Citation: ThirdCultureDude. "I Expected This to Help Me: An Experience with 5-HTP (exp116239)". Erowid.org. Apr 5, 2022. erowid.org/exp/116239
5-HTP daily 100mg first ~10 days
5-HTP daily 200mg next ~20 days
1,4 BDO 1.5ml
Coffee daily 9-15 grams ground
I did my homework on 5-HTP. It seemed to be an alternative to antidepressants, and reading how SSRIs arenít really selective pure serotonin sounded like a good deal. High serotonin levels and depression (and drug abuse and self-medication) seem to often be comorbid with Autism Syndrome, and I am all of that: diagnosed Aspie when I was young and miserably solitary in the age of the pandemic. 5-HTP also seems to be absorbed better by people on the spectrum. Seems like a match made in heaven. I ordered 100mg pills of them.
The next day after the pills arrived, I took 100mg in the morning with my daily coffee. I thought that, by mixing 5-HTP with caffeine, the melatonin production side of the drug wouldnít take effect. Around half to an hour or so, I could feel some effect. After what I assume to be a caffeine and HTP induced bathroom visit, my stomach felt a bit gurgly and ďoffĒ. Not nauseating, but just not right. After lunch, I really didnít feel hungry for the rest of the day. By dinner time I could feel that my stomach was not full, but I wasnít feeling any hunger. I ate because I know I need food anyways.
Mentally, an hour or two in, I felt a decrease in need to attend to my vices. Instead of going to the computer and spend the day in video game addiction, those felt less compelling. At the same time, quick 1-minute tasks, like quickly putting something in its place, washing a small amount of dishes or cleaning a litterbox felt much easier, like I made them more of a hassle than they really were in my head.
A week in, I had a family member come over and I had a bottle of beer. I think alcohol and antidepressants were supposed to have some interaction, so maybe the same happens with HTP, but it just felt like a normal beer to me.
Taking 100mg a day for a week and a half, the first day was the only one where the hunger effects were so pronounced. Other than occasional ďoffĒness of the stomach, I never felt that same hungerlessness. The small quick tasks were being done for a few days but, in hindsight, less frequently. Maybe the mental effects were a placebo. So I then started taking 100mg every 12 hours, once in the morning and once in the night, a few hours before bedtime. If HTP can increase melatonin production, this should be a 2-in-1 kinda deal, right?
The day of taking 200mg, and a week later, I didnít feel much different.
The day of taking 200mg, and a week later, I didnít feel much different.
The first day experience did not repeat itself, no hungerless empty belly, no bump in productivity or orderliness. I found that HTP didnít necessarily make sleeping easier, I could easily stay awake past midnight endlessly scrolling on my phone, but it did make me feel sleepier faster. I would stop what I was doing relatively early in the night and head to bed, but it was still up to my habits if I would sleep early or not.
Around 2 weeks into the 200mg a day regime, or three and a half weeks since starting, I was engrossed in working on the computer and completely forgot to take the nightly HTP pill. I headed to bed a bit late, and then just laid there. Despite doing boring things on my phone, playing slow-paced games on my switch, I was not feeling drowsy. The sun started to rise. I realized, that I forgot to take the pill and I was tired but not sleepy. I finally fell asleep around 6 AM and got some four hours of rest.
The next day, in the evening, I decided I was feeling myself and wanted a drink and to jack off. I didnít have any beers handy so, hey, why not the BDO that has been sitting there for half an year? I measured out 1.5ml on a cheapo syringe, mixed it in half a cup of yogurt and god it was awful. I never realized how bitter BDO was, I always mixed it in a cup of juice. Never doing yogurt again. Since I rarely take BDO, maybe this was a dose lower than I was used to and I forgot my doses, but these 1.5ml did feel like that buzzy euphoria but I did not feel any motor impairment. Maybe it was due to the HTP, not sure.
Second small personal background, I dabbled with psychedelics over a year ago. Had a great experience with mushrooms, then had an ok-ish experience with Hawaiian woodrose (LSA), had a small flashback and threw that stuff away, then had a bad trip with mushrooms. For almost half an year, I would get these weird doomy, physics-distorted nightmares accompanied by suddenly waking up, a rush of ďactive-nessĒ to the brain and some super faint CEVs present. After months being OK, it happened again, the night I took BDO. I managed to fall asleep.
What would you know, a couple of days after, I become engrossed in my computer activities and I again forget to take the nightly pill. Itís four in the morning. This time, I decide to take the pill, and then later I can figure out how to fix the schedule. Better than not sleeping again, right? I manage to fall asleep in around half an hour.
Nightmare time. I wake up, with a general lack of focus to my sight, my bedís headrest seems eerily blurry. I have smooth popcorn walls, and have a hard time focusing on the wall next to my bed. I thought I had night-time visual snow, but this time it was real. It was thicker than I was used to, and, looking at the palm of my hand, it was if it was almost palpable. I put my glasses on, and things are still too blurry. The texture on my walls is now squirming, and as I stare and lose focus the whole wall seems to shift, my vision gets blurrier, and the blurriness fills my field of view almost like a pattern. There is a low, constant whine in my head, and a few rushes of brain activity periodically come over. Iím not going back to sleep, Iím in the middle of HPPD and the sun is rising quickly. As I get up, I glance at a catscratcher near the window. Above it, shadows coming from my window cat net are pronounced. More interestingly, even lit by the rising sun, the fur on the catscratcher was moving. Very fluidly and life-like, as if it the fur was weightless and moving to the wind. Even as I focused, the movement persisted. I wash my face, move around, effects seem to have quieted down and I start my day. I was already interested in reporting how 5-HTP and Autism could interact, so I start writing this report. Even an hour after waking up, there are some vestigial circular, rotational patterns I can see while staring at the white screen.
Iím not sure what the lesson is here. 5-HTP, so far, hasnít brought the antidepressant effects I was hoping for. Maybe Iíll see the difference in the withdrawal. Iím going to keep a few pills to taper off and, when I do, I now know to ditch the nightly dose last. Now Iím wary of the BDO, serotonin and HPPD mixture. Hopefully, by avoiding BDO and staying on time with my doses, I will manage to avoid future incidents.
I donít think I will be buying another bottle of 5-HTP pills.
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