Traumatized by 5 MeO DMT

Jonas E, modified 1 Year ago at 2/8/22 11:02 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/8/22 11:00 AM

Traumatized by 5 MeO DMT

Posts: 78 Join Date: 2/28/15 Recent Posts
I think I have been traumatized by 5 MeO DMT. After the experience I have several times been hooked in fear of various degrees. A bottomless terrifying fear, just the second night after the use of 5 MeO DMT. Next, a terrifying dream about half a year later, my body turning inside out of fear. Then some months later I believe, I was completely shocked by fear, like, my whole nervous system, not able to think. Later I have several times been fearful with less intensity for no reason, or by thinking of 5 MeO DMT, or by thinking of Hell. Im pretty sure I can trace this as a pattern to my experience with 5 MeO DMT, the first "bottomless" definitley. I think it was a "dark night".

I have now lately some days felt this fear coming, I felt scared to end up in Hell and that I am doomed to Hell or just not knowing why it comes and if it will stop coming back. It also seems to come in the nights together with various degrees of sleep deprivation. But if its a "dark night", why does it come with sleep disorder?

I don't want to use any psychedelics again. I hope you can see something in this that could help me.
Chris M, modified 1 Year ago at 2/8/22 11:13 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/8/22 11:13 AM

RE: Traumatized by 5 MeO DMT

Posts: 4827 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Jonas, this isn't a good place to find the kind of help you need - please see a psychiatrist or other doctor!

- Chris M
DhO Moderator
Daniel M Ingram, modified 1 Year ago at 2/8/22 11:39 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/8/22 11:39 AM

RE: Traumatized by 5 MeO DMT

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Hey, debates rage about exactly how various 5MeO DMT experiences may or may not correlate with various insight stages, but clearly it is exceedingly powerful stuff, and clearly it can catapult some people at least into A&P territory if not farther, but, integration of catapulted experiences can sometimes be really complicated, as development can be very uneven along various fronts, psychological, perceptual, existential, conceptual, ethical, etc. It very much appears that is can get people into insight cycles and cause a wide range of poorly mapped transformations of consciousness. 

Very interesting books that I recently read and appreciate: Breaking Open, edited by Jules Evans and Tim Read, as well as The Wisdom of Mental Illness, by Jez Hughes. 

While I dream of a world in which mainstream psychiatry and other clinical specialities were supported by really good information about how to categorize and optimally manage and integrate these sorts of shifts, unfortunately they really, really aren't, hence, to which much of my time goes these days, as working on the deeper, global structural layers of the problem.

There are definitely transpersonal and other integrative practitioners who have more experience, but you will need to find them. Where are you located in general terms? Might know of some semi-local resources.

Best wishes,

J W, modified 1 Year ago at 2/8/22 1:34 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/8/22 1:30 PM

RE: Traumatized by 5 MeO DMT

Posts: 624 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
First, to answer your question: "if its a "dark night", why does it come with sleep disorder?"

Lack of sleep generally can have lots of negative effects on the body/mind, nervous system, etc.

So, it would make sense that a lack of sleep could be contributing to your issues and generally just make health (mental or physical) issues worse.  If you are depressed, lack of sleep will make that worse.  If you are anxious or tired, lack of sleep will make that worse.  That said, working on improving sleep habits will almost surely help you all around, though I know that may seem like a daunting task given your current state (I have suffered from insomnia myself).

Secondly, I agree that you should see a psychiatrist or therapist.  

Thirdly, there is an entire portion of this forum dedicated to dealing with the dark night and the dukkha nanas including the knowledge of fear.  Regardless of how certain psychedelic experiences may or may not map to the stages of insight, you might find something helpful by browsing around here if you feel so inclined:

Personally I've experienced stuff like you describe, from psychedelics and sometimes not from psychedelics. And I think it's pretty common.  But yes there is no one-size-fits-all solution.  I do like the way Shinzen Young talks about it here though:
[7:59] What usually works for meditators if their practice starts to move in this direction, which by the way is traditionally in Buddhism called "falling into the pit of the void", and can be found — descriptions of it can be found in the classical Buddhist literature, including the Pali Canon. In any event, what I usually do is two things. If they're freaking out because of the emptiness, then there's something that's not empty. What's not empty is the freak out. I have them see that their freak-out reaction is itself empty. That's sort of negating the negative.[8:39] The other thing is systematically develop the positive. You just use your concentration skills, and so forth, to do a lot of creating of positive feel-image-talk, and you basically — I actually put it in a positive framework for them. I say, good, now you have nothing and from that nothing, that's the ideal place to reconstruct a completely new self. You can still, at will, create positive feel, image, and talk, and now, like a physical therapist would exercise atrophied muscles, and in a systematic way, rebuild that person's ability to move. I sort of push them, very much like a PT, push them to develop positive feel-image-talk, over and over and over again, until they literally build a new, and indeed better, self.

Very best wishes to you! 
Adi Vader, modified 1 Year ago at 2/10/22 8:40 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/10/22 8:40 AM

RE: Traumatized by 5 MeO DMT

Posts: 241 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
If you are referring to the knowledges of fear, misery and disgust as 'The Dark Night', then please know that they are knowledges and not experiences.

There is fear and one knows how it has come about and therefore knows what to do. Same with misery, disgust.

These things have to do with meditation / investigation of phenomena.

To the best of my knowledge, you dont need meditation practitioners but in fact therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists to help you make sense of and deal with the chemical related problem you are speaking of.

I hope you find the help you need to feel better. Best wishes.
J W, modified 1 Year ago at 2/10/22 11:39 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/10/22 11:37 AM

RE: Traumatized by 5 MeO DMT

Posts: 624 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
​​​​​​​What types of psychotherapy do you think would reliably provide relief for this type of a thing? 

There are antipsychotic medications available, but that may not be what OP is interested given the significant potential side effects of such a regiment.

"chemical related problem"
There may be certain neurological pathways which are forced open via psychedelic consumption that would not have been otherwise opened, but DMT does not remain in your system for long periods of time, nor do any psychedelics, that's not how those substances work.

I do not think that meditation should be viewed as a way to treat psychosis.
Adi Vader, modified 1 Year ago at 2/11/22 12:32 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/11/22 12:30 AM

RE: Traumatized by 5 MeO DMT

Posts: 241 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts

My understanding of psychotherapy is limited to a system called Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy which I have engaged in to deal with depression and anxiety. Beyond this my knowledge is very limited, in fact its limited to wikipedia articles thus I cannot speak with any confidence on this topic emoticon

When I said 'chemical related problem' I meant a problem that has been triggered by chemical use, I didnt mean that the use was ongoing in any way. And yes what you say makes a lot of sense. There is a physical brain and it is plastic and it changes in response to traumatic life events as well as substance use. I know personally what extended periods of cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking can do. Thus a strong powerful substance like a psychedelic may certainly make some semi-permanent changes in the way the brain works therefore affecting the ongoing experience of being alive.

I have a family member, a cousin of mine that has been diagnosed with a paranoid personality disorder. Maybe he had the potential of developing this disorder at some point in his life, but for him it came about through being under difficult circumstances in his childhood at home with his parents. This disorder as far as I understand comes under the broad umbrella of schizophrenia. I cannot even imagine meditation practice the way I have done it being imposed upon this guy. Maybe some amount of calming relaxing grounding techniques that trigger some degree of relaxation response may be good for him. But meditation is not a cure for psychiatric ailments. Most certainly not !!

If someone says .... teach me meditation. Or ... meditation has brought me to the Dukkha nanas and I am only experiencing Dukkha, I am not gaining the 'nana' ... then I think a meditation related forum is the place to find answers. But if someone experiences psychosis due to ... well a chemical ... then in my opinion the solution does not lie in meditation.

I agree with you, meditation is not a cure for psychosis.
J W, modified 1 Year ago at 2/11/22 10:56 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/11/22 10:34 AM

RE: Traumatized by 5 MeO DMT

Posts: 624 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Hey Adi,
We are all just speaking from our own personal experience here, and in my own experience, which includes having suffered through periods of psychosis and DPDR and related mind-states, which did involve psychedelics and other substances, to the best of my understanding it was through insight and investigation into the phenomena, and the way that perception was presented during those states which helped me get through that.
There's a lot I still don't understand, but what is clear to me is that after a few years now of serious meditation practice, my ability to deal with these lingering issues and weird mind-states whenever they occasionally come up has vastly improved.  I have also been doing therapy for a while now, which has been helpful for other things, but that's something I've more recently started.

Of course it depends on how you are defining meditation.  If your definition of meditation is strictly hardcore vipassana noting practice like in the Goenka or Mahasi traditions, where one is sitting for 10 hours a day and what not, I think there's a lot of obvious reasons why that should not be recommended to someone as a way to improve mental health when they are already in a vulnerable state.
But like you mentioned, there are lots of different techniques.  I personally would not use the word meditation to refer exclusively to only one specific type of meditation.

My experience with therapy is that, similarly to meditation, it can be helpful but it takes a lot of effort on the part of the patient to make it work.  It is well worth the effort!

But I also agree with what Daniel was saying earlier which is that modern psychiatry is really not there yet.

The way that I see it is this:
Meditation does not reliably cure psychosis and so should not be looked at as a 'treatment' to psychosis
But, meditation can help with these states, or at the very least, give you a better foundation to understand and therefore better deal with those types of mental issues when they come up

In the same way,
Psychotherapy does not reliably cure psychosis
But, various forms of therapy, and from what I understand, mindfulness is often used as part of therapy treatment, can help give you a better understanding and allow one to better deal with mental issues when they come up

Perhaps a therapist could be kind enough to weigh in here?

​​​​​​​(minor edits for grammar and stuff)
J W, modified 1 Year ago at 2/11/22 3:07 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/11/22 3:07 PM

RE: Traumatized by 5 MeO DMT

Posts: 624 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Jonas, btw I was just browsing through topics related to the idea of 'meditation and mental illness' and I found this post with a really good, nuanced reply from shargrol, maybe you'll find it helpful

- and to be clear I am not saying you are mentally ill, but I do think the answer on how to best approach mental states arising from psychedelic induced trauma would be similar:

Sorry if i went off on a tangent earlier - hope you feel better!  If you ever just want a friend to chat with let me know
David Matte, modified 1 Year ago at 2/11/22 4:10 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 2/11/22 4:06 PM

RE: Traumatized by 5 MeO DMT

Posts: 102 Join Date: 8/3/19 Recent Posts
Dear Jonas,

I want to mention that flashbacks are not an uncommon phenomenon with people who use psychedelics. You can search the web for reports by people who have had similar flashback experiences that elicit panic and fear as you describe, a long time after the psychedelic experience has past.

​​​​​​​Last year I experienced a very brief, yet frightening flashback that I believe was triggered by viewing a certain website I used to browse. I don't know the mechanism behind this, but it's been my experience that stopping psychedelic use helps. 

I believe you will recover with time.
Jonas E, modified 1 Year ago at 7/3/22 3:56 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/3/22 3:48 PM

RE: Traumatized by 5 MeO DMT

Posts: 78 Join Date: 2/28/15 Recent Posts
Thank you all!

I've now managed through the devastating part. I did contact a psychiatrist and she suggested me to contact a doctor; and I'm now on propiomazin, sleepingpills that is calming the autonomous nervous system, so it is also calming psychosis. Parallell with this I am continuing meditation practice (vipassana, anapanasati, love or just letting everything be without any technique) like I did also before "the experience". Also I have begun to study and practice holotropic breathwork, but not every day. I take it slowly till I know the practice better. I think it's a good tool to reach my deep reactions/sankharas also because I can't go away on retreat, I can only sleep well here at home.

I've been studying a bit and found out that my hypothalamus must be out of balance due to stress, and it causes a lack of melatonin release and maybe also too much histamine release and cortisol. I think this is because when I moved into this house I'm living in now I had a lot of changes in my routine,  what I was eating, late nights, I drank more coffe, less sun, less routine of meditation practice, more creativity. Also I had theese processes from 5-MeO-DMT I believe. So all of this caused me insomnia, and then with insomnia my dark nights got verry intensified. All my thoughts and emotions got completely out of control in the most difficult times. After 3 months I looked for help after been trying to get out of it by meditation, melatonin pills and food diet. So, I got prescribed sleepingpills (propiomazin).

Now, I'm ok but I do have stuff subconsciously that I try to deal with, it's just difficult because theese pills is anesthetising so I don't know if I can reach to dissolve those sankharas. But I need the sleepingpills and I can't stop taking them or reduce the dose, so... So I now try to continue meditating and I try to reach deeper with holotropic breathwork sometimes.

The interesting part is that during this hole period, i been growing. Like in the night I could have strong fears and then during the day I could be happy and mindfull. So, it is not completely a mistake to use 5-meo, but I would not recommend it because it goes too deep too fast.

However, now I have a bright view to get through this!

​​​​​​​I'm diagnosed ADHD and it is said that it is more likely then to get sleeping disorder. So, as you can see, there is a lot of implications here.

Do you have any other ideas how to get off propiomazin?
Freya , modified 1 Year ago at 7/3/22 5:40 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/3/22 5:40 PM

RE: Traumatized by 5 MeO DMT

Posts: 62 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts

Sorry to her you're suffering, I have strange sleep sometimes.  I took plant medicine about a year ago and wasn't so good for a while afterwards and one of the symptoms was my sleep - I have hypnogogia and generally my sleep and dream world can go a bit strange when I'm too open. After the plant medicine experience it was quite bad. 
The one thing that really helped was taking the right vitamins and minerals. B6 and Zinc were especially helpful. I forgot to take my vitamins recently as I was busy and started experiencing hypnogogia again and also started lucid dreaming, so it was a reminder of what good they were doing. Not only do they keep the hynogogia at bay but I they really help my mental state during an intense period of meditation in my life. 
The Zinc I take is very good quality liquid Zinc. It sounds simple but it made a HUGE difference to my mental health. I also researched the work of Carl Pfieffer who you may be interested to look into. 
Jonas E, modified 1 Year ago at 7/5/22 10:13 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/5/22 8:22 AM

RE: Traumatized by 5 MeO DMT

Posts: 78 Join Date: 2/28/15 Recent Posts
Interesting Freya! I will research it. How is your hynagogia? What happens?
I will try Zinc and B6. Also dolomite, tryptophan and magnesium
Freya , modified 1 Year ago at 7/5/22 8:05 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/5/22 8:05 PM

RE: Traumatized by 5 MeO DMT

Posts: 62 Join Date: 8/15/21 Recent Posts
The unconscious mind opens up when I am still awake, when it's bad it can also include sleep paralysis and  hallucination. 
Jonas E, modified 1 Year ago at 7/7/22 1:59 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 7/7/22 1:57 PM

RE: Traumatized by 5 MeO DMT

Posts: 78 Join Date: 2/28/15 Recent Posts
That the unconscious mind opens sounds like a verry good thing to me? I know it can be difficult, but just let it come, note, observe it, and then eventually you're through and peaceful

Sleeping paralysis I had since I was a kid, so about 20 years. Just be patient and accept it. How are the hallucinations?
Jonas E, modified 11 Months ago at 10/18/22 9:49 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 10/14/22 2:51 PM

RE: Traumatized by 5 MeO DMT

Posts: 78 Join Date: 2/28/15 Recent Posts
This is from the experience I had and I wonder which vipassana nana could my last paragraph ("Which vipassana nana could this be?") be?

​​​​​​​5-MEO-DMT in my body, I lay down in my bed and after a few minutes I can feel it coming. It begins to dissolve my body slowly.

Cause and effect?
My heart beats faster, but not crazy. I can handle it better then earlier experiences. A few minutes later I want to move. Oh my god, how complete will this dissolution be? It spreads throughout the body.

Three characteristics?
The sense of me changes, no borders.

I sit up; wow, there is no end; there is no me; there is no death or life, no difference. Who am I experiencing this? My whole body goes in a energetic flow. I'm so scared and so amazed at the same time. I give up; I fall back on the bed; I sit up; I look at my friend; I don't care about anything; I fall back; I shiver like a rabbit of sensitivity. My breaths are like indescribable. I show my self inside out in front of my friend. After about 10 minutes it begins to drop. "I will never come back, there is nothing to come back to" I say. I'm convinced that I will be in this experience forevermore. I surrender to this "fact". A sense of determination to lay down on my back completely still moves me to pull the cover over my body perfectly. The body is shivering so subtle in love and acceptance of the way things are.

Flashback the second night after using 5-MEO-DMT I wake up in the middle of the night and stare into the dark room I'm sleeping in. I have no idea about what is happening. Something feels extremely wrong, as I come to sense I can recognize my feeling as fear, complete horror. I don't know where it comes from, the source of the horror is bottomless. Its like the horror came out of nothing, from an empty space. Like I been in the deepest hell of pure terror, but I can not remember anything about it, I just know my fear at the moment. I don't want to go back, I have to focus my mind to not drift away into that hell again. I don't dare to fall asleep. Am I having a psychosis? What's normal? Just accept, this is what it is now. I think that I have to take a walk to stay in my body and do something human. Shall I wake up my friend? Yes, I got to get out of my passiveness. As I stand up and get dressed, I ask my friend if he is awake and as he answers, I tell him something terrible just happened to me and I want to take a walk with him. I'm shaking and feel cold, like I could pass out and die at any moment for no known reason. During the walk I explain it all in detail and what it means to me. I'm serious like hell. I realize I had no clue what I was doing using 5-MEO-DMT. Throughout this night I feel fear and cannot sleep, also I don't want to sleep out of fear what could happen, until early morning. ​​​​

Which vipassana jhana could this be?
It wears off and I go out to run. I run, walk and run out on a field, I feel relief. It increases. I go down on my knees and touch the earth in mercy. I stretch my arms to the sky, wooow! I get up and run and I'm so blessed. I'm so grateful to just be human on earth. And the feeling of me is gone, everything flow like never before. 

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