After 13 1/2 years, I’m going to try the same meds I was on in high school, namely Wellbutrin (bupropion, a dopamine agonist) for depression and Seroquel (quetiapine, which helps prevent a runaway dopamine reaction) to take some of the nervous edge off the bupropion. I’m a little nervous about taking a pill to treat the side effects of another pill, because at some point it becomes like the old lady who swallowed the fly. But if my theory is correct, my particular depression/anxiety is largely a matter of dopamine regulation and keeping it within a comfortable range is the goal of treatment.
There is one pill (Prozac/fluoxetine) that I was also on in high school that I won’t be adding. This was to boost serotonin, but I suspect it was responsible for mood blunting. Instead I will be controlling my serotonin naturally by upping my intake of tomatoes, which are high in serotonin (and particularly vegetable juice, which is also rich in a number of nutrients including vitamin b).
On most of my public face social media sites, I’m bullish about the outcome. I don’t feel like I can be honest about my reservations any more. But the fact is, my chemistry has changed since high school. My condition, cognition, and insight have changed since high school. I’m a profoundly different person in some ways. And the medications I’ll be taking could lead to serious and debilitating side effects. I’m honestly still skeptical that psychiatry is a real science because its predictions are so inaccurate and its methods are so haphazard that it could potentially be said to have killed more people than it has saved.
I keep thinking of David Foster Wallace, relying on antidepressants to stay productive until, inevitably, they stopped working and he had to undergo ECT which messed with his ability to write and process language. He wrote about the desperation of the severely depressed, who would rather have the part of their brains that gave them pleasure, mirth, and wonder permanently crippled so that they can be free of pain.
Wallace hanged himself. Psychiatry failed him. I’m seriously worried it will fail me too.
It’s funny, I’ve done cannabis, psilocybe mushrooms, salvia divinorum, fly agarics, and a number of legal highs, but none of them scare me as much as the stuff that’s legal. I don’t trust the pharmaceutical companies. I don’t trust the FDA. I don’t trust the DEA. I don’t trust psychiatry or any attempt to reduce a human being to a machine that you can just tinker with and not expect severe pathos as a lasting consequence.
I don’t want to do this. What have I gotten myself into?
I wish psilocybin was legal and easy to come by. That’s the only thing that’s really been effective. The foot-dragging by researchers and legislators is going to kill people like me who need that medicine now.
If I become a victim of psychiatry, I want a portion of sales of my books donated to MAPS.