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A Psychotic Bipolar Person's Experience
Salvia divinorum (10x extract), Lithium, Quetiapine (Seroquel) & Lamotrigine (Lamictal)
by Tom
Citation:   Tom. "A Psychotic Bipolar Person's Experience: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (10x extract), Lithium, Quetiapine (Seroquel) & Lamotrigine (Lamictal) (exp61271)". Erowid.org. Dec 11, 2007. erowid.org/exp/61271

 
DOSE:
900 mg oral Pharms - Lithium (daily)
  150 mg oral Pharms - Quetiapine (daily)
  150 mg oral Pharms - Lamotrigine (daily)
  1.0 g smoked Salvia divinorum (extract - 10x)

BODY WEIGHT: 145 lb


First and foremost I am diagnosed with bipolar I disorder w/ psychotic features. I have been hospitalized once and have had extended psychotic episodes involving mostly visual hallucinations and delusions (though not particularly strong). The first time I smoked pot was actually after I had been diagnosed bipolar, at age 19.

I am currently 22 and have tried these 'recreational' drugs.

- once, MDMA (ecstasy)
- many, marijuana (with EXTREMELY varying effects)
- once, salvia
- twice, Dextromethorphan (low dose, enough for a subtle spacy echo)
- once, opium, smoked.
- once, Nutmeg (almost pointless)
- many, alcohol
- once, Inhaled Nitrous Oxide
- prescribed, Provigil (sort of recreational)

The only two of these that might have contributed to a worsening of my condition are alcohol and marijuana, likely because of greater use (surprise, surprise).

---------------------------The Salvia Experience---------------------------
I will leave the decision on why I chose to experience this out of the report, and focus on the experience itself.

Today I purchased a 10x extract from a smoke shop on Telegraph, here in Berkeley. I sat in my room in mid-afternoon and packed a bowl in my bubbler. I'm not a big pot smoker, but I do end up smoking here and there each month.

My current (I've been on a lot) psychiatric drug regiment consists of 900mg Lithium, 150 mg Seroquel (low dose), and 150mg lamictal. There was some intermittent construction noise in the background and I played Music for Airports (Brian Eno). This is a very great minimalist ambient album.

I alone on my bed with a lighter (just a normal one) in hand and devoured the extract. I held it in for as long as I could (about 15-20 seconds) and let it go. My friend later told me I didn't hold it in long enough, but it's all I could do. I felt kind of light at first, but decided another would be good... and then another.

Suddenly a strike in the music gave me a very different emotional perspective on my room. It was sort of akin to a very beautiful emotional moment.

I kept expecting the unknown but was instead hit by a wave of familiarity. The experience was just like one of the strongest marijuana highs I've ever had, the first time. Not the overall thoughts, but the detachment. The feeling that my room and I had been cast out into space, released from temporal and spatial reference points. I knew I was tripping, but I kept on smoking. I wanted to go higher.

I began to talk to myself out loud. It seemed various objects in the room drew my attention, and that the answers to my various questions emanated from them (not auditory). I remember at first asking why I was all alone. At first I thought I was referring to nobody else being in the room, but received a response from my other self that built upon the question. I began to realize that I am surrounded by good people and was not at all alone.. but was spending a lot of time alone with no 'apparent' productivity toward school.

(This experience was not foreign to me either. In one of my 'psychotic episodes' I ran around talking to various trees that I acquired wisdom from). The salvia experience was almost the same...though much much shorter.

I remember shouting (at least I felt like I was shouting) what must of been a somewhat incoherent argument about why people talk to themselves.

I began to hear people outside whispering and talking about me. At one point it felt like people had all gathered around my door and were mocking me for all that I had said out loud.... This too I was completely familiar with as these are actually called 'delusions of reference' in psychotic episodes. However, that didn't stop me from walking to the door and checking... nobody there.

Things started to take a bad turn when the trip started to take shades of my worst pot experience (some super powerful cookies during a very emotionally unstable time).

I guess it goes like this (though I haven't completely figured it out): I begin to realize how a true delusion forms and how intrinsic it feels to the person... I then start to believe I've broken from reality and have gone permanently *snapped* and can't come back. However, I seemed to possess a strange sense of calm while on salvia and told myself that *snapping* is not a big deal.

Many people believe things that are not true, and they are deemed perfectly sane. I tell myself I used to talk to trees and have felt rays come from light sockets, whispers from vents. I've been in a mental hospital. I have large quantities of the antipsychotic Risperdal sitting on my shelf that I can take.

... It's not that big of a deal. I then sit down and stare at the window. The window starts to take on a slight movement toward the type of visual hallucinations I've seen in the past, but somehow I stop it by resisting the temptation to indulge myself in that direction. I asked myself if this ability to decide might simply be due to the Seroquel, a strange manifestation of the medication psychologically... I sort of doubt it, but it's an interesting thought. I began to think about how recreational drugs bring on changes very suddenly whereas the medications I take act slowly over time, but the changes they both make are no more or less drastic...

... I start to get anxious and remembered that I hadn't set the timer on my watch (I wanted to keep good track in case of a bad trip). I set it. I stare at it... I remember staring at it for about 15 minutes, telling myself I was done here..

The trip ended and I was left with a sense of peace, contentment, happiness and a good amount of energy.

It was like some of my most powerful and often more negative trips combined into one whole powerful and positive entity.

I also smoked the whole gram during the trip....

... I was under the impression that I would be completely knocked back and be unable to keep hitting.. so I kept hitting until it was gone (did spill a little bit though).

I wonder about the meds decreasing the effectiveness, especially the Seroquel (though it is a low dose). 10x is relatively low. I used a regular lighter and didn't hold the smoke in as long as others are able.

I also had my eyes open the whole time, and heard it's good to just close your eyes, relax, and imagine.. I'll definitely keep that in mind next time.

Overall this wound up being an expensive trip! I'd like to try again. But next time with more preparation to get more bang for my buck.

It very much surprised me that for the most part I have already experienced most of what happened in this trip before. The overall feel was unique, but that was mostly because of the unique situation... The trip was very much a positive one, though it did have a few moments of anxiety.

However, I will say that this is probably the best recreational drug I've taken. If I try again I'll try for a more meditative stance as this drug was definitely forcing a good amount of introspection on my part.

Exp Year: 2007ExpID: 61271
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given 
Published: Dec 11, 2007Views: 20,471
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Salvia divinorum (44) : Alone (16), Glowing Experiences (4), First Times (2)

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