Citation: Bicoastaldude. "I'm Hopeful About Its Long-Term Effects: An Experience with 5-HTP (exp114579)". Erowid.org. Jul 16, 2020. erowid.org/exp/114579
I am a 19 year old male and have no physical health issues or abnormalities to note other than the fact that I have mild autism (It would now be known as ASD; I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome 13 years ago in 2007, but I hear it’s pretty much an antiquated diagnosis.) I have insomnia, anxiety, and depression (to a lesser extent), the last of which I tend to cycle in and out of, but the quarantine has really deepened the ruts of depression I get into. I take no prescription medication for it, or for any of my other neurological ailments.
It is probable that my drug history is not relevant to this report, but I will include anyway that I have experiences with psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, MDMA, alcohol, cannabis, and nitrous oxide. I smoke cannabis on a daily basis but will frequently give myself a month for my body to reset my lipid THC levels and decrease my (low) chances of getting Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome and generally just give my brain a break. This experience took place approximately 100 hours since my break started. I note this as this may be partially or fully responsible for the odd and potentiated dreams I experienced with 5-HTP.
MY HISTORY WITH 5-HYDROXYTRYPTOPHAN
I first heard about 5-HTP as a supplement to be taken after an MDMA roll. It is a precursor for serotonin in the body and can help with the post-roll depression, which I find I tend to be more sensitive to than some of my peers. I had taken 5-HTP after some of my rolls and honestly didn’t feel too much of a difference, but I figured that it could have still been helping me without my realization. I had read that people have switched off of SSRI and tricyclic antidepressants for 5-HTP and have generally had some pretty great results when used as directed. I have had a rather difficult time locating 5-HTP in stores; a lot of general grocery stores do not have them in their supplement section. However I was browsing an NYC pharmacy (on my way to get tested for the coronavirus) when I stumbled across a small green bottle of 5-HTP 30 count 100mg capsules. SUCCESS!
The bottle directed me to take two capsules, which is 200mg of the supplement. It suggested I take them before bed as it “may cause drowsiness.” I usually follow suggestions when it comes to substances I try, but since I wanted to see how a single dose would affect me and also since I have insomnia I figured it would be best for the experiment for me to take them at about noon and see how it affected me for the next thirteen hours or so.
T+0:00. Swallowed both capsules.
T+0:15. I felt pretty comfortable and content. Almost positive it was placebo.
~T+1:00. I was in the middle of watching a chemistry YouTube video when all of a sudden I began to feel extremely drowsy. For about five minutes I tried to fight it but it kept building to a level that I decided pretty quickly to surrender to it. I closed my laptop and fell asleep immediately. It was 1PM and light was beaming through my window. I also, to my surprise, left the lamp on on my nightstand. Both of these things are pretty odd, coming from someone with severe insomnia.
T+3:00. I slept for two hours. The dreams were very strange. I am studying to be an organic chemistry major in college, and most of my dreams were of chemical formulas and lewis structures. This is where my cannabis ‘withdrawal’ may have come into play, as for a few days after coming off of repeated cannabis use I have noticed a potentiation of vivid dreams. The dreams I generally have in this withdrawal though tend to not be like this in any way.
After I woke up, I felt pretty mildly content. I went upstairs and hung out with my parents, ate dinner which I seemed to appreciate more than usual, had a beer (which I later learned you shouldn’t do on 5-HTP, won’t be doing that again) and came back down and did some studying and reading for pleasure.
The rest of my night was really nice. I felt content not because I was happier but because I had a break from the nagging feeling of grossness in myself and about my surroundings and my future. I no longer had a nagging feeling of dread and hopelessness in the pit of my stomach.
I no longer had a nagging feeling of dread and hopelessness in the pit of my stomach.
Writing this report made me realize that which was right in front of my face the whole time. My insomnia is OF COURSE linked to my depression. I never even thought about the chemical structure of melatonin and how that might be linked to 5-HTP and serotonin, but serotonin is 5-hydroxytryptamine and melatonin is N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine. If I got that burst of melatonin that for sure means I have more serotonin to access, as melatonin is metabolized from serotonin.
From now on I plan on halving the dose I take and taking it at night to hopefully stretch my supply. I’m excited to see the long-term effects of this supplement.
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