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Observations placeholder

Dr S - Goes out of body on Modafinil & Sleep Deprivation EROWID



Type of Spiritual Experience


Modafinil is a vigilance promoting drug (or eugeroic) that is approved by the United States' Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of the wakefulness disorders of narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness associated with obstructive sleep apnea. In English-speaking countries it is sold under the brand names: Alertec (CA), Modavigil (AU, NZ) and Provigil

A description of the experience

Dr S - Epiphany, It Seemed - Modafinil & Sleep Deprivation EROWID [edited for brevity]

Hello, I am a 24 year old medical doctor from India. Am preparing for a residency in my favorite field. This is a rather 'subjective' account from my personal entry of what happened today
Modafinil use with varying dose and schedules since long. Stopping and re-starting modafinil use many times. I get easy supply of these tablets at easy cost too. The brand here is 'modalert from sun pharma'. Also, have been using melatonin only for less than a week. I dont think it contributed to the event. I probably had too much modafinil which kept my mind wide awake but body totally fatigued at time of incident.

Ocober 22, 2008  - Entry time: 5:33pm

This for me, is a life changing experience. UNDERSTANDING in its purest form. Just 'bestowed' on me, just like that. OK, I did think a lot about this and am trying to put it in detail, which may seem too irrelevant and subjective. But, I feel it was a series of events which led to this.

Always, I have had my mind open to the validity of the non-physical realms or dimensions of existance. ….But what happened today, is of such magnitude, I dont know what word to use now... nearest word would be 'profound'. Even using this word would be to downplay its magnitude.

Here is the buildup to this day. January and february of 2008 were mind-hurting months. A lot of things went wrong, some due to my faults, some due to others', and some due to no fault of none at all. But I did go on. May 11th was another important day. Things went wonderfully during the exam. I was really beginning to feel that things were finally going well. But all of a sudden, a shocker came on May 26 when I found out that I was not in the rank list again. Then, it was like a blow to my brain. on with the description.

Then came June 29, another academic failure. This time I didnt feel that bad at all. Suddenly I realised around mid-july that I was needing around 8-9 hours of sleep and at times even 12hrs a day. Didnt have the energy to move around as briskly as I could. I even had tried making a temporary return to my art, there I felt my creativity was dead. Couldnt go on a walk too. I used to switch off my phone to prevent people from calling me. It was a vicious cycle that I was in. And I knew, I qualified for the DSM-IV criteria for atypical depression.

 I didnt tolerate SSRI well. I did something on my own then. I got myself modafinil. Started taking 100mg during mornings. ... I was steady with the drug and the dose. I was happy because caffeine would have caused me horrible palpitations if I had to take it enough to match just 100mg of modafinil.

Suddenly appetite picked up. Got back in control of 'time and situation'. Started eating well. Got less angry, less irritable. There was more of an optimist in me. The energy seemed unlimited. …But there was one big problem with modafinil. It would cause a bit of hyperthermia. … So, I decided to stop modafinil ... Though sleep didnt rebound, there was a revert back to my previous emotional state.

….Depression was now mixed with confusion and anger. There was only one way to go. To …. re-start modafinil. I did so, in a daring 'do or die' way, I just jumped to a triple dose + caffeine + 2 lts of coke. I was a volcano then. …. I started having 200mg doses and went on with a 'sleep once in 48 hrs' routine. … Then around oct 15 I stopped modafinil and started melatonin. … But I again stopped melatonin. …. So modafinil came in again since oct 19. Have since then been sleeping around 0-3hrs a day. Eating a lot of food.

Ok here is how.

Yesterday about morning 3am had a 100mg dose.

Then at 8am had a 100mg dose.

Then again at 6pm had a 200mg dose.

Then today at 2am had a 100mg dose and again at 6am had another 100mg dose.

...the body was totally sore. My limbs felt like they were lactic acid containers. My back felt like it would give away unless I rested it.

 I went out at 3am anyways. It was cloudy with just a mild drizzle. So didnt take out an umbrella. …But it started raining very heavily all of a sudden. The raindrops felt like 'punches' on my already tired body.

Went home.. I was totally wet. So sat on the floor instead of a chair.

I got up from where I was sitting. Felt really odd. Felt extremely light. There was no soreness, there was no pain. Strangely felt 'totally well physically and mentally'. Moved a few steps forward and I felt it was totally effortless. There was no sensation of my feet touching the ground. I went on and suddenly felt like 'I should place those notes on the table or else I may not find it again'. I turned back and I was astonished. I saw MYSELF THERE. I saw myself next to the notes and I saw myself asleep on the floor and IT WAS ABSOLUTE SENSORY OVERLOAD for me. I was standing and yet I was looking at myself lying asleep/unconscious on the floor.

… I was out of my own body. Was now moving around the room at will. Flying in mid air. Passing hand through walls. Taking it back. Now I slowly descended and sat near computer. Looking at my pathetic-looking body totally drenched in water lying on the floor with one of 'his/my' hands grabbing on to a page of the notebook. Now I was sitting on a chair. It was like I couldnt feel the sensation of sitting on an object. It was a 'position in space', thats all. Just calmly looked at the clock. It was going really slow. One second seemed like 6 seconds or so. Thoughts came without effort. My mind was able to experience many many thoughts at the same time. Things as they are, the current state of the universe. The detail was thrown into me. I did seem to comprehend and even felt the thirst for 'knowledge' being quenched. The satisfaction of comprehending all and how it is neither permanent nor non-existant. It was like thinking in a higher level and a person swimming in a pond being thrown into an ocean. So much to know, everything about everything was getting known.

Also with it came the occasional funny feeling of 'is this all this is about?', then occasionally 'it's much complex than I thought', then the paradox of complexity and simplicity coexisting. Then, I looked at myself on the floor again and felt that 'me' was okay as I was just like any other sleeping person. Breathing was seen, that was enough! I was not 'dead'. Just sat there and relaxed. Enjoyed the rapid thoughts and slow time. Kept flowing into my mind, many many realities. The non-permanency and permanency of every human action. And occasional 'things' coming into mind which were even more complicated that I could only get an abstract of it being something huge. But used to understand their importance.

It was like a person watching only DD-1 on a black and white TV with antenna suddenly being exposed to satellite TV. Infact thats too simplistic a comparison…

Then kept silently 'being aware' of time and space... time having been slowed, and space looking more detailed and the room looking detailed as if I was looking through higher than normal vision. To look around was very easy. No need to turn the head. Visual field was 'however I needed it'. It used to converge into details of one thing at times and at times entire visual field would enlarge to 360 degrees in the X, Y and Z axes. That too with foveal type non-blurred vision throughout the field. Objects looked nothing more than 'mere yet immense pieces of existance'. A 'vicks vaporub' would look insignificant at one moment and when looked at, would start giving more details about itself, …

Then came thoughts like 'what am I doing here?', who am I and who is the 'I' lying on the floor so pathetic and vulnerable. But there seemed to be a purpose.


Now more than anything questions kept pressuring me. I started feeling tense and suddenly in a second was 'lying with eyes half open on floor in the cold drenched clothes and sore limbs and such.'... Slowly got up. Had such a big smile I probably felt my lips stretch and crack! Had a 'hold of the situation'. Felt there is so much to go on. There is so much to know. Not just for a lifetime, but for an eternity. The only way to enjoy all of it is to 'behold and appreciate'.

My own analysis: It couldnt be cerebral in origin. If so, there would be millions of enlightened people around the world. Something beyond the 'brain' as a seat of thinking and comprehension. Maybe it was the 'modafinil induced wakefullness' combined with the severe fatigue-induced physical tiredness that led me to step out.

I am starting to forget much of it. There is still a feeling of 'satisfaction' but am unable to find out 'about what'... there is a 'sensation' about it, but no words I know to describe it.

Anyways, much to ponder over. Time seems to be flowing normally now. I wish I could slow it down again :)

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