Citation: theGodWaffler. "Relief From My Despair: An Experience with Nutmeg (exp74094)". Erowid.org. Jul 2, 2020. erowid.org/exp/74094
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Thank God for Nutmeg
I have chronic depression. Normally, chronically depressed individuals are diagnosed with 'dysthemia', but my disorder ranges into suicidal thoughts fairly regularly, which falls outside the milder scope that typifies dysthemics. Yet, like dysthemics, I have struggled with my moods every day for almost all of my life. Only my overt decision in my mid-twenties, simply to live – first and foremost, has allowed me to overcome my darkest moments. At such times, suicide not only seems a viable option, but, in my desperate state of mind, my suffering actually seems caused by my avoidance of killing myself, as if I were somehow being stubbornly irresponsible by remaining alive.
For most of my adult life I have tried one therapy or another: psychoanalysis, serotonin (and/or norepinefrin) re-uptake inhibitors, anti-psychotics, meditation, religion, exercise, yoga, smoking, self-medicating with numerous illicit drugs, over-eating – you name it. Most helped to some degree, roughly as one would expect, but none really gave me lasting relief, nor helped to any great extent (with the possible exception of psychology and psychedelic drugs, both of which thoroughly changed the nature of my understanding of reality and my interactions with it). The greatest relief I've found has been the love of my wife, a blessing I still marvel at. Yet even that has been only partial and at an increasing cost to our relationship.
I was watching a TV adaptation of the Arabian Nights, some while back, and at one point the Sultan's wife brought him hot lemon and nutmeg, as one might bring coffee or tea. I thought it odd, but wondered if it were any good, so I tried it. It's okay, as long as ones doesn't overdue the nutmeg. But, after perhaps half and hour, I found myself completely distracted from my depression, simply by a focus on other things which seemed more interesting. Occasionally I have these moments, which usually seem to stem from something I've eaten, but re-creating the event always proves fruitless. Initially, I wrote off the experience as just another such, but as the weather turned cold, I thought a warm drink sounded nice and again tried the lemon and nutmeg. And again, I found a blessed relief from my despair.
It took several more times to actually prove to myself that I had actually found something worth investigating. Having lived with my depression since early puberty, this struck me as a miracle of the highest order. I researched nutmeg, and found that myristicin, one of nutmeg's volatile oils, has some evidence to show it to be a mild MAO inhibitor, and that it had shown some slight promise for treating schizophrenia and depression. [The Use of Nutmeg as a Psychotropic Agent, by Andrew Weil] This was enough to thoroughly convince myself of nutmeg as a viable therapy – if not a curative, then at least a respite from torment.
So I continue to use the spice to manage my moods, dashing it into my drinks initially, and now putting it into capsules. I take two AA capsules with my vitamins each morning, another at dinnertime, and some days I take a few others throughout the day, as needed. I have no proper scale, but each cap I estimate to be approximately one gram (1g). I buy it pre-ground, in bulk, from my local grocery store.
My life is enormously improved, as is my marriage. Such a simple household item as nutmeg seems outlandishly implausible as the solution to such a devastating life-long problem, but that seems to be the case. I'm hesitant to bring it up with my doctor and I probably won't, as I'm certain to meet with skepticism and possibly ridicule; likely he'd explain it away as the placebo effect, but – whatever. I don't know how else to explain it.
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