Nitrogen narcosis

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johndiver999

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I've never felt anything like the OP described, even at depths that are considerably deeper. I have seen one person, kinda go into a stupor and sit there and do nothing for a period - like he described himself doing. Scared the heck out of me, but we were much deeper.

If this happened at a depth that greatly exceeded recreational depths, I would not be too surprised, but for it to be so severe at 112 feet, that your buddy has to come and "get you and rouse you from a stupor" is pretty concerning.

I would take this incident as a strong warning. Some people do not do well with narcosis. I would stay above 100 feet or something for a long time.

People can be weird and have sudden panic attacks while driving to work in the morning, so I am not so surprised when someone says they had a dark narc and started to feel scared, nervous or uncomfortable, however going into a stupor and having "an out of body experience and going into an immobile state" seems a lot more serious to me.
 

boulderjohn

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Although I know I must have been narced to some degree countless times, I can only think of 3 cases in which I knew I was narced, and one of those was not until the dive was over. In that dive, I had been disappointed because I had not seen what I had hoped to see while in the hold of a shipwreck, but then I saw those things clearly in the video taken by the diver at my side. I must have been staring right at them. In the other two cases, something unusual happened during the dive that made me realize while it was happening that I was being even more stupid than normal. If those unusual things had not happened, I would have surfaced with no thought of having been narced during the dive.

In all 3 cases, then, I only knew I was narced because something unusual made me realize it. How many routine dives have I done in which nothing happened to reveal the extent of my impairment?
 

100days-a-year

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In heavy current swimming down an anchor rope as hard as possible and hand over hand I would stop when below the current or on the bottom to allow my breathing to return to normal. It would take a minute or two but if I didn't even 100' at times the narc was more noticeable. Just taking that time to relax and compose myself made a noticeable difference. When I was past 130' it was critical to do it to lower my C02. Having the easiest breathing reg is also helpful.
 

ScubaBunga

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Although I know I must have been narced to some degree countless times, I can only think of 3 cases in which I knew I was narced, and one of those was not until the dive was over. In that dive, I had been disappointed because I had not seen what I had hoped to see while in the hold of a shipwreck, but then I saw those things clearly in the video taken by the diver at my side. I must have been staring right at them. In the other two cases, something unusual happened during the dive that made me realize while it was happening that I was being even more stupid than normal. If those unusual things had not happened, I would have surfaced with no thought of having been narced during the dive.

In all 3 cases, then, I only knew I was narced because something unusual made me realize it. How many routine dives have I done in which nothing happened to reveal the extent of my impairment?

I would bet a lot more people are narced than they think and just never notice or realize the signs. I had an instructor that never went below 90' as she would get a bit of a buzz feeling. Myself, I've never found out I missed something but when I'm at 120' or so I do realize my reactions are not crisp and I'll notice myself looking at my gauge, seeing and understanding it (as far as I can tell) but not remembering what I saw and having to look again and focus to register everything. I've never come up short of air on a dive so feel good about knowing I register enough (so far). But it's like being really cold, knowing I'm not thinking and processing at 100%. I do love the deeper dives for the changes in landscape, sounds, and generally complete lack of crowds - but always try to focus a bit more than normal when I'm down deeper.
 

Uber Dave

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I've had the feeling of panic a couple of times a depth. The thought kept going thru my head, "I can't breathe thru my nose"! Very strange. I've been diving for years and never thought that. I totally focused on keeping calm and continued the dive with no problem. Weird how the mind works.
 

FL-Jack

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Some people are completely unaffected by it and others act like they ate a quaalude at 90ft. Personally I've been far beyond recreational limits on normal air and have never once felt narked.

OTOH, I have seen many people get real weird down there and not be able to recall much of the dive. The video always surprises them.
 

dmaziuk

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OTOH, I have seen many people get real weird down there and not be able to recall much of the dive. The video always surprises them.

Dunno about the "weird" part but I'm normally unable "to recall much of the dive" later: I don't try memorize every second so I only retain the highlights. And photographs. The rest of it is, we swam around looking at pretty fishes and corals and feeling good, business as usual.
 

mac64

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I think divers who believe they suffered narcosis most likely did. Divers who don’t realise they are suffering narcosis most likely aren’t. Divers who believe on the surface they will suffer narcosis most likely will. And divers that don’t give a damn one way or the other, it isn’t going to bother them.
 

Kay Dee

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I would be interested to know how many folks here who have said they have experinced significant or noticiable narcosis in say the 30m to 40m / 100ft to 130ft range where just diving with no task at hand but to just "have a look around" / regular dive so to speak.

I always found that having a task to perform, specifically still photograpy - while not quite as much with video is it is more often just point, press the 'go' button, and shoot - helped 'focus the mind'. That is, 'manual settings' u/w still photography requires conscious thought to adjust the settings of both camera and flash units at times - somtimes as often as between shots as the situations one was photgraphing changed during the dive / different angles of the same photo - which helped focus the mind and by doing so helped keep narcosis at bay. And repeated exposure to such task focusing demands / mental calculations - as opposed to / not to be confused with task fixation as it were - served me in good stead when I didnt have a camera in hand. I can't speak for others but that was certainly the case for me even consderably deeper.

But again, I am not reccomending deep air diving, just pointing out that one shoe does not fit all with regards narcosis, but does or did fit quite a few prior to trimix and / or CCRs becoming more available / popular.

Anyway, just my two cents worth (recently reduced to one by inflation).
 

mac64

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I can stroll through a shopping centre browsing in the windows for half an hour and not remember a single thing I saw when I go out the door. If I were to dive like that I’d be on here telling everyone I was narked out of my head and couldn’t remember what I was doing ( or in the case of the shopping centre what door I was supposed to meet the wife at) Any diver who believes they are susceptible to narcosis needs to be single minded and meticulous about their dive plan and stick with it. Never allow themselves to be lead around like a dog on a lead aimlessly following the leader. Dealing with narcosis is about control and self awareness, and the ability to carry out the dive independently of others.
 
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