Citation: Renwick. "Overview: An Experience with Ketamine (exp19628)". Erowid.org. Dec 14, 2002. erowid.org/exp/19628
I have had the pleasure of experiencing Ketamine at many different dosage levels. At low doses Ketamine doesn’t seem very powerful, it provides an intoxication that is similar to that of narcotic pain killers or benzodiazepines although with less euphoria and more visual effects. The visual effects mostly took the form of hallucinations of depth, alterations in tactile sensation, and a decrease in the speed at which I was able to process visual information making it seem as if my vision was broken down into frames.
However it was easy for me to sense that higher doses could be very interesting as I got a strange feeling from it that I can only compare to the feeling you get when walking down a dark alley late at night, the feeling that something hidden and unknown could lay right around the corner. This feeling was very alluring for me.
I slowly worked my way up in dose over time and found that for me Ketamine didn’t start to get really interesting until the dose exceeded 200mg, when insufflated. Oral doses required even higher amounts and I didn’t relish the thought of injecting the chemical and possibly passing out- so I stuck with insufflating the material for most of my experiments. At higher doses I found that my coordination and muscle power were decreased to the point where even standing required extreme effort. For the most part I was unable to move at all except to pick up a glass of water to drink.
I also found my ability to perceive tactile sensations was extremely diminished. On one high dose trip I did an experiment to test my tactile sense. I found that I was completely unable to tell the difference between the texture of my cat’s fur and the fabric on the leg of jeans when I had my eyes closed. On other trips I found that when I had my eyes closed I was unable to determine where my body ended and where the outside universe began, it almost felt as if I had become the entire universe because there was no boundary between myself and the universe
At higher doses Ketamine’s ability to slow down the speed at which the brain processes visual information becomes even more interesting. Where low doses seem to make everything appear as if your vision was broken up into frames, high doses seem to blur visual phenomena together in an odd way. For example If I am looking at a friend in one corner of the room then turn my attention to a Television in another corner of the room, it may seem as if my friend has become fused into the television temporarily. Although I have found that, at all but extremely high doses, if you try not to move very much and keep your attention focused on a single point then you can tell the difference between various objects around you. If I don’t move and look at an unmoving object it generally looks okay, until something in my frame of vision moves.
Other than hallucinations involving movement, Ketamine also alters the perception of depth and color as well as dream-like closed eye visions. Distances usually seem further and colors seem brighter while on Ketamine. At very high doses I have even briefly lost all contact with the world around me, as the world seemed to drift further and further away until it was just an extremely bright point on the horizon of my vision. When I close my eyes on high doses of Ketamine I often experience vivid scenes that seem like lucid dreams. I often see scenes of bizarre landscapes on far off planets or winter scenes from my childhood.
Ketamine also alters sound perception in a way similar to nitrous oxide.
Sounds seem to last longer and also seem to echo at times. As with nitrous oxide I often have the hallucination of some kind of sound that phases in and out throughout the peak of the trip. This isn’t the same “wah-wah” nose that nitrous causes though, it seems to be higher pitched.
These hallucinations all seem quite intense and would probably frighten me if it weren’t for the fact that they seem controllable to some extent. If you begin having bad visions on Ketamine you can often force yourself to see something else without to much trouble. I also rarely lose contact with my ego during Ketamine journeys. For the most part I remember that I am human and have taken a drug and that the effects will eventually wear off, unlike high dose LSD trips where I have found myself unable to remember my even my name. Because of this I find it almost impossible to have a bad trip on Ketamine, the closest thing I have ever seen to a bad trip was someone experiencing a great deal of motion sickness because they tried to move around too much. Of course it would probably be possible to have a bad trip under bad circumstances, such as being sold Ketamine under the assumption that it is another drug or while in the company of unpleasant people, it still seems less likely than with other drugs like LSD or psilocybin. Another thing that helps decrease the chances of having a bad trip on Ketamine is its ability to block emotion.
Ketamine seems to be able to block emotions especially negative emotions like fear and anger. Ketamine is also the only drug that I have ever taken that decreased my sex drive, I simply have no desire to have sex while on Ketamine. It is as if Ketamine blocks all the animalistic urges and the “fight or flight” thoughts in the brain. I have found this to be incredibly useful if I want to view a situation as logically as possible. I have come up with a number of interesting solutions to problems while under the influence of Ketamine, that I never would have come up with in a sober emotional state of mind. Ketamine also helped me work through some of my feelings about a recent failed relationship.
Overall I’d have to say that Ketamine has been the most useful drug I’ve taken in terms of therapeutic potential. Low doses of Ketamine also have a good bit of recreational potential, and I have never had a bad time on Ketamine. I enjoy low doses of Ketamine for dancing as it makes me feel less self-conscious about the way I dance. I find high doses of Ketamine to be most suitable for sedentary activities such as watching TV, listening to music, or reading comic books. While watching TV or reading comic books under the influence of Ketamine I often feel as if I am actually in the movie/book and that I “know” what the characters would be thinking. Listening to music is also interesting as songs often sound completely different while on Ketamine. It is a very interesting experience. Nevertheless I am aware of Ketamines potential to cause addiction. I have decided not to take it more than once a month even though I am sure it can be used more often than that safely, I try to ere on the side of safety with things like addiction.
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