Citation: Professor Surprise. "A Case of Psychosis: An Experience with Methamphetamine (exp43259)". Erowid.org. Oct 22, 2006. erowid.org/exp/43259
Whenever I didnít have the money for heroin I would get some methamphetamine from one of my roommates. I was pretty compulsive about the way I did meth, treating it more like a cocaine substitute. Over an 8-month period I was sometimes shooting up two or three times daily, sometimes just picking the shit out of the carpet and shooting that. I was really only in it for the rush of the injection, the subsequent 12 hours after the head rush being altogether not my cup of tea. I never really got into staying up multiple days on meth. I generally had heroin to sleep on towards the end of the day and methamphetamine has always been my least favorite drug. Unfortunately for 8 months I had an almost unlimited supply of the stuff.
The effect Methamphetamine created was something of a subtle euphoria along with unwavering energy. A high dosage would make me cough as it shot up my neck into my brain. Meth always made me feel like some sort of superhero, all of my senses honed to perfection, mind racing at 1000 miles a minute (trying to talk produced incoherent rapid speech similar to a manic episode). I might clean for awhile or wash the dishes or do something I would generally hate doing otherwise. But in the end I would always come back to compulsively playing video games or watching sleep dep hallucinations crawl all over the floor. Iíll use the term Carpet monsters as the only way I can even come close to describing what I was seeing.
A methamphetamine overdose (over-amping) pins me to the floor in panic, my heart beating uncontrollably fast, hands going numb, I become very sure I am going to die. The three times this happened I was lucky enough to have heroin within the hour. Heroin always seemed to slow my heart rate and knock my ass out long enough to get past it. The only times I ever over-amped were times I shot up large dosages within 2-4 hours of each other.
Over the course of a few months I began to notice every time I would get high with meth exclusively I would begin hearing voices. Sometimes they would be three drunken people in the next apartment, or it would be a bunch of police officers in the apartment on the other side of the building. Other times it would be my roommates whispering about me on the other side of my apartment. I began to believe I had some sort of meth induced supersonic hearing ability. I was something of a prick about this, I would demand to know why my roommates were talking shit about me. They would stare at me like I was some sort of nutcase. So after awhile I took the hint and just stopped bugging them about it.
On the particular day I had my psychotic break, I shot meth once in the morning and then again towards the afternoon. I didnít have any heroin. I was pissed off and spent most of the day gasping for air while dunking my head in cold water. Towards the evening my roommates left me alone with in the apartment for whatever reason. I lay on the only couch we had and stared at the ceiling, talking to the voices of the three drunken people through my wall and trying to feel less dope sick. We talked about nothing in particular, just generally about how good it was to be high. It was a pretty pleasant conversation at first. Then the voices changed dramatically.
It was as if the volume of the voices had turned up ten decibels, and I was suddenly able to hear every single word they were saying. The two voices I heard sounded like they were using one of those creepy voice changing devices you see in movies, very deep and authoritarian. They began by demanding to know everything about my roommates. Completely shocked I began to spill everything. Then they informed me that they were with the government, that I was telepathic, and that I was to be taken to a secret military base to be trained and put to work for them unless I did exactly what they said. I was suddenly absolutely convinced what I was hearing was real. At this point they mentioned I had five minutes to gather all of my things I leave the apartment, I mentioned I wanted to see my dad and they told me to go to his house. They also told me I was not to try and contact my roommates for any reason whatsoever.
So at this point they were threatening me (as if they thought it would make me find things faster) and Iím tearing up the apartment violently, looking for both my keys and my jacket. After 4 minutes and 30 seconds they said I would be killed if I didnít leave immediately. So I grabbed another button down shirt and put it over the button down shirt I was already wearing (even the desert is pretty cold in the winter at night) and I bolted from the apartment without locking the door.
I began walking, they began asking me if I was tweaked (the explanation they later gave was that methamphetamine at high injection dosages gives people a form of telepathy that is temporary in nature) so as a direct result I began to act like I was tweaked. I would babble uncontrollably to myself out loud and I would walk with a swagger or do other bizarre inane things like spitting into my hand and throwing it. It was not so much that I wanted to act that way or even that I felt like acting that way, I was putting on a show for these people who very seriously wanted to abduct and erase my memory/just kill me, if I were really telepathic.
After three or four miles (I had forgotten all about my dads house) I got too tired to put on a show anymore and I began to act very rational, with the exemption of being unable to either stop them or believe they werenít real. I also believe that to any outside onlookers I looked very fucked up. But I felt rational so I tried talking with them rationally. At this point they became convinced they had to pick me up. So I agreed with them, I decided it probably wouldnít be so bad to live on a military base and do government work in the name of such a novel cause. They seemed to like this response and told me I was doing the right thing.
So we began doing some exercises to strengthen my abilities, which fortunately, became impossible because I began systematically ďblocking themĒ from my memory. I later decided this was probably an effect of the methamphetamine wearing off. While I couldnít block them from my memory completely (meaning I could always still hear them) the volume seemed to turn down quite a bit. At this point they told me to wait where I was for a car to come get me. So after walking close to 10 miles (across the city), I sat down on the ground I began working on keeping the connection open to avoid being killed.
Somewhere around this time the voices made the huge mistake of telling me they were planning on erasing my memory (as it is standard procedure and a security precaution). So in a fit of panic I said the names of my roommates (they earlier had explained that if I said someoneís name in my head I would connect to their thought stream) instantly my roommates were on loudspeakers, asking what was up. Once I told them, my roommates became very concerned and told me to get away as fast as humanly possible, also to not look at any street signs or landmarks (as the people hunting me could see through my eyes via remote viewing). They also told me to Turn off (something that would take too long to explain, but supposedly non-drug using telepaths have the ability to turn on and off their powers). When they found out I couldnít they told me to go to sleep immediately (as a way of severing the connection).
So I ran another ten miles back across the city and turned in the opposite direction of my apartment. I really didnít know where I was going because I was looking down the whole time. But I ran into a crack head, his name was George or something like that and he wanted to know if I wanted to smoke crack. I really didnít, after all I didnít have any money. Plus Iíve never smoked crack and I never will. So instead we smoked a cig and talked awhile. I mentioned I wanted a place to sleep and he told me about a company van parked outside one of the buildings nearby that always left their window open. He couldnít fit through but at the time I was skinny enough to fit through that tiny window. So he gave me a boost through and I opened the doors from the inside.
I had to convince him not to steal the vanís stereo system. I figured there might be a pretty good chance of me getting arrested if I was caught and I didnít need theft added to the trespassing charges. He left shortly after I convinced him. So I lay down in the back of the van on the floor shivering all over. The meth was wearing off but the voices were still going strong, I tried to ignore them and fall asleep but it was too cold. Too my surprise George came back with a blanket. I thanked him about a dozen times for it before he left. At this point I managed to fall asleep.
When I woke up it was just after dawn. I had only slept for about four hours and it had been a restless sleep, my body aching all over from the long walk/run I had made the previous night. Out of fear of being caught I quickly relocated to some bushes nearby where I tried to get a little more rest. After about 45 minutes of lying in the underbrush I decided to make the long walk home. The voices were still with me, threatening me and telling me that if I went to my apartment I would be killed. At this point I was convinced being dead wouldnít be so horrible and just ignored them. I thought about begging on the way back but didnít because my pride held me back. I got weird looks from all the people waiting for their busses. Just another junkie without a life to them, they wrote me off as soon as they saw me.
Anyhow I closed on my apartment and when I got there I was surprised to find my roommates already at the apartment. I told them about what happened and they tried to console me and let me know that meth causes voices sometimes and that the best thing to do is to simply ignore them. Of course, being in the depths of paranoid psychosis I didnít believe them, in my head they were telling me they couldnít say the truth out loud because then they would be on the hit list as well. I did some heroin as soon as we finished talking and promptly passed out for 12 hours.
In the aftermath of this first psychotic break I had several more intense psychotic episodes. Sometimes hallucinating black trucks or men in masks chasing me. With no doubt in my mind that the hallucinations were real the only thing I could do was panic. Only after I went through detox was I sure these voices were the product of methamphetamine psychosis and even then I still wasnít convinced %50 of the time. When detox failed to get rid of the voices I became concerned and had myself committed to a mental hospital where I was diagnosed with Psychosis SOC, meaning it might be schizophrenia.
What separates schizophrenia from amphetamine psychosis is people with amphetamine psychosis experience a full range of emotions and are able to realize what they are hearing is not real schizophrenics can not tell the difference between reality and what they hear/see (I do not show signs of schizophrenia). The biggest difference however is that methamphetamine psychosis will generally only last up to a few months (less then six). In my case it has been about 2 and has since shown signs of dissipating.
Treatment for methamphetamine psychosis involves taking anti psychotics like Geodon or Zyprexa as well as abstinence from all mind altering chemicals. If I so much as take a puff of marijuana the voices come back with fierce intensity. At one point I was demanding my dads gun to shoot invisible people before wrapping my head in tinfoil and running 15 miles.
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