Citation: jared. "Schizophrenic for Six Hours: An Experience with Dimenhydrinate (exp29960)". Erowid.org. Oct 21, 2005. erowid.org/exp/29960
Dose: 450 mg, a couple days after a 900-mg dose
Setting: College dormitory, city campus, rainy night.
Mindset: Awful. Broke up with my girlfriend the night before, was still half in denial. Aside from spending time with her, I had been generally bored with life and depressed for some time. Didn't know what to do with myself, desperately wanted to sleep but couldn't.
Drug experience beforehand: 3 or 4 years of regular pot-smoking, tried Salvia once, mushrooms once, hydrocodone twice, and the previous summer took high doses of dxm as frequently as 3 times a week, until I couldn't keep it down anymore (that only took 3 months).
Experience: Was visiting my friend Steve at a college nearby, and we got bored and tried to find some drugs -- a pretty typical night for us. I was especially up for it since things were not going well with my girlfriend and I wanted to forget about it. There was nothing around so we decided to take some dxm for old times' sake, even though I suspected it would come right back up (due to former addiction). So we went to the drug store to find either some coricidin or robitussin. None there. None at the next drug store, or the next one, amazingly. So Steve mentions Dramamine, and at this point I say, sure whatever. We buy it and go back to read up on it. What we find is sort of frightening but also intriguing. And we're not planning on going out, so there's no problem, right. Also, we're so goddam bored we're playing two-player card games.
We each take 600 mg. Nothing happens for about an hour, so we take more, I took another 300 mg and I think Steve took another 450 (based on how much was left over). At T+90 after the first dose (roughly) we get dizzy, similar to dxm but with less euphoria, if any. Definite mental confusion but clear vision and sound so far. I can't walk straight so I sit the hell down. For about two hours after that, Steve was seeing shadowy figures around the room, like mosquitos inside the microwave, spiders on the walls, etc., but since I didn't see them, he knew it was just the drug. We just sat around evaluating the effects and playing cards. I had some slight movement in the periphery and nothing else. We both got very tired around T+ 3 hours and had to lie down. We were exhausted but couldn't fall asleep -- it was incredibly frustrating. Steve kept saying 'What?' He must have said 'what' thirty times over the next hour, because he thought I had just said something, which I hadn't. I wanted to sleep so badly. Later, while I was still lying down, he was seeing his dog in the room and didn't realize it was a hallucination until later. Finally the exhaustion passed and we sobered up. I was disappointed but took the remaining pills home with me (there were 9, or 450 mg).
The next day I broke up with my girlfriend 'officially.' We had gone away to separate colleges, sort of agreeing not to have a long-distance relationship but having one anyway. Then she met someone and after a few weeks of denying it (we both did), I just gave up. She still wanted to be friends, which only made it more depressing.
So here's where the real nightmare begins. I took the breakup really hard and the following night around 8 p.m. took the rest of the dramamine. It was only half of the disappointing dose I had taken before, but I would have taken anything to get my mind off the ex-gf.
[There was a hallucination about four hours before this dose, on NO drugs, presumably residual from the first dose. However, by the time I took the second dose, I had completely forgotten about it, or just didn't care... I think I was still out of it from the first dose when I took the second dose, two days later, which will explain why a lower dose had stronger effects (and the fact that I was with a friend may explain why there were no hallucinations the first time). I'll go into detail about this one at the end.]
Anyway, the pills were halfway down my throat when some people down the hall invited me to a meeting they were going to. It was an NRA meeting, which didn't interest me, but I went just to be social and meet the people who lived near me. In the middle of the meeting, I started getting dizzy and confused. I didn't want to have to interact with anyone, so I just tried to stare straight ahead and leave quickly at the end. I walked back to my room and sat down at my desk, glad to be alone and relax.
But a few minutes later the RA came to the door, because they were doing safety inspections that week, checking the windows, fire alarms, etc. It only took a minute, but as he was leaving, he said, 'Hey man, have you been feeling all right lately?' And that made me a little paranoid on account of I hadn't been feeling all right, and I was pretty intoxicated at the moment, but I just told him I broke up with my gf and I was all right. He said OK and gave me a paper to sign for the inspection. I didn't even read it, but as I was signing it, I saw the words 'cocaine in a small plastic bag' handwritten at the top. I can't explain why I didn't ask him about it; I'd never even tried coke let alone had any in my possession, but I did have alcohol hidden in the room (I was underage), and I wanted him gone, so I just signed and he left. On this drug, one can ignore things that seem impossible.
After he left, I 'remembered' that I had a party the previous night, and some of the people there had had some coke. I wasn't sure who or when exactly; it was as if I just knew about the party a priori. In retrospect, I think this was a vivid dream from the previous night which, in my mentally confused state, I couldn't distinguish from a real memory. I was a little worried about the repercussions of what had just happened with my RA, but he hadn't said anything, so I figured it would just go away.
Just then the phone rang, it was my mom. She just called to say hi, but she also asked if I was all right. It surprised me because I didn't realize I was outwardly depressed, but I said I was fine, and we got off the phone.
Next thing I know, I hear my RA's voice out in the hallway, telling someone that there was a lot of illegal shit in here. I think, 'Oh great, here they come to bust me after all,' and I wait for them to come in but they don't. Instead, I hear my family coming down the hallway. My dad sounds agitated, and he never gets agitated. Keep in mind my mother had just called me from six hours away but her voice was outside my door. That magic transportation didn't occur to me at all. I don't remember seeing them enter the room, but next thing I know my mother is lying on the bed. She told me she had been sedated, and I assumed that she had heard I was taking drugs and had freaked out. I didn't even consider who had sedated her or who carried her in the room. She was groaning and lying on her face.
Then I see my dad, perched in my desk chair like -- this is the best way for me to describe how I perceived him, I swear -- a superintelligent monkey who had gone insane and was about to snap and go on a rampage (his eyes were bugged out and his skin was almost black... and he's actually caucasian) and was keeping some kind of psychotic watch over my mother. Then, she managed to mumble that, when they're alone, my dad is always like this, and he tortures her. In reality my dad is extremely relaxed and agreeable. My younger sisters were also in the room, and although I didn't look at them, I sensed they were thoroughly bored with the whole thing. I also had the feeling that we were all waiting for someone to come in and tell us something, and that I wasn't allowed to leave.
At this point (around 11:00 p.m., T+3:00), it hits me that, not only am I in big trouble with school, but I might even go to jail, and even if I don't, I don't want to go home because my parents are obviously completely dysfunctional. I've forgotten that I even took pills by this point, and I'm trying to decide what to do. I look over at my mother, and her back looks strange. So I lean in, and suddenly she becomes a pillow. (Despite this, the hallucination continues. I really believe what another report said about dmh suppressing short-term memory.) I lean away and she's there again. As real as anything, seriously. These people I saw looked strange, not to mention the way my mother was lying, I would have been sitting on her legs, but I wasn't any less sure that they were there.
Then things get even weirder. I notice a small chubby man hiding in my clothes hamper. I just see his red face peeking out the top. And I look over at my computer and the side is taken off, and the hard drive is missing. I figure my hard drive is being read now somewhere, and things start to feel even more serious. I wonder what exactly was found in here. I hear voices of men in the hallway but can't make out what they're saying. Finally someone comes in and starts reading from some papers he's holding. He tells me on such and such a day I searched for pornography on the internet, and I think, 'what the hell, who cares.' But he goes on and on, reading e-mails and AIM conversations, and I start thinking that there's going to be a trial, and I'm going to be made out to be some kind of sicko, and I'll be locked up forever.
So I get to the point where I'm so shocked and angry and creeped out that I decide to leave. I walked out in the hallway and looked into the next room and saw two guys in suits, one on a laptop, and one sorting through papers, as if there is a whole team working on this. So I think holy shit, I'm getting out of here. I go back to get my wallet and ID (my parents are there but I ignore them), and I see the guy in the clothes hamper looking at me. He's wearing a turban, by the way. I think, man I really need someone to talk to, so I say 'Hey, how's it goin?' to my clothes hamper. He just sort of listens as I start to complain about everything that's happening and how unfair it is. I start to feel like this guy is my friend so I say, 'Hey, you're not the judge by any chance?' He shakes his head. Then I feel bad for only talking about myself, and I ask him about his family, but he doesn't say anything. I say out loud, 'What the hell am I gonna do?' He smiles and says, 'Look under my hat.'
This all still seems very plausible to me, and very real.
So I think, okay there must be something under his hat that will help me make sense of all this. I walk over and take the hat off, but I can't find the inside of it. It unravels, it's just a towel. I look at his head, and there's a pair of underwear where his brain should be. I'm really confused, and I pick up his head, and it's just a pair of red pajama pants. The whole thing is just clothes, but a second ago it was moving and talking to me. Then I notice my family is gone. So I go back into the hall, and I still hear voices. I close my door and decide to go find one of my friends' rooms and hide in there until everything blows over. When I get there, I knock on the door (It's about 1:00 a.m. now, T+5:00), but no one answers. I tried to wake him up (without drawing attention to myself) but no luck. So I go down to the lobby of the building and peek out slowly, as if the city's entire police force will be waiting for me, but there's no one there.
At this point, it seems like that the hallucinations would be over and I'd start to figure out what had happened. But then I hear my dad's voice coming out of the elevator (I don't remember actually seeing him), telling me how much trouble I'll be in when I get home. So I figure I'm only being expelled (again, ignoring the inconsistency), and I decide just to run away. So I go outside in sandals and a t-shirt, at 1:00 a.m. in November, in the northeastern US, in the rain, to run away on foot.
I hear my parents behind me (and now turn around and see them again) but I just keep walking quickly. The sound of them fades away, so I figure I'm losing them, but at this point I start to see police cars parked everywhere, and every once in a while, a badge will gleam in the moonlight from behind a tree or some bushes. Now I realize that there are police everywhere, and I wonder why they're hiding, not approaching me. I think, maybe it's because my hands are in my pockets; they think I'm armed! (Doesn't make sense either.) I keep walking, and the cops follow me; I hear them shuffling along and keep seeing them hiding, watching me. I walk up past the frat houses and keep going until I don't know where I am. My hands and feet are freezing. I went through a bad neighborhood, but no one was out (probably because there were cops everywhere, I thought) and I was so cold I decided I had to get to somewhere familiar, so I made a loop back home.
On the way back, I start to see my parents hiding with police, and I hear my dad saying, 'Watch out, he might run.' I think it's strange that I can see and hear them 'hiding' and waiting. It's like a cat going up to a mouse and just politely opening its mouth. So whenever I see them, I simply cross the street.
Finally I'm so cold and tired that I stop on the steps of the music building and sit down, curled up, just waiting to be caught. I see officers in the windows of the music building and creeping up behind bushes, so I just empty my pockets and hold my hands out and wait. I can see my family across the street. No one comes for twenty minutes. I pick up my things and walk back home, figuring if they don't want to catch me, I'm going the fuck inside.
I get to my building and sign on a computer in the lobby. Steve is the only person online, and I tell him what's happening, without mentioning the dramamine, which like I said I've forgotten. He doesn't consider it either, just can't believe what's happening. We hang up and I sit in the laundry room for another half hour with my hands behind my head, reading the paper, still seeing cops creeping up behind things. It wasn't until I saw two REAL cops, who walked by and ignored me, that I even considered it might have been a hallucination.
I cautiously went back to my room, to find everything in its right place, (about 2:30 a.m., T+6:30) and was so confused that I called home. If they answered, it meant I was tripping and I'd be relieved. They answered and I told them the whole thing. I felt like an idiot for days afterward and worried that I would never be the same, but I recovered completely. Had some shimmering in the periphery for a few days though, especially against light backgrounds.
Here's what happened that afternoon, which somehow I totally disregarded:
I was reading, or doing some work or something, at my desk. I glanced up at the open door, and hiding behind my door, against the wall, I saw a little girl. She was standing still, with no emotion in her face, just looking at me. It was a little creepy, especially since her entire body, including her head, was in the shape of a large narrow triangle. Her eyes were at the very top, and she had thin red hair that came down (along the sides of her triangular head) to where her shoulders would be if she had any, and her mouth extended across her entire face and was a straight horizontal line. Then her dress continued down the widening triangle, and just at the bottom I could see her shoes poking out. I figured, for some reason, that she had been running from something in the hall and ducked in here to hide. So I figured she's been through enough, and I left her alone and went about my business, looking over every now and then to see if she was still there. Finally, after what seemed like an hour, I got up and very very slowly walked over to her. I said hello but there was no answer. When I got there, I saw that she was a towel on a hook. I touched it in disbelief, and then put it down and continued going about my business. I didn't even bother thinking about it or telling anyone.
I say, don't take Dramamine recreationally, ever. Unless you're already a paranoid schizophrenic (I have no history of mental illness, by the way) and you feel you could use some more imaginary friends, or if you'd like to see your city hire more cops. Or if your laundry isn't sympathetic enough to you. Frankly, if I was your underwear, I'd expect you to sympathize with me.
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