Citation: MujoLila. "Managing My Borderline Personality Disorder: An Experience with LSD (exp111231)". Erowid.org. Nov 14, 2017. erowid.org/exp/111231
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LSD for Borderline Personality Disorder
While this is ostensibly an LSD report (because LSD is the only one that worked...), this is really more of a ďtripping with Borderline Personality DisorderĒ report, sort of a general retrospective on my drug use generally and how it has impacted my mood disorder. I've had 80 or so LSD experiences, and 30-40 each with mushrooms, DMT, and MDMA, as well as a handful of experiences with Shulgin analogues, bridgesii cactus, 5-meo-dmt (ugh), and salvia (double ugh).
Iíve struggled with extreme emotions since puberty, only getting a Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis in my late 20s. The main symptoms are intense mood swings featuring sudden bursts of rage and overwhelming loneliness/hopelessness and a total inability to manage interpersonal relationships over the long haul. My life is kind of a shitshow, and I try to keep a lot of my friendships superficial. Iíve never been in a long term relationship and I hardly ever date. Spending time with people is incredibly frustrating for me, a lot of work with minimal pay-off (and no, I am not autistic).
I have tried working with a half dozen different therapists over the last 7 years, have been practicing yoga for 12 years, and meditation for 5 or 6. Itís all been baby steps. None of it has a particularly profound effect.
But LSD was different. The first time I took LSD in college (about 12 years ago), a ray of sunshine broke through the clouds of my mind and pierced my heart.
The first time I took LSD in college (about 12 years ago), a ray of sunshine broke through the clouds of my mind and pierced my heart.
I was never the same again. Friends and family all commented how different I seemed, how much more happy and full of life I seemed. Of course, eventually the sunshine faded, but knowing that it could exist changed my life forever. It was not my first trip, but it was the trip that cemented psychedelic use into my lifestyle.
However, none of the psychedelics and psychoactives I have used compare to LSD, in terms of managing my BPD symptoms. Consistently, over the years, LSD has invariably been the most positive available experience to me (I donít mean psychedelic experience here, I mean experience), and, if I get the dose right, LSD eliminates my symptoms for days afterwards, sometimes up to two weeks. And unlike many of the others I have used (looking at you MDMA
, and you too DMT), there is no crash as the symptoms suddenly and aggressively return five days later. With LSD, I am slowly and gently returned to baseline over a period of days without a shock to my system.
There are a few catches (outside of the illegality and inconsistent availability of LSD).
Most importantly, I have to get a high enough dose. I seem to need at least 250 ug. Thatís obviously a ballpark figure, and while I know that itís impossible to really know how many mics is on a sheet of street blotter, Iíve been eating this stuff and reading enough experience reports to feel comfortable making that guess. I have to get safely over a certain hurdle, to a place where the rigidness of my personality dissolves and my usual materialistic priorities seem hilariously misguided. I donít necessarily have to be high-fiving God while trans-dimensional elves paint me with colors Iíve never seen before. I just need to snap out of my usual thought patterns, and (unless the blotter is strong) one or two tabs just doesnít cut it. I donít think Iíve ever taken more than 400 ug, and Iím very curious to find out what would happen if I did. I tend to err on the side of caution because Iíve never had an opportunity to take LSD with a sitter. I have, however, taken MDMA and a number of other psychedelics with a (bad) sitter, and it was terrible, verging on traumatizing. Maybe Iím better off flying solo. Anyway, if I donít cross that threshold, the experience, while enjoyable, doesnít really do me any favors. My symptoms come back pretty much as soon as the acid wears off (but not too aggressively, not like the legendary MDMA crash). But if I pass the threshold, I will feel fine for at least a week.
The other catch is that it seems to work a bit better these days if I avoid cannabis use. Cannabis, while very synergistic with LSD, seems to exacerbate my BPD symptoms. Iíve had to give up using it, which Iím bummed about, but as much as I enjoy it, my life really is better without it. Without cannabis, my comedown and integration process actually tends to be more smooth.
Now, why LSD, and not mushrooms or DMT or any of the myriad of Shulgin drugs Iíve tried? I think thereís something relatively unique about LSD, regarding a factor I call ďemotional immediacy.Ē With the tryptamines in particular, I feel like my emotions can really overwhelm me, getting up in my grill like the facehugger from the Alien movies. DMT is the gentlest in this regard, but mushrooms (as many experienced trippers know) can get pretty hairy, and 5-MeO-DMT is the most intense (for me) by far.
Regarding phenethylamines, I have not had positive results. I have heard that many people find the phens less emotionally intense than the tryps, and while I can agree with that, they donít really do anything at all for my BPD either, which means some of my phen trips go to some pretty dark places. Although 2C-I was alright, and I think that if I ever take a dose high enough to cross that ego threshold I mentioned with 2C-B, perhaps something powerful and beneficial could happen there.
On the other hand, when I take LSD, I feel like all of my emotions are at a comfortable remove. I donít have to feel any of them any more than is comfortable. If I need to step back from an emotion, I can. If I want to step deeper into an emotion, I can. Itís a wonderful freedom, and itís a freedom I donít have when Iím sober, or under the influence of almost any other drug. While in the LSD headspace, I am much more open to hearing constructive criticism, and can think objectively about my situation and my behavior (unlike MDMA, which revs up my ego defenses to a disturbing degree). With LSD, I can actually be honest and authentic, instead of neurotic and evasive (again, unlike MDMA, which makes me even more dishonest than when Iím sober). I think it is this quality of emotional distance that makes LSD particularly useful for treating my BPD. The feeling of being comfortably removed from my emotions lingers long, long after the drug itself is out of my system. For me, itís the most ideal therapy tool that Iíve ever come across, and someday I hope to work with a (good) psychedelic therapist who can help me use LSD to make real progress with my issues.
Iím just one guy, and this is just my experience. But I think perhaps someday LSD could be recognized as the best treatment for BPD, the same way MDMA is being looked at as the best treatment for PTSD.
Also, (close your ears and run away kids, it's grandpa's lecture time) I think itís important to write long-term retrospectives, especially when it comes to dealing with mood disorders or other health issues. I am getting really really tired of reading reports that contain some variation on the phrase ďItís the next day, and as Iím writing this, I still feel great!Ē Yeah, dude, of course you do. Give it five days. Give it two weeks. Give it a month. Then write the report! I canít help but wonder how many of these dozens, if not hundreds, of people felt like total garbage three days after writing their report about how their ďlife is forever changed!Ē And how many of them went right back into their bad habits, and how many of them didnít realize they had gone right into their bad habits.
There is far too much silver bullet talk in this community, and not enough talk about how psychedelics can help people develop better coping skills, but only if those people put in the time and effort to really integrate those coping skills. As much as Iíd like to see psychedelic medicine legitimized, we are only hurting our cause by singing the praises of psychedelic healing while living as hypocrites. Life is hard, and life with a mood disorder (or any other health problem) is even harder. It sucks, but thatís the life thatís in front of us, and we donít do ourselves or our community any favors by exaggerating or sugar coating the truth. These drugs are remarkable, but theyíre not miracle cures.
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