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Split Brain Phenomena - DMT/acute stress response?

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Hi everybody emoticon.

This is my first post so forgive me if it is not suited for discussion here, being a drug related experience, but I'd be very interested in discussion or opinions. I'm desperate to work out what is going on.

After smoking a high dose of DMT I experienced a profound split-brain experience beautifully decribed in Jill Bolte Taylors TEDtalk: "Stroke of insight"

My internal dialogue separated into a distinct entity: becoming extremely analytical and emotionless, constantly describing every feature of my experience in words. It rapidly noted, with no alarm but interest, that I may be having a stroke. It also noted the presence of another entity that consisted of a "tempest" of synesthetic visual-auditory-emotional perception. My dialogue noted that "this is probably similar to what a baby experiences". This was qualitatively different to any psychedelic experience I've had and I've had a lot.

I have always had a great tolerance and affinity for DMT and indole psychedelics, I've never met anyone that responds as favourably as I do. But this experience disturbed me and I've not considered taking it since. The most disturbing component was the unfamiliar, alien-like nature of the non-language entity. Although I didn't feel my internal dialogue was emotional it seemed to regard this entity and its lack of symbolic understanding with contempt, as if it was barely conscious. The non-language entity had the features of Jill Bolte Taylors description of the "right brain", she describes it incredibly well, and I wanted to engage with this experience but was restricted by the activity of the dominant "language capable" entity.


During a recent nervous breakdown, precipitated by stress-induced symptoms that I misattributed to activity in my tumour (which caused my stress-induced symptoms to deteriorate and reinforce my misattribution error, etc, etc), I experienced similar phenomenon:

  • Hypnopombic "locked-in" events - when surprised awake my body would respond to stimulus, e.g. run around and try to answer the phone, but I would be "locked in", unable to control even my eye movements with my body responding dumbly to stimulus. I feared my Girlfriend may be misperceived, by my stupid body, as a threat and asked her not to stay with me.
  • Narrowing of attention - Seperation of my narrative self, similar but different to the DMT experience. I would describe it as more "dissociative" and similar to ketamine. I also became unable to cope with the attentional demands of driving a car - similar to driving without sleeping for a number of days
  • Perceptual substitutions - I would look for something in my house, find it, pick it up, walk in to the bathroom and attempt to squeeze toothpaste onto a book. Then wonder what the hell I was looking for in the first place, it wasn't my toothbrush. I also left work half an hour early after looking at the clock and seeing that "I only have half an hour to go" then immediately stood up and left. I was surprised when I got to the train station early and even more surprised when work was calling me to see where I am.


Background

I'm a 30yo male, 80kg with a pilocytic astrocytoma in my right posterior cerebellum. The tumour (21x14x24mm) is heavily calcified and a cystic cavity (16x14mm). The tumour was partially resected, along with a large cyst extending to the anterior cerebellum, in 2004. The tumour has migrated toward the mid-line of my cerebellum, since my 2006 MRI, and is now significantly affecting my vermis. The tumour appears stable with no new growth.

I suffer symptoms consistent with cerebellar cognitive affective disorder: Wiki

This is an hour long but a much more thorough outline: Cerebellar Cognitive Affective Syndrome

It is also possible I am mildly autistic, diagnosis is confused by my cerebellar tumour but there is evidence of autistic behaviour from a young age.

Currently my most palpable symptoms are:

  • extreme emotional lability - frequent uncontrollable crying.
  • social aversion - extreme sensitivity to negative social stimulus
  • autistic-like symptoms
  • recent transient outbursts of verbal aggression - non-violent and very short e.g. 60 seconds followed by shame, regret and profuse apologies. (aggression has never been consistent with my character).


I also have a unique recereational drug profile: I cannot tolerate cocaine or "ice", these drugs make me feel incredibly uncomfortable "jumping out of my skin" and I will not take them. I'm fairly ambivalent to phenylethylamines and methamphetamine but I respond very strongly to modafinil. I LOVE indole psychedelics and regularly use cannabis.


I apologise for the length. Honestly, I could probably write for hours about strange subjective experiences that may, or may not, be relevant. I'm happy to answer any questions, obviously.

I find these experiences extremely fascinating but also difficult and scary and would appreciate some novel opinions, insight or discussion.

If you've read this far, thankyou for your time and much more-so if you have some insight to contribute emoticon

RE: Split Brain Phenomena - DMT/acute stress response?
Answer
7/18/12 4:15 PM as a reply to Sam Dexter.
Hi Sam -

Welcome!

So, the tumor. Is it glucose-using? Have you talked to your doctor about applying John's Hopkins ketogenic diet protocol? It's not just for pediatrics. I keep a list of research on this diet and its effects on brain stuff (tumors, parkinsons and it symptoms, alzhiemers, anticonvulsive therapy,schizonphrenia, brain ischemia/trauma, multiple sclerosis (this link is to a "mouse model" I don't know if KD has been documented medically with a human), etc) and there was a 2010 report of an older woman in Italy in Nutrition & Metabolism 2010, 7:33 doi:10.1186/1743-7075-7-33 who had a gliobastoma multiforma the post-surgical abatement of which her doctors felt was due to her ketogenic diet (KD). She discontinued the diet after six months and the tumor regrew; I think if she had kept up the diet for 13 months the report could have been more conclusive.

Anyway, I think that's about all I can add to your thread. If you try the KD, I'd love to hear how it goes. The first four days are usually very irritating (craving sugars) and the seventh day is usually the beginning of feeling very good (lyme's people start to lose athritic symptoms if the herxing is over, Parkinson's people's bowels start to move and I've seen better walking and lowering of meds, edit: depressed people start to feel not depressed).

I have no medical expertise, so consult your doctors. There are hazards to doing this wrong and if you have any diabetes, they would probably need to monitor you in hospital.

Best wishes.

RE: Split Brain Phenomena - DMT/acute stress response?
Answer
7/19/12 8:06 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Thankyou for your response, very interesting and useful.

I don't believe the tumour is glucose-using. It's heavily calcified and not currently active. My recent progression in symptoms appear to be due to tumour migration.

I don't currently have a doctor. I've been unable to find competent medical assistance. My neurosurgeon aggressively and rudely refused to answer my questions and stated that the "I have never heard of a cognitive cerebellar disorder." and then asserted "The posterior cerebellum cannot, possibly, be involved in any cognitive or emotional functions, I should see a psychiatrist because it is impossible my tumour could be causing my symptoms". It was quite traumatic. Still looking.for a qualified professional.

Thankyou for your input.

Be well emoticon

RE: Split Brain Phenomena - DMT/acute stress response?
Answer
7/19/12 2:27 PM as a reply to Sam Dexter.
Sam,
What kind of DMT are you using and what dosage? How often are you using psychedelics and how often are you using drugs in a general recreational fashion? If you are using n-n-dmt or dmt-n-oxide or you using 5-meo-dmt? Have you experienced breakthrough? If so, what happens during breakthrough situations? By the way ice = methamphetamine so what exactly are you speaking about?

Without being sure what you mean by high dose and a complete lack of additional information to gather relative dosing, the type of dmt (makes a HUGE difference, 5-meo is different category and isn't really worthy of being spoken of) etc, I do not see anything unusual about that dmt experience except it seems rather tame and ordinary in regards to regular psychedelic states rather than stranger than one can suppose dmt.

Becoming adept in non-conceptual concentration is rather vital to using psychedelics in a controlled and safe way.

If you are that stressed then you should not be using dmt to breakthrough at ALL and should really consider ceasing as much drug use as possible. If you're using cannabis for the tumor, lower the thc levels considerably and bump some of the other cannabanoid levels up. If you live in an area where medical cannabis is unavailable, try to bake your goods. If you cannot afford bake consistently then save up and buy in bulk and shop for indica heavy-strains but don't use when you are going to be socializing. If you don't medically need the cannabis then consider not using it as it really can draw out some of the social sensitivity for the worst in someone with your predispositions.

If you honestly think there is a chance you will lose capacity for free-will to the extent of hurting your loved ones then you should seek more urgent help.

Consider meditating in a way where you are emphasizing volitional control over your concentration.

Do you have much experience with meditation and if so what do you do?

Do you think there is anything in your life that you could be doing differently that is contributing to these unwanted symptoms?

Have you had nervous breakdowns before?


Hang in there, until you get some answers or the debilitating symptoms fade away, again please consider ceasing the unneeded drug-use.

RE: Split Brain Phenomena - DMT/acute stress response?
Answer
7/20/12 2:05 PM as a reply to Omega Point.
Thankyou, this is all excellent advice.

I believe this was 5-meo. The dosage was confused because of an inefficient smoking method and residual DMT in the implement. I am not a frequent DMT user (10/15 times in 10 years) but I tend to respond favourably. I have achieved breakthrough 4 or 5 times. This was qualitatively different to my other experiences. In many respects my other experiences were far more intense in the immersive sensory aspects, The non-language entity seemed similar to those experiences. My dialogue appeared to separate watching and describing that experience, coldly analysing it. My personal narrative was incredibly rational and lucid and describing the effects of the drug in neurological terms, observing and describing everything.

I use LSD on 1-3 occasions a year for the past ten years. Again, I've always responded favourably.

"ice" is more concentrated and efficiently delivered. I could handle "meth" a bit but "ice", which is everywhere these days around here, affected me terribly from a small dose. I've only taken it once.

The DMT experience was approximately 6 months prior to my nervous breakdown and I have not used psychedelics, or anything other than cannabis since. Cannabis is an issue and I have little doubt it is a complicating factor but I believe the most pertinent factor is my cerebellar tumour.

The migration of my tumour to the midline and vermis of my cerebellum is concerning.

My understanding is:

This region receives inputs from cognitive, limbic and sensory regions, performs some "universal process" on these inputs, then sends its output to the thalamus where it modulates the strength and timing of diverse neural processes to facilitate integration into a unitary subjective experience. This ensures that diverse processes are attended, with appropriate importance, by the integrative activity of the thalamus.

I believe that: Because DMT increases localised synchronisation between neurons in the cerebral cortex - localised synchronisation within neural networks increased while distributed activity, between neural networks, became so asynchronous that diverse functional processes could not effectively integrate. I believe this DMT experience was predominantly hemispheric desynchronisation.

I attribute the "dissociative" experiences of my "nervous breakdown" to the the prolonged action of cortisol and catecholamines creating a progressive desynchronisation between cognitive and limbic structures.

Basically, I believe my brain may be, under extreme neurological conditions, falling into disunified chaotic phase states. I believe diverse functional processes are achieving "internal criticality" but not "unified criticality".

I'm just tryiing to work out how to test this theory. I thing an eeg could be very useful.

RE: Split Brain Phenomena - DMT/acute stress response?
Answer
7/20/12 5:27 PM as a reply to Sam Dexter.
Thankyou for your response, very interesting and useful.
Wonderful. I do hope it helps.
Here is a simple 2010 Science Daily article on Boston College's research on calorie restriction, ketone body production, GBM and general brain tumors. Ketogenic diet is a pretty simple experiment to do.

Thankyou for your input.

Be well emoticon
Thank you. You, too. Take care.