Posted by pinksharkmark (126.96.36.199) on July 06, 2001 at 13:27:00:
In Reply to: Hallucinogenics and cluster headaches posted by James on July 06, 2001 at 11:05:35:
The first issue is... did your LSD experience hasten the onset of your CH?
Short answer: improbable, but not impossible.
Current research suggests strongly that the reason we are clusterheads is due to a structural defect in our hypothalamus which causes the level of serotonin in our brains to fluctuate wildly. What is still unknown is WHY this defective hypothalamus doesn't start misbehaving from birth. We have reports of clusterheads who started getting hit at age 4, and others who didn't get hit until age 63.
Due to the enormous impact this disease has had on our lives, it is natural for us to review the time immediately before our first attack in the hopes of finding some noticeable change that might have caused this disaster. This is just the way we humans, as problem-solvers, are programmed.
Some here are firmly convinced that a head or neck injury (in some cases one that occurred DECADES before the attacks started) is the reason they have CH.
Others will swear that : "I was perfectly fine until...
... I bore my first child"
... I stopped bearing children"
... I entered menopause"
... I started smoking"
... I stopped smoking"
... I started drinking"
... I stopped drinking"
... I had pneumonia (or candida or whatever other disease)"
... I took XYZ drug to cure my pneumonia (or other disease)"
... I had surgery"
... I took a high-stress job"
... I had my wisdom teeth removed"
... I moved to the tropics"
... I (fill in the blank)"
Do ANY of the above factors hasten the onset of CH? Improbable, but not impossible. The thing is, NONE of these life experiences are uncommon. For example, ANYONE who was a normal child and/or played sports has almost certainly been whacked on the head at some point in their life.
Let me use myself as an example. Every one of these things happened to me (except of course bearing children and entering menopause)... some before CH manifested itself, some after. As it happened, my first attack occurred after a few years in a very high-pressure job. If that is, in fact, what caused the onset of my CH, why didn't it show up in the first year of that job? Or the second or third year? Is it correct to presume that if I had remained in a low-stress job my CH would have remained dormant?
Why didn't I get CH eight years earlier when I banged my head on the steering wheel of my car and blacked out? Others did. Why didn't I get CH ten years earlier when I underwent a complicated procedure to remove my impacted wisdom teeth? Others did. Why didn't I get CH four years earlier when I had surgery? Others did.
Why didn't it wait five years longer until I got candida? It waited for others until THEY got candida!
Even though all of the examples listed above are commonplace, there are some clusterheads who have never experienced even ONE of them, yet still get CH.
I firmly believe that NONE of these things cause a latent clusterhead to become an active clusterhead. For some reason unknown to us, one day the hypothalamus decides that it is time to start misbehaving. Our lifestyles, no matter how mundane or bizarre they may be, are completely irrelevant.
Back to your LSD experience. There have been messages posted here from people who dabbled in psychedelic drugs for several years, then stopped. Some of them got CH within a year or two. It would be plausible to assert that if they had NEVER done these drugs, they would have had their first CH attack years earlier. In other words, their use of these drugs actually DELAYED the onset of CH. Given what we know from the experiences posted here of people using psychedelics to STOP their attacks, this assertion is more likely to be true than to say that if they had never done these drugs, they never would have gotten CH.
In my case, for example, I had stopped all illicit drug use many years before I got my first attack. The fact that you had an unpleasant experience only a month before your first attack is coincidence, nothing more.
I will address the second issue, the "bad trip", in a separate post.
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