Citation: DaveLister. "It Knew My Fears: An Experience with Diphenhydramine (exp114163)". Erowid.org. Apr 9, 2020. erowid.org/exp/114163
You might be aware of something called "the 700 club" which refers to taking a trip from a 700+ milligram dose of DPH. Last night was my first time tripping with DPH, so I decided to aim for that benchmark. About 18 hours later, I can confidently say that this is not a club to be envious of. I've read trip reports of DPH in the past, which led me to believe that DPH is more fearsome than heroin or meth. I now know why.
I decided to try it for scientific study, despite my imagined fears. Basically, I wanted to find the intersection point of body and spirit. I found the consistency between trip reports to be more than coincidence, and this led me to believe that users were interacting with some real astral plane where shadow people reside. I believed it was necessary to trip to find where in the mind these worlds collide.
Fifteen minutes before the trip (18:45 central time), I measured out 28 DPH tablets at 25 mg each for a total of 700mg. After a few moments, I decided to add an extra tablet to ensure a 700 mg minimum, bringing my totals to 29 pills and 725 mg.
I spent some time taking measures to make sure my environment was safe, since I tripped alone and had no sitter to monitor my 'IRL' state (which I refer to as the 'carnal plane'). This preparation involved using masking tape to seal off access to my power tools, my kitchen knives and my stove burner knobs. I also placed masking tape on my apartment door handle to deter me from leaving and endangering myself. Then, I armed myself with a flashlight and a laser pointer to help me determine if something was carnal or astral (IRL or imagined, if you prefer).
I began dosing myself four pills (100 mg) at a time. The current time was 19:00 (7 P.M.).
I completed consuming all the pills. During the process, I noticed that I was strangely calm and determined. Having a goal tremendously helped overcome any anticipated fears. I estimated I had no more than an hour before symptoms appeared, so I took the opportunity to continue organizing and baby-proofing my apartment.
I noticed gurgling in my stomach similar to hunger pangs. However, these had no pain to them, so I wondered if I was experiencing indigestion. I had little to eat beforehand, so I ate some crackers to see if they would alleviate the gurgling. I noticed no further gurgling, so that may have helped.
I finished my packet of crackers.
I heard my neighbor banging something loudly. I assured myself it was too soon after dosing for this to be a hallucination (audition?), but I did feel some concern that it would provoke future hallucinations. I decided it was in my best interest not to investigate this noise or any further sounds, especially if it involved going outside.
I noticed that my eye focus depth was drifting out to infinity, much like what would happen to someone who is daydreaming or "zoning out." I also felt tingling on the hairs of my right arm just over my radius.This tingling felt like goosebumps, but I do not recall my arm hair being extended.
It became difficult to continue writing notes. I started experiencing intensifying double-vision, so I had to close one eye in order to see what I was writing. Around this time, I sensed arm hair tingling in the same location on my other arm. I noticed a decline in my ability to concentrate - I was limited in paper, so I wanted to record only the most essential of notes. Unfortunately, my train of thought began derailing faster than I could record.
I thought it might be useful to set up my phone as a surveillance camera, since I was quickly losing the ability to record notes manually. Using one eye to write became difficult, and using both eyes was impossible. (At this point in my paper notes, my handwriting is much more erratic than when I started.)
Around this time, I began experiencing the typical side effect of dry mouth. My motor skills were declining and my legs became weak and shaky. I could no longer walk around without using my hands to stabilize myself against a wall or a table.
(I have no written records after this point, so the following notes are approximate and to the best of my memory.)
I went to retrieve my phone to record video, but I instead sat on my bed and tried to orient myself. A sense of intoxication was strong at this point, and it was continuing to grow. My body was becoming increasingly fatigued and I had difficulty maintaining my posture. This fatigue matched with what others have said about their body parts feeling "heavy." Knowing that my body almost certainly didn't change in weight, I theorized that my peripheral nervous system was becoming unresponsive. This idea was supported by the extra effort I had to put into moving my limbs - the sensation was very similar to the feeling of trying to run while underwater or while in a dream.
I sat upright on my bed for some time with nervousness increasing and my palms becoming sweaty. I felt compelled to lay down on my bed, which I was reluctant to do out of fear of imminent spiders. I don't think I was hallucinating at this point, but my vision was distorted and fine details were smeared as if they were in a heat mirage (hence the inability to write notes).
I eventually did lay down on my bed, and I felt an immense sense of relief from trying to carry my own body. Had there not been an increasing sense of dread, I would've found this to be quite pleasant.
A feeling of cottonmouth escalated from annoying to near painful, especially when trying to swallow. I decided I needed to get a bottle of water from the kitchen, so I reluctantly sat upright and began mustering up the strength to operate my own limbs.
I think it was around this point that I began having visual hallucinations. On a side note, I sometimes wear black socks which can leave little balls of black lint on my carpet. Normally, I would walk right over them and think nothing of it. At this moment, however, my low visual sharpness and waving vision made these black specks look as if they were moving. Even worse. it looked like they were moving toward me. I'm pretty sure that this was when I saw my first spider.
I eventually dodged the pea-sized spiders wandering around my bedroom carpet and made my way to my fridge. I took out a watter bottle and had a sip, and my cottonmouth felt significantly better. I later learned that this relief was only for a little while, so I proceeded to have a watter bottle within arm's reach at all times.
While in the kitchen, I heard what sounded like murmuring from a conversation outside. It's plausible that it actually was my neighbors, but I overrode my desire to find out. I preferred to remain ignorant instead of looking outside and seeing the Hat Man or some other entity.
I didn't know what to do with myself. Most of my interests require thought and concentration (hence the power tools), and I had few options that I could choose in my current state.
I reluctantly decided to go take a shower and get ready for bed. I think I was nodding off at this point.
I had most of the lights on in my apartment since I was not interested in scaring myself. This helped in some ways; in other ways it made my hallucinations even more convincing. If I thought my bedroom was infested, then my bathroom was way worse.
I opened the bathroom door and turned the light on. Immediately, I see small specks all over the tile floor. They were smaller than the spiders I saw before, so I squatted down to take a closer look. As soon as I tried to focus on one speck, it would disappear right before my eyes. This horrified me. My experience has shown me that only one creature looks and moves like this: a flea. There were one or two dozen specks all over the floor, and I was terrified at the idea of getting undressed in a bathroom infested with fleas. (I should note that I'm a bit of a germophobe, and I don't recall spiders ever transmitting Bubonic plague.)
I spent a good amount of time wadding up toilet paper and squishing fleas. I filled my toilet bowl at least once with wadded up toilet paper. I thought I was making good progress, but some of the fleas were too quick to be grabbed. I resigned and got into the shower. Around this time, I saw small red specks, which I interpreted as spider mites. For personal reasons, I have a strong dislike of spider mites as well - a gardener will understand what I mean.
I imagine I was in the shower for quite some time because I felt safe there. Even though there were fleas and spider mites crawling around the tub, I could fight back by removing the shower head and spraying them with water. I washed away at least five or ten insects with this method.
I eventually got out of the shower. My hallucinations seemed to be subsiding, but the fleas were still real enough that I hopped over them while leaving the bathroom. I think it was around this point that I noticed my hands and forearms were red and inflammed, as if I was having some histamine reaction. My hands were shaking and my dexterity felt reduced. On a positive note, my heart rate had calmed down even though it was still slightly above resting rate. As I write this nineteen hours later, my hands and forearms have mostly returned to their typical skin tone. Hand tremors have disappeared.
I retrieved more water bottles and headed to bed. Hallucinations had mostly stopped at this point, although I might've still been hearing auditions. I scanned my bedroom carpet with my flashlight for spiders but none were found. Unsure if there were any unseen fleas, I tiptoed to my bed and climbed in. Once there, I fought the temptation to start thinking about bed bugs. I heard more whispering and noises outside my bedroom window; once again, I declined to investigate.
Having my bedroom completely dark wasn't bad at this point; I didn't suddenly see any shadow people like I thought I would. I had trouble getting to sleep because my legs were restless. Every few minutes I felt like I needed to stretch them or shake them, and it interrupted my attempts to fall asleep. I succeeded at some point, and I woke up the next morning with no memory of any dreams that I may have had.
As awful as it was, I think this trip turned out pretty well even if I didn't accomplish my original goal. I noticed odd placements of things the next morning; I must have done it at some point for some reason. I don't remember entirely what happened, but I'm confident and relieved about what didn't happen: I found my masking tape seals as I left them, so I was never in danger of cutting myself or running into traffic. I'm still having fleeting glances of light enter my field of view 21 hours later, but I think it's diminishing. It probably isn't HPPD, but if it is, then it's still better than what I experienced last night.
I'm reminded of the movie "Sphere," and I'm wondering how it's possible for imaginings to become reality.
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