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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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I have Bipolar I and currently take 1500mg Lithium, 450mg Wellbutrin

Customer Question

I have Bipolar I and currently take 1500mg Lithium, 450mg Wellbutrin XL, 60mg methylphenidate and sometimes a couple Advil if I get a headache. While I know this is not the wisest move, I would like to resume taking LSD (I haven't since before my diagnosis). What medicines can I switch to to minimize my exposure to the dangers of LSD with Bipolar? Thanks!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that I can help.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

LSD can have many very positive effects on perception and I imagine this is why you wish to resume taking it.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You do understand that it may throw you into schizophrenia, which can occur. Your mind already has a tendency to have racing thoughts and to participate in reckless behavior. This is a characteristic of the manic pole of bipolar disorder.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

The lithium may also "protect" you from some of the effects of the drug, but you are dealing with a wild card here.

Customer:

Yes- I believe you have an accurate grasp of my situation.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Why do you want to take LSD when it could risk suicidal behavior (that is the other side of the coin)?

Customer:

My question is really this: Since there are myriad reports of LSD + Lithium causing fuque states and seizures, what medication can be safely substituted for it?

Customer:

Sorry- for the reasons you indicated earlier- I could use some enlightenment and a good escape from my craziness

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It could be an escape or it could plunge you into psychosis or could be neither - but it is a bit like playing Russian roulette - and it is something that could be explained by the mania of bipolar.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

What craziness are you hoping to escape from?

Customer:

would switching to depakote minimize the contraindications?

Customer:

Sorry- it's gotten to be bad in my head lately

Customer:

To much internal discord- can't conrol it and I'm not interested in haloperidal

Customer:

cognotive dissonance I believe it the term

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Can you talk frankly with your psychiatrist about this?

Customer:

He's never done LSD so it is difficult to relate my desire to take it again. I would just come off as a crack-head to him.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It might give him a better perspective of the mind.

Customer:

I'll check it out and I don't want to keep you from other patients. Did you have any reccomendations as far as alternative medicines with fewer contraindications?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

On the other hand, LSD can cause tremendous feelings of crushing despair that can literally knock a person to the ground - even a seasoned voyagber.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I am considering that now. Give me a few moments please.

Customer:

absolutely- please take your time

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I have been looking through the literature and it seems that not only is lithium contraindicated with LSD-25 but so are antipsychotic in general.

Customer:

understood

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I am afraid that it could trigger a manic or even a dangerous MIXED state in which you not only become terribly depressed but have the manic energy to do something about it.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I understand your desire to be a mind explorer.

Customer:

understood- the goal of this endeavor is to find a medicine combination that will minimize my risk

Customer:

so maybe lamictal instead of lithium

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Mountain climbers and other adventurers take risks.

Customer:

and maybe cut down on abilify

Customer:

lol

Customer:

true

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If you must experiment you might do it in half measures.

Customer:

?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Any one of the antipsychotics will slow down your LSD experience (haloperidol the most). Half measures mean small amounts to see how you react. Everyone reacts differently to different drugs.

Customer:

ahh gotcha.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I do not recommend this course of action, as this would be unethical. However I do understand that you will possibly do this in some way, so you should have a non-participating back-up person to keep you safe if you must do this.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

The research has not really been done on this and I understand that you want to be a researcher, at your own possible peril.

Customer:

I'm going to be honest here- I like you and think you have a great approach, but I am looking for a very specific answer, i.e. What medicines are alternatives to the ones which I take which have a lower risk of LSD interaction. I'm not feeling that this is your specialty. I do understand your reticence to recommend a path which be unethical and I suppose that is really what I was looking for. Props to you for sticking to your guns.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you think that you are considering doing this because you are having a manic urge? I do understand that it is part of your previous lifesyle.

Customer:

Nope- I've only had one manic episode and it was three years ago. I've been depressive ever since.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You will have to do the research on your own.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Have you tripped since then?

Customer:

I wish I were just a bit manic :-)

Customer:

yes

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

lol

Customer:

no problems

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

And how was it?

Customer:

everthing was fine

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

So why do you need to ameliorate it with any antipsychotics or mood stabilizers?

Customer:

It required more lsd than normal to counteract the medicines I take, but it was great. I'm just trying to be as responsible as I can within my irresponsibility ;-)

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

That is a humorous and honest statement.

Customer:

I don't understand- why do I need to ameliarate my depression with anti-psys?>

Customer:

I assume they are what stop my racing thoughts and keep me on an even keel

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I did not say that you needed to ameliorate your depression with antipsychotics. I was wanting to known why you wanted to ameliorate the effects of LSD-25 with these drugs?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Are you fearful of something happening?

Customer:

oh- I don't. I"m just afraid to cold turkey them before I trip. There are documented experiences on erowid and bluelight that talk about bad trips with those combos

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

So you will have to wean off your other meds and risk withdrawal symptoms on top of whatever other effects you will experience.

Customer:

exactly

Customer:

it's quite a connundrum

Customer:

so I figured there must be a better medicine combo that is more lsd friendly

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Only because you cannot choose a different path.

Customer:

I am not worried about the lsd's effect on my brain- I've travelled many times- I am worries about the interaction with the medicines I take

Customer:

yes

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

There is no sure way. You are a seasoned traveler and will be taking the risk no matter which way you go.

Customer:

got it - you earned your cash- thanks for the frank info Elliott. Cheers

Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
5114 Satisfied Customers
35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.