Citation: dayTripper. "Painful Psychedelia: An Experience with Migraine with Aura & Various (exp97539)". Erowid.org. Dec 9, 2017. erowid.org/exp/97539
Most people wouldnít think of migraines as a drug experience, but as a self-identified psychonaut and a medically diagnosed migraineur, I have to disagree. My three strongest and deepest trips have been off Psilocybin mushrooms, MXE, and an intensely powerful migraine. Migraines with aura feel much more like a dirty psychedelic or dissociative drug than other kinds of headache.
Iím a 21 year old male doing well at a Midwestern college. I was diagnosed with migraines about a year ago. All my life Iíve had occasional bad headaches with intense disorientation, nausea, and strange sensations
All my life Iíve had occasional bad headaches with intense disorientation, nausea, and strange sensations
, but they were not frequent enough (every month or two) to attract medical attention. I was also often depressed and my parents thought the headaches were psychosomatic. My first girlfriend was more sympathetic and would bring me fluids and weed to smoke while I napped basically all day.
But about a year ago, at a time when I started to feel happy and in control of my life, my headaches started getting more frequent (once every week or two) and more severe. I was living in London, drinking alcohol, and extremely dependent on caffeine (~6 shots of espresso a day) to manage my headaches. Caffeine helps migraines in the short term but as my tolerance grows it makes my headaches much worse. For several months I had a near-daily headache ranging from dull to excruciating. When the pain got too intense I would CWE [cold water extract] a pack of codeine from the local Boots. When I got back to the US, I quit caffeine and returned to managing my pain with cannabis.
Weed is, in my opinion, the gold standard for easing migraine pain without causing additional side effects. It helps a lot in the aura phase. This starts a number of hours before the headache and causes intense sensory distortions. My emotions go entirely haywire and I can switch rapidly between euphoria and severe depression. Sensations can be straight up painful, psychedelic, or dissociative.
If I had to compare it to a drug combination, it would be something like low-dose LSD combined with a DXM overdose. Painful symptoms include pins and needles sensations, brief muscular paralysis, and intense physical anxiety. Walking can be difficult or impossible. Psychedelic effects are varied but are my favorite: trees and sky look beautiful (similar to shrooms and LSD), colors are extremely intense, sounds are amplified and very visceral. There can be brief but powerful rushes of euphoria and bliss. Dissociative effects include memory loss, speech difficulty, etc. My sense of direction is usually obliterated and my body feels very large or very small. Touch, in particular, is usually very intense and generally unpleasant. Weed will not end these symptoms, but it makes the experience more comfortable, relaxes the neck muscles, and paradoxically makes me feel much less tripped out. I can smoke many blunts and still end up more functional during a migraine.
During the pain phase of the migraine I usually feel very burnt out and exhausted. The pain can last a long time (2-3 days, with several days of hangover) and can make me feel like crying, screaming, or going to the emergency room. I will usually smoke a LOT (or preferably vape), take tylenol, apply ice to my head, and sleep as much as possible. If I donít have access to cannabis I often throw up.
If I donít have access to cannabis I often throw up.
I have tried other treatments for migraine, but none have achieved a reduction in the number of attacks. Only two things help this for me: 1. avoiding all caffeine 2. avoiding alcohol. The drugs that are effective for migraine are not the same as for a broken bone. It is more similar to neuropathic pain and cluster headaches.
Very effective: tramadol, low-dose mushrooms, low-dose MXE, strong edible cannabis
Effective: traditional opiates (not recommended), cannabis, ice/cooling balm
Somewhat effective: tylenol, ibuprofen, feverfew, magnesium, 5-htp
My next step is to try preventative medication: beta-blockers or tricyclics. Not a fan of daily prescription drugs but migraine is seriously interfering with my life. I have tremendous sympathy for anyone who suffers this syndrome worse than I do.
Oh yeah I forgot triptans. These drugs are bizarre but are miraculous for some people. The key is to take them right as the aura starts. The huge advantage is that if they work, the migraine just goes away. The first time I felt that work was pretty cool. Unfortunately, they only work about 30% of the time for me. If I use them too late in the attack, they will temporarily reduce the pain but not end the headache, and end up being sort of useless. They are too expensive to use frequently and they cause weird side effects of their own (which are weirdly similar to migraine, but still much better). If one gives me too many side effects I can try another one bc there are a bunch. They are all mad expensive.
Migraines seriously suck but in a way I have gotten a bunch of free trips. If I can find a way to deal with the pain they can be pretty interesting, but it would still be far better just not to have them.
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