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OfflineOphanim
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Insanity/psychosis actually seems pretty common.
    #8803974 - 08/21/08 03:45 AM (10 years, 3 months ago)

Recently I've been reading a lot about extended or permanent psychosis from tripping. There only seems to be anecdotal evidence, but even then it's generally the personal accounts of Shroomery members.

I guess a lot of things really bother me about it:
- Everyone seems to write it off as "they had underlying psychological problems" or something. How exactly are you supposed to know if you have underlying psychological problems? I have a friend who's tripped on acid literally hundreds of times and has a schizophrenic uncle, but he's completely fine. Meanwhile, I read stuff on here about experienced trippers who sent themselves into psychosis after many trips on the very substance that sent them over. It seems like a real gamble, and writing it off as "underlying problems" doesn't seem to change the fact that it could happen to almost anyone.

- Some people seem to think this risk only exists with LSD and other synthetic chemicals, but I've read at least three accounts in my time here of people losing their shit for a good long while on shrooms. This is with doses ranging from as high as a half oz to as low as an eighth.

- The above hinted at this, but contrary to popular belief, high doses are not the only thing that can send someone over the edge. In fact, I would say only half of the psychosis stories (or less) that I've read involved someone doing a dose that was clearly "too large".

- I've actually seen a lot of people claiming that sanity is in the eye of the beholder, acting as though conformist society is the only thing that sets the bar for "sanity" and you shouldn't be concerned with it. WTF? If you constantly think everyone is out to get you and suffer so many delusions that you can hardly care for yourself, let alone maintain a job or anything else in your life, that seems like a pretty big problem to me. This is not something you just learn to get over.


I'm terrified by the concept of taking a recreational dose of something and not coming back to the sober place I should have. The human mind is capable of experiencing any extreme circumstance that it can conceive of. Such a state of mind could literally be unending torture, and could even cause you to hurt yourself or others.

Why aren't people concerned about this? Is it just one of those things where everyone assumes it won't happen to them until it does?

For some of the stories I'm talking about, see the following. Note that this is just what I found recently, and much of what I'm talking about has happened over the course of my entire registration here.

http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/3230024/page/0/fpart/1/vc/1
http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/1660118#1660118
http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/1920701
http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/8799185/an/0/page/0


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OfflineLSDreamer
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Re: Insanity/psychosis actually seems pretty common. [Re: Ophanim]
    #8803987 - 08/21/08 03:53 AM (10 years, 3 months ago)

^Statistics simply do not support psychedelics actually producing disorders such as schizophrenia. The rate of schizophrenia has remained fairly constant, even through the psychedelic boom of the 60s and 70s. The reason it seems so common is that you're only hearing about the cases triggered by psychedelics. Causation does not equal correlation.


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InvisibledeCypher
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Re: Insanity/psychosis actually seems pretty common. [Re: Ophanim]
    #8803995 - 08/21/08 03:55 AM (10 years, 3 months ago)

Good post. Yeah, I think the assumption that anyone who contracts a mental illness after tripping had "underlying psychological problems" is, for the most part, a hedge.  It is true that some people who are mentally unstable should not trip, for the very reason that tripping will exacerbate their problems.  But at the same, people who were perfectly healthy prior to taking just a couple hits have found themselves with a psychotic break.  It seems an absurd act of hindsight to say that a person who has a mental illness after taking psychedelics "must" have had latent mental illnesses.  If you can't tell prior to a schizophrenic outbreak that a person has schizophrenia, then it makes no sense to say that the blame was due to the person's neural structure and not the drug. (Although, admittedly, it's the combination that's fatal.)

Anytime you ingest something that changes the way your brain operates, you're rolling the dice.  With reasonable dosages, space between usages, and keeping up a healthy lifestyle, the risk involved is lessened, but it's still there.  HPPD is a common example of abnormal brain functioning that tends to show up for some frequent psychedelic users, for example.  The thing is, you have to be aware of what group of people you're referring to.  Here at the Shroomery, you'll meet trippers who have done hundreds upon hundreds of trips without ever undergoing a psychotic break or contracting a mental illness.  This is because the Shroomery is a place for such like-minded people to discuss their passion.  But just swing over to HPPD Online, or any mental health clinic, and you'll find countless examples of people who have been permafried due to their (ab)use of drugs.  Sure, there are countless numbers of hippies who survived the 60s with a fresh mind and a new outlook on life.  But there also were quite a few hippies who never quite came back.  You have to keep a broad mindset when trying to assess the risks of what you're planning to ingest.  Here at the Shroomery, people tend to gloss over the risks because they tend to be the kind of people who have survived unscathed and with many positive benefits coming from their psychedelic experiences.  But to an absolute newcomer with no experience in this area, it's a whole different ball game.

To quote the proverbial HST: buy the ticket, take the ride.


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We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.


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Invisiblethedudenj
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Re: Insanity/psychosis actually seems pretty common. [Re: deCypher]
    #8804040 - 08/21/08 04:27 AM (10 years, 3 months ago)

im so psychotic that i was kicked out of a mental hospital and their out patient, they just told me that im on drugs, and also told me i cant have anymore of their ativan after having it for 2 weeks 3 times a day. its fucked up


--------------------

"You all are just  puppets... You have no heart...and cannot feel any pain...""
you may think thats pain you feel but you must have a heart to feel true pain and that pain wont be yours


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Invisiblemecreateme
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Re: Insanity/psychosis actually seems pretty common. [Re: Ophanim]
    #8805019 - 08/21/08 12:29 PM (10 years, 3 months ago)

Lots of people take extremely large doses of these drugs because of the fact that you always come back to reality. Many have tried the hard dosing to permanent tripping and most don't make it.

I can count on one hand the number of people I know who have been adversely effected by psychedelics. And I still don't know any true schizos either. Doesn't really matter, as long as you aren't committed, they just give you lots of drugs.


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No ONE wants to know the ultimate TRUTH, as soon as YOU find IT out, YOU want to forget IT.

You are everything's way of feeling itself.

Happy Schwag, everygodly!


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Offlinejhoppa
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Re: Insanity/psychosis actually seems pretty common. [Re: mecreateme]
    #8805418 - 08/21/08 02:09 PM (10 years, 3 months ago)

the reason that most people are quick to blame "underlying psychological problems" is because this is the accepted model of schizophrenia (and many types of psychosis).  there's a genetic component, which means you are somehow predisposed to some degree to schizophrenia, and there's a stressor component, which means that there is some event (or series of events) that leads to the psychosis surfacing.  in cases where people develop clinical schizophrenia after taking psychedelics, the drug is assumed to be the stressor.

furthermore, the worldwide incidence of schizophrenia is actually significantly higher than the incidence of schizophrenia developing specifically from psychedelic use.  in other words, merely living presents a greater risk of psychosis than taking psychedelic drugs.


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InvisibledeCypher
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Re: Insanity/psychosis actually seems pretty common. [Re: jhoppa]
    #8805458 - 08/21/08 02:17 PM (10 years, 3 months ago)

Do you have any links comparing the incidences of schizophrenia in target populations?  I find it hard to believe that psychedelic users have a lower rate of schizophrenia than the average person.


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We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.


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OfflineGreenGoat
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Re: Insanity/psychosis actually seems pretty common. [Re: jhoppa]
    #8805478 - 08/21/08 02:24 PM (10 years, 3 months ago)

Interesting posts all around. I think that it is worth mentioning that no two diagnoses of mental "illness" are the same, and that many times people with very different situations are diagnosed as having the same mental disorder i.e schizophrenia or psychosis. With that in mind, I feel like we have to treat each individual as just that, an individual, when considering their mental state. Exhibiting enough symptoms of psychosis to be diagnosed by a psychiatrist doesn't necessarily mean that you can't function or have a happy and productive life by your own standards. The diagnosis itself is meaningless, your happiness and level of personal comfort are what matter, short of causing harm to others. I think that the number of people who are so permanently effected that they are living in perpetual discomfort or unhappiness as a result of their psychedelic use are, although not non existant, a lot smaller than even the numbers reported as incidents of mental illness resulting from use of entheogens.
Lastly, while I believe that you are right that dosing oneself with irresponsible quantities are not the only cause  of these negative episodes, I think that this and other forms of treating entheogens as toys (which could have a lot more to do with set and setting than dose) contribute very largely to these numbers of negative incidents. The stats for levels of incidence in a clinical setting are virtually non existant. Look at the case studies of psychedelic psychotherapists like Dr Stanislav Grof for example, who have dosed literally thousands over the years in a responsible and clinical setting, and has a virtually non existent rate of negative mental side effects in the long term.
Thanks for reading my rant...
Love


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InvisibledeCypher
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Re: Insanity/psychosis actually seems pretty common. [Re: GreenGoat]
    #8805497 - 08/21/08 02:29 PM (10 years, 3 months ago)

Yeah, perhaps if everyone who uses a psychedelic was required to have the proper environment, we wouldn't see any incidences of mental illness occurring from their abuse (although it's still not guaranteed). In comfortable surroundings, with low dosages, and with a guided sitter pulling you through the psychedelic experience, psychedelics can actually be used for healing and psychotherapy, and have had amazing results in the past.

It's when you get kids taking whole sheets at a time, or mixing and matching drugs like they were toppings on a pizza, or doing it in a situation with people they can't trust so paranoia and anxiety levels rise through the roof, or some traumatic emotional event happens to them on the trip, that you get enough of a psychological stressor that could push the individual through into some sort of psychotic break IMO.


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We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.


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OfflineGreenGoat
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Re: Insanity/psychosis actually seems pretty common. [Re: deCypher]
    #8805525 - 08/21/08 02:35 PM (10 years, 3 months ago)

Here here Cypher! Tools not toys!


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InvisibleSophistic Radiance
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Re: Insanity/psychosis actually seems pretty common. [Re: deCypher]
    #8805541 - 08/21/08 02:38 PM (10 years, 3 months ago)

I'm pretty sure any "sane" person can have a "psychotic episode" from using psychedelics; it depends quite a bit on responsibility, set & setting. Eating a certain amount much will inevitably drive you into some pretty insane places, no matter how mentally healthy you are otherwise. Hopefully these places won't be attacked by the egoic mind, because that's how things get sticky.

Recovery is where we get into tricky territory... you can have a psychotic episode and then once the drugs come off realize you were wigging out over nothing. This seems much more common than the alternative, much more frightening prospect, of "never coming down," of those delusions becoming permanent or at least longer-lasting than the effects of the drug.

While sometimes it seems like psychedelics enthusiasts are trying to downplay the mental health issue with the whole "underlying problems" card, they do seem to be mostly right... I've heard of plenty of people going balls-out insane while tripping, but that's part of the territory. Still being balls-out insane once it's over doesn't seem to happen nearly as often.


--------------------
Enlil said:
You really are the worst kind of person.



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InvisibledeCypher
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Re: Insanity/psychosis actually seems pretty common. [Re: Sophistic Radiance]
    #8805585 - 08/21/08 02:50 PM (10 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Tchan909 said: While sometimes it seems like psychedelics enthusiasts are trying to downplay the mental health issue with the whole "underlying problems" card, they do seem to be mostly right... I've heard of plenty of people going balls-out insane while tripping, but that's part of the territory. Still being balls-out insane once it's over doesn't seem to happen nearly as often.




I agree with you.  Ironically, it might be the placebo effect of believing that psychedelics only bring out mental illnesses if you had underlying problems that lessens the rate of psychotic breaks from their use--that way, if your family history is clear, you would breathe easy and not have to worry about not ever coming down during your trip.  Knowing the truth (that a "sane" person can in fact have a psychotic episode from using psychedelics) seems far more likely to spiral you into a bad trip when you're contemplating the fact that you might have just gone permanently insane, and thus act as even more of a psychological stressor to the likelihood of your developing schizophrenia. :tongue:


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We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.


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OfflineTheArsenal
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Re: Insanity/psychosis actually seems pretty common. [Re: deCypher]
    #8807083 - 08/21/08 08:08 PM (10 years, 3 months ago)

Well, if you think about what we know about schizophrenia and what we know about psychedelics, it doesn't seem that unreasonable to assume they are correlated.

Quote:

http://www.ehealthmd.com/library/schizophrenia/SCH_causes. Says:

Many researchers believe that people with schizophrenia are either very sensitive to a brain chemical called dopamine, or produce too much of it. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, which are substances that allow nerve cells in the brain to send messages to each other. An imbalance of this chemical can affect the way a person's brain reacts to stimuli.




That would seem to suggest at least some part of it comes from a chemical imbalance. I wouldn't think it too radical to assume a psychedelic could have some effect on how your brain reacts with dopamine.

I don't really buy too much into it, though. I mean, if you were bound to unravel at some point anyways, which a statement like "underlying causes" seems to mean, then its hard to blame psychedelics solely. If you have a family history of mental conditions and illness, maybe you shouldn't take psychedelics if you are worried about your health.

Personally, I've never thought twice about it.


--------------------
To be reborn is to feel whole, as you did when you were first born. You come with nothing, and leave with nothing.

Life is like a big obstacle
put in front of your optical to slow you down
And everytime you think you gotten past it
it's gonna come back around and tackle you to the damn ground


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Offlinesilly_sigh_ben
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Re: Insanity/psychosis actually seems pretty common. [Re: Ophanim]
    #8807099 - 08/21/08 08:10 PM (10 years, 3 months ago)

The majority or all psychoses are the result of dishonesty.  The rest are biological.


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Offlinerupertbeaner
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Re: Insanity/psychosis actually seems pretty common. [Re: LSDreamer]
    #8807140 - 08/21/08 08:16 PM (10 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

LSDreamer said:
Causation does not equal correlation.




true


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InvisibledeCypher
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Re: Insanity/psychosis actually seems pretty common. [Re: TheArsenal]
    #8807558 - 08/21/08 09:30 PM (10 years, 3 months ago)

There is the dopamine hypothesis, yes, but we still don't understand nearly enough about schizophrenia to pin it down to an exact neurochemical imbalance.

Besides which, traditional psychedelics seem to affect serotonin much more than they do dopamine (if at all).  The drugs you have to most worry about are NMDA-antagonists such as dissociatives such as Ketamine and PCP, dopamine-affecting drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine, and anticholinergics such as diphenhydramine or Datura.


--------------------
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.


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Invisiblepolantis
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Re: Insanity/psychosis actually seems pretty common. [Re: deCypher]
    #8807670 - 08/21/08 09:47 PM (10 years, 3 months ago)

To the OP have you tripped before?
(Not supposed to be a smart-ass question)

I say this because like anything in life there's a risk. People who climb mount everest will tell you how amazing it is but, there's also a good risk of permanent injury or death.
Same applies to drugs. You can take most drugs once and probably have no problems. But most damages occur when uneducated people throw themselves in the deep end, or experienced users bite off more than they can chew.

I guess with most Hallucinogens, physical damage isn't the issue, or even 'brain damage' at that. It's the idea that due to such a huge shift in perception can lead to problems adjusting back into 'reality.' So with sensible dosages and use in moderation most people with lead normal healthy lives.

Also worth mentioning, people use drugs for different reasons. Some never drink/smoke/do any drug...just trip once in a while....some drink 12 beers, a bit of meth, some opiates and also trip making them much more likely to run into issues.


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We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are - that is the fact.
Jean-Paul Sartre


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OfflineTheArsenal
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Re: Insanity/psychosis actually seems pretty common. [Re: polantis]
    #8807734 - 08/21/08 09:57 PM (10 years, 3 months ago)

I don't think it has anything to do with being ready or being inexperienced. The idea is that you have the potential for these dangerous mental conditions and psychedelics bring them out in your mind.

In reality, there is no amount of preparation or experience that would prevent a random occurrence like what we are talking about. None of us know if our next trip will permanently mess with our minds. You can't really know what makes these things happen, so that's why perfectly sane people have been f'd up after just one trip. Its not likely, but I don't see how you could stop it.


--------------------
To be reborn is to feel whole, as you did when you were first born. You come with nothing, and leave with nothing.

Life is like a big obstacle
put in front of your optical to slow you down
And everytime you think you gotten past it
it's gonna come back around and tackle you to the damn ground


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Offlinecynick420
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Re: Insanity/psychosis actually seems pretty common. [Re: polantis]
    #8807951 - 08/21/08 10:37 PM (10 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:


....some drink 12 beers, a bit of meth, some opiates and also trip...




sounds like a good night!


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Invisiblepolantis
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Re: Insanity/psychosis actually seems pretty common. [Re: cynick420]
    #8808007 - 08/21/08 10:48 PM (10 years, 3 months ago)

Not saying people who take allot of drugs are bad. But I think after each trip it take a while for you to process it. So constantly tripping or being on other drugs sort of builds up the 'clutter'. And I guess even a mentally healthy person would have issues if you don't give yourself a break.

Not saying people who don't do research WILL have problems. But I think if your mentally healthy, and keep things sensible and in moderation the CHANCE of being adversely affected diminishes significantly.
I think someone who is not 'aware' or has no real sense of 'self' could loose the plot if faced with 'Ego death'


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We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are - that is the fact.
Jean-Paul Sartre


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