Mood disorders and anxiety these are two of the most common mental problems in the western population today. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of methods that can help those who suffer from it reduce or even make their symptoms go away. However, in many respects these solutions are not entirely satisfactory.
Often the use of psychotropic drugs is requiredThis helps control symptomatology while psychological therapy is being performed. However, in some cases the drugs prescribed to combat these symptoms are not effective enough or take a long time to start to take effect, so that even today the effects of new substances or possible applications are still there. in the study. of items not heretofore used in a therapeutic manner.
This is what happened to a retired psychiatrist with bipolar disorder with a high proportion of depressive episodes, who faced the infectivity of conventional methods. decide to try to treat your depression smoking DMT every day.
What is DMT?
Dimethyltryptamine or DMT is a psychodysleptic type substance that generates alterations in perception in the form of hallucinations. These hallucinations are usually brief in nature and often have mystical and existential content. It is considered to be one of the strongest hallucinogens and is usually taken by mouth or smoke, with almost immediate effects.
This substance is part of the well-known ayahuasca, a potion which in some native American tribes is used ritually to experience different “mystical” visions. It is an illegal drug and has the potential to cause psychotic episodes., Confusion and anxiety. Currently, the consumption of DMT is linked to MAOI-type antidepressants, which make it possible to potentiate and prolong their effects (because it is naturally metabolized rapidly).
DMT can be found in several plantsWhile in small amounts, it also appears in certain areas of our brain. Sometimes referred to as a mystical or god molecule, it has been popularly linked to the experience of extracorporeal phenomena and sensations in near-death experiences. It has sometimes been speculated that this also occurs during sleep.
Possible antidepressant effects of this medicine
Although it is not considered to produce feelings of euphoria like other psychodyseptics, it has been speculated on the possibility of using this substance or derivatives thereof in the treatment for depression or other drug addiction, And it is for this reason that various surveys on this subject have been carried out.
The results of some of them reflect that DMT has a serotonin stimulating effect, mimicking the behavior of this hormone at different brain receptors. One of them is 5-HT2C, activation can lead to improved mood. Likewise, the activation of other serotonin receptors could explain the presence of hallucinations.
In controlled studies, it has been found that Administration of DMT may lead to relaxation and reduction in depressive symptoms at low doses, although this effect should be reproduced and possible complications from it should be analyzed (trials had very few participants).
The case of the former psychiatrist who was medicated with DMT
Suffering from bipolar disorder in which the existence of depressive episodes predominated and in front of which conventional medication is not effective, and on the basis of the results of previous studies conducted on ayahuasca and DMT, a former psychiatrist at the retirement of forty years. one year decided to try Treat your depressive symptoms with daily intake of this substance.
Beginning of treatment
The subject in question acquired the substance illegally, via the deep network, and initiated treatment in which DMT was administered daily.
The doses were extremely high, about one gram per day. However, due to a slight improvement in their mood, the subject decided to add to his treatment the administration of phenelzine, an MAOI or a monoamine oxidase enzyme inhibitor used in the treatment of atypical depression. be able to easily cause liver failure and a sudden and dangerous rise in blood pressure.
This second substance greatly potentiates the effects of DMT. During this period, the family will later report that the experimenter began to exhibit hypomanic and erratic behaviors, as well as showing a significant increase in their level of religiosity. He also had decreased sleep, which the former psychiatrist treated with clonazepam.
However, six months after starting his self-medication, the individual had to take an incapacitated plane and was forced to stop using for a few days. This sudden interruption in the supply of the substance induce severe abstinence syndrome in him which would lead him to be taken to the hospital.
the object he had a severe psychotic episode and also exhibiting manic symptoms, aggressive behavior (to be reduced and contained) and difficulty communicating. He then collapsed, is having seizures and even needs to be intubated for a day now that he is stabilizing. Once stabilized it manages to show a logorréico behavior, presenting / displaying powerful hallucinations of a religious type in the course, he even asked for an exorcism.
After the administration of treatment which lasted for a week, the symptoms seemed to subside. Finally, an outpatient follow-up of the patient’s condition was proposed, the current condition did not sweat.
Implications of the case
The case of this former psychiatrist has important repercussions that must be considered. DMT is a substance which must be studied carefully and which currently it has no approved therapeutic use, Further exploration of its effects and risks is needed.
It has been shown to also generate manic and psychotic episodes due to its hallucinatory effects in cases where previous psychopathologies are experienced or other substances are consumed. In the case giving rise to this article, moreover, the dose used (1 gram per day) was excessively high, which increases the risks.
Additionally, previous research has worked under controlled conditions in which volunteers manifested severe and chronic depression, but not bipolar disorder. There have been at least episodes of hypomania in bipolar disorder, And in the case of a former psychiatrist, the medical history reflects the existence of a previous manic episode. By this we mean that the use of DMT could lead to an increase in manic symptoms (as it would in fact occur in this case).
Likewise, as with other substances, it should be borne in mind that acquiring dependence and tolerance to a substance means that in the event of abrupt withdrawal, withdrawal syndromes of varying severity may occur which could even lead to the subject’s death. Each time a substance is withdrawn, it must be gradual and controlled.
Finally, another problem that we can see in this case is the self-medication practiced by this former psychiatrist. Although in the case of this subject it was a person who had training related to the world of psychotropic drugs, self-prescription and self-administration of drugs can have serious consequences for those who practice it, especially if it is done without knowledge. the issue or any undesirable effects, interactions or doses indicated.
- Brown, T .; Shao, W .; Ayub, S .; Chong, D. and Cornelius, C. (2017). A Physician’s Attempt to Self-Medicate Bipolar Depression with N, NDimethyltryptamine (DMT), Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. Taylor & Francis Group. United States.
- Strassman, RJ (2001). DMT: The mind molecule. Groundbreaking research for a doctor in the biology of near death and mystical experiences. Rue du Parc.
- Wallach, JW (2008). Endogenous hallucinogens as ligands of trace amine receptors: a possible role in sensory perception. Hypothesis med. January 2009; 72 (1): 91-4