Citation: Medusa. "Caused Me Anxiety: An Experience with Kava (exp101334)". Erowid.org. Mar 28, 2020. erowid.org/exp/101334
||10 - 20 drops
Kava Has Caused Me Anxiety
I was seeking some constellation for my experience with kava, but struggled to find any negative reports on the substance. To give a little bit of background information, I've not had much experience with drugs other than marijuana, MDMA and pills on one occasion. I've always been enticed by the idea of trying hallucinogenics as I'm into art and music. I thought that LSD or shrooms might complement these interests... but anxiety often gets the better of me.
I tried kava whilst on holiday in the south of France with my boyfriend. It was perhaps our third or fourth day of being here, roughly 3:00 PM and I was recovering from a night of partying, alcohol consumption and pot smoking. To be honest I'm saying 'recovering', but in actual fact I didn't feel too bad - hangovers are a rare occurrence for me aside from fatigue and feeling slightly delicate.
Our friend (whose house we were staying at) had a small bottle of kava, he was telling us about how he had purchased it from a Polynesian health-food store back in his home town and that it can induce deep relaxation, stress-relief.... Basically it sounded like being stoned but coherent at the same time. Pretty good to me - especially when he mentioned it was a great solution after a night of drinking. My boyfriend, me and two other friends each had one pipette of the kava in a small glass of water, it tasted pretty damn nasty. Natural, but unpleasant. Immediately it numbed my mouth, and a feeling of fear rippled throughout my body. I regretted taking it instantly, I somehow could foresee that this was not going tonight pleasant.
I contemplated making myself vomit MULTIPLE times. Why didn't I just do it? The feeling of relaxation was kicking in - I wasn't sure if I was enjoying it or not, but I just went with it.
The feeling of relaxation was kicking in - I wasn't sure if I was enjoying it or not, but I just went with it.
Everyone else was feeling good. They were calm - my mind was riddled with worry. I don't even know why - it was ridiculous. Panic thundered from the pit of my stomach to my chest and then to my head... I'd constantly be thinking about how wrong I felt - it was quite inexplicable - I tried to keep a low profile because everyone else was so normal...I was the odd one out. Didn't want to rain on their parade you know?
5:00 PM - The night was progressing and nausea began to kick in. Dizziness too - it was becoming difficult to focus on an object or a person speaking, or even a person to look at for a long period of time, and this began to scare me... It was as if I was losing contact with the real world somewhat. Sounds melodramatic perhaps for such a seemingly harmless natural drug, but this is really what it was like for me.
Feelings of dread infected my mind. An hour passed, it wouldn't stop. The nausea worsened and yet nothing was coming up, I decided to stick two fingers down my throat - a jet of water lurched from the pit of my stomach and it kept coming. Something that I forgot to mention was how it was impossible to eat - all food disgusted me. I perhaps swallowed a mouthful of bread in tiny pieces as big as your little fingernail - my boyfriend suggested to do so along with tiny gulps of water. After my lovely vomiting episode (which did NOT help the way I was feeling by the way) I was put to bed by one of the pals. Terrified I would fall asleep and not wake up because of the disturbingly disrupted breathing pattern my lungs were taking on, I asked my boyfriend to comfort me. He was feeling fine and convinced me that I'd be good to go soon - but I sure thought that this was hell. Imagine that you're laying on a bed in the knowledge that you are in a room that should be completely stationary, but for some reason that ghastly ceiling won't keep still. Why is a supposedly normal room spinning in circles? Why do I feel paranoid and anxious, sick and dizzy? Everything that should have a definite structure became blurred and difficult to comprehend. Am I going insane? Will this stop? Okay, so what I was experiencing probably doesn't sound all that major. But it was that feeling of uncertainty.
7:00PM And I forced myself downstairs to vomit once again, the surroundings were intimidating, as if negative energy had suddenly congregated into everything tat I touched, I began to see textured surfaced ripple and I got the feeling that my peers were turning against me. This was horrible. Dinner was served, I managed a few pathetic grains of rice - if that. As I stood up to clear my plate away I began to feel the sensation of falling, like my mind had escaped the body and was drifting towards the floor. I composed myself enough each time though to regain balance and after the final vomit, probably the worst one yet, retreated to bed. My boyfriend joined me and we huddled on a single mattress enveloped in bedding with the cool air of a fan wafting over the bare skin. Cold tremors and then sensations of overwhelming heat echoed throughout my body and suddenly my arms and legs became cold. I remember asking my boyfriend in a worried state if it could mean that my heart is perhaps not working properly - he reassured me that it's just part of feeling dizzy. Paranoia from the story of how a family friend died riddled my brain - one thing that happened before his death was the coldness and numbness of his legs. I remember leaving to go to the bathroom to check my knees - I thought that they had been bitten or spiked by a sharp object under the blankets in the darkness but when exposed to light, there was nothing to be seen.
It took a good two hours of distracting conversation between my boyfriend and me before we drifted to sleep, but my morning the feelings had pretty much cleared up. The element of fear was still omnipresent though - scared to do anything out of place in case it put me back into that crazy state again. I was anti-social and reserved for the whole day. Eventually I 'recovered', but ever since have had reoccurring anxiety attacks and feelings of dread.
Eventually I 'recovered', but ever since have had reoccurring anxiety attacks and feelings of dread.
I don't know what to put the whole experience down to - my guess is that the alcohol and chemicals from smoking pot were still present in my body from the night before and that ingesting kava did me NO favours. On top of that, my negative anticipation towards drinking the substance put an instant dampener on my thoughts. All in all, that day has changed my life. A few months on now and I still have (as I said) random moments of panic and horror.
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