Author Topic: How ibogaine hurt a woman with DP  (Read 5470 times)

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Offline StormShadow

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How ibogaine hurt a woman with DP
« on: September 28, 2012, 06:58:25 PM »

The circumstances behind developing depersonalization were complex - both psychological and drug-related. After a stressful divorce in 2010 I began using marijuana to get to sleep. I didn't want to be a habitual user of anything as I felt it wasn't right for me morally or legally and also because I have small children; however, marijuana eased my stress level and helped me to sleep for the year after the separation. It was due to my desire to live drug and depression free that I began a quest for something natural. I was familiar with supplements and had tried many, but none had provided tangible relief. I spent some time searching the internet and found ibogaine. I watched a couple documentaries about it and was very drawn to learn more. After countless hours of research online and many hours of speaking to various clinics, I decided ibogaine was a viable choice in the journey toward a solution to my struggles. Looking back, I feel that I shouldn't have placed so much weight in a magical cure, but at the time I really truly believed in ibogaine's ability as a heal-all. I have always believed that the Earth provided us with everything we need, and it seemed to make so much sense that ibogaine would hold the answer. I read countless success stories and watched many interviews on youtube that spoke glowingly of its healing power. I don't discount what I read for a moment, but there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution - that much I have learned for certain. Life can be hard and sometimes the best action is to just keep going, take good care of oneself in diet, exercise, sleep, and prayer.

I had returned to school in 2010 and in 2011 I began my second year and took on a large credit load of extremely challenging classes. My stress level went through the roof. I quit smoking marijuana immediately because I knew there was no way for me to succeed in school while using it. I simply took on too much trying to navigate single parenting and sixteen credits. I began waking up at night with panic attacks and losing a lot of sleep. In mid-October I woke up one morning and went to class as usual; however, once I arrived in class I realized my perception was suddenly very different. The classroom was brightly lit, but it seemed dark to me...the voices of other members of the class sounded as if they were very far away, and I felt extremely strange...almost as if my body weighed nothing and I could float away. This bizarre dreamlike sense of unreality continued with varying degrees of severity unrelentingly from that point on. I was also taking an abnormal psychology class and recall sitting through lectures listening to symptoms of various mental illnesses thinking that perhaps I was descending into madness. I worried that my brain was perhaps suffering from some sort of degenerative condition or that I was developing schizophrenia. Rather than seek help, I persevered with increasing diligence in my studies and my role as a mother. I pushed myself very hard in my pursuit of success and tried to ignore my symptoms. I did remember my prior interest in ibogaine and began to think that perhaps it was a good time to take the journey to Mexico and figure out a way to help myself.

I made plans to go over Thanksgiving break and discussed in-depth with my providers what was going on. They felt that ibogaine would be a good fit. I flew to Puerto Vallarta on November 21 and took a test dose a few days later. The test dose was a very agitating experience that sent my anxiety levels skyrocketing. I felt that I should not go through with the flood dose and began thinking of returning home early. My instincts were trying to tell me this was not a good thing; however, I was persuaded by a member of the staff that test doses are often agitating and that a flood dose would be completely different. Many people that I spoke to who had successfully used ibogaine encouraged me to go ahead with the experience. I realize now that I should have trusted my instincts, but at the time I was so desperate for relief and wanted so much to believe that the experiences of others would resemble my own. Despite my initial poor reaction the providers also believed that going through with the flood would yield positive results. They were not pushing me into anything, but were willing to go in any direction I chose. I decided to go ahead with my plan to use ibogaine.

I am unsure of the exact dosage I was given but was told it was a relatively small flood dose of both TA (total plant alkaloid) and ibogaine hydrochloride. My initial test-dose had been only TA. My feeling going into the experience was apprehension and anticipation. Within four hours of ingestion I was experiencing mild ataxia and intense visual distortions and tracers, as well as tremendous anxiety and nausea. It was early evening when I took the flood and the light was dim. I was lying in bed with my caregiver and talking. My heart began to race and pound to the point I thought I was having a heart attack. I began to vomit and could not stop. My caregiver gave me a small dose of Xanax and an anti-nausea medication. I truly thought I was going to die. It felt like my brain was undergoing a nuclear meltdown. It is cliche, but it felt like the "this is your brain on drugs" propaganda commercials with the egg in the frying pan - my brain did feel as though it were being fried or cooked. I never experienced any kind of dream-like or visionary state that is common to ibogaine. I had one true hallucination with my eyes open of my father turning into a werewolf and snarling viciously at me. I don't know what this meant as my relationship with my father is relatively unremarkable. Within 15 minutes of taking the Xanax I passed out completely and woke up four hours later in the same intense state of anxiety and panic. I was given more Xanax and continued to take it every six or seven hours although if it did anything I wouldn't have known - my mental state remained the same. My brain felt fried and my body's electrical circuitry seemed to be totally out of whack. My heart was pounding like crazy and would not slow down. I slept the first night after treatment with aid of the Xanax. The visual distortions, tracers, extreme anxiety, and pounding heart continued unrelentingly for approximately two weeks after treatment.

When I returned home from Mexico I was almost psychotic. I never saw things that weren't there or heard voices, but I felt like my head was screaming with too much electrical energy and disjointed thought. Every time I would close my eyes I would experience an intensification of these already unbearable sensations. It was so intense at times I felt like I wanted to jump off a cliff just to make it stop. It was mentally as well as physically painful and extremely frightening and overwhelming. I wanted so much to believe that arriving back home from Mexico would make it all stop, but that was not the case. I had one long panic attack for about two months straight after ibogaine. I could not sleep and was barely functioning. In February I was on the brink of insanity from lack of sleep. I had tried multiple medications for sleep and anxiety and none of them helped, but rather every single one made things much worse. I experienced a paradoxical reaction to Klonopin as it increased my anxiety level. About this time the psychiatrist I was seeing prescribed a small dose (.5 mg) of buprenorphine (the irony of this is almost too much, as most people use ibogaine to get off of opiates). He believed that because it was a kappa opioid antagonist it would help with the depersonalization. Depersonalization is thought to be a dysregulation of the kappa endogenous opioid system as well as the NMDA receptor). Although it did not eliminate the feelings of unreality, it did help, and the main benefit has been that it allows me to sleep at night. I honestly don't know how much longer I could have gone on without sleep. The next big improvement came with high dose fish oil which dropped my anxiety level a bit lower. I've been terrified to try any more medication, but my psychiatrist thinks an anti-epileptic drug called Lamictal may be helpful. I am willing to give it a go at a very low dose and am thinking about starting in the next week.

I feel that the ibogaine infinitely worsened my anxiety, panic, and depersonalization. My previous experiences with psylocibin have never been positive. Perhaps my brain chemistry is simply not conducive to hallucinogens? My symptoms prior to using ibogaine were unpleasant, but manageable. I had brief periods of suicidal ideation (which was disturbing and part of the reason I decided to use ibogaine), but was not truly suicidal. I had many moments of relative peace and calm. I could experience true pleasure at moments throughout the day and was beginning to be able to sleep again. Since using ibogaine I struggle daily with suicidal ideation (I never knew what it meant to be truly suicidal until ibogaine), have little relief from morbid and disturbing pervasive thoughts, and feel as though a high-voltage of electricity is zapping my brain and body for the majority of every day.. The electrical feeling is similar to the "brain zaps" I experienced coming off of Zoloft a year ago. I feel like I am caught in between a world of the living and the dead. I don't really feel as though I am alive. I feel like I am just going through motions but I don't really exist. When I am communicating with the people I love most in the world it is as if I am acting in a play or I don't really know those people at all...or myself for that matter. It's very creepy and unsettling and it's constant. There is no such thing as a good day, or even a good moment, until about 9 pm at night when things settle down a bit and for whatever reason I feel a sense of semi-calm. The majority of the symptoms are still present, but I feel that I can take a breath and relax a bit. Some of these symptoms I was dealing with prior to ibogaine. I was depressed and experiencing anxiety attacks and difficulty sleeping. I had symptoms of depersonalization and unreality. This is why I chose to be treated with ibogaine. Ibogaine basically amplified every negative symptom a thousand-fold as well as adding many more. Things went from bad to infinitely worse. I fight to hang on because I love my children fiercely and do not want to wreak havoc in their world by causing them the loss of a mother.

I have been to many different types of healers and I've tried several medications, but the reactions were so violently bad immediately upon taking them that I discontinued within several days. I went to two different naturopathic doctors and tried a variety of different supplements, many of which worsened the situation. I feel like my brain is so incredibly sensitized to everything that I simply can't tolerate most chemicals, natural or otherwise, in my body. I have a really clean diet with lots of raw fruits, vegetables, and fresh fruit and vegetable juices. I eat little sugar and dairy and no gluten. I exercise regularly. I've been seeing a psychiatrist and cognitive behavioral therapist. I am keeping in close touch with all my friends and have good family and social support. Bottom line is I am really struggling and I have noticed some improvement but it's not enough to consider this an acceptable quality of life. I am not going to give up, but life is difficult beyond anything I could have previously conceived of and I am praying every day for relief and healing.

I've been looking into supplements that regulate the NMDA receptor (ibogaine is an NMDA receptor antagonist and I believe a damaged NMDA receptor may be part of what I am experiencing). DHEA (or the safer version, 7-Keto) and Pregnenolone are apparently good for NMDA regulation. It's interesting that the NMDA receptor is also involved in depersonalization. My theory about what happened to me with ibogaine is that I entered the experience with an already compromised NMDA system and ibogaine essentially damaged it further.

One other thing I read about recently was the idea of having a shaman basically conduct some sort of exorcism. The Bwiti of Gabon (where ibogaine is used traditionally) view ibogaine and this type of healing as working with energies - both good and bad. I think the view of my experience is that my body is harboring some type of residual negative energy... I am totally out of my league in understanding any of that sort of thing, but wonder if anyone has experience with this sort of thing?

So, that is where I'm at right now. I know this was a LONG story, but it's been a long road... I would love to get any type of feedback that might be helpful. Thank you so much if you have taken the time to read this - I realize it's lengthy.

Here is the list of supplements I am currently using:
CoQ10 (Ubiquinol form)
Fish Oil
Flax Oil
Vit. C
Milk Thistle/Dandelion
Probiotic & Digestive Enzymes

Supplements I tried and reacted negatively to:
Anything with a serotonin component, such as 5-HTP, Tryptophan, St. John's Wort, SAM-e, Rhodiola, etc.
Pretty much every herbal medicine I tried

Therapies I've tried that help somewhat:
Polarity Therapy

My symptoms right now:
Extreme anxiety
Fatigue & muscular pain
Low-grade electric sensation in brain that I feel contributes to most of my anxiety
Feelings of hopelessness, apathy, inability to experience joy or a sense of future
Extreme fear that I won't be able to "do life" because of what's happened
Disorganized & clouded thinking
Difficulty making decisions
Inability to concentrate on school work
Severe brain fog
Visual distortion - feeling like I am living under a fish bowl...this is difficult to describe; things almost look as if I am living under water or like there is a haze or fog surrounding everything I look at; a feeling like I have tunnel vision or no peripheral vision, sometimes the world looks sparkly and my vision feels like it shakes, especially on the periphery
Large increase in vitreous floaters
Sensitivity to sunlight & flourescent lighting - everything seems excessively bright during the day
Depersonalization & derealization
Feeling like I can't quite reach through to the people I am speaking to; like there is a film between me and the rest of the world

  Wow! I really feel sorry for that lady. When I first read this, I said " No way in hell i'm doing Iboga" but after more thought and info, I decided not all people are the same, If I am going to change than I need to take a chance. I will fight and claw if needed! One interesting thing I did notice though was on a later post she commented that her flood dosage was 2mg/kg HCL and 3.5mg/TA after her 100mg TA booster of course. So i'm thinking that she wasn't given enough for the Iboga to do its job and overpower her ego. Who knows?

Offline Clearwaterpaul

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Re: How ibogaine hurt a woman with DP
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2012, 09:06:46 AM »

So sorry that this did not work for you.

I am hearing a lot of dosages flying around and I use much lower dosages with great results.

I have done 4 floods, for pain.  It helps for a while and then returns, though not as bad as previous.

I did an 'Iboga Cleanse'

It's so easy and simple and I've never been happier.

I'm took1 Rootbark capsule a day at first and then 2 capsules as the effect wore off, for a total of a couple of weeks.

It's subtle, compared to a flood and it is great for mood, pain and clarity of thought.  Microdosing is great, maybe this is what you need.  ??

Offline TANYA

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Re: How ibogaine hurt a woman with DP
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2012, 07:00:14 AM »
I feel very very bad for you. NEVER DO IBOGA AGAIN. maybe you should go on regular fda approved medications now, perhaps they could help you- seraquel, risperdal, benzodiazepines, etc. im really sorry you have to go thru this. you should have an immediate healing.

Iboga Panacea

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Re: How ibogaine hurt a woman with DP
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2012, 01:18:30 PM »
Again I think we as a collective here have stated time and time again to always side with caution.  People with mental issues are just to risky for the health and well being of IBOGA.  We here have continued to state and restate, especially over this past year, that anyone with even the slightest doubts about Iboga and or their stability should NOT take Iboga.  It is a risk to IBOGA first and foremost and could potential cause very negative propoganda and make it known to the wrong people namely the federal government who for now turns a blind eye.  The last thing we or Iboga needs is a case scenario a kin to reefer madness.

While I used the collective "we" in my statements I must say that this is an assumed position that this beloved forum would and has taken especially the old timers here.  So I can only say I apologize if others do not feel this way.  For me Iboga's safety is much more important then saving 1 unstable person.  Not worth all the effort of the Pygmies and the Bwiti to get this highest form of sacrament to the West. 


Offline StormShadow

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Re: How ibogaine hurt a woman with DP
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2012, 03:24:18 PM »
I feel very very bad for you. NEVER DO IBOGA AGAIN. maybe you should go on regular fda approved medications now, perhaps they could help you- seraquel, risperdal, benzodiazepines, etc. im really sorry you have to go thru this. you should have an immediate healing.

  THIS STORY IS NOT MINE! i FOUND IT IN ANOTHER FORUM (THIS IS JUST FOR REFERENCING) Yes! This was put at the heading of the article.

Offline TANYA

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Re: How ibogaine hurt a woman with DP
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2012, 09:57:09 AM »

Offline Jox

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Re: How ibogaine hurt a woman with DP
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2012, 10:52:16 AM »
Hi all,

very disturbing story. But we must be clear that it may not be true. This is anegdotal and not factual information. Yet as Kambogahuasca Panacea, we should be careful to Iboga, and not post, or repost unverified information.

I remember few posts that came from new members of somebody dying on Aya Iboga retreat, and then, never followed up on the post nor verified the information.

To me it sounds fishy.  After all when is the person finally going to go to a real doctor. It seems that a real psychosis is taking place and she is still going with shamans, crystals, vitamins...


Offline roy d

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Re: How ibogaine hurt a woman with DP
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2012, 11:49:26 AM »

Hi Jox,

It seems that a real psychosis is taking place and she is still going with shamans, crystals, vitamins.

Yes, it sound like she needs some Real help
The thing is real Drs. and Shrinks have a hard problem handling depression and schizoid problems.  The side effects can take ya out and cripple you for lack of a better word.  For example Tardive Dykensia, Dystonia, and Acatheisa which are all misspelled but can be found via Google.  They are bad and often leads to life long disabilities, it really is bad, check it out for yourself.

As for the anecdotal stories that is about all we have to go on.  Ibo has not been used in a controlled setting or controlled studies done by Drs and all that so anecdotal information is all we have to go on (other than Dr Marsh in St Kitts).  Not one story on this forum can be proven but when I read a trip report I believe it or if they say do not take SSRIs with Ibo and such I believe that too.  Until it gets tested somewhere, even overseas in a country like England or France or Germany, then they might do testing here and get it approved for detox in hospitals which will be so expensive no one will be able to afford it and it will be years before insurance companies will cover it.

Kinda makes ya wonder if it is legal in other countries why haven't the other countries done controlled studies?  I am sure they have plenty of addicts in Canada, UK, Germany, etc.  Shamans and people like that do not count as a controlled study - got to be a Western type Dr, you know MD Dr.