Gayle, is clinical depression a condition that can be made worse with ayahuasca?
Years ago, a fragile friend of mine who had depression and was on 2 antidepressants and one antianxiety medication considered doing an ayahuasca retreat in Peru -- and even asked me if I would accompany her.
I persuaded her not to do it. (If she had insisted on going, I would have refused to get involved - I cannot speak Spanish and I knew I would have been incapable of
handling any emergency that could arise in this context.)
People taking medications that are MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) have to abstain from those meds and from MAOI foodstuffs and over the counter medications for two weeks - or more?
People who need their medications could destabilize and that would be bad enough
-especially when far from home and with unreliable people.
Many people use medications that have MAOI properties. (Not all of these are psychiatric medications, btw) If one conscientiously excludes customers who have
health and pharmacy issues that make ayahuasca unsafe for them, this would reduce the number of potential customers.
Ethical ayahuasca mentors would put client welfare ahead of financial success.
But--what about the ones who are greedy for money and or are children in adult bodies who are greedy for new humans to control and turn into toys and cash sources?
Yet another concern:
Some conditions, such as schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder and bipolar affective disorder have stigmatizing connotations.
Persons with these conditions may be afraid to disclose this for fear of disgrace or of being excluded.
And, some persons have a genetic predisposition for bipolar but are not old enough or stressed enough to have had an episode. (Many suffer bipolar for years
before they finally receive a diagnosis).
I have read of some persons who did not experience their first bipolar episode until they went through a major disruption in their sleep week cycle, such as
a first trip to a foreign country several times zones away from home.
Screening people for ayahuasca use would require establishing a trusting relationship in which they would be able to trust enough to disclose this information. And the interviewer would need to be alert enough to question
the applicant about any family history of bipolar disorder, major depression
or addiction issues.
Very many serious addictions arise when the sufferer attempts to self medicate
an underlying condition.
One would also if ethical, screen applicants for medical conditions that would
preclude ayahuasca use.
For example, type 2 diabetes and prediabetes are becoming common. Both
predispose people to aggressive early onset cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Diabetics can incur painless heart attacks.
A person may have fragile blood vessels and risk rupturing them and having a bleed
or a dangerous disruption in heart rhythm while vomiting.
These days even young persons are developing prediabetes and diabetes and too many do not know they have these conditions.
I would expect an ethical and well informed ayahuasca mentor would require each applicant to undergo a physical examination that would include screens for diabetes and prediabetes and for hypertension.
Corboy is not crying wolf. Here are some articles.
Cash rich technology workers may consider an ayahuasca retreat. But if this
article is accurate, many of them should be screened for underlying conditions
that would make ayahuasca use dangerous for them. The work place culture leaves people afraid to use health care resources companies provide for them.Is Silicon Valley Bad for Your Health
- Fortune Magazine.
Diabetes and prediabetes
One in Eleven People Affected by Diabetes