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Re: 5 months on tianeptine

Posted by pandey_m on May 11, 1999, at 19:45:33

In reply to Re: 5 months on tianeptine, posted by andrew on May 10, 1999, at 15:36:54

> Wow, you are abusing a lot of drugs. Don't you think this hurts your long term mental well being?

tough one. I'll try to respond to the best of my ability. The summarised answer is at the end.

I went to an "elite" Engineering College in India at the age of 15 years 9 months. ["gifted student" - special permission to start college at that age - by the way I do not now believe intelligence is a valid concept - it is another way by the ruling class to diffuse class-consciousness]. That was 1977. I did not smoke tobacco, had an occasional beer, and did not take street-drugs or abuse prescription drugs. I started getting real bad symptoms just before completing higher secondary school. (the schooling you need to go to college - please translate to the corresponding concept in your country). Back then I thought they meant obsessional disorder. The next two years were hell. [It is only since the late 1980's that Textbooks have started distinguishing between obsessional thoughts on the one hand and pathological brooding or other forms of "micromania"]. Two psychiatrists just gave chlorpromazine, which made me much more miserable; one gave imipamine in homeopathic doses; and there was this Australian psychiatrist who was on the right track but advised me "not to take too much speed". He refused to believe that a campus person showing hypomania symptoms could be naturally ill rather than on speed.

Now please judge for yourself whether the following were abuse or "self-medication when doctors were not of help".

In 1979 I started marihuana with dramatic improvement.

In 1981 I started Methaqualone.
For my insomnia Methaqualone was the best thing I had. I had wonderful 8 hours sleep; woke up refreshed. In my first semester on marihuana+methaqualone (quaalude) i got straight A's while being involved in two intense emotional affairs.

I was stuck in my B.Tech thesis - only 5 days of the two semesters remained and I had done nothing. [I wasn't exactly stuck - I was busy understanding the world.] With the help of 5 friends and 200 dexedrine tabs (5mg each) I (we 5) completed the circuit design; wrote down the 70-page thesis and proofread it (there were no word-processors worth the name then; and no PCs); got
the formalities done and gave a one hour defense as required. I got a B in that.

As one might expect, the Indian State banned Methaqualone, dexedrine and methedrine in 1984.

Cannabis is "banned" here since 1989 but because of religious use by Hindu hermits the Indian State (otherwise trying to turn Fascist fast) is very lax about Cannabis.

Since the early '90s doctors have benn consistently diagnosing cyclothymia for me. Cyclothymia is a strange form of depression, the 40-year old debate whether it is essentially an attenuated form of bipolar depression of type 2(suggested classif. in the next DSM : Bipolar 2b) or a personality trait seems nowhere near coming to a conclusion. Anyway "Lithium is the drug of first choice when conventional antidepresant-based management has failed" (from a recent JAMA artricle on depression - you'll find it on the net) I choose to interpret "has failed" in the way I feel is best for me, my wife and my kid.

For someone in my state there is a tradeoff between the antidepressent effect of heavy nicotine consumption (due to MAO-b inhibition) and
the obvious risks involved. Aside : every European - East or West, I have met thinks that the mainstream U.S. society has been brainwashed into a fanatic, evangelical mistrust of tobacco.
[Like what happened with marihuana from the 70's onwards - any number of doctored studies; suppression of FDA-commisioned reports; draconian sentences - Tim Leary got 30 years for 5 gms of grass!] Tobacco is of course much more harmful - the rational course is : marihuana kiosks, and psychiatric prescription for tobacco.

There is a video on who [the petrochemicals giants] destroyed the marihuana industry in the U.S. - very favorably reviewed by the independent U.S. socialist magazine "Monthly Review" 2 or 3 years ago. Quote from that review : "The marihuana has no natural enemies except the U.S. Government."

Summarised answer - I self-medicate, after referring to : journals giving both points of view, rather than only internet info.; usually under medical supervision though usually against medical advice. Cyclothymia therapy is still in the research stage - cyclothymia overlaps adult ADD, ODD, dyslexia and Asperger's syndrome. I am not sure that I would be better off without what you call abuse.

I consider crushing aminep. to fine dust and snorting, or smoking dope "occasional recreational use" - but I will concede that there are arguments for calling it "abuse".

Maybe I will go to hell but I'll do it - as the late Jim Morrison said - "stoned immaculate".

If someone thinks I am a Maoist anarchist pacifist feminist voltairist blakeist half-insane hippie, they would be right, I suppose. :) May be some day I will realise that what I am doing is "No way to treat the mind" [title of an article is one of the prestigious British (I think) scientific or medical journal whose name I can't recall - it is on my second hard disk and also on the net - the article elaborates on your point, particularly wrt "smart drugs"] and that you were right.

For the present I take note of your semi-rhetorical question - I store these "advices" (if you dont mind my interpreting it as "advice") in my mind - they are useful in that they "ring a bell - (what if he was right?)" and tend to make my recreational drug-use more infrequent.
My tobacco smoking is already down to 30-40 thin cigarettes a day (i roll them myself) from 80 marlboros in the 1980's; partly because of numerous such "advices".

Last point : 8 year old daughter is very emotionally attached to me; my wife, I and the kid go trekking to the himalayas with just rucksacks, sleeping bags and jogging shoes upto 17000 feet twice a year; and for the last 9 months I have been able to stick to this graded 11-min Royal Canadian Air Force 5BX physical fitness program which was popular in the 1970's; so I couldn't be that far gone.

LOL :)




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