Citation: Ultimate Cowboy. "You're Not On The Truman Show: An Experience with Bupropion (Wellbutrin) & Cannabis (exp35373)". Erowid.org. Jul 6, 2007. erowid.org/exp/35373
The summer after my freshman year of college I headed back home from Vermont. I hadn't seen my high school friends since I left for college and was anxious to see them again. My first year at college had changed me; I 'loosened up' and had become way more sociable and comfortable with others. My anxiety at seeing the old crew again came from a fear that they might not so quickly accept the 'new me'. I had always been the joker, the quirky kid who was the last to get laid and never really showed his true emotions. I was worried about the sort of questions they would ask me, I felt pressured that I had to live up to how changed I thought I had become. I had lucked out by going to a reputable school while most of my friends hadn't even applied to college.
During my last term of college during the spring I was experiencing extreme highs and lows. I'd had a history when I was much younger of seeing psychiatrists but I felt that they were of no help and instead suffered through childhood and adolescence with what would have been diagnosed bi-polar disorder. I realize now that my marijuana habit was an attempt at constant self-medication. Marijuana generally made me giddy and relaxed, without anxiety or stress. Another factor of stress was that I got a phone call my last day of college from my mom. She was calling to tell me that I had a long-lost sister who was going to be at my house waiting for me when I got back.
Even though my freshman year I was smoking twice a day, the ups and downs returned and my low-level tolerance for such high-stress environments (such as College!)made me have bouts of unprecedented weeping. The last day of the term, someone who had left for home also left her antidepressents: wellbutrin and effexor. I knew that my uncle who was clinically depressed had taken wellbutrin and I figured that to relieve these symptoms and possibly to recreate I would begin to take wellbutrin without any consultation. I would take 3 or 4 pills at a time almost each day but then began to take them as recommended.
Every other day I would go to my friend's house where me and my crew would all smoke a lot of weed. As the weeks went on I started noticing small things. I began reading into what my friends were saying more than usual. I was realizing things about people's motivations in general that I had never realized before. I was taking a more psychological approach to life. This new way of seeing things was a bit new but it only supported my previous cynical outlook on human relationships. At first I thought that I was having a hightened perception of interactions and subliminal meanings, which I was in part. I never had experienced paranoid delusions from smoking pot and found that even on the days I smoked no pot at all I would begin to 'read into' every minutiae of daily life.
Every time I would meet up with my friends I would get more and more nervous. The anxiety of trying to seem new and cool and altered from college compounded my reading into things and I became more and more self-conscious. I began thinking my friends were fucking with me, that they all had some private jokes they were telling about me behind my back. I was worried they thought I was a big loser now, that I was gay, that I was getting annoying. All my fears became manifest in my own mind and I was putting my thoughts into their words. Everything they said would become snide remark, an insinuation at some flaw. Only one of my friends seemed to be acting normally, and even seemed to be defending me. At this point none of my friends had said anything openly offensive or made any clear attacks, but I would wince at a laugh shared across a room, knowing it was about me. I wanted to confront them about this, but I was also aware I had begun taking perscription medication. Half of me was sure my friends were now playing tricks on me, half of me was sure that I was just being paranoid.
There is a history of schizophrenia in my family and it was beginning to worry me that I was headed in that direction. Often schizophrenics slip right around their early twenties or so. I wanted to confront my friends but instead I waited to see if I could rationalize these disturbing thoughts away. I was unable to and one night it became particularly bad. We got incredibly stoned and decided to watch Jurassic Park. It seemed at the time as if my friends had coerced me into watching it. I thought they were trying to get me to do something, say something. I felt as if I was Truman in the film THE TRUMAN SHOW. That all of these things going on were elaborately staged.
I found it strange that my group of friends were able to be such good puppeteers. I decided to say something. 'Stop it guys. Please stop. Whatever you're doing just stop it. I really hope I'm just going crazy and you guys aren't fucking with me.' I called one of my friends a piece of shit when he started to laugh. He thought I was being my usual funny self. I have never been more frightened in my life (the closest to that was due to another drug experience). I thought my reality was caving in on itself and that I was existing in some sollipsystic universe.
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