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Old 05-10-2013, 11:06 PM   #1
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Brain Hacking (Nootropics etc)

Anyone have any experience with cognitive enhancers?

I saw a news article recently publicising the use of Modafinil (Narcolepsy drug) by students in UK universities to be able to study for longer and take the information in more easily.
I've long been reading up on Psychology and things like that to better understand who i am as a person, and stumbled upon a wealth of things people are taking instead of going to their doctors.

I've been suffering from Anxiety Neurosis since about July (I've been Neurotic as far as i can remember, anxiety is a recent development) and this is what sparked me to start looking into the various legal stuff i can shove into my body.

I messed around with various Benzodiazepines (the research variety, bought over the net) and they worked very well for my anxiety and helping me get to sleep, but i like reading up on things, and read that longer than 2 weeks usage can lead to dependence and rebound anxiety and insomnia. This lead to me alternating between said Benzos and first generation Antihistamines (Antihistamines mainly for sleep, wonderfully sedating) because they act on different receptor sites within the brain, so 2 weeks of one then the other gave each receptor type time to recover and thus i've avoided dependence so far.

Now i'm noticing that my cognitive abilities and memory are suffering with prolonged usage of the above, so i'm trying yet something else, 5-HTP.

It's pretty much like an SSRI antidepressant you can get from the doctors only it's available OTC, just started on that stuff today, and so far no anxiety or cognitive impairment, it's also got Rhodeola Rosea and L-Theanine mixed in with it, all designed to support mood.

All being well i can take this long term to ward off the anxiety, but now i want to become smarter! or at least make learning easier to be able advance myself in life. I've never been able to take stuff in easily, always relying on repetition for learning things, i was never very academic growing up, yet i have significantly above average intelligence (figure that one out!)

So for cognitive enhancement, i've stumbled upon Piracetam (more specifically the Racetam family in general) and one that's supposedly powerful and available OTC is Pramiracetam. It does have the disadvantage of depleting the bodies supply of Choline, so supplementation will be needed to take care of that.

Anyone have any experience with cognitive/memory/intelligence enhancers?

I'll hopefully keep this thread updated with my experiences, unless it gets deleted because of drug talk (i've not mentioned nor dabbled in anything illegal)
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:26 AM   #2
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Why go the chemical route?
It's not the only way to influence brain function.

Google 'binaural beats'. Basically, some dood, back in 1800s, tinkered with playing super low frequencies into your ears, but at a lower frequency than what your ears can process. It was found that certain frequencies, did different things, sleep, calming, concentration, pain relief etc etc, and then discovered that the noises stimulated hormone release / production.

You do need a good set of headphones, and by good, I mean very good. But otherwise it's free.

Binaural beats - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Old 06-10-2013, 10:39 AM   #3
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There's a lot of fake science in that Wikipedia document, for example, there is no 'alpha range' in the audio spectrum.
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:20 PM   #4
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Lol, Wikipedia was just a quick explanation, as always, use a ton of salt.

Google is your friend. All I know, I have various mp3s, and the do what they say, especially the sleep one

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Old 06-10-2013, 04:42 PM   #5
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I believe they've successfully reproduced "the brown note" too ..
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Old 06-10-2013, 05:54 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Judge View Post
I believe they've successfully reproduced "the brown note" too ..

Not according to Mythbusters!

As for the drugs question, it's important to remember that all drugs have some sort of side effect. The ones you've mentioned are known to be pretty addictive - you may think that just taking them in short doses isn't a problem but it's no unheard of for people to get addicted from the first dose. If there's any way you can avoid drugs, my advice would be steer clear. If there's a need for drugs, see your doctor first as they will know of any side effects, reactions with other drugs and other factors which may come into play.
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
Why go the chemical route?
It's not the only way to influence brain function.

Google 'binaural beats'. Basically, some dood, back in 1800s, tinkered with playing super low frequencies into your ears, but at a lower frequency than what your ears can process. It was found that certain frequencies, did different things, sleep, calming, concentration, pain relief etc etc, and then discovered that the noises stimulated hormone release / production.

You do need a good set of headphones, and by good, I mean very good. But otherwise it's free.

Binaural beats - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk 4

I'll look into that, thanks! I'm somewhat sceptical though, i've tried all sorts of relaxation music, NLP, hypnosis audio and stuff like that, but i'll give the beats a try.

I've got a good set of headphones, they are planar magnetic and go down as low as 5hz so hopefully that's low enough for whatever frequency the beats use.

Originally Posted by Spiny Anteater View Post
Not according to Mythbusters!

As for the drugs question, it's important to remember that all drugs have some sort of side effect. The ones you've mentioned are known to be pretty addictive - you may think that just taking them in short doses isn't a problem but it's no unheard of for people to get addicted from the first dose. If there's any way you can avoid drugs, my advice would be steer clear. If there's a need for drugs, see your doctor first as they will know of any side effects, reactions with other drugs and other factors which may come into play.

The benzos and antihistamines i'm knocking on the head, i've taken the 5-HTP supplement for 2 days now and the effects are nice, feel alert but relaxed at the same time, anxiety has been lessened somewhat.

With the 5-HTP i've not yet noticed any un-desirable side effects, and seems widely regarded as "safe" as well as the Rhodeola Rosea and L-Theanine that's been added. Struggled to sleep last night but i'd imagine that was just a little bit of rebound insomnia while having neither benzodiazepines nor antihistamines in my system, couple more days of that and i should be back to baseline regarding insomnia.

Last time i saw a doctor regarding my problems he offered me benzodiazepines right off the bat (Xanax/Alprazolam) but i declined at the time, and looking back i'm glad i did, it's right nasty stuff with a half-life of upto 20 hours, i wouldn't know where i was if i was on that stuff, not great if you want to be alert or motivated or clear headed, that's why i ended up looking at the research benzodiazepines, they had far fewer negative side effects compared to Xanax, but anyways i decided to self medicate and now i've packed in the Benzo's, they are no long term solution.

I know if i went back to the doctors i would be offered Z-drugs next, they are slightly less addictive than benzodiazepines but with all the same side effects, i'd rather get to something useful straight away than have a GP cycling me through god knows how many different drugs before he found the "right" one.

Anyway, the only dubious one that is left on my list is the group of Racetams, I've ordered some Pramiracetam online as well as a choline supplement, reading up on Racetams in general there seem to be no serious side effects apart from the risk of slight headache.

So hopefully everything i'm taking now won't cause me any harm and will keep me on the straight and narrow with regards to mental wellbeing.

I'll update in a couple of weeks, let you know if i start feeling like einstein. The last IQ test i took i scored 126 about 4 or 5 years ago, so i'll be keen to see if i can beat that.
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:20 PM   #8
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OK bit of an update, i took an IQ test (Proper Stanford-Binet format) and not some gimmicky facebook or appstore rubbish and i scored an impressive 145 (world average being around 100)

With everything i'm taking, it's not really like a noticeable effect, just that thought processing seems a lot easier, mind is clear and quiet, hard to describe but it's like the mind is in a state of readiness. Stuff that sometimes takes a lot of thought i seem to process more quickly, i draw a conclusion once most of the time without having to think about it a second time to verify my first thought.

Anxiety and depression have vanished for the most part, just feel a little bit off in the morning before i take anything.

For anyone interested, the following is a list of the supplements / drugs that i'm taking, from the research that i've done all are perfectly safe. If you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking any prescription medication then consult with your doctor first before taking these.

Berocca every morning: Berocca Vitamin B Orange Effervescent 15 Tablets: none: Amazon.co.uk: Health Beauty

5-HTP, Rhodeola Rosea and L-Theanine complex, 2 tablets every morning: FORZA Super 5-HTP 200mg - Serotonin Booster Beauty

Noopept (Racetam derivative), one in the morning and one mid-afternoon: High Strength Noopept Tablets - 30mg x 100 Phoenix Nutrition PN1011 | eBay

Alpha GPC (Choline supplement, Racetams deplete the bodies supply of Choline and so needs to be replaced), 2 tablets every morning: Now Foods Alpha Gpc, 60 Vcaps, 300 Mg: Amazon.co.uk: Health Beauty

I opted for Noopept over Pramiracetam because it's both cheaper and far more potent, so the Pramiracetam will probably sit on a shelf for now.
It should be noted that Noopept is lipid soluble, so it needs to be taken with a source of fat. Half a glass of whole milk or a slice of buttered toast should do the trick.

I feel very much human again now i'm taking all this stuff, i'll post again in the future if i suffer any noteworthy side-effects.

If you have any exams or tests coming up then this stuff will let you extract the most from yourself, focusing on things seems really easy.
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Old 12-10-2013, 05:54 PM   #9
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Hate to be the stick in the mud but you say you're taking them for Anxieties and Depression, have you considered seeing a counsellor and try to deal with it head on rather than medicate your way out?

Medication is sometimes just a way to cover up the underlying issue and it'll come back if you stop... facing up to your **** is easier said than done, I know! but be careful pumping yourself full of that **** all the time! Having said that if you do see a counsellor they might also recommend medication but its something to consider anyway.
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Old 12-10-2013, 07:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Hyped Hamster View Post
Hate to be the stick in the mud but you say you're taking them for Anxieties and Depression, have you considered seeing a counsellor and try to deal with it head on rather than medicate your way out?

Medication is sometimes just a way to cover up the underlying issue and it'll come back if you stop... facing up to your **** is easier said than done, I know! but be careful pumping yourself full of that **** all the time! Having said that if you do see a counsellor they might also recommend medication but its something to consider anyway.

I know i should see a doctor really but i don't feel too bad now, i'll probably go see them if the symptoms come back or i need to stop taking any of these for any reason. Doctors a last resort for me, i don't want to be put on sedatives (Pretty much every drug for anxiety is either sedating, or lessens your cognitive abilities, like a chemical lobotomy) And then there are tolerance issues, every anti-anxiety drug i've read about leads to tolerance/dependence, really not a road i want to go down.

The anxiety is pretty generalised, it's just a feeling of impending doom, there's no object or cause for it, so i don't think CBT would help, exposure therapy falls under CBT but again, expose me to what? It's a general feeling. When anxious it's not about something in particular.

The anxiety is just a symptom of Neuroticism and there isn't a cure for Neuroticism. It's just the way i'm wired up and something i've got to live with.
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Old 12-10-2013, 08:26 PM   #11
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It's your brain Screamie,
but I'd suggest that you've got enough to contend with without adding this pseudo nonsense to your bathroom cabinet.

I'm not sure if your looking for a fellow tester or just some validation,
but I'm sure you find neither on this board.

No offence meant Screamie & I hope you get where you want to be.
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Old 12-10-2013, 11:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Judge View Post
It's your brain Screamie,
but I'd suggest that you've got enough to contend with without adding this pseudo nonsense to your bathroom cabinet.

I'm not sure if your looking for a fellow tester or just some validation,
but I'm sure you find neither on this board.

No offence meant Screamie & I hope you get where you want to be.

None taken, and not at all

Just a place to write down my issues and experiences and if anyone wants to try stuff then good for them, maybe it'll help someone in the future.
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