Citation: PennyScout. "Not for Everyone: An Experience with Ibogaine (exp94015)". Erowid.org. Jan 3, 2016. erowid.org/exp/94015
My Negative Experience with Ibogaine
I am a female, age 29 and sought ibogaine treatment in September 2010 in Mexico. It was a very difficult experience for me, and it has taken me a full year to be able to write about it. For many months afterward I was still experiencing the effects and unsure of the ultimate outcome, and then I was simply avoiding thinking about it because it was upsetting. In fact, you'll have to forgive my typos because reading though this too many times is hard for me. However, there are many more details I've left out, and I am happy to answer further questions and I am especially interested in hearing from other people who had similar negative experiences, or side effects, or did not get what was promised or expected from taking ibogaine. Perhaps together we can help develop a profile of those who should avoid ibogaine, to help them avoid unnecessary suffering and cost, or to aid the development of treatment or post-treatment protocols to limit negative side-effects.
After deciding that I wanted to try it I was recommended to a center because I was not seeking treatment for drug addiction. Rather I was seeking 'psychospiritual treatment' namely for 10 years of depression and what I thought of at the time as complex post-traumatic stress disorder, not from any one violent trauma but because my symptoms appeared to set in suddenly while studying environmental science in college, which I found quite distressing. I also grew up with selective mutism, a strange disorder on the social anxiety spectrum involving refusal/fear/inability to speak to some people or in some situations.
In addition to depression I suffer from chronic pain and fatigue, and generalized anxiety as well as a mishmash of other physical symptoms, you know the kind that are in those long lists of side effects of Candida overgrowth or heavy metal poisoning. I always thought I fit the description for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome but since it is considered incurable by western medicine anyway did not pursue the diagnoses until recently. I have become more unsure whether the psychological stress of the my freshman year of college was responsible for my breakdown, or whether a physical illness, like a virus, leading to exhaustion proceeded my mental illness. This may be an arbitrary distinction. It may be a complex mixture of both, but I must point out that many physical diseases such as arthritis, syphilis, polio, and tuberculosis were at one time thought to be entirely psychological, and there is danger in relying to much on the psychological explanation. Although my inclinations naturally learn towards alternative medicine, shamanism, and I have a master's degree in counseling psychology I do believe now after learning more about it that CFS sufferers have a specific pattern of measurable and physical differences from healthy people including lesions in the brain and it is distinctly different from depression, PTSD, and other disorders with somatic components. In addition, studies have found that most people with CFS and fibromyalgia developed mood disorders after, and were just as psychologically healthy as the average population before their chronic pain and other symptoms set in. In other words it is a real disease.
I give these factors as background, since not much is currently known about the use of ibogaine for different diseases besides drug addictions, though it is also considered helpful for depression, biopolar, and other mental disoders. Perhaps the fact that I did not suffer from classical depression but in fact CFS is instrumental in my story.
At the time of this experience I was living in Portland, OR. I planned a 6 night trip to Mexico, between 5 and 7 days were recommended. As anyone with CFS will understand travel, especially air travel is very hard on the body. This was certainly no exception, I left the house at perhaps 8 in the evening, took a bus and a train ride to the airport for my midnight flight from Portland to Huston, slept briefly on the floor of the airport for a 5am flight to Mexico city, then took a bus (did I mention I don't speak any Spanish) and cab to where I finally arrived at the treatment house sometime in the late afternoon. I had also been fasting this whole time in preparation. This is from someone who gets fairly imbalanced after a 2 hour domestic flight in the middle of the afternoon, so it may not have been the best idea, but I had also been very anxious for about 2 weeks prior to the trip and couldn't wait to get there already. I was also probably adrenalated. There is also a certain romance in flying to a foreign country on a 'secret' trip to do something totally crazy.
At the treatment house everyone was very friendly and welcoming. I met my provider's cousin who was lounging on the couch in bliss having just received his session a few days prior for depression and nicotine addiction. This made me feel hopeful. Then I retired to my room, the tower room, a round turret, to lay down and wait for my 'flood' which is the name for a large dose of ibogaine, that causes hallucinations. The flood is generally started after dusk.
I suppose the reason for doing the treatment on the day of arrival is because many addicts are about to go into the throws of withdrawl, of course this was not an issue for me, but even though I was fucked up from my travels, and had a dehydration headache, I probably wouldn't have chosen to wait another whole day because of the strong sense of anticipation. Cost, and length of stay is also a practical issue for most people driving their treatment timing. I am doubtful that taking the time for recovery would have significantly influenced my experience anyhow.
6pm Wednesday Night.
I was pleased to have the tower room, it had metaphorical appeal, since the Tower card in the Tarot deck is one of sudden and dramatic upheaval, difficult yes, but no one ever said the ibogaine experience was going to be a cake walk. As soon as we began preparing for my flood, a thunderstorm hit, and just as we were smudging ourselves and the room with copal a bolt of lightening hit the pool directly outside. This seemed to me, a good omen. Although there were spiritual elements such as the smudging this was not a traditional shamanistic procedure. I was given a dose based on my weight and my desired to experience the psychospiritual visions. There was some ambivalence over whether I should receive pure ibogaine or total alkaloid, which is basically iboga root minus the cellulose. This is more likely to cause vomiting. I believe I ended up being given all ibogaine. My provider had used both, and mixtures of the two on others and himself with similar results, and generally relied on intuition as far as what to give to people.
Certainly many of a naturalistic ideal would lean toward using TA, and I am curious what would have happened if I had taken that, but I've had bad trips with 'all natural'Ě substances so I'm not convinced things would have been different. I was given an initial small dose, I believe to screen for immediate allergic reactions. It apparently took a longer time than most for the effects to hit me, perhaps an hour, they were dizziness, muscle dis-coordination and a feeling like, 'oh shit, I'm losing control.' I called my provider in to tell him I was ready for the full dose. The standard protocol at this facility is to be available just outside the room but to leave you alone on your journey, checking every hour or so. Other facilities criticize this technique saying that a person needs to be shamanically guided though the journey, and others still only administer the drug in a hospital setting. I had gotten an EKG done in Portland prior to the trip to check my heart.
As I was going under, there was a point at which there was no turning back, in retrospect this was very much like letting go and submitting to the experience, even though I remained fearful. It was like falling backward with explosions of colors bursting into my brain. Shortly after that religious imagery floated through my field of vision. Things like Buddha, the Virgin Mary, and faces of cats (lions and tigers have as special meaning to me, as a sort of totem animal, and a tiger eye gem was one of the few items I had brought with me which I had placed on a table near the bed along with a note stating my intentions for the journey).
I had read and been informed that most people did not feel anxious or scared during the bulk of the experience, but that it was common to have feelings of anxiety and regret, initially as their ego was fighting against losing control, and that those would pass during the main portion of the night. Unfortunately this was not at all true for me. The entire night was characterized by a state of terror, and the belief that I just needed to let go and could be causing my own distress made everything that much worse. When the anxiety didn't abate after I was fully hallucinating I was highly confused. Should I take more ibogaine? My provider liked to leave this up to his own intuition and that of the patient. So I ended up taking a little more, but when the hallucinations hit in full force even with my eyes open, and I could not stand the idea of taking more, I was still concerned I was not 'submitting'Ě properly to the experience because I still felt scared.
Now keep in mind that this inner debate was running while experiencing the effects of the drug, meaning that intuition was not really in play, my mind was racing a mile a minute and I was having the sort of circular reasoning like that poisoning scene in the in the Princess Bride: What if I'm possessed by a demon and it wants me to take more so I'll go crazy, what if the demon just wants to me to think I shouldn't take more, because that will kill it. I felt as if my mind was split into two or three or more. One chipper and hopeful but to the point of feeling false and saccharine, full of hippyish sayings like 'you're just cleansing, it will all be over soon' one negative and frightened thinking, 'that's just a stupid thing people say, you have no fucking clue what's happening,'Ě and another analytic observing these two, utterly confused trying to figure out what the hell was going on, wondering what is purpose of these thoughts, was I being shown something? about my programming, my personal demons?
It really wasn't insightful. It was all muddled, unclear, and overwhelming, with these thoughts racing at a frantic incomprehensible pace one hardly finishing before the next started, looping, repeating, interrupting. This was overlayed by intense auditory stimulation (mostly buzzing, like a mosquito in the ear, which is a commonly reported experience, but sometimes drumming and other noises, and that extremely annoying repetitive soundoundoundoundoundoundound thing, that some psychonauts may be familiar with, where the last word you think or say repeats as if it will never stop) and visual stimulation (colors, patterns, creepy cartoons changing so fast as to be a blur, repetition, like the television within a television phenomenom, or the optical illusion when you face two mirrors at eachother) and intense physical stimulation and discomfort, waves of heat and cold that caused me to move the blankets on and off a thousand times, nausea, dizziness, muscular restlessness and spasms, pain mixed with semi-paralysis (note that I am in pain all of the time, so ibogaine didn't necessarily cause it, so much as being forced to lie down for a long time while tripping balls did). Reaching for a water bottle was a major undertaking, standing up and going to the bathroom which thankfully I did not need to do would have been impossible without assistance. I had my notebook by my bed just in case but writing anything, would have similarly been out of the question. During the night I never forgot why this was all happening, I never separated from my body, or traveled to another place or lost consciousness of myself as an individual in a bed in mexico, tripping on ibogaine.
Disappointingly I did not have any questions answered, meet any ancestors, gain any insights, or receive any healings. But there were a few distinct memorable experiences from my flood besides the thought fragmentation and nonsensical visions. Throughout the night there were many 'explosions'Ě: bursts of color accompanied by hot temperature, and a fearful feeling related to existential anxiety. I suspect many people have had this experience while awake: I'm lying in my bed contemplating death, life, the universe, or something similarly big and incomprehensible, and suddenly my normal defense mechanisms fail and I 'flip out' at the impossibility of it all, sitting bolt upright in a nauseous panic and sweat, and proceed to stand up hop around, go make a sandwich, hug my spouse, anything to distract myself from the mind-blowing macrocosmic and get back into the mundane and limited plane of life.
This sensation has happened to me from time to time since childhood, happened over and over again during the ibogaine experience, just the same but many times more intense, and frequently throughout the weeks and months afterward. Before ibogaine I always had a suspicion, hey if I could somehow go through this experience and come out the other side, I think I would be enlightened. After ibogaine eventually it faded and I have not had a 'spell' of it since and do not believe I can bring one on, as if the fear was drilled out of me through repetition like some kind of exposure therapy. Its not that I understand anything now, or feel comfortable with my existence, its just eh whatever, like if you lived in grizzly bear country long enough your heart would no longer race when encountering one.
Similarly, during the flood I also experienced something along the lines of eternity. For the last 10 years of so I have seen a pulsing violet flame behind my eyes, when relaxed, such as during meditation or receiving massage. I saw that light during parts of the flood accompanied by sort of a sensation that it, now, is all there is, and ever will be, and not in an enlightened Ekhart Tolle kind of way, but a hellish, disturbing, no way out kind of way. If you ever when you were a kid thought heaven sounded kind of boring, you know sort of what I mean, and yet as far as hell goes, the experience was moderate. Yes, I was highly uncomfortable, but I wasn't screaming in agony, and retained a slight objectivity throughout. What was this about? My childhood fear being brought life? I was never shown anything like an opposite, no ecstasy, no nirvana, and continue to feel mildly disturbed at the recollection of the experience today.
I tried my best not to hate the journey and want it to end the minute it started, but I so did, and I believe anyone else experiencing what I did would hate it just as much. I've read a good deal of the hallucinogenic literature, and knew that it ibogaine wasn't supposed to be a walk in the park and for example that for drinkers of ayahuasca would have difficult experiences of purging and battling the negative before breaking through into the love and light, but nothing that was happening to me made, or makes any sense. One might argue that you do not need to be able to interpret the experience to gain from it, but it seems clear to me a year later that I did not gain much from it consciously or unconsciously.
The most interesting part to me perhaps, were the visions I had with my eyes open. For the most part it was extremely difficult to keep my eyes open, but when I would open them a bit, I could see the room, normally for a second, and then it would quickly start morphing. The interesting thing is that it would always morph into the same things, rather than different things, throughout the night, as if another room with consistent objects existed on top of mine. For example everytime I would look at the closet a figures would begin to emerge, Africans in fact, dressed in tribal ceremonial garb. Now I had read previously something about the appearance of these spirits in people's sessions, and thought it was a good omen. So I was curious about the figures, but too sick and frightened, and would quickly squeeze my eyes shut as the floated towards me.
I can't emphasize enough that the undercurrent of this experience was a pure bodily fear, no matter if what was occurring like the tribesmen was inherently neutral and no matter how I tried to soothe myself with my mind or breathing. When my provider would come in with my water, it would appear to me as if he were also overlayed with the tribal getup. Also a wrought iron framed mirror in the corner of the room would turn into a pre-columbian Central American looking figurine, interesting given that an ancient pyramid lay not far behind the mirror.
I would look at that mirror every once in a while to check my ‚Äúprogress‚ÄĚ and as daylight broke the visual hallucinations with my eyes open stopped. I remained much to dizzy to move or keep them open however, and spent the entire next day and night in bed with the cartoonish, hypnogogic, nonsense racing through my brain, exhausting and annoying me. It felt like it was slowing down, but interminably slowly, like radioactive decay. Oh how very much I just wanted it to stop! I don't remember having much of any conversation. However, I could at this point wobble myself to the bathroom. On this day I experienced no open-eyed hallucinations, except tracers.
I fell asleep the second night, which is unusual, most people cannot sleep for a few days after treatment and I woke up sometime in the middle of the night in a panic, my body stabbed with pain, heart racing. I was already in a lot of pain from being in bed for sooo long and even normally I often get sore and my muscles tighten up while I am sleeping, meaning the first deep breath I take when awakening can cause sudden stabbing pain in my back/chest. This sudden pain sensation, enhanced by being high, and in combination with all the other side-effects was a terribly confusing and disorienting way to wake up, like a shock to the soul. My heart raced out of control and I experienced some of the worst panic yet. I called to my provider, who said he had never seen someone react fearfully at this stage, which only freaked me out more. However, he moved into my room to sleep on the floor and that calmed me down quite a bit. The visions/hallucinations of this second night were much like fever induced ones I had experienced throughout my life, being mixed up about my body and identity for example associating physical positions of my body, with different numbers.
Another side effect is that throughout the whole experience I had wiggled and rocked in my bed, and continued to wiggle and rock my legs and hips constantly for about one week afterward. This sort of compulsive rocking and wiggle was more extreme but similar to an experience I had when taking prozac at age 18. Each day my provider kept telling me tomorrow I would be clearheaded and happier than I had ever been in my life, and I hope fervently for such an outcome, alas it was never to come.
I was depressed, frightened, and cried some in disappointment that my body had not been healed, but by Friday morning I felt ready to eat some fruit and by afternoon I was ready to come downstairs. I was still dizzy, but sick to death of that bed. Actually, I remained dizzy for months afterward with the severity of the dizziness fading slowly over time, until eventually it was only perceptible at certain times like with my eyes closed, or early in the morning, and then not at all. And when I say dizzy what I really mean is not a lack of balance, but a sort of jumping of tracking of the eyes and a sensation of movement as if floating in a river, they way you might feel after stepping off a day on a boat, just never feeling still. It is not a very restful sensation. At this point I experienced no more visions or hypnogogic images with my eyes closed, only endless racing thoughts. I went outdoors and laid in the sun. I found that I was not able to read books, although I could read the words I could not comprehend sentences, they would just float through and not coalesce and 'stick' in my brain. I was able to write, although my had was weak, and I had difficulty focusing my vision.
The first thing I wrote was 'Today was my 3rd day on ibogaine. I feel awful, same as before. Depressed, anxious, so much pain. It is hard for me to put this in writing, afraid I'll solidify it somehow. So many fears. Irritation and anger at the pain, afraid it will never stop. Afraid it will never stop because of my fear it will never stop. Afraid that because I can't be a detached observer for some reason I am doomed. I'm afraid I'm possessed by something that is beyond my willpower to overcome, even if that demon is only my fear. I feel lost in fear, drowning in a sea of fear, encased in a layer cake of fear. Maybe I did it wrong. Maybe I should take more ibogaine. But there is the other side too. The side that says that doesn't make sense if there was only fear in my life and not hope why would I be here in the first place? Why would I come here? Why would I ever keep trying to be well? I feel the same as before. Do I feel the same as before?...I'm afraid I won't feel good tomorrow. I guess I can't really anticipate the future because all I have is now anyway. Why even try to imagine it good of bad? This is one of these layers I get trapped in because how do I come to that conclusion in a not judgemental way? Maybe as long as I don't say should think or shouldn't think. Maybe I just need a keyword like 'future'Ě, but then again trying to think about something (the present, positively) it is also like a lack of freedom there. It seems like a level of stress to even try either way. It's a real conundrum. Maybe that's the point. I just shut down eventually. It seems like I can do no wrong on ibogaine. That it doesn't really matter what I do or don't think, I just have to have faith that the ibogaine will work for me, or not. Don't believe it, I will see for myself eventually.
Wow if you read these pages they are so pendulous back and forth with faith, confidence, hope, fear, doubt, self-soothing. It is soothing to my mind to know it is not all endless negative thoughts (it that only soothing because I judge my mind though?) I don't want to think anymore about these things. I don't even care if I know the answers. I just want to be happy. Anyhow writing seems to be feeling good right now. It seems to help. I think. There is that doubt where I don't really know what I think, or the preferences I have are just barely.
As you can see my thoughts are very distressed! I have a two notebooks full of them, from the following months, no less mad than this entry from the first day. What if this is true? what if that is true? Obsessive fears and hopes, Circular, tangled arguments and analysis of my situation, models and hypothesis about my life and what might be happening to me. The obvious thing to do would be to just stop worrying about it, but I couldn't! The obsessive cognition and metacognition was a direct side-effect of the drug, and those first few weeks I wrote constantly, compulsively all day long, it was the only thing I wanted to do, and who knows perhaps the only way to feel some sembalance of calm and control over the endless thoughts. I was absolutely stuck in my head those first weeks, and try as I might I could not get out or connect with the outside world, though beautiful and culturally stimulating as it was in Mexico, it was like living in a fog, or seeing in tunnel vision, I just couldn't break out of the deep introspection.
At this time the physical sensations in my body were also all consuming and keeping me from interacting with the outside world, the main two being a pressure in the crown and serious stomach discomfort. The pressure in my crown was sort of feeling as if a palm was pressing down on my head, and wasn't terribly unpleasant. This lasted for a month or so. The stomach discomfort lasted longer and alternated between nausea, and a feeling like a gas bubble trapped in stomach. I'm not really sure if this 'gas bubble' was a real sensation or an energetic sensation, since sometimes it seemed to move higher up my chest. Also since my teenage years I have gotten dull burning-acidic type pain when I am hungry, sort of like my stomach is eating itself. Unfortunately because I was nauseated my stomach was empty a lot during these times so that sensation was often present. The nausea would come and go and if I wasn't careful to eat during a slot when it was gone, it would often come back before I got a chance. I lost weight during this period, and survived mostly on milk for awhile despite the fact that I have a pretty serious food sensitivity to milk, the calories kept me going and the fat helped me to feel full. I also had terrible visual snow during these months which at times was bad enough to look like a fog in the room.
After it was clear that I was still heavily under the influence of the drug I extended my stay in Mexico by 4 days, so in total it lasted 10 days. I did not feel ready to go home, when it was time, still feeling terribly out of sorts, but little did I know the effects were going to last much, much longer. That week in Mexico, I was taken care of well, fed, massaged, and generally babysat, I was able to speak to people around about my difficulties, and cried often, but at times I was very lonely for someone I knew and wished I could have had a friend close by for moral support. The side effects dissipated slowly, one day no more tracers, the next day able to read again, the next the rocking stopped. I stopped having panic attacks in the middle of the night, and I was able to climb the pyramid, and eventually felt physically and emotionally stable enough to walk to town by myself and order food in Spanish.
During this time I did much reading of spiritual self-help type literature and meditating. During two of the meditations I felt energy pop up and out of my body. This felt like a nice release and it pleased me that something interesting was happening but did not appear to diminish my bodily pain or change anything in general. I also had vivid and significant seeming dreams during this time. The providers discouraged brainwashing media such as television. I tried watching some stuff on my computer a few times to get a break from my own head but couldn't really concentrate. The camera movement would be dizzying, and it was more like staring at box with people running around inside, I just couldn't get into it.
I believe that things took a turn for the worse when I ended my vacation in Mexico and returned to Portland, back to my real life with its duties and chores. The flight was incredibly stressful and I felt like I was going to fall out of my body. Alone in my apartment with no one to assuage my anxieties, or feed me, and the strange side effects continuing to plague me, for god knows how long, perhaps permanently, I became increasingly psychotic, afraid that when I opened the door to my bedroom, there would be a gaping black hole on the other side rather than a living room, afraid I was possessed by a ghost and what I thought was my personality was not it at all, afraid of losing it and collapsing in the middle of the sidewalk, afraid that I would wake up and be someone else, somewhere else. Many times I felt as if my head was like a balloon tethered to my body and was struggling to float off. Other times I lost track of my body parts while laying in bed and it would feel for example as if my arms ended in stumps at my elbows.
The crazy introspection and journaling continued until one day after hiking with a friend, and I seemed to 'pop out' all of the sudden, at which point I became obsessed with the outside world and the way it looked, which to me was fake and all wrong, too bright, too colorful, not real, somewhat similar to the psychological literature I have read on depersonalization or derealization personality disorders. Keep in mind that all this is happening while still experiencing dizziness, and stomach problems, and frequent bouts of existential nausea, and when not full blown nausea simply thinking every five minutes or so how weird it is to be alive. Its impossible! Somethingness and nothingness are both impossible! My existence doesn't make any sense and yet here I am! Even formerly pleasurable activities like reclining in the sun took on an unbearably freakish quality.
As you can imagine this makes it hard to get anything done, but I continued work and school to the best of my abilities. I continued to spend time with friends. Some of them knew what I was going through, some did not. You might be wondering how I coped? I went to an acupuncturist at one point for dizziness, and anxiety, I did see several therapists, and attempted at one point to get xanax or another anti-anxiety medicine but was refused, I talked to some people who knew some things about ibogaine. Nothing the therapists said helped me, that old idea again, that they spouted at me, that my own rejection of the situation was making the symptoms worse for myself just made me feel broken and inferior like 'other people can let go and enjoy their drugs, why can't you?'Ě What did help, I believe, was simply venting and crying and describing how awful it was to someone and to have them pity me. I also researched things like kundalini imbalances as a result of taking hallucinogens, which sounded a bit like me, but I was never able to make any dent in my symptoms with things like grounding meditations, nor exercise, nor massage, or herbs, nor spending time outdoors versus in the city.
Suffice to say, for me, the ibogaine experience was a very negative experience, and a horrifically long-lasting one. I would estimate that for at least two months afterward my everyday life was entirely dominated by the ibogaine psychosis, and for a further 2 months after that it was at least influenced or perceptible daily in an unpleasant way.
As a graduate student and, someone who led a difficult and limited life due to illness prior to the experience I was able to use my strength and will and, somehow, get through these difficult times, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. I believe that someone with a family to care for and full-time work undergoing what I went though would most certainly experience serious repercussions. The mental anguish alone, sustained over such a long time, with no apparent rewards, or silver linings, was enough that I cannot, in good conscience recommend the drug to anyone.
By 5 months after taking ibogaine the direct side effects were minimal, but my chronic fatigue symptoms had begun to worsen. I had difficulty sleeping, felt feverish all of the time, became more sensitive to lights and sounds, and as a result was forced to drop out of school. Is it a coincidence that the most difficult year of my illness followed the ingestion of ibogaine? It could be, but it is also reasonable to believe that the long-term stress of those months, the constant psychological turmoil, and poor diet exacerbated these increased health problems. New Age types might argue for the healing crisis, but all I know is that my CFS is still going strong and the only thing that got me back to an 'average'Ě amount of sickness, such as I had prior to ingesting ibogaine was 7 months of naturopathic medical care and trial and error of various pharmaceutical drugs.
So many questions remain. What is it about me, my genetics or physical health, or psychology that my experience so bad? Am I just stubborn, resistant? Can I not learn my ‚Äúlesson‚ÄĚ as some suggest? Why did the high last so long? Does it store somehow and did it take the drug itself that long to fully detox from my body? Or did it change me in some way that took that long to go back to ‚Äúnormal‚ÄĚ. People who have had beneficial experiences with ibogaine also report feeling under its influence for several months.
Some of the side-effects like slight alterations in the visual perception of patterns, the way cars shine too hyper-realistically after a rainstorm, and tendency while doing my daily chores think: 'Life, what the fuck?'Ě Remain to this day. It is as if it instilled a tendency to slip into awareness of the present moment in me, but I find the present moment distasteful and weird. Far from being a peace and love fest, the sensation is more one wrinking your nose at a pile of dog poo or of suspicion, as if this being alive thing is all some sort of strange joke.
I recently had the unfortunate accidental opportunity to experience a THC overdose for the second time in my life and was surprised at how extremely similar it was to the ibogaine experience. The similarities were a sudden oh shit I'm really getting high panic near the beginning of the experience, followed by being totally floored unable to do anything but lay down with my eyes closed, and fast fast fast visual imagery, and fast, fast, fast fragmented, repetitive thoughts, consisting of noticeably positive and negative thoughts, and a third train of thought analyzing what is happening trying to figure out what it all means, desperately hoping there is some kind of spiritual message or healing going on, some method to the madness. This was accompanied by temperature changes (only heat in this case, no cold), and spastic wiggling especially of the legs, (also lots of arm movement accompanied by lots of moaning and groaning. Pretty sure I was silent during ibogaine, but I may have been restricting myself due to the presence of strangers). I feel asleep in this state and kept exploding back into my body when I woke, confusingly, much like the disorientation of waking up while on ibogaine. Also even after the initial flood faded by 12 hours, the slight uncomfortable high, and noticeably different and annoying meta-cognitive thought process lasted for many days afterward, accompanied by a pressure in the crown of the head and lack of appetite, basically a mini-ibogaine trip. Also a few times in the month following ibogaine I attempted to drink a beer and became extra dizzy. This always happened to me in the past when ingesting alcohol and THC together. What do pot and ibogaine have in common? Why do I respond so negatively to both (that slightly anxious and irritating judgemental-hyper introspectiveness happens even with a few puffs of a joint and isn't unique to overdose)? Why do they both affect me for so long? Is my body super sensitive, or unable to properly detox?
Like all difficult life experiences, taking ibogaine was a learning experience, and interesting in that regard. However, I regret taking ibogaine, and I especially regret spending something like $4,000 to take it ($3000 for the treatment, and another $1000 on travel). I really wish the facility had refunded my money after I told them that the drug not only did not help me but caused me substantial suffering and life disruption. I do not think ibogaine should be illegal, and I know that people will continue to seek it out regardless of my report, and that it will continue to help some of them, but I feel that there is much more to learn about the proper administration of this drug.
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