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Accute phenibut withdrawal.


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#1 tarbtl

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 04:03 AM


Hey guys,

A little background about myself; two years ago I got semi-addicted to phenibut. I would take 500-1,000mg about twice a week on and off. The first time I took it, it produced extreme euphoria and had a profound anxyolitic and sociable effect on me. All of the positives eventually completely wore off. I abstained for months at a time and it just simply never worked again. I never got any withdrawal symptoms other than transient anxiety the next day that went away fairly quickly.

A year later I got addicted to benzos. About 1-2mg Xanax or 5-10mg Valium a day for a few months. I quit cold turkey and got severe withdrawal symptoms. I eventually got some help and tapered off successfully. To help with sleep, I started taking Valium again in November of 2008 and have been on 5mg daily ever since.

So to re-iterate, my GABA receptors have been on quite a roller coaster ride for the past few years.

With regards to my general anxiety levels, I put some serious effort into improving myself in this area and managed to rid myself completely of social anxiety through progressive desensitization. Also, some voodoo magic effect randomly occurred where I one day just sort of matured and stopped caring about what other people thought about me. Life was starting to get really good.

Now cue to last Saturday (3 days ago). Out of the blue I decided to take 1,000mg of Phenibut again before going out with some friends just for fun. I figured since I had not taken it in over 2 years it might have a revitalized effect on me. I took it at 3PM and it started kicking in at 5PM. Nothing amazing. Just a bit of a fun disinhibition. I decided that that was not enough so I popped 15mg Valium on top of that. Things suddenly started to get real fun and I felt like I was very drunk. My cognitive abilities got fuzzy but I was still very much in control of myself.

At about 9PM the phenibut started to wear off all of a sudden. I was enjoying dinner with friends when out of the blue my heart just started pounding and I noticed I was starting to get tremors. I started to panic a little bit but I kept my cool and made it through the rest of the evening OK.

The next day it got even worse. I woke up with my chest pounding, tremors all over my body, short of breath and in a state of mild panic. To make things worse I had a date that evening!

I told myself that it will go away and decided not to cancel my date. Huge mistake. We went out to dinner and I was acting extremely bizarre. I knew it. She knew it. It was the big elephant in the room but she, being the sweet girl that she is, tried to pretend like everything was OK. I couldn't pick anything up with my chop-sticks because my hands were shaking. My voice was trembling whenever I spoke and I had trouble keeping eye contact with her. It was extremely awkward and at that moment I just wanted to make up some excuse like I didn't get any sleep and drank too much coffee or something but that probably would have made it worse. What was I gonna do? Try to explain that my GABA-B receptors were temporarily fried and I had too much pesky catecholamines and glutamate flooding my sympathetic nervous system? Of course not. All I could think at the time was "shit... this is NOT me... this is NOT me.."

Anyway, the reason I am posting this is because it is now day 3 and the symptoms keep getting worse. I feel like such an asshole and I'm really ashamed of myself for taking the phenibut. I had a gut instinct that I should never have touched the stuff again.

My question is why this would happen after one dose- and when I can expect to get better. I know this will eventually go away but I am seriously freaking the F out right now. It's like I am back to square one with all this BS anxiety and shyness nonsense.

Like others have reported, benzos are doing nothing to help the problem. I have at my disposal some Zyprexa (atypical antipsychotic) and as nasty as that drug is, I think taking it tonight will help me chill out for a bit while things get back to normal.

If anyone has some insight or words of encouragement.... nothing could help me more than that at the moment. Imminst has been here the whole time throughout my journey and I can't thank you guys enough.

#2 StrangeAeons

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 05:25 AM

Just so you know, atypicals like Zyprexa and Geodon are cousins of benzos. I also wouldn't recommend them if you've already got tremors. I'm surprised you'd develop an addiction at that dosage level and frequency with Phenibut; I went through one bottle without much in the way of discipline problems, but I'd say at some point or another I took it with that much frequency and no issues. Of course, as beneficial as it was I swore not to buy another bottle simply because the abuse potential might hit when my depression exacerbated...
I would recommend not taking any more pills out of an impulse to ameliorate your situation. You're essentially dealing with a shitload of rebound; in otherwords, something akin to a prolonged anxiety attack, I've had similar spells myself (though usually reactive to events in my life). It sucks and you'll constantly itch to self-medicate, but it won't help and will probably make things worse. It's going to suck, and you're going to freak out, and all I can tell you is that you need to work on forming the mental association between this experience and what you took. Sometimes it's exceedingly difficult to develop learned aversions with drugs of abuse, because of the immediate short-term gain. Losing control of your dosage did this to you. Taking synergistic drug combinations did this to you. Remember that, and suffer through it as best you can, and remember the hell that awaits you next time you look at a sedative/hypnotic the wrong way. I know that may sound mean, but it's tough love. In the meantime, remember that this is transient, and you've got a few days, maybe a week or two (though I doubt it). Hang in there.

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#3 FunkOdyssey

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 03:57 PM

I think it was the combination of phenibut and valium, you thoroughly desensitized the entire GABA system with that synergistic combo. Stay away from GABA agonists indefinitely. There is nothing I can think of that will diminish the severity of phenibut withdrawal, you're just going to have to tough it out and use the painful experience to fuel your resolve to never take it again.

#4 Arc

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 10:29 AM

Also stop taking the benzo's, from the sounds of things they aren't making things any better and could just be contributing to the problem and dragging it out.

If you need something to calm you down try some gylcine/taurine in a multigram dose as this will depress your nervous system in non-GABA way.

#5 FunkOdyssey

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 02:52 PM

If you need something to calm you down try some gylcine/taurine in a multigram dose as this will depress your nervous system in non-GABA way.


This is not a bad idea.

#6 Ben

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 01:48 PM

Loooks like everyone has given you pretty good advice. Especially that to associate this episode with the behaviour and mindset that allowed it to happen.

I can really relate to a lot of what you mention about phebibut's unique effects. I too don't really get the same, highly euphoric, extremely unihibiting feeling. Even after stopping for quite a while too. My guess is that the stuff is making some pretty long term changes. I'm going to leave it for a while.

Interestingly, when I'm taking deprenyl, phenibut has a much more euphoric effect.

Edited by Ben - Aus, 23 July 2009 - 01:51 PM.


#7 yowza

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 01:29 AM

Tarbtl, I can kind of imagine how you feel. The current withdrawal seems to mainly be from that combo you took. How are you doing now? It's been about 3 more days since you last posted so things are hopefully getting better. In regards to the progressive desensitization you're experiencing, this could maybe be a bad thing if you're feeling a flat/dissociated affect. It could be tied to the benzo you're taking for sleep. Benzo's can cause a bit of brain damage if taking high dosages for a long time (the 5 mg doesn't seem to excessive but then I've never taken a prescription based benzo before).

I haven't had experience with Phenibut really in the past. I took too much of it last night (stupid+unlike of me not to carefully weigh the amount out on my scale) cause I wanted to see what the effect was. I woke up today and felt like I was on a ship. My balance is still off and I feel abit queazy; the imbalance is the main thing I feel. I for some reason felt this was more of a supplement (or that the company I ordered from maybe put alot of filler in) even though I had read breifly that it supposedly actually had a psychoactive effect.

Now I'm just waiting for the effect to subside. I heard the half life is about 5-6 hours but this was misleading. There's a withdrawal once the effect wears off. How long will this likely last?

#8 outsider

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 06:27 AM

You could use valerian in the future to strenghten you nervous system, it works on GABA but has of course nothing of the addiction problems and nothing of the euphoria, it just makes you stronger... in the normal way.

#9 tarbtl

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 11:57 AM

Hey guys- thanks for all the replies!

Tomorrow will be the 1 week mark. I am currently feeling MUCH better but some residual symptoms still remain. More prominently is that my tolerance to stimulants has gone way down.

Consuming 200mg of Caffeine feels like 400mg Caffeine + 15mg Yohimbine HCL. If anyone here has ever taken Yohimbine on an empty stomach, you'll know what I mean. I measured my blood pressure today and it was 180/80. It is usually 121/70ish even while on a stimulant like caffeine.

Of course- it's a good idea to lay off the stims right now, which I am doing!

I thought 1 week would be about right for the symptoms to clear completely but it's not really happening. I am guessing 2-3 weeks for a full recovery.

I have absolutely no idea why this occurred. None whatsoever. Back in the day I used to take massive amounts of benzos and phenibut regularly and I never had anything like this happen- ever. If anyone has any theories- feel free to chime in.

Like I mentioned before, the most anxyolitic substance ATM is alcohol, whereas in my normal state- benzodiazepines would have taken the cake. This is a telling sign.

I feel kind of like I am trapped in a malfunctioning robot's body- especially with the tremors. Sometimes I just feel like slapping myself in the face to "snap out of it" because there is no basis to the anxiety. None whatsoever. It's just like "uhh... ok let's get it over with already!"

I thought I had this area of my life handled and in a blink of an eye it's like a chemically-induced time machine has brought me back to 2005 when I was a nervous wreck. All these years of going out and socializing down the drain. All those social skills ... gone! Where have they gone?

I am going to taper off of the Valium as soon as this mess clears up a bit. I don't why I keep jumping back on the benzo train every time I wean myself off. It's such a destructive substance and incredibly hard to get off of.

Edited by tarbtl, 24 July 2009 - 12:08 PM.


#10 FunkOdyssey

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 03:29 PM

The GABA receptors, especially GABA-B seem to take FOREVER to recover from pharmacological insult, compared to the other neurotransmitter systems. I've recently come to the conclusion that even ashwagandha is too potent a GABA agonist to take daily, I was actually getting rebound anxiety during the day by taking it at bedtime.

For acute anxiety, kava root may have some advantages over benzodiazepines (multiple non-benzodiazepine mechanisms of action that are less prone to tolerance development), this is balanced by a bit more danger to the liver. Theanine is totally benign if not quite as effective. I would use either of them rather than benzodiazepines when possible.

And forget phenibut entirely, it is simply not worth it for any indication. Benzodiazepines are better for anxiety control and there are a million better alternatives for recreational use as well.

#11 tarbtl

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 01:37 PM

Well guys it's been well over a week and I must say I am quite concerned because I am showing very little signs of improvement. My blood pressure has sky rocketed (170/90) it is usually 121/70ish. I have heart palpitations and tremors all day and I feel like I am going to go insane. I started meditating again to try and take my mind off of things. I just want to know that this will pass. It's the thought of being stuck this way for months that is really getting to me. I don't know what to do anymore. Finals are coming up and this is just about the worst time for me to be experiencing this nonsense.

#12 moo

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 07:23 PM

Well guys it's been well over a week and I must say I am quite concerned because I am showing very little signs of improvement. My blood pressure has sky rocketed (170/90) it is usually 121/70ish. I have heart palpitations and tremors all day and I feel like I am going to go insane. I started meditating again to try and take my mind off of things. I just want to know that this will pass. It's the thought of being stuck this way for months that is really getting to me. I don't know what to do anymore. Finals are coming up and this is just about the worst time for me to be experiencing this nonsense.


I don't want to contradict everyone else- but usually with withdrawl you should slowly taper off your dosage. Cold turkey is too harsh with benzos. You need to go to your doctor and tell her/him what has happened. Ive seen this before with friends (valium, xanax, or klonopin) and it generally does take a few months to recover. Cancel your dates, hang out at home, relax as much as possible, go for a jog, watch some tv, avoid whatever causes you anxiety for the time-being as much as is reasonable- spend some extra time studying and you won't be as anxious about school. Definitely, no unprescribed GABA agonists (that means no alcohol!). I can't stress enough that you need to consult your doctor though - they will be familiar with this situation. good luck! : )

#13 tarbtl

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 02:22 AM

I am not going off of benzos! I have not diminished my benzo usage whatsoever since the incident. Just want to make that clear. This is all about the phenibut that I only took once.

#14 thefreeaccount

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 06:10 AM

The "old you" isn't gone. It won't be gone; nothing can take it away. Conditioning isn't like taking a pill. All those hours you spent desensitizing yourself in social situations caused the break-up of old neural pathways and the formation of new ones. The "old you" is still there in your head, encoded in the neural network, but it probably won't be able to express itself again until your neurotransmitter activity returns to normal.

I have no idea what happened when you took the phenibut, but as you know, its mechanism of action is believed to be similar to the benzos. Benzos can alleviate acute anxiety, but when taken over long periods of time, cause physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms that make anxiety much worse. It may be that the phenibut sped up a process that would otherwise taken a few more months or years.

I would urge you to visit a psychiatrist. While he might not know much about phenibut specifically, he will know how to help you get the GABA receptors back to normal again. His advice can't possibly make you more anxious than you already are.

#15 moo

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 06:45 PM

I am not going off of benzos! I have not diminished my benzo usage whatsoever since the incident. Just want to make that clear. This is all about the phenibut that I only took once.


Oh wow, sorry for the misunderstanding. Freeaccount is right about phenibuts mechanism of action being similar to benzos.. here is a hypothesis: When you took the dose of phenibut your neural architecture was "rewired" a bit. This kind of thing happens with a lot of substances- for instance opiates: if someone uses opiates indiscriminately and goes into respiratory arrest with a high dose and survives then he/she will be much more likely to go into respiratory arrest with a lower dose of the same or a similar substance in the near future because the connections have already been made and the synapses have already been crossed. It could have just been the phenibut or the combination of factors that caused your problems. You naturally recovered a little bit, but you are still taking GABA agonists and restimulating the new and unwanted "wiring" (or maybe the old wiring is still in place and you reactivated it with the phenibut).

If this is the case then maybe slowing down benzos to 1-2 mg for a week and doing whatever you can to flush out your system might let you rewire a bit. You won't get the anxiolytic effects, but at least your body won't turn on you because it thinks you are going cold turkey. You might even try a very mild GABA antagonist after a few days to kind of press the reset button. Thujone is a GABA antagonist so maybe wormwood tea would help a little bit (but be careful GABA antagonists are convulsants). The worst thing you could probably do in this situation is drink alcohol - right now you don't need any kind of uncontrolled GABA stimulation.

Another more pleasant (probably less effective) idea might be to exert stimulation on some other receptors to maybe shift brain activity away from GABA. There are a lot of options for this that you would have to explore yourself. If you still have high blood pressure and the shakes you could get your doctor to prescribe propanolol. I think that is compatible with benzos and your doctor won't mind- it is fairly safe and they will even prescribe it for stage fright. It will lower your BP and physically calm you down- I use it for giving presentations. The anxiety will stay in your head, but your body will experience little if any of its effects- I think it would be good for test anxiety if you are well-prepared. The downside is that you would feel sluggish (not tired- but sluggish). Well anyway, just brainstorming. Good luck. Keep us up to date.

#16 KTMAdv

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 11:11 PM

This is a veeeeery interesting thread to SWIM, because SWIM got pretty addicted to Phenibut for a few months at the end of last/beginning of this year. He discovered it to be AWESOME for social anxiety, and also as a nootropic supplement for his intellectual and creativity-demandign job. Mixing with 1500mg Priacetam daily made it that much better, until even that didn't compensate for growing tolerance.

Peak dosage was ~4g/day over two doses in the waking hours, one mid morning and one right before bed. He tapered off abruptly(over ~10 days, -10% dose each day) and still had pretty nasty GAD type withdrawals.

Anyway, he said he's never used benzos except for waaay back in college as recreational drugs and it was all a blur beyond thinking "...what a waste of a party?"

BY coincidence, he was prescribed Lyrica(pregabalin, another GABA-molecule based drug that readily cross the BBB) for some severe pinced nerves, L5-S1 bulging, painful!!! For which it worked relaly well. BUT...the Lyrica magically removed the anxiety again, but not as much the social as the general. On a whim, he tried 500mg of Phenibut(after about 2 months of previous abstainance) in combo with 150mg Lyrica - and the magic was BACK, on a very low dose of Phenibut. Used in moderation, this might be the answer! Alas, after months of daily Lyrica use and intermittent, responsible phenibut dosing, SWIM's insurance decided not to cover the Lyrica anymore. Since physical therapy was relaly helping with the pain, he tapered off of Lyrica and kept using phenibut - only now, after a single, low phenibut use, rebound anxiety was ever-present for 3-5 days, and BAD. Alchohol would only sort of scratch the surface and even then it was really just sort of a distraction more than a cure.

He wishes he'd have tapered off of the Lyrica slower, but is pretty sure it wouldn't have made any difference anyway, as this system is really touchy. He fully agrees about hte GABA-b system being a sensitive little bugger, in a big way, and while it worked awesome to try and modify it a bit it sure doesn't fix itself very easily. Like the original poster, he went through a preiod where he felt like he was 15 again and all of his social anxiety was right back to it's adolescent worst!

He said also that he's very glad he never got the chance to mix benzos with Phenibut!

Edited by KTMAdv, 17 August 2009 - 11:12 PM.


#17 Mortuorum

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 08:06 AM

And forget phenibut entirely, it is simply not worth it for any indication. Benzodiazepines are better for anxiety control and there are a million better alternatives for recreational use as well.
[/quote]


Hello,

I would just be somewhat curious as to your recommendations regarding "a million better alternatives for recreational use" mentioned here?

I have had, initially, astounding results with Phenibut but then, after prolonged usage with insufficient breaks over the course of about a year, it just ceased to work as well and this became more and more profound in resultant effect, even after taking a month or so off to "wash-out", it still didn't work as magnificently as it did the first month or so I was assimilating it. I never experienced any of the extreme withdrawal symptomatic responses many describe, however. Hangover symptoms were mild, it just ceased to maintain its acutely efficacious results experienced initially. Do you think I have incurred any degree of permanent "damage", however?

Many gracious thanks for your time!


M.


#18 FunkOdyssey

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 05:35 PM

I'm not going to make any recommendations here regarding recreational drug use -- use your imagination. I am just making the point that almost all other recreational substances have a better ratio of enjoyment / lingering negative effects on the psyche.

#19 Mortuorum

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 06:57 AM

I'm not going to make any recommendations here regarding recreational drug use -- use your imagination. I am just making the point that almost all other recreational substances have a better ratio of enjoyment / lingering negative effects on the psyche.


Thanks, Funk. I can certainly empathize hesitancy concerning posting things of such nature in a more or less public forum, if you would care to engage with even marginal candor though, please feel free to PM me as I would genuinely be interested in your own personal experiences and biases upon this realm based upon some of your other postings and threads I have perused here. Your individual responses, reactions, preferences, etc. in this matter garner me insight and perspective regarding where you're coming from in relation to your viewpoints concerning many other supplements, not just phenibut, everyone responds with marked difference to nearly everything anyway (and I all ready have innumerable past experiences with a varied plethora of "recreational" drugs), particularly to nootropics, psychotropics, anything effecting neurology and mood, perception, etc.

Do you, or anyone else here on this forum have any experience with Baclofen as I have read of its effects being compared to Phenibut's concerning anxiolytic, euphoric, etc. properties but with Baclofen obviously being much more potent. Does it generate positive results? Can Baclofen be used safely, with any degree of responsibility as an intermittent agent, either recreationally or as an anxiolytic (or as both) without any high probability of unsavory, ugly addiction and withdrawal or is it just too unstable, risky, toxic, problematic, and not worthwhile in the long run? I notice a generic version can be purchased through ALLDAYCHEMIST..........

#20 russianBEAR

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 05:12 PM

Here's a...what you guys call it "hypothesis".

Can you rule out that you didn't get "nervous" etc. due to other factors? Could the date have been it ? Now maybe I'm reachin and you're a mack pimp daddy, but certain events that make you nervous can trigger anxiety LONG before they actually occur. It may have nothing to do with Phenibut. If you notice even "mild anxiety" you're too focused in on yourself, since you're doing desens therapy that's cool.

If you're not planning to get off benzos, switch to Clonazepam, it is much stronger than Valium and usually alleviates pretty much every effect from everything else. 

It's pretty recreational since you wanna go down that slope. I don't recommend it because being on benzos a long time is hell and you degrade very much exponentially. This isn't a hypothesis this is fact. Although I say if you wanna be on them, you might wanna make it for life because the longer you do the worse the withdrawal. You can die.

When I was on benzos I just drank a lot of strong alcohol and smoked weed, but again I don't wanna be a bad influence, because my sleep is now shot forever because of that.

As far as Phenibut, I never really had a withdrawal from it because all you have to do is get drunk. Seriously it takes away all withdrawals from all GABA-related stuff. At least the short-term stuff like that. Any other GABA-affecting substance is really interchangeable for the most part with anything else, the idea here is the duration of the effect.
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#21 fitness

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 03:38 AM

I used a supplement which contains phenibut citrate and gaba both and i used it for about 2.5 or 3weeks continuously only one serving as recommended by the company.I didn't have any knowledge about phenibut when i used it so when stopped taking that supp i noticed some withdrawal effects after maybe 24 hrs of withdrawal and it was just a nightmare for about 6 days I went to doctor on 5th day and he recommended me diazepam 10mg and lafutidine 10mg i never took diazepam as i have read about its withdrawal on other blogs but i took a single dose of lafutidine.It helped in curing some of the nausea but help as at minimun .I never slept for 6 days I was in intense depression and was feeling extremely nauseous when comes to eating food and ended up in severe loss of appetite finally on 7th day i was able to sleep good and all the symptoms was gone i started sleeping at regular bed times was very happy to get rid of the symptoms after the 7th day the symptoms was gone for maybe 4-5days and then on the night of 11th day the symptoms begin to return as i wake up at 3:30 am and again slowly slowly started feeling depressed,guilty and same extremely nauseous.I was not able to sleep after that and around 11:00am i was feeling intense depression ate nothing as i am was nauseous on swallowing my food all the symptoms returned again except heart palpation and shivering(the feeling of cold and shivering was very slight uncompilable to early withdrawal symptoms) I thought its just my mind thinking of withdrawal symptoms again as in majority of blogs there are 7 days of withdrawal symptoms written but i was not able to sleep that night next day i was feeling extremely tired and nauseous on just thinking about food so i took a dose of lafutidine and it worked i ate my food on 12 noon and was asleep at 2:00 pm and i wake up at 10:00pm at night with some mild depression and a bit of nausea then again i ate my food and went to sleep at around 12:30 am(not very quality sleep woke up 3-4 times during that sleep)finally i got up at around 7in the morning again with same symptoms and the symptoms peaked at around 12noon so i decided to take another dose of lafutidine and it worked again this time dimnishing nearly all the withdrawal symptoms within 2 hours.I was feeling extremely sleepy but i stayed awake because i thought that symptoms are over now and i should follow my bed time hours.I ate 3 meals along with salad and fruits that day(yesterday) and went for sleep at 11 pm i woke up at 3:30 am for pee and i woke up with mild symptoms and was not able to get back to sleep despite felling very sleepy the depression built up again but not to that level i desperately tried to sleep and slept in a semi drowsed manner for another 3 hours it's now 8:30 in the morning and i am feeling very sleepy and mildly depressed with feeling of defeat and weakness please somebody help why are these symptoms coming back and when will they diminish completely please reply

#22 Metacognition

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 04:04 AM

Drink lots of green tea. And try to get some DHEA. For the short term a dose between 100-200mg daily seems reasonable. Start at 50-100mg.

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#23 bestbefore

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 05:42 AM

I've been using Phenibut now for over a year I think, but it still works great. They key is to only use it once or twice a week and never 2 days in a row. The best thing would be once every 2 weeks, but once a week is also fine. When you take Phenibut lets say on Monday, you need 3 things to not get withdrawal symptoms.

1) You need to sleep a lot the next day. Not sleeping enough after you have taken Phenibut for a whole day, just makes you dizzy, sleepy and unmotivated the next day. Make sure that you get that extra sleep.
2) Don't take Phenibut again the next day and let your mind recover.
3) Don't take a very high dose, 5-10 grams. The highest I've ever gone was 6.5 grams, but that gives me crazy anxiety when I close my eyes at the end of the day. I was even scared to go to sleep. It was like every shitty memory was flashing before my eyes. I usually take 3 gram now once a week as a pick-me-up and this actually helps me in a positive way. Phenibut can make a shitty day a good day, but only if you can bring up the discipline. If you can't, stay far away from it.

A good diet also works wonders (use cron-o-meter).

I've also noticed that Phenibut hits me way harder when I'm in ketosis (low carb). Ketosis increases GABA :)




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