Citation: Raizan. "Descending Into Madness My Worst Fears Realised: An Experience with Sertraline & LSD (exp111001)". Erowid.org. Apr 16, 2020. erowid.org/exp/111001
Sertraline and LSD… Descending into madness, my worst fears realised.
I have anxiety and depression, for which I have begun taking antidepressants (sertraline). During my first two weeks I was on 50mg and decided to trip (3 strong tabs) the trip was absolutely amazing, I sat there playing hellblade senua's sacrifice (the story evolving around the warriors psychosis) and it was a good trip. During my recent visit to the doctors they upped me to 100 as I was still struggling with my anxiety and depression and the meds weren’t helping…
After a period of great frustration (a week on 100mg) I decided I was going to drop 3 tabs of acid again
After a period of great frustration (a week on 100mg) I decided I was going to drop 3 tabs of acid again
, play some games, go cinema and see IT, and go and see a friend who was leaving for university. I took the zoloft at about 10am and the acid at 11am.
About 12/1 I was starting to come up… I was laying in bed looking at my phone and I realised I felt bizarrely weird. I had a really uncomfortable sensation that I tried to shake off, I tried telling myself it was my anxiety and acid can’t kill you. The feeling of uneasiness grew, I was sweating profusely and my heart rate was rising fast that I could feel my heart beating through my chest. My boyfriend was playing a game and sitting on the gaming chair in my room, so I jumped off the bed and sat on his lap cuddling him for comfort, realising that as I hugged him I felt a sensation that I was out of my own body and I didn’t have control over what I was doing… The panic was descending upon me rather quickly, and I jumped up asking my boyfriend if we could go for a walk (strictly conservative parents with no knowledge of my drug taking and if they found out it would be chaotic). It was raining heavily but I chucked on a t shirt, body warmer and shorts and me and my boyfriend proceeded to walk to the shops.
As we walked to the shops my whole world turned upside down. Looking at the sky creeped me out, it looked beautiful and I was in awe of it, but in my body the sensations I was experiencing, it was something I had never experienced on acid before, even on my higher doses, this time something was different… And something was wrong. I went quiet, and couldn’t talk, I was struggling to grasp the fact that my head was connected to my shoulder and head, it felt disjointed, like I was decapitated or something. My boyfriend realising I was having a panic attack pulled me to a side road and I burst into tears. I felt like imminent death was coming for me, I was struggling to breathe and my mouth was so dry, I was sweating so much and I never had felt so thirsty in my life. I was struggling to swallow and breathe and I couldn’t stop crying I made my boyfriend call an ambulance… Thats where things got worse. As he was on the phone to the operator my heart started burning like wildfire, never in my life have I experienced a pain like that with a panic attack, I couldn’t finish my sentence and I was out of breathe every 2-3 words, my body was crying out to me that something was seriously wrong. The operator heard me scream ‘MY HEART IS BURNING IT HURTS SO BAD’, upon hearing what I had taken and my screams of pain she proceeded to ask my boyfriend some more questions. My boyfriend quickly had his hand on my pulse and was checking it at the operators command, she wanted him to count how many times my heart was beating for 15 seconds, when he told her 70 beats in 15 seconds I heard the worried operators tone and my boyfriend's face change.The ambulance had changed from a 45 minute wait to an immediate response.
I felt like the world was closing in on me. I remember thinking every time I’ve taken any drug, the moment before I put it in my mouth… Would this be the moment I regret for the rest of my life? Would I be setting myself up to die by an accidental overdose or miscalculation, those thoughts I had always pushed aside… But it was fast becoming a reality. I could hear my heart beating in my ears and there was a pulsating like blur to my visuals, I didn’t pass out but I was fading in and out of alertness. I was so thirsty I ran into the local pub crying (due to my heart burning really badly) and they gave me a glass of water I gulped down.
At this point a paramedic car pulled up with one paramedic, he didn’t have an ambulance and was just sent as the quickest respondent. I told him what had happened and he checked my blood pressure, I saw the look on his face and I knew something was wrong and he didn’t want to say anything because I was already very agitated. I was so restless I kept pacing around before sitting on the floor because I felt like I was going to fade out of consciousness, all whilst my heart was burning so badly and the throbbing sensation continued. I felt like I was looking on my life at a timeline, I remember hearing somewhere that when you die the last few minutes of your life seem longer, and every second of this experience was extremely agonising and uncomfortable. My boyfriend didn’t leave my side he tried his best to keep me from walking off.
After about 3 minutes the ambulance arrived with another two paramedics, in my panicked state I had chucked off my body warmer, jumped in the ambulance and chucked off my t shirt, sitting in the ambulance in my sports bra and shorts. My heart burns I screamed to the paramedic, I was so restless I couldn’t stop my body moving, the three paramedics seeing me in the state I was in proceeded to put the heart rate monitor sticky things on me, the three of them working at a extremely fast pace. I kept writhing in pain and agitation and I couldn’t stay still for a minute for them to get a reading, one of the male paramedics asked me to get on the bed and the female paramedic proceeded to strap me down. When I was still enough for them to get a reading, I saw a seriously worried look on the paramedics face, the face he pulled shook me to the core as it dawned on me, I had fucked up. I had really really fucked up. Had I really signed my own death warrant? I never knew LSD and sertraline reacted together in this way! I had read a trip report where someone had taken 25mg and 1 tab and had been fine, and my first trip had been fine so I assumed it was safe… I was wrong. I felt like my universe was ending, being on acid the experience was a whole lot more frightening, maybe because my heightened senses.
The male paramedic turned to me and said “your heart is beating so fast that it hasn’t got enough time between contracting to get blood in it”, the paramedic from earlier checked my pupils at the command of the other paramedic, and I had all 3 of them fussing over me. At this point I’m not too sure what was happening, but the burning in my chest wouldn’t subside, then I got the worst pain in my life. Simulataneously I had a stabbing pain in my ribs and kidney that seemed to connect, it was so bad I screamed and shot up starting to writhe in pain. 'That was it’ I thought, my body's dying on me, I knew it. Is this why time seemed slower and to last forever? I couldn’t shake the fear of dying and the fact that my time was coming for me, every inch of my spirit and soul screamed out to live, I looked over to my boyfriend I saw the sadness and worry in his eyes, he saw me in pain and he had no way to help me but look on and hope the paramedics could save my life. Me and my partner have a very intimate relationship and the fact that his comfort couldn’t stop my anxiety showed the severity of it. I have had a history of struggling with panic attacks but they stopped for a year or so, only to come back during this trip with the worst one of my life.
The paramedics managed to get my heart rate down and calm my breathing, the male paramedic who was mainly overseeing my treatment said to me ’S…I know this is really hard for you and I can’t begin to imagine the pain you’re in, but you need to control your breathing.’
’S…I know this is really hard for you and I can’t begin to imagine the pain you’re in, but you need to control your breathing.’
He began breathing exercises with me, before we started driving to the hospital. During the journey I had calmed down and my heart rate had dropped back down to normal, he was an awesome dude, had actually done acid before and was telling us about some of his past experiences. He was very understanding of why I took acid (in aid of my anxiety and depression, escapism and searching for happiness) and was giving me some wise advice.
Reaching the hospital I was put in a booth and the paramedic filled the nurse in on what happened. Due to my anxiousness, and my distressed state (I kept crying and I felt emotionally overwhelmed and depressed due to my near death experience) the nurse said to the paramedic that she’d give me diazepam to help calm me down. There was a waiting room for people waiting for nurses, but due to the kind nature of the lady as she saw the state I was in she got me seen straight away and I could stay away from big groups of people. I got put in a room with a door for privacy and she came and gave me some diazapam, she told me that someone from the psych liaison team would be there to speak to me and how even though it might seem unhelpful at first sometimes they can help identify things that trigger you and give you specific treatment plans and therapy. The psych liaison guy came in, and told my partner that me and him needed to talk alone (standard procedure), he asked me general details about how my life was and I explained to him some of the stuff that had happened to me as a kid that led me to where I am now. He said he was going to refer me to this place (not mentioned to protect my anonymity), but midway through the interview the nurse came with some more valium, before I was discharged.
I never have wrote trip reports but I have found them helpful and very educative. I was under the impression that the combination was safe, but obviously for me this drug interaction wasn’t. I hope if anyone is in a similar position to me and has read this trip report that it has allowed you to educate yourself more on the effects of the possible combination. I share this knowledge so that I can give back to the community.
Thank you for reading.
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