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Dissociation and a Brush With Delusions
LSD & Cannabis
by TW
Citation:   TW. "Dissociation and a Brush With Delusions: An Experience with LSD & Cannabis (exp116970)". Jan 27, 2023.

1 hit oral LSD (blotter / tab)
    smoked Cannabis  

I had taken LSD several times prior to this one, and twice in the prior six months. I have always preferred a pedestrian dose of 1 tab, or 1.5 tabs if they're small. During those recent trips, I had felt very "in my head", finding it increasingly difficult to relax, enjoy myself, or pay attention to anything besides my rapid train of thoughts. These thoughts did seem very helpful and smart to me, but my trips were intense and tiring. I hoped that I would "figure it out" and get out of my head if I kept trying. In retrospect, I was going through a stressful time and I was anxious almost all the time. I had been responding to my stress in my daily life by trying to think through and solve everything constantly, and mentally remove myself from the difficult situation. It seems to me that tripping causes your brain to do whatever it normally does, but way more. I was overthinking and dissociated in my daily life, so when I was tripping, my brain just did that even more.

This trip started out similarly, and I was having a fairly heady trip. I took one tab around 1 pm. What was different was the content of my thoughts -- after peaking and coming down enough to walk to the public park, my thoughts were more far-reaching and intense than they had ever been, building on new ideas I'd had in earlier trips. I started to believe in a brand new cosmology that I had just thought of, and I discovered that I had attained a new plane of knowledge and enlightenment that had elevated my consciousness to a new level of superiority. I was cheerful, though, and had a fun time at the park.

As the day went on, and my trip gradually slowed, I continued to elaborate on my new and unique view of the universe and my special place in it, but nothing too major. In the evening, when we were coming down, eventually I really wished I could quiet my thoughts down, since they were wearing me out. I tried smoking a little bit of marijuana and watching cartoons on Adult Swim to relax. I didn't smoke much, as I am a lightweight and I just wanted to relax a little. Instead of helping me relax, the mild dissociation from the marijuana triggered my anxiety and overthinking even more, and caused a run-away vicious cycle of crazy thoughts, and eventually mortal terror.

The comedy shows I was watching were really clever, and my racing mind started making connections between their social commentary and the world at large. My ideas got more and more grandiose. Soon I believed that the comedians who wrote the show had secret knowledge, and they were communicating that secret knowledge in a way that only individuals that had attained a special plane of existence would understand.

It was very lonely to realize that I was trapped in the wrong dimension and my consciousness actually belonged in the higher plane of all-knowingness, since I was coming to realize that I was omniscient. I had crossed a danger threshold of god-like beliefs, and everything kept speeding up. I decided that once a consciousness becomes omniscient, it merges with the higher plane, which meant that I would leave my life behind while a lower-consciousness shell of myself would remain. Now, I believed I was rapidly approaching a time and place around which the entire universe hinged. I thought that there was a different version of our universe for each consciousness in its timeline that would attain singularity, and each universe would have this kind of hinge-point where that consciousness would perceive the entire past and the entire future. The omniscience that I was about to join spanned all versions of the universe, so I was about to irreversibly join with the entire multiverse.

This was terrifying because I didn't want to give up my life, my future, and the people I cared about. I decided that if I could avoid omniscience, I could turn back from this destiny. I started desperately trying to either do or experience something unpredictable by me, which is difficult since most events and people are fairly predictable. My trip partner and I took a cab to the nearby emergency room, and I told them I was panicking and could I please have some help calming down. They gave me an Ativan, which is for panic attacks, and were nice to me.

In the little room at the hospital, the universe was talking to me through the television, trying to explain the inevitability of my fate. I decided that I would not only actively resist, but completely ignore its message and pretend it didn't exist. I had won the initial battle, and could keep fighting for control over my destiny. I calmed down and went home.

The next day, I heard the radio talking to me. I changed the station. My grandiose beliefs abated significantly over the next few days and weeks
My grandiose beliefs abated significantly over the next few days and weeks
; a few months later, I still had to strongly avoid any conversation about existentialism or grandiose ideas. One-and-a-half years later, I am still wary of any topics related to the "true nature" of reality. I haven't touched any of my Alan Watts lectures, that's for sure, even though many of them are on more ordinary philosophical topics. I don't at all believe that I was close to some kind of higher calling or freeing my mind. I may be clever, but I don't have god-like perception or secret knowledge.

Instead, I've become more interested in my anxiety, compulsive problem solving, and dissociation. I've sought to be grounded, meditative, and to feel my feelings. My delusions emerged directly from my personal interests and my deepest fears ("that which is precious to me will be ripped away"). I also know that this was not the first time I had entertained fanciful thoughts, although I'd never truly believed in them before. I had used them as an escape during times of high stress. Also, I often presume that worst-case scenarios will always come true.

In the end, the drug was still my teacher on this trip because it helped illuminate these bad mental habits and coping mechanisms. I am grateful that I got a safe tutorial on delusional thinking instead of potentially experiencing it in a much more painful and destructive way at some time in the future.

I take normal-sized doses of hydroxyzine (mild anti-anxiety drug) when I trip lately, which significantly reduces dissociation and over-thinking, and I will not touch marijuana while tripping. I'm less interested in "theories of everything" and more interested in the mundane here and now outside of my window.

Exp Year: 2021ExpID: 116970
Gender: Not Specified 
Age at time of experience: 29 
Published: Jan 27, 2023Views: 190
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LSD (2), Cannabis (1) : Difficult Experiences (5), Post Trip Problems (8), Combinations (3), Small Group (2-9) (17)

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