Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Alternative Therapy?

Vitia nostra regionum mutatione non fugimus.

- We do not flee our errors by a change of locations. (Anonymous)

I've kind of reached the end of my rope with how I'm feeling and doing. I've struggled for the past couple of years with no meaningful change or relief. I had always hoped that when I moved from my Master's to my Ph.D I could leave behind some of the old issues and start fresh in a new city and a new University. These problems have a way creeping back in eventually though. You may move locations and change jobs or projects, but you bring yourself with you.

I've been medicated off and on for almost 5 years now. The last two years have seen me on medication almost steadily. While it has helped me tremendously at times, I have found other alternative therapies to be as equally effective, if not more so, at times. The yoga study I did last year was really great and I regret not continuing on with yoga after it was over. Talk therapy was perfunctory and incredibly counter productive when I gave it a try 5 years ago. Arguably the doctor I have now engages in a type of talk therapy in addition to dispensing medication and charting my progress. She's a lot better than the first guy I tried, but it's still not making an appreciable difference in my life. There are some things I know I need to figure out on my own and spend time sorting through them in my head.

I'm not the type of person to enjoy talking to a therapist, or some one else necessarily, to help me sort out those things. Verbal diarrhea has never been a problem for me, nor do I feel better after "unburdening" myself on anyone. I keep it all closed up inside and the only time I discuss the mental issues is in my journal or here. I'm an independent learner, and a very closed person, so talk therapy is not helpful for me. I'd say it leaves me worse off then before I started because I'm easily frustrated by seeing the person struggle to help me if they're not properly qualified. I also find empty platitudes annoying and unnecessary. I don't need someone to pat my hand and tell me everything will be better tomorrow.

I ran across an article in Discovery about the use of psychedelic drugs in the treatment of mental disorders after reading Mind Hacks. While I don't condone recreational drug use, nor would I ever advocate using them, I think this is an intensely personal choice. I just want to feel like I used to. I just want to be the person I know I am, free from the Post Traumatic Stress and the depression. I want to feel again. I want to not only remember what love feels like, I want to feel love again. Everything I'm doing right now is not allowing me to overcome the problem or even find a break through and insight on how to proceed. This is not something I'm taking lightly or jumping into blindly. It is something I'm considering very seriously, not as a recreational "high" but as a controlled and deliberate choice.

There is only one person in the world I would trust to do this with- my brother, the World Traveller. While the article discusses the use of MDMA for post traumatic stress I would never consider using it. I'm leaning more towards psilocybin's (magic mushrooms) as a safer option. WT has experience with them and he knows I've never done shrooms before. He also is an incredibly safety oriented person and understands the purpose behind why I want to try them. We discussed it a bit last night, however I still have a few more things to discuss with him about it before I agree to the experience. It also needs to be in a highly controlled environment because a bad trip would probably leave me in a far worse mental state than I am in right now. I know this is not a cure, but merely a tool to help me reach the next step in over coming the PTSD. The depression will probably always be with me, but the PTSD is seriously affecting my daily life and ability to function in society. I know how to cope with the depression, I do not now how to cope with depression and PTSD.

1 comment: said...

Hello, you are lucky to be close to your brother. I enjoyed reading your blog and wanted to share what my brother and myself created. We put all of our life's savings to create, a great website for therapy, journaling, and measuring progress. Check it out, you might enjoy it.

Wishing you a great weekend.