they love me. I go for hikes in nature. I meditate. I spend time with my daughter. I try and replace any negative thoughts with thoughts of gratitude. And most of all I love myself otherwise I would have never put forth all this effort to heal myself.

I have learned a lot along this path of healing. It's hard stuff! Very hard! Don't let your mental problem define you. You are not your mental illness. It took me some time to figure that out. I focused on my mental illness and it disempowered me. When I began to focus on healing myself I became empowered. I took back control. Yes I have a mental illness but I have it and it does not have me.

I am not sure if this helps at all. My heart goes out to you and I just wanted to share what has helped me over the years. It can be embarrassing. It can feel hopeless. But it can get better. It does get better! Keep your chin up! Hug to you!
 
RAM said:
Xagan said:
On a completely separate note, I've had mild chest discomfort every morning when I wake up now for about a year (possibly longer). It's only mild, which is why I've never had it checked up on, but thinking about it, maybe I should have investigated it, as it is almost constant. It just feels like I've got a sore chest, and breathing can feel a tad uncomfortable first thing in the morning. Thinking about it, I do get sore throats quite often as well.

Could you be allergic to something in the air you breathe? I recommend reading about this: Sick building syndrome - Wikipedia

The cause of your issues could be something as benign as wallpaper glue. I of course do not want to reduce any traumas you have experienced to something as simple as an allergy, but I have seen firsthand what allergies can do to people. Before my mother discovered her gluten allergy, she was extremely depressed all of the time, sleeping a lot, and her hair was falling out. She also had anxiety problems. But once she discovered gluten as the source of her ills, she stopped eating it and just about fully recovered.

The scary thing is that these allergies can span more than just food - like with the link above, you can simply be allergic to weird stuff wherever you live. Maybe it is something worth investigating for you? You could maybe try staying at a friend's place or a hotel for a little or getting an air filter to see if your chest feels any better. Maybe this could be indicative of further allergies that could be causing mental distress as well.

Even if you are not actually allergic to these things, I find that having a clean and simple lifestyle where you know what is coming in contact with your body leads to more happiness.

Also a warning about bottled water: most of it is just tap water the company puts in bottles. There are actually fewer regulations on bottled water because the FDA classifies it as a food, yet is can be thousands of times more expensive per gallon than water from the tap. Also, you should be wary of the plastic it comes in, as you never know how old the bottles are and if they were exposed to heat, both of which can leach microplastics into the water. I would really recommend either a filter or researching what the best brand of bottled water is and seeing if you can get it in glass.

Some stores, like Whole Foods, also have big machines where you can fill jugs with purified water. Just something to look into. Good luck! :d

Hi RAM, thanks so much for your reply. Unfortunately my issues aren't specific to any place. Between April last year and finishing up at university, I was spending long periods of time at home and at my university digs - I also went on holiday to the Isle of Wight. Wherever I've been, my issues have still been there and have progressed in the same manner unfortunately.

Having said that, your point about living cleanly is very true, and I think I'd definitely add more contentment into my life if I made some minor adjustments to my home environment, such as replacing artificial products for natural alternatives etc...

Thanks again RAM :)


DmnStr8 said:
I am bi polar. It is something I have to manage. If I do not, I get lost in my mind.

The depression washes over me and I can barely get out of bed and want to sleep all the time. The mania washes over me and I can't sleep. These states can last for months, weeks, or days. The depression is one thing but the mania drives me crazy. I do crazy things. I say stupid things. I get out of control in my mind. It races constantly and I feel like I am going to explode. It can be a very overwhelming feeling of fight or flight constantly when in full gear.

So I manage it. I have learned to use self CBT(cognitive behavioral therapy). The whole idea is to watch and manage your thoughts. I have to observe which thoughts are feeding the flames and which are calming. I have to know which state of mind I am in. I felt like I was tossing in the ocean for years until I started CBT. My thoughts would become my world. They would take over everything. I often felt out of control. I was hardly ever ME anymore. I was hijacked. It took me a lot of practice to learn this CBT mind management skill. It was worth the time and effort and I am a happy and productive person with relatively few setbacks. I still struggle from time to time but it has become much easier through my efforts to heal myself. My setbacks are always stress related. I have learned to recognize my triggers. I have quite a few so I have to watch my mind.

There are many things that have helped me with my mental problems. I surround myself with supportive friends and know that they love me. I go for hikes in nature. I meditate. I spend time with my daughter. I try and replace any negative thoughts with thoughts of gratitude. And most of all I love myself otherwise I would have never put forth all this effort to heal myself.

I have learned a lot along this path of healing. It's hard stuff! Very hard! Don't let your mental problem define you. You are not your mental illness. It took me some time to figure that out. I focused on my mental illness and it disempowered me. When I began to focus on healing myself I became empowered. I took back control. Yes I have a mental illness but I have it and it does not have me.

I am not sure if this helps at all. My heart goes out to you and I just wanted to share what has helped me over the years. It can be embarrassing. It can feel hopeless. But it can get better. It does get better! Keep your chin up! Hug to you!

Hi DmnStr8, thanks so much for your message - I really appreciate it. That's very true. When I think about it, almost all of my thoughts are negative and relating to my issues, and dreading what's to come. Maybe I'll be offered CBT at some point. Surely all of those negative thoughts have an impact on the subconscious. I think that changing my way of thinking would also help me too, but I think it would be quite a long process to make any significant change. Thank you for the suggestion - it's certainly food for thought.



Thanks everyone again. I'm actually going to post on Longecity as well about my issues, because I think that maybe some of the folk there might be able to offer some input, especially on the supplement side of things; this NAC/sarcosine dilemma is really bothering me. I guess the more advice the merrier. As always, I'll post any updates in here, and I thank everyone for their input.
 
about 4-5 months ago, mid winter i read your post on the nexian, it was actually just after my last mushroom (psilohausca 7g cubensis+ rue) trip which had me "at the verge of insanity" just like you, but there is a slight difference, on the coming up of the trip, there were some dogs that chased me while i was climbing the hill, but i got away, although when i ate the brew i could hear them barking, at that moment there were 2 possible choices in my mind, that i'm going to be attacked by 3 dogs and torn apart while tripping, or i'm going to be okay with it because if that's going to happen, then so shall it be, in that moment a chain of ptsd symptoms relating to an event 9 months before broke, i was free of stress, anxiety and everything else, i smiled a true smile! after such a long degeneration.
although with lack of anxiety i still struggled with insanity, again the difference being that, my insanity began very extreme, just like you say having no control over my thoughts, but opposite of your situation i wouldn't experience blank states or inability to think, i would experience extreme complex thoughts and heavy cognition, my words would open up these states that felt like an open mushroom peak with no visuals(i also spoke among some friends at a few gatherings, which by their record, my words induced a similar state for them too), this feeling of having gone insane however was fading away as days would pass, unlike your situation which is the opposite, but alike your situation, i understood there was something i was ignoring, deep inside my psyche, and that was this "eye do not exist, all i believed to be had never existed, the world is a dream and once eye stop dreaming, eye see what truly exists" which almost 3 months after that trip clicked, and i was free from the state of insanity, thrown into an state of constant joy :)
i don't know if this will help you, but i tried running and it didn't work, like it never works, and i know saying that you must sink deep and face what it is that's bothering you seems very disturbing and counter intuitive, but that's what worked for me, i hope and wish from the bottom of my heart that you come back to your health very soon :love:
 
Well push has come to shove, and I'm on the edge. For the first time this week I couldn't work, and I'm basically house-bound most of the days. I doubt I'll be able to return to work on Monday and I'm considering bringing an end to my life - I'm thinking about going to Beachy Head and jumping off - my main hobby for two years was cliff jumping so strangely it's a thought that doesn't scare me too much. My mind isn't made yet but I don't see what else I can do - the healthcare system in the UK is too difficult to work with (from what I've heard a lot of places are like this too). The medications I want aren't being given to me because I don't tick the exact boxes or fit snugly into a diagnosis category.

What I'm going through is incomprehensively atypical. Doctors are baffled. Deep down I think I know what is going on: I'm in the prodrome phase of schizophrenia, and my decline has been modified by my long-term supplementation with NAC and sarcosine (even before I knew anything about schizophrenia). Those two supplements are proven to help schizophrenia symptoms and delay the onset of psychosis in people at risk. Now I even supplement with CBD, which was an incredible help at first and it slowed down the progression massively, but it's still getting worse and now I'm practically unable to function. I feel that if I suddenly stopped NAC, sarcosine and CBD, I would quickly deteriorate badly, but there's no way I can do that because active psychosis is toxic to the brain:


I believe I need a low-dose antipsychotic (preferably Amisulpride because it's been proven to prevent conversion from the prodrome phase into full psychosis in most cases, plus it is well tolerated in the necessary dose to do that), but the doctors are reluctant to do it until my symptoms are unquestionably evident to others. I think that's crazy. It's almost as if I know more than them about the prodromal phase of schizophrenia. The later that medication is started in the prodrome, the worse the long-term prognosis, and I can see why because my cognitive impairment is so severe now. "we find that detection early in the disease course offers better prognosis. The longer a pathological process is left unchecked, the more damage is done; illnesses become more complex, thus they become more difficult to treat."

By the way I'm not being too 'out there' by suggesting that I take an antipsychotic without full-blown objective psychotic symptoms - I've read many papers that advocate using low-dose antipsychotics when the 'basic symptoms' are being self-reported combined with occupational decline.

My symptoms match the basic symptoms of schizophrenia exactly:


I have all of those symptoms except I don't suffer with mild delusions or hallucinations, but this paper confirms that these two symptoms are often the latest to appear in the prodrome (insight also diminishes at this point):


You may agree with my family and think that I'm just suffering with anxiety, but I know that what I've been going through has been so gradual that I've been able to research and I only found out about the schizophrenia prodrome by chance.

Besides, I had a neuropsychological test done and the doctor's report said that I had severe deficits in attention and verbal memory, consistent with an emerging 'thought disorder' (the underlying cognitive impairment underpinning psychosis), so it was her who referred me to the 'first episode psychosis team'.

I really don't know what to do...
 
Hi Xagan,
I just wanted you to know that I can empathize with your experience. I spent many years playing the escape artist, hopping from one endeavor to another, self-sabotaging any prospects of success or independence. It can be a very difficult time and may feel quite insurmountable, but please do not take your own life.

I admire your efforts to overcome the challenges you've been facing - that's a good sign. YOU ARE GOING TO FIGURE IT OUT. And on that note, I would ask you to reconsider your self diagnosis of schizophrenia. Mania, anxiety, depression, and psychosis can be triggered by a multitude of different events and circumstances. Two that come to mind would be your previous mention of difficulties with your gastrointestinal biome, and your prolonged periods of insomnia. Recent research indicates that Schizophrenia is inherited genetically, so it's likely you'd have noted it in your family tree. Another universal with schizophrenia is unusually fast and jerky motor movements - without that, it's unlikely. In any case, if you are correct in your diagnosis, rest assured that the symptoms become much less dramatic as you mature into later adulthood.

With regards to the insomnia: I don't know if you've tried supplementing with melatonin, or if the other supplements you are taking are aggravating your sleep (or exacerbating your other symptoms, for that matter), but I am acutely familiar with how the cycle can feed upon itself.

I'm in no position to advise you, one way or the other, on medications, as I have done as much myself. I may have some very unusual nuerochemistry, but a standard (single)dose of 25mg of diphenhydramine hcl used to snap me out of an upramping cycle of psychosis. As I said, I'm not advising this for you (or anyone, really), I'm just trying to let you know I can relate to the idea of wanting pharmaceutical help.

I spent the bulk of my childhood and early adulthood with insomnia, and many, if not all, of the other symptoms you complain of. In my experience, the pharmaceuticals were a great help to get back on track, but the track had to be set beforehand. I beat years of debilitating insomnia by keeping myself physically active for all of my waking hours for about a year. And, like you, I stuck to a very healthy diet. These things provided enough relief for me to start confronting all of the traumas that I had kept my mind so busy avoiding thinking about. Then I started spending long periods in meditation, and the things that I would have rather died than think about, became manageable enough to start sorting through.

It's been almost a couple of decades since then and I still haven't got it all figured out, and it's still challenging to confront, but I don't want to die anymore and I love my life in spite of it's shortcomings.

I don't know the route out of your personal labyrinth, but I know there is one and that you can find it if you keep trying. Take courage, many love you.
 
I'm very sorry to hear that you are struggling. Kudos for reaching out for professional help, that's the absolute best thing you can possibly do in this situation. I am concerned that you seem to have a plan in mind at this time. I urge you not to take permanent action on a temporary and manageable issue. Since I'm not sure of your exact location here is an international list of crisis phone numbers, please call and speak with someone first before attempting any kind of action.

Psychosis and schizophrenia are actually highly manageable conditions these days. It can take some time to find the right combination of lifestyle, medication, and treatment options, but it's really not a hopeless situation and most people are able to find a healthy balance that allows them to continue to live productive lives. Just give it some time and focus on moving forward every day. A few things I would suggest on top of the excellent suggestions already provided by the community is to enjoy moar comedy (laughter is the best medicine afterall) and to look into inspirational/recovery stories of others that have overcome similar or equally distressing issues, maybe reach out for some peer support from others who have been through similar situations, it's really amazing how far a little belief and positive thinking can go.

I'm no professional so take my educated layperson viewpoint with the appropriate salt grains, but I'd wager the sleep issue is the biggest contributing factor here. Do whatever you can to get good sleep, whether that is using herbs or supplements as suggested above, or going out into the wilderness away from light pollution for a few days to reset your circadian rhythms naturally, or, of course you knew this one was coming, use melatonin. It's endogenous, it's remarkably safe, and there is quite a lot of interesting research on utilizing it in treatment schizophrenia and other forms of mental illness. The importance of good sleep cannot be overstated, anything you can do to get back to sleeping well is very likely going to play a huge role in alleviating all the other symptoms you are experiencing.

All the best, and feel free to pm me if you need anything. :love:
 
Not sure if it's already been mentioned but here are some tips for sleep

Sleep Tips

1. Lower your cortisol levels, especially before sleep. Eat low sugar, high carb diet, 3 meals a day. So lots of whole/brown foods. Prefer brown bread, brown rice, wholemeal pasta, etc.
2. Eat at least 2 hours before bed to avoid digestion while trying to sleep.
3. Exercise 1 - 2 times a day. Try to find an exercise that triggers adrenaline, and is high intensity. For example a long walk is good for making yourself tired, but won't burn much cortisol and definitely no adrenaline. Compare with say a team sport, racing or fast cycling. Ideally the pattern ought to be: situation is scary/high-pressure, adrenaline is triggered, you use that adrenaline to physically push yourself to the extreme, event is over (and you survive), you are extremely out of breath, as you recover breath you get a hit of dopamine.
4. Try to get some day light, either by walking, or ensuring you have good light in your home/work.
5. Following on from 4, make sure you do not use any screens 1 - 2 hours before bed. Sit in a dark room 1 - 2 hours before bed. And even avoid reading. This basically eliminates most activities. This does massively help for me though, when I've had difficulties sleeping, sitting in a dark room for about an 1 doing absolutely nothing before bed helps stabilize melatonin.
6. Mindful meditation twice a day. Focus your attention on your physical body as much and as often as possible.
7. When actually trying to sleep there are two techniques that tend to work. (a) body scan (b) imagine an object in high detail, e.g. a door, or cup, imagine it for about a minute in as much detail as possible, then pick another object and so on.
8. In order for your dreams to conclude, and thus allow deeper sleep, they need to be able to form a narrative that is conclusive. So you need to populate your day with events that can be easily weaved into a story during the night. Such events are best visual and social, not mental. Movies can help. Social events. Going for walks, particularly to new locations.
9. Do not drink any caffeine.
10. Drink 8 cups of water a day.
11. Protein in your evening meal helps deep sleep. I recommend high quality (organic free range) lean meat like chicken or fish. I know there are some vegan types on these forums, but I've found all vegan proteins difficult to digest.
12. Avoid all lucid dreaming techniques. Lucid dreaming can be fun, but it's costing your subconscious a lot of mental energy.

Drugs for Sleep

I personally avoid pharma medication unless I've not slept for 2 - 3 days consecutively, as they are often addictive (e.g. benzos or anti-histamines). But I cannot advise you on this.

I used to smoke small amounts of cannabis before sleep, and it has been scientifically shown that cannabis greatly increases deep sleep. Nevertheless it can also cause paranoia, and is correlated with various forms of psychosis (though no causal evidence has been found). By following all the tips above, I have not needed to smoke for over 6 months now.

Alcohol obviously helps making your sleepy, and can help getting you off to sleep, but usually results in lower quality sleep - especially deep sleep. One glass of red wine can help lower cortisol/anxiety, and probably won't have serious implications on sleep
Avoid drinking right before bed, leave 30 minutes or so. More than one glass of wine, or sugary alcohols are not so good idea. Of course alcohol is highly addictive, so treat it with great caution as a sleep aid. Again, by following all the tips above, it shouldn't be necessary.

Whatever you do, don't mix pharma with non-pharma, obviously don't combine CNS depressants, don't smoke cannabis while taking pharma, etc. This is the biggest no no.

Functions of Sleep

Deep sleep is restorative, it is what heals your body and mind, and gives you physical and mental energy the next day. This is the main kind of sleep you want.

Dreaming sleep has many theories as to it's function, the two best theories are as follows:

(A) To flush out residual hormones and neurotransmitters stuck in the limbic system caused by events during the day that did not have a natural conclusion. E.g. if you have a nightmare, this might be to flush out adrenaline, it might be caused by a stressful event during the day that did not conclude with fight or flight. This is why it's important to trigger adrenaline during exercise - your exercise needs to be "scary". Contrary to modern life, nature would ordinarily be filled with many fight or flight events. Our lives are unnaturally unscary.

(B) To assimilate and store information held in the "random access" working memory. E.g. I used to dream a lot about mathematics when I was studying really hard.
 
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