Do not read this unless you are insane

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archive Thru March 2002: Archive thru January 2002:Do not read this unless you are insane
By Admin on Wednesday, January 09, 2002 - 09:02 am: Edit

must close this thread .. too large. please re-open if'n you have a mind to.

By Wolfgang on Wednesday, January 09, 2002 - 08:29 am: Edit

Just a side note about my "yohimbe-absinthe" joke.

BAD BAD BAD idea. Not because of absinthe but because of bad interaction with alcohol. I extracted 25g of it in 130ml of 94% for 24 hours. I filtered, pressed, rewashed the bark with 50ml vodka, filtered and pressed again. I added sugar and 1:1 quantity of water. I tested 1 oz of this tincture out of curiosity (I had two glass of absinthe : one and two hour before). Not fun at all. It decupled the sides effects (stronger heart beat, dizziness,) in a way that it overid the desired result. In fact I was fealing "under attack" and was unable to go to sleep before it ended 4 hours later. I understood why it was traditionally used by some african tribes in war ritual. Potentially dangerous. don't do that.

I will eventually try the water and vitamin C extraction method just to confirm this bad experience was caused by the interraction with alcohol...

Wolf-apprentice shaman ;-)

By Dr_Ordinaire on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 09:02 pm: Edit

There is an anti-depressant that seems to work really well.

It is a temporary MAO-inhibitor, it has no dietary restrictions, unfortunately it is not approved for sale in the U.S. It is not an "illegal" drug, just not approved by the FDA.

I got interested in it because temporary MAOIs allow certain molecules to interact with my body in pretty interesting ways.

People who have used to fight depression rave about it.

Anyway, if you have someone travelling to Mexico in a consistent way, ask them to bring moclobemide (trade name: Aurorex).

By Artemis on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 07:29 pm: Edit

My wife had for a long time urged me to seek professional help, but the cost of the practitioner and the cost of the drugs (assuming he would go along with the plan and write me a prescription, because that's ALL I wanted from him) put me off. Then I read about the side effects, and that it would possibly take every bit as long for the prescription drugs to have an effect as for the "natural" stuff. So I was patient with the St. John's Wort and kept eating it with no apparent effect, until all of a sudden I seemed to be changed. But as several have pointed out, there are many factors involved, and it's difficult to come to any "what came first - chicken or egg" conclusions.

By Tlautrec on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 06:16 pm: Edit

Sorry to drop in at this late phase of the conversation, but as a person with long-term moderate dysthymia (that's what the docs out here on the Left Coast call it nowadays), I must register my vote for St. Johns Wort. I was also using SSRI's for a while, and although they made me "happy," the side effects were a real pain. In fact, I chose not to take the medication rather than to put up with the sweats, the sleeplessness, etc. For me (and everyone's biochemical make-up is, after all, individual), St. Johns Wort, taken daily, successfully takes the edge off, allows me to function reasonably well in a challenging job, and HAS NO SIDE EFFECTS! Moreover, I don't have to pay some damned shrink $150 every few months to get a new prescription.

By Mr_Rabid on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 06:06 pm: Edit

Patterns self reinforce- that is, if you are a certain way for a certain time, it will be more difficult to change.

An easily observable aspect of this is if you have ever been driving, reading etc for *way* too long, you find yourself seeing images from what you were doing when you close your eyes, and you can't seem to stop thinking about it.

A drug that makes it possible to move in a 'happy' pattern doesn't necessarily cause the pattern, which must be developed.

You have to make the new patterns. The longer you were depressed, the harder it is.

But it can work for you- if you can manage to make your normal pattern 'OK' long enough, eventually it will be harder to slide into depression.

It also means that, since the chemical states occur partly because of what patterns are there (they affect each other, it isn't one way) you may be able to eventually stop taking the drug, although there is a risk there (depending on the exact chemical situation in your brain and stuff.)

By _Blackjack on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 05:40 pm: Edit

Most antidepressants take at leat a month to kick in. It's a rather arduaous process, actually, especially if you're already suffering a great deal. You start on something, wait a month, and then decide if you want to keep waiting, increase the dosage, or start over with something else entirely.

WHY it takes so long is something of a mystery, since the primary pharmacologic effects of the drugs (be it inhibiting serotonin reuptake or deactivating MAO, etc.) usually kick in quite immediately. This is also why the SIDE-EFFECTS kick in immediately. The theory is that the antidepressant effect is in part a result of your brain's REACTION to the change in chemistry, and not the change in chemistry itself. Unfortunately, a lot of the finer points are still really hazy. It's hard to observe the human brain in action without, you know, killing people...

By Mr_Rabid on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 03:45 pm: Edit

Most antidepressants like Prozac, Wellbutrin etc have a similar ramping up time.

By Artemis on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 03:20 pm: Edit

"Saint Johnswort does brighten your mood as much as any conventional flashlight... not even with a lot of imagination did I feel any better from taking it for over two weeks."

From my personal experience, two weeks is not nearly enough. Only after staying with it daily for three months did I start to see a difference in myself, and the difference was substantial. Ditto for Gingko Biloba.

By Heiko on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 02:43 pm: Edit

I said IF your post was not ironic... obviously it was, so my shouting at you can be considered ironic as well :-)

I know ephedrine is not that good for the cardivascular system, but I have always had a low blood pressure, that maybe compensates a little. On the other hand, I might go to a professional at some point. The problem is that without any medication you would have never got me to tell some doctor a word about myself.

-- Maybe we could call into life the "depressive absinthe drinker's club"? ;-)

By Larsbogart on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 12:14 pm: Edit

holey moley heiky, whoa nelly!
[has anyone else ever been called an asshole twice in one thread?]
if you scroll all the way down you'd see it was me who loved and cared about you enought to sacrafice myself at the burning stake so 87 post later you could open up.
calm down helen morgan, my history here has been in jest and chew owe me an apology.

By Wolfgang on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 12:06 pm: Edit

The reason for this stigma is because it's damn difficult to stay close to someone who suffer from depression. To live with one of them is like living near a dark hole that always drag you down.

You must be a lucky man Hob to have such a wife who had the strenght to support you.

By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 10:57 am: Edit


Almost 50% of people will suffer from a bout of mental illness at one stage or another during their life-time and depression is the most common form of mental illness.

It's just that there's a stigma attached to suffering from any form of mental illness (whereas this stigma doesn't exit for physical illneses as a rule) so people are reluctant to admit suffering from mental illnesses.Even though a huge amount of the population have suffered from past mental illness, how many do you think would openly tell this to a prospective employer?

If someone suffers from an ilness (mental or physical) then they need treatment. Mental illness is no different from a physical illness in this regard. It's just normal illness and treating it any different (either through stigmatising it or romanticising it) only does harm to sufferers.


By Lordhobgoblin on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 10:47 am: Edit

Just to correct a typo "one carries an insulin pen (nut allergy)" should have read " adrenilin pen..."

On antidepressants I will go with Blackjack 100%. Depression is a dark, dark hole resulting not in sadness but lack of emotion, lack of a will to live, lack of anything. It's just a blank flat nothingness of grey (not black as there is emotion in the colour black) despair.

Antidepressants don't make you happy but when I went on them the fact that I could smile for the first time in 12 months was really something else. I can remember this smile, I was walking along the River Thames tow-path on a Sunday afternoon with my wife and I saw a few baby ducks in the river and smiled. It sounds like nothing but it was a fantastic experience.

I know nothing about any anti-depressant other than Seroxat, but all I can say is thank fuck that Glaxo (I think) invented it and thank fuck for my doctor who put me on it the first time he saw me (my wife tricked me into going to the doctor here as at the time I wouldn't have had the will or care to go myself).

If people get mis-diagnosed and put on anti-depressants for just feeling pissed off with things then that's a different story. If particular anti-depressants don't work one person then there are others available. Each person reacts differently to different drugs. To say that people are better off to put up with depression than taking anti-depressants is to lack any understanding of just how bad depression is. Depression is far worse than any side effect. Even if anti-depressants were addictive (which they're not) I'd far, far rather be an anti-depressant junkie with zero sex-drive than suffer from depression.


By Wolfgang on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 10:13 am: Edit

Well, is it me or we have a very high ratio of depressive people around here ?

...I will refrain from talking about patterns and links between things...

Hugs and kisses to whoever needs it,


By _Blackjack on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 09:45 am: Edit

Ephedrine?! Ephedrine is a hard drug. It's harder on your cardiovascular system than amphetamines (to which it is chemically almost identical...).

Like I said, I prefer to get my drugs pharmceutical grade, and take them under a physician's supervision...

By Wolfgang on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 09:13 am: Edit

If Saint Johns wort if used in the form of tisane, one must drink HUGE quanity of it to feal any long term effect. It's the same thing about Echinacae against cold. It's more practical to use it in the form of extract.

By the way I was joking when implying my #2 can be of any help. I use about the amount needed for a single tisane in a whole litre of absinthe so it's not there for the antidepressor effect. I use it for it's peppery after taste and i keep it far away in the background.

Kava root is interesting if you can find a reliable source of powdered root. With this you can make interesting no-alcohol drink that make you feel good, relaxed and a little bit dizzy. It's very soft doo. Charming innocent drink. I made some last week mixed with chocolate and cream... Traditionaly it was mixed with coconut milk.

"good dose of ephedrine"

Do you use dried ephedra or an extract ? I bought 50 g of powdered ephedra (amongst many other herbs) for experimental purpose and my herborist hurged me to try it only in ultra small quantity first... Apparently it's very effective.

By Heiko on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 09:03 am: Edit


I hope your shouting post was pure irony!
If not, read this:


By Heiko on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 08:50 am: Edit

Saint Johnswort does brighten your mood as much as any conventional flashlight... not even with a lot of imagination did I feel any better from taking it for over two weeks.
Kava root is pretty good, but it seems to be very bad for the liver (as recent studies have shown).

Blackjack, I understand what you mean when you say 'being off'. Maybe you suffer from this much stronger, but I also do.
As a child I almost had to be carried to do stuff - even when I liked it. There was just no driving power to make me begin some activity. Create something? Not that I've ever done so...
The effort to do things appears too high most of the time.
I whish there'd be a drug to reproduce this state of feeling for everybody who says "well, that guy's just lazy - for me it's also hard to get up and get my work done"
It's different - it's wanting to do something, but your brain unconsciously blocking your movements, making any action so despisable that you just can't move.

I knew what I had been missing all my life when I first tried some ecstasy. For others, it was a kick, a thrill - for me, it was life like it should be: I was taking action suddenly, inviting friends for a drink, having good conversations without doubts and fear, enjoying discovering new places, enjoying meeting new people.
The only disadvantage was that you can't take illegal drugs with uncertain contents as a steady medication, and I overdid the whole thing - I ended up very depressive and swore to myself never to do drugs like these again.

But, after a certain time without any drugs (only cigarettes) I realized there was still something wrong with me, I couldn't get things done like others and I suddenly saw that it had been like this for all of my life.
Generally knowing that German doctors, unlike their US colleagues, are not allowed to prescribe any good medication (or don't want to...) and rather send you to therapists for conversation therapy (ugh, even the thought made me puke), I made myself up for a quest to help myself.

Now, I make my day with a good dose of ephedrine, caffeine and dayly weightlifting exercises (which doesn't only produce serotonine, but also helps bettering my looks, which is an additional plus).
It works for me - it's not perfect, because I'm dependent on some pills to feel normal and to like my life and my work and studies, but what else is the alternative?

...I had never thought I would ever post this on the web, but recently I'm developing a healthy "I don't care and I do what I like" attitude...

As to any of you who said they take absinthe for a remedy - I hope you don't really do that! Relying on alcoholic drinks to feel good is perfectly dangerous.

By Wolfgang on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 06:40 am: Edit

Humm,I guess in some case it`s a good thing. Problem is, in many cases, prozac and the like are too easyly prescribed. Incompetent doctors who don`t understand the real problem just patch you up with chemical even if it`s no good for you.

I stand by the St-Johns worth and absinthe method (I even use a bit of that herb in my absinthe recipe).

"An absinthe Wolf a day, keeps you merry with tha fay!"

By Cheri on Tuesday, January 08, 2002 - 05:25 am: Edit

Prozac: For as long as I can remember, I have been prone to anxiety attacks, OCD, generalized discomfort in normal situations, naseau, chronic fatigue..I thought I was mental and just longed to be "like everyone else" who wouldn't get horrible migraines just going out to dinner or to a movie. I wanted to be able to actually relax in a relaxing situation..but couldn't. Finally, I got to the point where I just could not stand it anymore. It was rock bottom. Life could not be this damn miserable forever! I went to a recommended psychiatrist whom I gave a list of my symptons to and he immediately blurted out, "textbook case! this can be easily remedied!" I had a serotonin imbalance. Once on Prozac, I started to actually LIVE. Without it, I don't know where I'd be or what I would have done to try and remedy the misery.

By Mr_Rabid on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 06:17 pm: Edit

It had to be me Blackjack. I don't remember it, but if we held the positions we do now I almost certainly spoke up...

By Larsbogart on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 06:12 pm: Edit

ok this is a true story. last time i was in paris i went to the moulin rouge with a friend of mine whos father had been in business with barbara walters father lou walters. they were partners in the latin quarter in new york so she dragged me to the moulin because she loved the can can [this was before the baz lurhman movie] knew it by heart. actually the show was very good i thought, better than that crappy lido hog show. anyway, we got quite drunk and as we left we walked down the pigalle and i bought a very strange little stick from someone on the street. i had no idea what it was or why i bought it. it had a sweet anise like flavor to it so i kept on chewing on it and chewing on it.
three days later my erection finally went down enough to zip up my pants. it ruined my trip. i still have that stupid stick. now thats insane!

By _Blackjack on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 06:00 pm: Edit

Well, Saint Johnswort is an antidepressant drug, just not a very strong one, which happens to be in a plant. Don't judge just because I like my drugs carefully regulated and precisely dosed...

By Verawench on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 05:57 pm: Edit

Personally, lots and lots of caffeine, st. john's wort and absinthe keep me gloom-free.

Pissed off and horny! That's me.

By _Blackjack on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 05:57 pm: Edit

Well, I've never spent too much time on SSRI's, since they don't really work on me. I've had more experience with the drugs that give you a stroke if you eat cheese...

By _Blackjack on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 05:55 pm: Edit


Sure. Loathe bad doctors all you want. I'd also advise loathing the healtcare industry, which doesn't provide sufficient coverage for mental illness and presures GP's to try to practice psychiatry.

I will point out, however, that, at least as adults are concerned, nobody can force them to take any medication. If the medication is not improving their mental health, they should stop, or try something else. And get a better doctor.


Like I said, depression is THAT bad. Nobody WANTS the anorgasmia, and there is plenty of research going into minimizing it and other side effects (Wellbutrin uses its lack of sexual side-effects as a marketing point), but it's better than depression.

By Verawench on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 05:53 pm: Edit

I think what Blackjack is saying that in his particular case, and in the case of many others, this IS a worthwhile trade.

Quite a few chronically depressed people have low sex stamina anyway.

By Wolfgang on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 05:47 pm: Edit

What ? You`r arguing, defending prozac and at the same time you`r telling us it turns off your sex drive ? I`m lost.

Anybody wants some Yohimbe-absinthe ?

I`m working on it...



By Verawench on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 05:45 pm: Edit

Can I loathe the doctors that misdiagnose my friends then dope them up on this shit when it is NOT necessary?

By _Blackjack on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 05:43 pm: Edit


My mom and best friend are alive because of Prozac. I'm alive because of Wellbutrin. Nobody says you have to take it, but loathing is awully strong. If you've gotta loath something, loathe the illnesses that make such drugs neccesary.

By _Blackjack on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 05:39 pm: Edit


Oops. I know it was one of the long-time regulars. Maybe Rabid/tt?

By _Blackjack on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 05:36 pm: Edit


Prozac and other chemical antidepressant just turn peoples off so they wont go hysteric or jump down the bridge. They are off. Mentaly, physicaly and eventualy they slowly lose their soul.

Well, you are just wrong here. If anything, it's the other way around. Without my meds, I am off. I have no emotions except for occasional bouts of panic and self-loathing. I enjoy nothing, desire nothing, do nothing. When I'm on the right meds, I am capable of a full range of emotions in response to the appropriate events. If a pet dies, I feel sad. If I discover a cool new toy, I am giddy. When I recovered from my last extended episode, when the meds finally kicked in, the response from my loved ones was "it's good to have Jack back," not "he's drugged into complacancy."

There are some people who get a flattened affect due to SPECIFIC drugs, but, well, they should not be on those specific drugs, and their doctors should be ashamed of themselves. The older tricyclic antidepressants, and mood stablizers like lithium were bad for this, but these have fallen out of favor for exactly that reason. No good doctor would accept simply keeping the patient subdued, unless they were so far gone that there was no alternative. And no patient should stand for not feeling as normal, as much like themselves, as they possibly can.

Marketing Prozac for premature ejaculation? Heh, that's kinda like swatting flies with a jackhammer. It would work, I suppose, but is NO ejaculation better than PREMATURE ejaculation? Not only does it prevent orgasm, it usually dulls the sex drive and can cause erectile dysfunction...

Which sorta reinforces my point: depression is a state so horribly unpleasant that people willingly give up orgasms to make it go away.

By Larsbogart on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 04:19 pm: Edit

vera. there is no truth to the rumor that this boy had just received a shipment from SC. please refrain from planting this seed.
however you might want to rethink your stand on prozac as it is being remarketed for premature ejaculation.

By Verawench on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 03:41 pm: Edit


Could any of you have saved this boy?

By Verawench on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 03:40 pm: Edit

*muttering..* goddamn piece of shit.. let's try again.

By Artemis on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 03:35 pm: Edit


It was not I who had the discussion about insanity with you. I remember it, but I was not involved.

By Verawench on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 03:32 pm: Edit

And I stand by my Prozac loathing.

By Verawench on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 03:31 pm: Edit

Lars, silly Lars. Don't you know?

This forum is famous for turning first posts such as "I have a disturbing rash on my ass" into bandwidth-sucking threads amounting to intellectual piss contests.

By Wolfgang on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 03:19 pm: Edit

I agree.

Prozac and other chemical antidepressant just turn peoples off so they wont go hysteric or jump down the bridge. They are off. Mentaly, physicaly and eventualy they slowly lose their soul. I have seen interesting fucked up people lose their soul because of this crap. My girlfriend completly lost a whole year of her life on it and she can`t remember a thing from this year. "Off" I tell you.

By Larsbogart on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 03:12 pm: Edit


By _Blackjack on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 03:11 pm: Edit

Prozac is hardly a Pollyana pill. Nobody is going to take it for long if it isn't the only alternative to suffering. It makes you sweaty, sleepless and unable to have an orgasm. It is also a godsend, since those side effects are far less than any effective antidepressant that came before it, meaning people who would have otherwise avoided treatment were able to function. As a family, the SSRI's are LESS likely to leave you feeling like an emotionless zombie than any of the older drugs.

Antidepressants don't make you happy. At best, they make you able to be happy, which is impossible when you are suffering from depression.

And it is certainly not comperable to morphine, since it is non-addictive and does not produce euphoria.

By Verawench on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 02:36 pm: Edit

Prozac is the true plague. Damn PolyAnna pill. It's the morphine of our age.

But I guess it's better than smack or excessive religious zeal.

By Verawench on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 02:29 pm: Edit

"Part of this is the prhohibition economy, but I can't imagine my alchie friends ever stealing from me for booze..."

Can you imagine Al Capone?

By _Blackjack on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 01:50 pm: Edit

Obviously Rabid has a point; the unconventional experience of mental (or any other) illness can certainly create perspectives that lead to novel artistic direction. The same can be said for other traumatic things like war, rape, poverty, and death. Had we never fire-bombed Dresden, we wouldn't have had Slaughterhouse Five, but, as much as I love the book, I'd certainly rather 100,000 people hadn't died.

One of the things that I've had to consider is whether, considering my long family history of mental illness, I am willing to take the chance of passing it on to my children. My experince has certainly made me a stronger and more interesting person, but I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 01:30 pm: Edit


Staring death in the face (in my case through my own reckless stupidy, on probability I should have been dead 15 years ago) can also change your outlook, but the experience itself is not at all positive.

True a person will most likely come out of a mental illness a changed person and it can surely put a perspective on what being depressed really means (as opposed to just feeling unhappy or very sad). It certainly caused me to take a whole look at my life and change it (mainly motivated by wanting to try to make as likely as I could that nothing like that should ever happen to me again).

There is nothing positive about being mentally ill. Recovering from any illness (mental or physical) is always positive. Although recovering from either can leave you well fucked up, thankfully in our cases this was not so.


By _Blackjack on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 01:29 pm: Edit


Junkies and alcoholics, no difference except their choice of poison.

Nah, alcoholics tend to be more sociable. You can get drunk with a bunch of friends and have a good time. Shooting up with the lads makes for a dull party.

Seriously, I've known a lot more alcoholics than junkies, and while the drinkers were doing a lot ore damage to their bodies, the junkies were killing their souls. A junk habit is single minded; the only moral determiner is "will this get me junk?" Part of this is the prhohibition economy, but I can't imagine my alchie friends ever stealing from me for booze...

By Mr_Rabid on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 12:54 pm: Edit

Hobby, I disagree.

Much of what is worth a damn about me came about as a direct result of my reaction to my own mental illness.

Likening it to cancer- A person who survives it may come out much stronger (mentally) than they were before it happens.

As far as the creativity goes, I can't say one way or another. I was too young when the voices started to know what it is like to live without them and be creative.

But here is a perspective you might find interesting- people with mental illness are internally different than people without. Their perceptions differ, and so then will the content of their creative efforts.

They may not be more or less creative, but what they create draws much more notice for it's difference.

"This is my picture of happy puppies!" "That's nice dear."

"This is my picture of the blood in my veins leaping out and trying to strangle mommy with her favorite necklace." "That's very creative dear."

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 12:20 pm: Edit


"How else can it be that about 1/3 of schoolchildren are fed with drugs, half of them to treat their "attention deficit disorder" and to cool them down, the other half to treat their depressive lazyness and to energize them to "keep up with what is the normal pace of life".

Where did you get that statistic from as it is not true. I am a teacher in an 'average' class. I have 34 children, one takes Ritalin for ADHD/ADD, one carries an insulin pen (nut allergy) and a couple of other take Asthma inhalers. I know exactly what drugs they all take (at least legally). The idea that society pumps school children full of drugs to make them easier to control is utter garbage.

Have you ever seen a child that has forgotten to take his/her Ritalin that morning? Running around thumping other children and biting members of staff is fairly typical behaviour. Is this behaviour in the child's best interests (let alone in the interests of other children)? Will this behaviour aid his learning or benefit him socially? More likely to have him ending up out of the mainstream and into a 'special school'. Whereas on Ritalin these children are perfectly well adjusted, normal children. Anyone who says that ADHD is not a real illness is talking through their ass.


By Admin on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 12:16 pm: Edit

It's not necessarily a positive correlation, but it does exit. The a-typical dysfunctional artist is a very miserable creature. Nothing romantic about it.

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 12:05 pm: Edit

This link between depression and creativity is crap. I used to believe in all this "creative-depressive" nonsense and all this "mental illness is just unconventional behaviour" rubbish until I suffered a bout of 12 months acute depression, the worst year of my life (thank God for Seroxat I say)(as for ongoing chronic depression, that must be hell on earth) and then a few years later I saw a close relative suffer another mental illness. There is NOTHING positive whatsoever about mental illness, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. It's about as positive and beneficial as cancer.


By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 11:50 am: Edit


"Secondly, creative people tend to experiment with mind and mood altering substances...this seems to be born out of a need to search for relief from the "demons" in their heads or to try to find equilibrium and correct the mental imbalance

LH, the second point supports the idea that absinthe IS connected to creativity...especially since absinthe is more that just booze."

Come on Artist, does that mean that everyone who drinks alcohol does so in order to fulfil a creative urge? Most people drink absinthe for the same reasons they like drinking other types of booze, because they like the taste of it and they like drunk on it.

As for other 'mind-altering drigs' does every smack-head and crack addict get wasted out of an urge to enhance their creativity? Have you ever met any real junkies (they're not like Lou Reed or Kurt Cobain you know)? Junkies and alcoholics, no difference except their choice of poison.

Perhaps you should put away your Pink Floyd albums and stop fantasising about how Van Gogh and Oscar Wilde recieved a creative burst from the Green Fair (much as Wilde may have enjoyed the experience).

Perhaps the next time SC recieve my order they'll refuse to send it to me because I have no art portfolio to show them?


By _Blackjack on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 11:02 am: Edit

Not exactly. The present theory of the etiology of ADD (supported by recent advances in medical imaging) is that it is a dysfunction in the rate of production and uptake of dopamine in the brain. The brains of people with ADD tend to maintain much lower levels of dopamine in their synapses. Amphetamines and catecholamine reuptake inhibitors like Ritalin increase the levels of domaine availible for transmission to more normal levels.

Obviously amphetamine is an abused drug (which is why I have to get a new prescription in writing every month), but it is used therapeutically by millions of people without major difficulty. It's abuse potential is much lower than that of, say, alcohol...

By Heiko on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 10:24 am: Edit

The people with ADD become calm from amphetamines because their brain, without medication, overreacts in a 'panic' reaction against depressive sleepiness. When the amphetamines treat the underlying sleepiness, the counteraction of the brain stops. At least this is a theory I heard of.

btw. amphetamines are also taken by a lot of people as a recreational drug and almost half of the ecstasy pills sold on the streets are pure amphetamines (speed) - it doesn't make you behave as stupid as mdma, you're clear minded and still full of joy and energy, that's why people often like it better (you want to be cool, not behave stupidly when you're in cool club, right?)

By _Blackjack on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 09:50 am: Edit


Sir, respectfully, you are mistaken. While the link may poorly understood, it nonetheless exists. This has been noted in many books and publications. Here are some prime examples:

You will find that none of these studies go beyond demonstrating correlation, which may IMPLY a link, but it does not prove one in the absence of some observable mechanism. It is speculation and no reputable scientist would go any further than that, especially since we have no objective means of measuring creativity.

By _Blackjack on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 09:44 am: Edit


(it often is the same as ecstasy, only labelled differently).

While Ecstasy is a form of methamphetamine, it is not the "same" as the amphetamines used to treat ADD. The little methylinedeoxy- attached to the methaphetamine to make MDMA (ecstasy) gives it properties totally unlike those of conventional amphetamines. While amphetamines work primarily by mimicing the functions of norepinephrine, and stimulating release of dopamine, MDMA adds the ability to cause the sudden release of HUGE amounts of serotonin into the brain, accounting for the intense feelings of well-being and sensory distortion, not to mention the crash of exhaustion when the serotonin runs out.

At therapeutic doses, the amphetamines and other stimulants given to people with ADD do NOT create the sort of rush and euphoria that drug abusers seek. A great many of those with ADD actually get the opposite effect from the drugs, becoming calm or even sleepy.

As well, children treated for ADD are statisitically LESS likely to become drug addicts in later life than children with ADD who go untreated, simply because they are less likely to engage in the sort of impulsive behavior that is caused by the disorder.

By _Blackjack on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 09:34 am: Edit


How else can it be that about 1/3 of schoolchildren are fed with drugs, half of them to treat their "attention deficit disorder" and to cool them down, the other half to treat their depressive lazyness and to energize them to "keep up with what is the normal pace of life".

That statistic is specious at best. The general consensus is that about 10% of people will suffer from mental illness (usually a single episode) at some point in their life, and less than half of those ever seek any treatment, less still are ever medicated. In the case of children with ADD, it is believed that 3-5% suffer from the disorder to some degree, about 1% are treated, and a fraction of a percent are medicated.

Attention deficit disorder is a very real illness. It isn't just a matter of "cooling them down". Keep in mind that ADD is treated with STIMULANTS, and a kid without ADD will NOT be cooled down by such treatments. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Is ADD misdiagnosed? Yes, but this has far more to do with the diseased state of the healthcare system in the US, where family doctors are pressured to practice outside their specialty rather than send people to specialists qualified to properly diagnose and treat mental illness. Even so, ADD, like other mental illnesses, is stull UNDERdiagnosed and UNDERtreated.

By Heiko on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 08:39 am: Edit

There are people who are definitely having a big problem with mental disorders and are still very productive (take good old Nietzsche for example). Then there are many who know they have some problems here and there but are still able to reflect these and even laugh about them sometimes.
Then there are those who never realize that they are totally crazy - these people are the largest group of humanity and they consider themselves to be "normal".

How else can it be that about 1/3 of schoolchildren are fed with drugs, half of them to treat their "attention deficit disorder" and to cool them down, the other half to treat their depressive lazyness and to energize them to "keep up with what is the normal pace of life".
All along that, they are told "drugs are bad", while their parents and doctors feed them with stuff that is as strong as cocaine and ecstasy (it often is the same as ecstasy, only labelled differently).

Everybody who is self reflective enough to realize all this will know that he is able to shock the "normal" people with his actions because suddenly his morals lack any reference point, there is nothing especially normal to him anymore and he will do as he likes and enjoy it.
This guy will then say "hey I'm crazy and I don't give a fuck!"

By Artist on Monday, January 07, 2002 - 04:12 am: Edit


My work speaks for itself.


Sir, respectfully, you are mistaken. While the link may poorly understood, it nonetheless exists. This has been noted in many books and publications. Here are some prime examples:

Also, I did note that if someone is too far gone, they will not be able to create:

"Firstly, there is a definitive link between mental illness and creativity. (Of course, if someone is too mentally ill, they will not be able to create...)"

By _Blackjack on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 06:20 pm: Edit

I prefer Wellbutrin SR. Now with 70% more orgasms!

By Cheri on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 04:27 pm: Edit

I'm on Prozac.

By Verawench on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 03:32 pm: Edit

Do you really HAVE to miss the point?

Real life is peachy keen. Who the hell has disputed this point? I spent Saturday getting a lovely new tattoo and enjoying my SC shipment with friends. Now I'm here bullshitting about art like there's no tomorrow. Why shoud I have to prove jackshit, especially to you?

As long as you're here AT ANY POINT posting bullshit like the rest of us, you're choking on your own sermon, PeeVee.

By Verawench on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 03:25 pm: Edit


By Perruche_Verte on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 03:18 pm: Edit

Tried a very nice Bas-Armagnac last night, Grassa et Fils VSOP. Took it to a Twelfth Night party, packed with puppeteers, banjo pickers, doumbek thumpers, Balkan accordion players, cherries jubilee-flamers and other riff-raff. Before this stunning company drained the bottle (took about an hour) I drank a couple of earthquakes made with NS70 -- not bad for the purpose, but I don't intend on repeating it.

Thank god the best of life is lived offline. I'll bullshit about art (and put up with bullshit about art) any day, but you show your creativity in what you do, not how you talk about it.

By Verawench on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 03:07 pm: Edit

I find most talented artists suffer not from "crippling" mental illness such as schitzophrenia, but from various forms of depression, manic, chronic, etc.

This I've noticed from experience: depression itself is akin to what we think of as the "artistic temperament": it produces a heightened sensitivity to one's environment, a hyperemotional state, exaggeration, symbolism, grand pessimism...

The creative impulse is the mind's natural attempt to "unburden" the mind of the disease. Art making has been successfully used to treat depression among the terminally ill or those recovering from long illness.

Artistic talent is NOT a neat little side effect to being depressed. It's a desperate and often subconscious attempt at healing.

By _Blackjack on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 02:48 pm: Edit

Artemis (I think) and I have been through this one before. What it comes to, from my perspective, is that there is a very distinct difference between being eccentric or artistic and being truly ill. Those with real mental illnesses are not able to function in any meaningful sense. They cannot support themselves and they cannot maintain produtive relationships with others. There is nothing romantic or admirable about that.

Are there some people who, despite otherwise crippling mental illness, manage to do great things? Sure, but they are the exceptions, and most of them had long periods when they wer NOT being productive, and far too many killed themselves rather than continue to suffer.

Would we have come out ahead had the Blue Period not been quite so blue, but we had gotten an extra 20 years of artistic development from Van Gogh?

I will contest Artist's claim of a "definitive link" between creativity and mental illness. Sure, there does seem to be a rather large overlap, but the mechanisms of mental illness, let alone those of creativity, are far too poorly undestood to claim a deinitive link. There are many, many more mentally ill people who spend their lives in solitude and despair than who ever create anything of note, and an awful lot of creative people who are, in fact, quite stable and balanced members of society.

By Tavarua on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 02:42 pm: Edit

This subject has taken an evil turn.

By Mr_Rabid on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 02:13 pm: Edit

Insanity as in wackiness vs illness depends upon your point of view, your criteria of definition.

Consider the terms- chemical imbalance. Personality disorder.

In other words, conditions we don't find fit our definition of 'proper.' An arbitrary definition, entirely.

Is a berserker imbalanced? That depends- is he on a battlefield in 500AD, or is he in line ahead of you at the store?

Is an artist given to wild fits of creativity and unrestricted behaviour insane? Depends- are you in Belle Epoch France, or the Chinese Cultural Revolution?

All fucking arbitrary, and the causes of the behaviour don't mean a damn thing. It can be personal choice, a larger amount of seratonin (or smaller) than usual, how you reacted to a movie you saw that one time at band camp.

Doesn't mean a thing unless the person in question no longer wants to be mad, or the society he is in no longer wants him to be.

By Wolfgang on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 01:14 pm: Edit

I know many "artists" who talks alot about art but very few who actualy DO something. Like nuns talking about sex. That's just plain sad and boring.

By Verawench on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 01:13 pm: Edit


By Perruche_Verte on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 01:07 pm: Edit


By Artist on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 12:35 pm: Edit

One of my very favorites (and something every artist should know...):


There is a vitality, a life force,

a quickening that is translated through you into action,

And because there is only one of you in all time,

this expression is unique.

And if you block it, it will never exist though any other medium and (will) be lost.

The world will not have it.

It is not your business to determine how good it is; Nor how valuable it is;

nor how it compares with other expressions.

It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.

You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.

You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you.

Keep the channel open.

No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction at anytime.

There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction,

a blessed unrest keeps us marching and makes us more alive than others.

Martha Graham to Agnes De Mille

By Artist on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 12:05 pm: Edit

A few thoughts:

Firstly, there is a definitive link between mental illness and creativity. (Of course, if someone is too mentally ill, they will not be able to create...)

Secondly, creative people tend to experiment with mind and mood altering substances...this seems to be born out of a need to search for relief from the "demons" in their heads or to try to find equilibrium and correct the mental imbalance - or - they are searching for other/altered views of reality to kindle the way they express their creativity (this goes hand in hand with the fact that creative people tend to see things in different ways from ordinary people).

(LH, the second point supports the idea that absinthe IS connected to creativity...especially since absinthe is more that just booze.)

artist (and I do not use this moniker loosely *grin*).

By Verawench on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 11:46 am: Edit

Absinthe is just booze. Absinthe drinkers are artists, pundits, story-tellers, homebrewers, teachers, government employees, sadist, masochists, enterpreneurs, and, can't forget, assholes.

I myself have beeing wishing/hunting for those creative absinthe-drinkin' types. More perfect still, I'd like a place for them to converge.

By Admin on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 11:20 am: Edit


Absinthe is just booze and it's drinkers are just booze drinkers.

*sniff* you've found me out.

By Lordhobgoblin on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 10:35 am: Edit

Do we consider 'insanity' to mean being wacky, unconventional and eccentric or do we consider 'insanity' to mean suffering from a mental illness? The two things are entirely different. Suffering from a mental illness is as much a disease as suffering from cancer, it's not normal and it's definitely not arty or cool. On the other hand being eccentric is entirely normal and probably ought to be encouraged. Whether one is eccentric or not is relative, whether one is mentally ill or not is not relative.

As for 'the world of absinthe', well 'the world of absinthe' is not synonymous with this board (unless only a couple of hundred people worldwide drink absinthe). It is about sitting down and enjoying a few glasses of a tasty green (or even red) booze with friends (or on your own if you prefer). Absinthe has got nothing to do with arty, creativity on the net (or elsewhere). Absinthe is just booze and it's drinkers are just booze drinkers.


By Petermarc on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 10:27 am: Edit

'are we having fun yet?'

-zippy the pin-head

By Verawench on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 09:57 am: Edit

"Would you prefer it to do that?"

No, I'm just looking for an alternative. I'm asking nothing from the likes of you.

By Perruche_Verte on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 09:49 am: Edit

Ridiculous. Most of the "world of absinthe" doesn't spend its life hooked up to the Borg, excuse me, the Net, transmitting Photoshop images 24/7. Would you prefer it to do that?

What kind of one-dimensional life would that be?

By Verawench on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 07:47 am: Edit

Lars is, in ill-phrased and naive narrative, pointing out the lack of what he, myself and a few others miss terribly in the world of absinthe.

Ability to create freely, madly and excessively.

By Larsbogart on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 06:00 am: Edit

marccampbell they are having a blue light special on sense of humor at k mart. i suggest you buy one, and while your at it you might want to get your eyes checked. no need to respond to this insult as i would ignore it. love larsbogart

By Chrysippvs on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 02:28 am: Edit

"Aliquando et insanire incundum est."


By Artist on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 01:24 am: Edit

I'll drink to that...hic.

By Perruche_Verte on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 01:18 am: Edit

Insanity is relative.

In the former Soviet Union, political dissidents were called "insane" and were sent away to mental hospitals for "treatment".

Nixon's men stole the notes of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist after he released the Pentagon Papers, trying to dig up something to discredit him. Ooh, don't believe anything he says -- he's seeing a therapist. He's "mentally ill". Insane.

Autistic people used to be considered "insane" until it was discovered that they simply learn, communicate and perceive things in a much different way than most of us do.

I'll drink to insanity.

By Artist on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 12:45 am: Edit

Sanity is a relative thing...(does that mean my relatives are insane???)...

If you are the only one who knows you are insane and you cover it up because you know society would lock you up if they knew what you really thought, does that make you sane?


By Admin on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 12:18 am: Edit

Do you mean knowing yer crazy when you are, or worrying about how well you look in a straight jacket?

By Marccampbell on Saturday, January 05, 2002 - 11:45 pm: Edit

can you be self-consciously insane?

By Mr_Rabid on Saturday, January 05, 2002 - 11:41 pm: Edit

Larsgobart, I see where you are coming from- seeing people stuck in ruts, in patterns makes me feel the same way.

Marc, people express breaking norms as 'insanity' like Larsgobart did sometimes-I got his meaning and it didn't bother me a bit.

Did you take offense on behalf of the insane, or just to be pedantic? I mean, shit man. Last thing I'd expect of you.

I've spent a lot of my life mad as a hatter (literally, that is) and it didnt' bug me.

Which isn't to say it shouldn't bother you either... babbling now aren't I?

By Crosby on Saturday, January 05, 2002 - 11:01 pm: Edit

One amongst many. Back to lurking.

By Marccampbell on Saturday, January 05, 2002 - 10:44 pm: Edit

the truly insane don't discuss insanity as though it were some kind of parlor game or hip intellectual accessory.

insanity is not a pose, its an affliction.
insanity is not an artform, it is an illness.
you are not insane, you are a poseur...and not a very interesting one.

By Larsbogart on Saturday, January 05, 2002 - 08:37 pm: Edit

i tried to bring a little more inspiration/insanity to a place where there should be some. after all, isnt that how absinthe got a bad rap? and what is wrong with insanity..some good healthy insanity?
i would hate to think that the absinthe forum is devoid of insanity as that is all we really have left here in the usa. anything thats worth it anyway. i cherish it. i know that someday soon here on this soil ..if things continue like they have... it will be the insane ones that will save us/you.

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