Citation: gornahoor. "Full-Body Convulsions and Cognitive Impairment: An Experience with Kratom (exp115740)". Erowid.org. Oct 12, 2021. erowid.org/exp/115740
I've taken kratom on and off for about two years as a means of relieving mild depression/stress and the longer I took it, the more I noticed its dissociative features. No one talks about kratom as a dissociative or as a drug that contributes to memory issues, but I've noticed being entirely detached where months could go by and I would have little to no recollection of what happened in between certain time frames. It felt like I was on autopilot and events that I was personally involved in seemed very, very distant and detached. I would have difficulties mentally acknowledging the fact that my body was active, that my mouth produced coherent sentences, that my legs walked, that my hands were the same ones that I could see performing numerous actions throughout the day, etc. I understood that all of these processes were happening, but it felt like I was just an observer; a parasite residing inside an active person's body and looking out his eyeballs, living his life. Though I stopped using it a few months back, it still feels like that to an extent, I can't seem to fully bridge the gap between mind and body. I expect this to go away after some time has passed, but I can't be certain.
Earlier this year, my parents developed a series of health complications that needed to be addressed. Due to the overall build-up of stress - and memories of a pleasant addiction - I began to use kratom again after several months of sobriety. Once again, at first once a week, but it soon grew to the usual four to five times a week; mainly on the weekends. This all led up to about three months ago when I woke up to a racing heart and had full-body convulsions (seizure?) which lasted over an hour; I did not lose memory of it, but heavy dissociation was present during and after the event. I think it was due to increasing my kratom usage several days before. I have never smoked or drank, I used a few legal highs once or twice, none of which I enjoyed. DXM was used ten to fifteen times years ago; kratom was the only substance that I genuinely enjoyed and gladly returned to after short breaks. If DXM caused any damage, I would assume it was minimal as I never abused the substance and my last experience with it was over two years ago. I never took any prescription meds and I never mixed kratom with any other substance.
I was off work for about a week after the convulsions due to the onset of debilitating panic attacks and an incredible mental change which came and went in waves (once it set in, it would continue for about two days after which it would lessen in intensity, only to repeat later on). The whole process was very cyclical; the dissociation would come and go, and the panic attacks would follow a similar pattern. All this would be accompanied by strange head sensations which worsened when lying down. It felt like my brain was swelling (no swelling actually occurred according to an MRI, though there seemed to be traces of a concussion/traumatic injury which I assume is unrelated) or as though I was constantly wearing an imaginary headband which wrapped around my head. For a few weeks after the convulsions, there were bizarre sensations of what I can only describe as "energy" that seemed to originate at the top of my head before washing over my entire body from top to bottom in waves.
Sleeping was also particularly difficult and I would experience what felt like internal "hypnic jerks," no actual muscles physically contracted, but I felt as though something inside me released a very subtle echo which seemed to reverberate throughout my body. As unpleasant as the dissociation and head pressure were, significantly worse were the panic attacks which accompanied the overall mental disarray. They would slowly creep up and encapsulate my entire being, eventually forcing me into a state of absolute terror. There was no pain or physical sensations involved, but I felt genuine dread the likes of which I had never felt prior. The day after the convulsions I had actually went to work only to leave three hours later because I felt like everything was absolutely wrong and that I was, in all likelihood, going to die. Very irrational behavior, but every fibre of my being was telling me to run.
I stopped using kratom immediately after the convulsions; three months have passed and my sense of awareness has been improving, though I still experience intense waves of dissociation and there's definitely been damage done to my memory, hopefully none of it permanent. The head pressure is similarly still there, though to a much lesser extent than before.
I would not consider myself a drug enthusiast/psychonaut or a troubled youth, I consider myself an average young adult and have led a fairly healthy life thus far. Nonetheless, I experienced what seemed to resemble a seizure along with continued cognitive impairment after two years of inconstant use. I feel as though the issues experienced by me were caused primarily, if not entirely, by kratom, and I would like for others to approach foreign chemicals with more caution than was done by me. My main reason for submitting this information was to warn others that are "young and have their lives ahead of them" and still others that formed the opinion that "kratom is a harmless, natural supplement" that has been "used for millennia by South Asians" or whatever. I'm not Asian and neither were any of the active users I knew; white Europeans had no history of kratom usage and for all we know, our bodies could very well process mitragynine differently. Kratom was a very pleasant part of my life; it was my absolute drug of choice.
If any of the descriptions of what I experienced seemed vague, please excuse me as I am incapable of coming up with the exact terms to properly convey the sensations.
P.S. Yes, I've been to a neurologist and have had a general practitioner take blood samples and all that; everything came back normal and I spent quite a large sum on these tests. I'm not going to look further into this topic. I was happy to hear that my brain didn't have any apparent damage and that was more than enough, at this point I am uninterested in doing anything outside of what I've already done.
TL;DR: I used kratom for 2 years and had a seizure followed by depersonalization and an evident change in cognition.
[Reported Dose: "On and off usage for about 2 years. Usually wouldn't take more than 10gs in a day"]
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