GHB as an Anti-Depressant and MORE:My experience (By Asterix)

Asterix Cyrano at beehive.twics.com
Sat Sep 7 01:15:58 EST 1996


Written by:Asterix  (Toverdrank!)

GHB (Gamma-hydroxybutyrate) - anti-depressant AND MORE!!
========================================================

After having picked up the news on GHB (Brand name: Gamma-OH) over
the past months, and having seen the many questions, often something
like "What is it" "What does it do" etc. -pretty basic questions-
I decided to write an article, devoted to this drug, and based upon
A) the things I've read about it, B) the discussions with several
people I've had and/or am still involved in, about it, and C) my own
experience of a couple of months of usage of it, and the experiences
with GHB of about eight people whom I see regularly.

Introduction
-----------------
This article was originally written for alt.support.depression.
But as GHB is much more than an anti-depressant, I decided to
submit it to this newsgroup too, as to add to the information.

I am *convinced* that GHB is a very valuable drug in treating depression,
if not by far the most effective anti-depressant. At the same time, this
drug is currently not easily available for many of us, and some who
have chosen to manufacture their own product are putting themselves
in serious risk of being arrested and imprisoned (depending on the
country you live in). I find this a highly undesirable situation...
I am NOT a psychopharmacologist, but I DO have experience with several
(if not many) drugs, I read a lot about them. Consider it a hobby.
So: I do not have the authority of a scientist, but I have absolutely
done more than simply reading about GHB and repeating that here.
If it were not for the restrictive laws on GHB in my country, I would
have posted this article non-anonymously.

This article contains remarks on Calvinism and Protestantism that may
offend you. I firmly believe in the principle of inner freedom, and it
is NOT my intention to offend anyone. Then why those remarks? Because
in my view, these religion(s) is/are part of the reasons of the banning
of many psychoactive drugs; something that I on my turn regard as a
violation of my (and your) fundamental right to choose for oneself.
There are also remarks about the government institutions that impose
and enforce restrictive drug laws and which could be considered offensive.
Sorry again. It is because I am convinced that not your health and mine
are the issues they care about most, but the INCOMES of many people who
obviously seem to think that they have more right to decide what I/you
should ingest and what not, than I/you. Why address this issue in an
article about improving the quality of life? Because I am convinced that
institutions like these are a very serious threat to the sake of the
quality of my and possibly your life!

Right. On to GHB.
First take into account the fact that since its discovery in 1961 (by
Wermuth and Laborit) it has been praised for its beneficial effects,
and its remarkable SAFETY in man (by SCIENTISTS, that is), until about
1989, when the American DEA (sigh) started to spread paranoid stories
about dangers of GHB. (It appears there are STILL some hard-liners who
keep insisting that GHB is a dangerous drug, apparently overlooking the
massive numbers of articles and references on newsnet, proving it's not.)
That was just the time that GHB had gained popularity in the USA. Before
that, the (European) opinion was just positive. But then again, science
in the (purtitanical) USA seems to produce different results than the
more behaviourally free European countries like say France or, especially,
Italy. The Dutch attitude WAS liberal, but seems to regress.
But then again, the Netherlands have a lot of Protestants/Calvinists
-their minds being as narrow as the American... (Not the Dutch in general!)
I am sorry if this remark offends you, but I am absolutely convinced that
a Protestant/Calvinist conviction is a perfect basis for a narrow mind.
(Explanation further on. Interesting references are, for example:
Alice Miller from Germany and Aleid Schilder from the Netherlands.)

Anyone should decide for him/herself what to think of the reasons for the
restrictiveness; I for myself find the explanations in "Smart Drugs and
Nutrients" pretty convincing too (=~Money more important than health).
But I prefer to focus my attention here on the effects of GHB rather than
on the controllers. Why? Because I hope that if enough people discover the
truly amazing properties of GHB, this sort of paternalism and provincialism
will no longer be accepted by the majority of us. But this may take a big
effort, as many people feel safe with the "protectiveness" and
"health-concern" of e.g. the FDA and DEA, overlooking the, umm, high
probability that they're simply being used as a means to make money, and
treated with much less health concern than you'd like to believe. (Just take
a look at the fuzz about smart drugs, and now, again, even *vitamins*!!!)
It's so sad that institutions like these are so powerful in their control
over what's SUPPOSED to be good for you and what's not. It's not unlike
the Middle-ages, when religious beliefs were imposed in order to control
the free mind...

I won't address the issue of the availability in detail. Obtaining good
(pharmaceutical grade) GHB is a real problem, but if you read netnews
regularly, you will very probably be able to find yourself a good source
(in case you can't convince your physician. It SEEMS that GHB is allowed
to be prescribed in the US (again), but I'm not sure). Clintec Nutrition,
France (I have no full address), produces pharmaceutical (grade) GHB.
(So I have read. I have not confirmed this.)
Browsing Usenet (e.g. via http://www.altavista.digital.com) is a very
effective search method, by the way. And for those who have access to
high quality chemicals and some basic lab equipment, there's the option
of manufacturing GHB (it's not too difficult), though: be aware that the
laws in your country may forbid this... And I've heard rumours that one
of the essential precursors (Gamma-butyrolactone) is now a watched chemical
in the USA. Don't know about the status in the European countries.
(And NO, I will absolutely NOT sell anything even only related to GHB,
as I am taking enough risk already. So please don't even bother to ask.)

I will not go into details on the pharmacological aspects here. If you're
interested, e-mail me. But don't expect all the answers you wish, because
I still have a lot of questions about it too. NOBODY knows for sure yet what
GHB *exactly* does in your brain, and where, though is has already been amply
demonstrated that it is a pretty safe drug with only very few side effects.
(That is: In Europe, according to European scientific standards. Americans
seem to face serious dangers, if we were to believe for instance the FDA.
Ridiculous of course. Plenty of evidence. Suit yourself.)

What I will address here is what it does to you, mentally. And, as to
(re)assure you in advance: if you use it wisely, there's *absolutely*
no reason to be concerned about using GHB (in fact: on the contrary!!).
Just bear in mind the hints on safe usage (like with EVERY drug) further on.

So: What is it and what does it do to you?
Simple question, but the full answer is much more complex than that
it is a "recreational" drug... Some people like the high of GHB, though
others tell me they don't like it, and can't believe that people take
it just for fun. (I for myself DO like the high of it).
But why should we regard drugs as something "recreational"?? Someone
suggested to me that this concept is US derived, and I find that a more than
plausible idea, and the US Government attitude is bothering me more and more,
but here, I will address the ideology behind it; the US attitude seems to
be able to spread itself (dangerously).
The idea behind it is that pleasure is something for your spare time,
and even then regarded as (almost) devilish to pursue.
It is a fact that (not only American) puritanity prescribes being serious,
hard-working, etc., essence being that it should in NO WAY BE MORE
PLEASURABLE THAN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, as (pursuing) pleasure will lead
you straight to hell or so. This can be traced to the Calvinist dogma
that one should feel bad of oneself and unworthy of experiencing happiness.
Dark Middle-ages in the nineties...
(Again: Read Alice Miller, former psychoanalist; for example "Du sollst
nicht merken" or "Am Anfang war Erziehung". Or Aleid Schilder, psychologist,
and daughter of the late Dutch reverend Schilder (of Kampen), former leader of
the "Gereformeerde Gemeente Vrijgemaakt", the most orthodox Calvinist movement
in the Netherlands. She explains very accurately how Calvinism and/or
derivatives deform your psyche, WHY this is INEVITABLE, and how this is
linked to depression. Really enlightning literature!) I have a Calvinist
background myself, and I truly wish I could undo all the DAMAGE it did to me!

Now take a look at a completely different approach:
******************************************************************
*Laborit said that everybody should have the right to GHB not    *
*for "recreation" but just for the sake of ENHANCING THE QUALITY *
*OF LIFE, and go away, safely, from stress and worries.          *
*Have THIS idea sprout in your mind!!!                           *
******************************************************************
Though it seems it is not yet widely known or accepted (even scientific
research on this aspect of GHB is currently very rare, but it is there!),
it is the most effective and fastest acting anti-depressent so far (!!)
It does not take you weeks of agony before it MAY do 'something' (like
ALL common anti-depressants); instead, it takes effect within half an
hour, and in a way you may not believe until you've tried if/when you're
depressed. First of all, it takes away a huge amount of stress and anxiety.
You will feel something that can be compressed into "...It's OK..." though
WITHOUT indifference about your situation: instead you will find yourself
much more confident in your ability to cope with whatever you're struggling
with.
This statement is based on scientific research, testimonies of several
GHB users, and my own experience with GHB. I have suffered depressive
periods for over seventeen years. I have had *none* so far since I started
taking GHB, over four months ago.

So: you will not be sedated like some serotonin reuptake inhibitors
-cutting off the dips AND the tops of your mood, effectively turning
you into a quasi-satisfied zombie.
(Yes, I've been there too, with Paroxetine (Seroxat).)
With GHB, your depression is lifted in the opposite way. You will sense
a feeling of relaxation and well-being, accompanied by a benign wish to
interact with other people. What if you are not so good at that? (A common
problem -if not the cause- with depressed people) Well, at the same time,
you will notice that your ability to communicate intimately is simply there!
(Not only my observation!!! Plus: this action of GHB is partly understood
now!) The mechanism is very probably related to the peculiar disinhibitive
properties of GHB (very probably a secondary effect).
This disinhibition is also very probably related to another effect of GHB:
especially depressed people will notice clearly that their (blocked) feelings
return (FAST!!). This can easily be accompanied by a REWARDING time spent
CRYING! Processing traumata seems to be facilitated AND accellerated by GHB.
(The last remark is based on my own experience alone. The part of the crying
is something I can confirm.)
In a private mail exchange I wrote about this aspect:
>In fact, in the first weeks of my GHB-therapy, I could clearly focus
>on a painful issue, and feel the sadness associated with it and cry about
>it. But if suddenly someone would drop by, I could as easily put the issue
>"on the shelf" and be open to conversation with the person that came by,
>and take it off the shelf to process it further -as long as I felt it
>to be necessary -JUST AT WILL!!

Notice that DEPRESSION IS A STATE OF BEHAVIOURAL INHIBITION (Laborit).
Any drug lifting this inhibition should relieve depression. GHB anta-
gonises this inhibition by stimulating ACTION and multimodality pleasure.
Let me add that I believe that the inhibition is not only behavioural.
Internal blockades (e.g. by an internalized restrictive super-ego; in my
opinion this is an important CAUSE of behavioural inhibition) play their
role too. I do not yet know to what extent these blockades can be dealt
with as well, with GHB. Possibly it can be done with the aid of a good
psychotherapist, within a therapy? (I'm about to find out. My therapist
did not know about GHB until recently, but she is open-minded enough to
see what GHB does, and to respect me in my choice to take GHB.)

You will probably notice a (dramatical) increase in self-confidence, and
self-esteem. (I did; I believe it is again related to the funny disinhibition
GHB invokes: I don't really WORRY about all kinds of things anymore. Instead,
I trust my intuition more, and rely more on my own opinion. I noticed that
this attitude strongly reduced my stress level, and further opened my
"communication channels" with the outside world, as I am much less afraid
of criticism now.) This effect, plus the sociabilizing (empathogenic) action
(which you will also find to be very rewarding) make GHB an extremely
effective anti-depressant. But its usage needs not be limited to depressed
people only. It is reported over and over that this simple compound will
increase the joy one feels over things that you already like. And the
longer you use GHB, the stronger this effect seems to become.
(On my last holiday, I did not take any GHB (after having used it for
several weeks), hardly thought about it, but felt ridiculously happy!!
For instance: imagine waking up and finding yourself utterly happy without
apparent reason, just enjoying being there, and feeling absolutely great...)
I've been told that this is *TYPICAL* of GHB.

Is it addictive? No more than candy or water or so. (I believe Laborit
emphasised this too.) Dr. Gallimberti (Italy...) applies GHB, to *very*
effectively *TREAT* addiction (and withdrawal symptoms) in patients!!!
It may LOOK LIKE GHB is addictive: "If it makes you feel good, it must be
addictive" (the usual anglo-saxon/protestant reasoning) is often heard.
Well, in this case it SURE is not! If you keep using it intensively for
more than a few weeks, you will find that it becomes much more rewarding
to quit for a while. You may experience worsening fatigue and rebound
anxiety. Take 2 mg. Clonazepam to relieve that anxiety, (and if possible:
take a good night's rest) and quit GHB for a while.
You'll feel great again/anyway! GHB IS A SELF-LIMITING DRUG.
(And YES... I HAVE verified this (with) myself. But then again: I trust a
(European) scientific opinion, rather than some US government propaganda!)

How long does one take GHB? It's inventor, the late dr. Henri Laborit,
seems to have used it three times a week for over thirty years (WITHOUT
adverse effects). But if used as an anti-depressant (3 times daily -morning,
noon, and around six in the afternoon, on an empty stomach, 2.0-2.5 grams
orally, but individual dosages may vary widely -as far as I know: 1-5 grams-,
and at the same time, the therapeutic window is rather small -beware!!) the
psychotropic effects usually fade quite abruptly after a few weeks of usage.
You'd best stop immediately then, as to prevent rebound anxiety phenomenon,
wait a few weeks (note that the amelioration of your mood REMAINS for days
or weeks!) and start all over if you wish to. It SEEMS that long term on
and off usage will make you nicer, more sociable, more positive towards life,
more self-confident, happier. (Haven't had the chance/time to verify. But,
listening to my feelings, I definitely trust this may happen to me too.)
How such a simple substance can do that, is currently already being
investigated, though there are not many researchers performing these
investigations. (SADLY...)

How does one use GHB safely?
1) If in any way possible: find yourself a physician who knows about the
AD effects of GHB! This may be difficult, however...
2) As the therapeutic window is small, you have to experiment a little to
determine your personal dosage. The procedure is as follows:
Preferably be with someone who knows what you are about to do.
Be sure to have an empty stomach. This is crucial. If your stomach is not
empty, you will need (much) more GHB, or maybe it even simply won't work.
Start with 1 (one) gram. Dissolve in orange juice or so, if you have the
solid form. The taste is not so good, hence the orange juice to mask that.
Wait 20 minutes. If you feel light-headed (improbable at this point unless
you're very responsive to GHB; it sometimes happens.) and/or notice
talkativeness: stop here. This is your dosage. (You will not or hardly need
increasingly higher dosages.) The effects usually remain 1.5 to 2 hours.
(If you want to play it even safer: wait 30 minutes instead of 20. This has,
however, one disadvantage: The first dosage may already be wearing off when
you're about to feel something. The sum of the dosages will then be more
than your real personal dosage.)
Else -for most of us:
Take half a gram more, wait another 20 minutes, and check for the same
phenomena. As long as you do not feel them, repeat this step. At some
point -in most cases this is around 2 grams for people who are not used
to taking (especially psychoactive) drugs- you will notice the effects
described above. (There are more effects, but these are the easiest to
notice immediately) Stop at this point.
If you feel drowsy, you've taken a little too much. Relax, and enjoy
(some music, for example...)
If you feel nauseous, you've taken too much. The other person comes in
handy in this case. You might need to vomit, but it may also be sufficient
to lay down (NOT on your back!! On one side!) to have this nausea
disappear.
If this makes you feel anxious: some Clonazepam (1-2 mg) will help.
(If you can still keep it in by that time... better take some before.)
You may also best sleep for a while (to find yourself waking up...
refreshed!) Once you have established 'your' dosage, you can use that
amount all at the same time each time you take it.
The procedure seems not to work for all of us. I know one person who claims
that the effects started very suddenly, over one hour after the first intake,
and who had to go to sleep very fast. It is not yet known why this MAY
happen. It's not dangerous, but it IS annoying if you had planned other
things...
B.t.w. He woke up refreshed and without the slightest hint of a hangover.

Note: If you rush into a high dosage, you will simply be knocked out.
Still nothing to worry about, although it should be understood that, in
such a case, you will be rendered unarousable for a few hours, which
may lead uninformed people to think that something nasty is going on.
There is, however, no danger for any damage whatshowever. If you just
sleep for a few hours, you will wake up -completely recovered and without
hangover. Maybe you're a little tired. Slight headaches have also been
reported, but that might very well have been due to impurities in the
product (especially when bootleg-quality was used). To avoid misinterpre-
tation: this is NOT coma; just unarousability!

3) As still little is known about combinations, I cannot recommend anything
else than not to combine it with anything else, with only a few exceptions:
  A) As GHB may, rarely, induce slight petit-mal-like effects, it should
  preferably be taken with the anti-epileptic Clonazepam (Rivotril).
  This side effect is rare, however. Don't overdo it, as benzodiaze-
  pines have a tendency to make people who are already susceptible to
  depression... depressed -apparent exception being Lorazepam (Temesta).
  1 mg Clonazepam in the morning will do the job.
  (When I started using GHB, I had no Clonazepam -only a physician who
  treated me like I was a naughty boy, when I told him about GHB...)
  I then used GHB without Clonazepam. I experienced no problems.
  B) Cannabis seems to go along fine with GHB. But I do not guarantee
  anything... (By the way: If you become paranoid while on Cannabis, and
  you would take GHB, your paranoia could very well vanish into thin air.
  I for myself have been there, and found it extremely effective!!)
  Studies are being conducted to find out about GHB's value in this
  respect; as a paranolyticum.
  Other combinations to watch:
  C) Alcohol+GHB. THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE NO-GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  You will get sick (nauseous) of it. And that's only the GOOD part.
  The bad part is that you may vomit and drop out, or even worse: drop
  out first, and then vomit. If you inhale this, your lungs burn out...
  Avoidable with a little common sense, right?
  In the Netherlands, GHB was only recently banned after a few ignorants
  'did' this combination and ended up in I.C. (only to wake up a few
  hours later, probably feeling OK, wondering what had happened, but
  also: having suffered NO permanent damage whatshowever). Poor Dutch.
  Funny they didn't ban the ALCOHOL...
  By the way, for those who find this restriction a (serious) disadvantage:
  I used to like alcohol too, used it regularly, but when GHB came in the
  picture, alcohol simply lost its attraction... Besides: Alcohol usage and
  depression amplify each other...
  D) On newsnet I read about people who have combined GHB with cocaine.
  First: because of it's toxicity, I can't recommend cocaine. But another
  thing is: as both compounds juggle with your dopamine, concurrent use
  may bring unknown risks. If your intent for cocaine usage is sexual
  arousal, you may try GHB alone. There's no aphrodisiacum like it.
  In that case: take about half a therapeutic dosage; say 1 gr.
  (And it's absolutely safer than cocaine, of course, plus it SURE doesn't
  take away a male's performance, like cocaine often does.)
  E) Opiates. Combining GHB with opiates brings the danger of amplifying
  respiratory depression.
  F) I've read that combining GHB with antibiotics is inadvisable too.
  Don't know exactly WHAT the problem is, however.
  G) Smart drugs. Many of them influence the cholinergic system. I've been
  strongly advised not to combine them with GHB, but I have NO idea what
  could cause a problem. I have no indication that GHB interacts with the
  cholinergic system, but: I now prefer to wait a little until more is
  known about possible interactions. Remember I'm not a pharmacologist...

In the recommended dosages, GHB is (virtually) non-toxic, and there are NO
toxic metabolites either. It simply breaks down to carbondioxide and water.

Good (pure) GHB does NOT produce hangover (maybe in a rare case?). If you
experience a (slight) headache: distrust your product. In this case, there
are very probably impurities in it, which you most certainly don't want to
ingest!!

GHB should also preferably be accompanied by a Potassium supplement.
(Or even better: use the Potassium salt of GHB instead of the (usual)
Sodium salt. You get plenty of Sodium already. GHB-K is about 10% less
potent than GHB-Na, because the K-ion is heavier than the Na-ion. And:
a few grams of Potassium a day won't harm you -on the contrary; most
diets are poor in Potassium, especially when compared to Sodium.)

GHB is contraindicated for epileptics and people with liver problems.

Note: Do NOT attempt to drive a vehicle while under the influence of GHB!!

There are many more things to be told about GHB, but there are also many
things still to be cleared up (especially with regard to the pharmacological
aspects of this remarkable drug). It is my sincere hope that more scientists
will take a closer look at this drug than those who are already working on
it (but who are hardly heard!!!), and that *YOU* may also benefit from this
treasure. Since I started GHB, I feel uncomparibly better than before. I have
a job which really brings a lot of stress, and requires lots of concentration;
The stress hardly affects me now, and the concentration is no problem. (But
that may have more reasons, one of them being that I hardly drink alcohol
since I started taking GHB...)

One final note: There will always be people -especially in the USA-
who claim that GHB in itself (uncombined) is a dangerous drug. If you
have any doubts about the sincerity of this article, or about GHB,
I suggest you contact those people and ask them for solid scientific
proof for their statements. Please send me a copy of what you get in
return, so I may update my information. I have given all information
in good faith and to the best of my knowledge. Any useful comment on
style and/or grammar is welcome too, as English is not my first language.

Asterix.

(with C de Contrecoeur's account)




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