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No more psychedelics: Right?


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Hey, first post. I came from a derealization forum, since that's what has been bothering me the most. A little background on myself: I'm 18, starting college in the fall (studying music therapy/biology/psychology), and a musician. I've always been interested in psychedelics, and just over a year ago, I used LSD. The trip itself was glorious. I felt a sense of peace about everything, nothing mattered but those moments. I still think that to be the best night I've ever had. Four months later, I used LSD again in a completely terrible setting and basically had a negative experience, where I felt as if I were in a void of nothingness. The experience itself was very benign but the feeling of being nothing lingered on and on. I had a few panic attacks after that experience, and talked to a therapist for a bit. I set my mind to other things and forgot about my symptoms, mostly. Then, after six or so months after abstaining from psychedelics, I ate psilocybin mushrooms. I was looking for a healing or transformative experience. Basically, I experienced cosmic consciousness, and felt the most deep bliss for everything. A very incredible experience, though I did not know how to "use" it. I woke up the next morning feeling as down as ever, and particularly derealized. Fast forward to now (~6 months), and I'm at a peak of derealization, or was. A month ago I had a horrifying panic attack while driving to school. Extremely frightening.. I had about five more panic attack type things after this experience, and sought help for it. I thought it was a spiritual crisis, or something from my unconscious trying to express itself. I'm taking 100mg of Zoloft right now, and it just now seems to be working, I think. For the past two days I've felt "normal," aside from the visual disturbances. The reason I decided to look up more on HPPD was because I can't really enjoy looking at stars any more.. the sky is now just an ugly static field. Then I realized that the HPPD is my central problem.

So basically what I'm wondering is, has there ever been someone to be finished with HPPD, use a psychedelic again, and not relapse? I'm extremely interested in psychedelic's psychotherapeutic value, and I honestly would love to use them once again. I'm extremely jealous of Ann and Sasha Shulgin, who've had probably thousands of trips with no ill effects. I'm assuming it's very likely to relapse, and I am saddened I will likely have to put my interest in psychedelics to a standstill. Though, self exploration absolutely is still possible. Carl Jung never used a psychedelic, and has some incredible insights into the psyche. My new therapist wants to do holotropic breathwork with me, not sure how that will turn out. Since it is an altered-state, it might make me feel worse.. anyway, thanks for reading, and please tell me about relapses!

My symptoms:

Extreme rush of fear/derealization, sometimes preceded by deja vu

Depression, mixed in with the derealization. Waking up on the weekends for some reason is extremely difficult.

A very very slight migraine aura type visual "dent" in the center of my vision that takes weeks to go away (haven't had it in a while)

Visual snow & various other things that shouldn't be happening with my vision

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You might be fine... you probably wont. The fact that you are asking the question means you are already worrying about the idea, which usually indicates that it is a bad idea (tripping with this worry will be a bad start anyway) .... It's russian roulette for the mind, as simple as that.

I did hallucinogens and other drugs after every level of hppd until I had a full breakdown..... I'm here, fast approaching my 17th year without any change in visuals and dp/dr. I'm gonna guess that is not something you want :)

Anyway, welcome to the site... there is alot of info that may help you.

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It seems that you want to use pschadelics for the right reasons but don't do it. I would say from what you said that you will probably recover if you stay sober for a few (maybe more) months, but any drug (even alcohol) presents a chance of relapse. With Halucinogens it is almost a certainty that your HPPD will greatly worsen and possibly be permanent. I only tripped once (a little over an eigth of shrooms) and i really wish i could do it again because I feel like it can teach you a lot about yourself and the human mind. However I know that I will never use pshedelics again because it just isn't worth it.

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Like you say, there are so many other ways of exploring consciousness and spirituality (meditation, bodywork, connecting with nature, breathwork etc). As you are experiencing such traumatic effects from using LSD maybe a gentler approach may be more suited for you?

I developed HPPD symptoms about 16 years ago; I got to a place where I accepted my visuals and had no negative associations or psychological problems; just altered visual processing. I used threshold doses (maybe between 1/8 and 1/4 of 'standard' doses) of psychedelics (mostly San Pedro) for consciousness and spiritual development over a period of several years. My visuals typically increased for a couple of months after each dose and then went back to pretty much baseline. Although after several years there has been a mild/moderate increase of visuals - although at the same time, I get more brief periods of clear vision than ever before. There have been times when my fears about my visuals have resurfaced and I have had to work through them again, but I would not describe this as a relapse. These times have been triggered either by lingering effects of psychedlic use or by spending a lot of time reading and thinking about HPPD.

I have recently got into meditating regularly and attending Buddhism classes, and after 5 months of meditating most days I feel I have made more spiritual development than several years of psychedelics, and have decided to let them go. I could never go as deep as I wished with psychedelics as I was concerned about the effect on my vision, and I was aware that I was taking a risk by using them but decided this was an acceptable risk as I was very careful with dosage, set and setting etc and believed I could benefit from the experiences.

I am really glad that I have let psychedelics go. I used to think that 'natural' non-drug methods of consciousness altering were second best and less powerful. I have seen now that this is not the case, and have had some amazing experiences from meditating and dancing. Also, I feel these experiences are much more grounded and I have been able to integrate what I have learned into tangible improvements in my life - more confidence, less anxiety, feeling more embodied and less dissociated.

My opinion is that spiritual use of psychedelics is most suited to those who are 'hard-headed' and unable to 'break through' out of materialistic ways of thinking, or alternatively people who are extremely grounded and psychologically mature and stable. With any spiritual practise there is an element of losing your way, but with psychedelics this risk is relatively much greater. I have seen that I am much more suited to practises that are more gentle, and that I benefit much more from these kind of practises. I also now realise that these practises are gentle but can be equally powerful as psychedelics; they just work in a different way

Reading the problems that you currently experience, I would suggest that you are not in a good place for using psychedelics. Maybe you would benefit more from exploring other practises - especially if you havent tried them before.

Whatever you decide I hope it works for you. Peace and Love :) x

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I know exactly what you mean man. First time I did LSD was hands down the best day of my life. It was amazing. I was just so enthralled by it, I wanted to go deeper into the psychedelic realm. So two weeks later I decided to trip again. The tab that I took HAD to have been at least double dipped, maybe even triple because I tripped my face off. That's the time when I had a bad trip for like an hour. But that did not stop me from trying acid one last time a week later. Towards the end of my final trip I took half a tab and then I stayed up all night in that sort of "cosmic consciousness". Words honestly can't describe that feeling. The only regret I have is that I didn't space the trips out enough, I probably wouldn't have gotten HPPD if I waited 6 months or so between them. I know that I talk about my experiences with lsd waaaay too much on this forum but they're really all I have to hold onto now that I can't take hallucinogens anymore. I've basically been obsessed with acid for the last 5 months. I feel like it contributes to my hppd so I try not to think about that much but its hard. It was also really hard accepting that I'd never be able to trip again. I really wish I listened to more music while on LSD. Sometimes when my anxiety is really bad anywhere I look I think everything's just gonna start making major distortions even though I've never seen distortions for my HPPD. Just put your mind somewhere else when you have thoughts about acid.

Btw what effect has zoloft had on your HPPD?

Edit: And don't even THINK about taking psychedelics ever again. Pyramidic was lucky. Besides, if your DR and anxiety are really bad then you probably won't have a good time anyways.

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I know exactly what you mean man. First time I did LSD was hands down the best day of my life. It was amazing. I was just so enthralled by it, I wanted to go deeper into the psychedelic realm. So two weeks later I decided to trip again. The tab that I took HAD to have been at least double dipped, maybe even triple because I tripped my face off. That's the time when I had a bad trip for like an hour. But that did not stop me from trying acid one last time a week later. Towards the end of my final trip I took half a tab and then I stayed up all night in that sort of "cosmic consciousness". Words honestly can't describe that feeling. The only regret I have is that I didn't space the trips out enough, I probably wouldn't have gotten HPPD if I waited 6 months or so between them. I know that I talk about my experiences with lsd waaaay too much on this forum but they're really all I have to hold onto now that I can't take hallucinogens anymore. I've basically been obsessed with acid for the last 5 months. I feel like it contributes to my hppd so I try not to think about that much but its hard. It was also really hard accepting that I'd never be able to trip again. I really wish I listened to more music while on LSD. Sometimes when my anxiety is really bad anywhere I look I think everything's just gonna start making major distortions even though I've never seen distortions for my HPPD. Just put your mind somewhere else when you have thoughts about acid.

Btw what effect has zoloft had on your HPPD?

Edit: And don't even THINK about taking psychedelics ever again. Pyramidic was lucky. Besides, if your DR and anxiety are really bad then you probably won't have a good time anyways.

The Zoloft seems to be working, at least with the depression and anxiety. I honestly feel quite normal, though I still have all the visual snow type stuff. And a slight sense of derealization, which is always worse on summer-ish days. I did space out my acid trips, and I even tripped after I starting having HPPD symptoms. That single trip was extremely boring. And then there was the extremely enjoyable but ultimately useless mushroom trip, since it did not offer any lasting changes in my day to day life, which is basically what I want. Actually, I didn't mention this, but over spring break I decided to use 2C-I. Didn't even trip, but it probably is the reason why I had a huge spike of DR/panic recently. D:

I'm very interested in how much of HPPD is biological. Is it psychedelic chemical + brain predisposed to react badly to HPPD = HPPD? Or something more related to fears, or psychodynamics? In the book "The Secret Chief" it doesn't mention HPPD, and I remember reading churches who used ayahuasca did not report anything related to HPPD. So if psychedelics were used in an extremely positive context, and meant for healing, would HPPD be any less likely to form? On the DP/DR forum, there is a user who claims a series of ayahuasca ceremonies with shamans healed his DP. That is of course completely different from a few friends dropping acid in their basement.

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It's great that the zoloft is working but what I meant to ask was how does it affect your visuals specifically?

HPPD is very interesting. Everybody here seems to have their own theories about it. I've read in many places that it's genetic, and just yesterday I saw some posts on here about how Dr. A questioned hundreds of native american shamans and they never even got the smallest symptom of HPPD. I also think I read about how only caucasians get HPPD. It's really cool how that person got healed from therapeutic ayahuasca. I've never done it but that sounds like some pretty powerful shit lol. HPPD is really still a mystery to the medical world though.

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The simple truth might be that their body/genetics allow them to take it without any problems. Isn't it true that many Asian have a hard time with alcohol as it was only recently introduced to their society?

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yeah there seem to be a missing enzyme in asians which reduces alc in your body

never wanted to mention in but i read alot of gettin healed by a low dose trip in a swiss forum please please dont try it!!!!!!!

but what do you think about it could this be possible?

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