Citation: trilobite. "Seizure: An Experience with Mushrooms (exp35682)". Erowid.org. Oct 20, 2005. erowid.org/exp/35682
This experience was a long time ago, but I think it's still worth recording, as it's apparently an unusual one and I still don't really understand what happened.
My first experience with psychedelics was when I shared a low dose of psilocybin mushrooms with my wife and two friends in 1989, as we sat together in a forest glade. The effect was pleasant but subtle - I remember seeing mild hallucinations with my eyes closed, like more intense versions of the patterns I normally see when I squeeze my eyes shut. The main effect, though, was a relaxed feeling of childish playfulness - very enjoyable.
After that I was interested in repeating the experience, and a year later obtained a larger dose of psylocybin which my wife and I planned to share on our anniversary. Unlike me she had tried all manner of drugs in her mis-spent youth, and was experienced with psilocybin. We took half the mushrooms in the early afternoon in a seaside hotel room, and sat on the balcony waiting for the effects, which when they came were much stronger than the previous time. For a while the effects were mostly visual, and my mind was clear and I could observe them with great interest and enjoyment. The clouds took on repeating fractal shapes, and I was fascinated that my brain would interpret the usual visual stimuli in this strangely distorted way.
At some point we ate the rest of the mushrooms, and the effects became stronger still - I remember going inside to lie on the bed, surrounded by swirling patterns and a wonderful feeling of euphoria - I think I said something like 'why would anyone not want to do this?'. Then I pleasantly lost awareness of my surroundings, feeling like I'd dissolved into myself. This was maybe an hour after taking the first dose.
Next thing I knew my wife was looking at me with a panicked expression, asking if I knew who and where I was. I had been hugging her on the bed and she'd felt me suddenly go rigid, and then I'd had a full-blow epileptic seizure. She'd been in the middle of phoning for help, but when I regained conciousness she didn't complete the call. She told me about the seizure, but I was now fairly befuddled and couldn't take in the information - I couldn't understand why she was so upset.
For the next several hours I continued in this confused state - if I concentrated hard I could bring myself back to reality and talk to my wife, who was still pretty freaked out, but mostly I was off in some other place. I remember smiling at her for minutes at a time while she tried to talk to me - I felt that smiling was all the communication that was necessary. I was still having hallucinations but was getting bored with them, and eventually I just waited for the drug effects to go away, which they did after the usual six hours or so.
My wife had felt only mild effects from the mushrooms, and these had evaporated with the shock of my seizure, though she had taken a dose similar to mine.
I felt groggy the next day, and didn't feel right for several days after that, and I continued to have vague feelings of being unwell for a long time afterwards. I was really afraid that I'd damaged my brain, and this feeling persisted despite subsequent reassurances from doctors who couldn't find anything wrong. It was several *years* before I convinced myself that my only problem was hypochondria triggered by the shock of the experience, and I was finally able to put my fears behind me. So while I don't think I suffered any lasting physical damage from the seizure, the damage to my mental equilibrium was considerable.
There was an interesting postscript six years later, when I ate some wild puffball mushrooms (with gastronomic, not psychedelic, intent) and briefly blacked out, twice, about an hour later. I don't know if I had a seizure as no-one else was in the room at the time, but there were no lasting after-effects. That experience suggested to me that I have a general allergy to some kinds of mushrooms, rather than a problem with psychedelics per se. But I'm playing safe and haven't taken any psychedelics since that day in 1991. Too bad - but for the minor detail of the seizure, it would have been a great experience.
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