Something People Say to Scare You...
Citation: Awakening Everything. "Something People Say to Scare You...: An Experience with LSD (exp51631)". Erowid.org. Jan 6, 2012. erowid.org/exp/51631
First of all, I will be writing about the experience of my girlfriend. Although, I did trip with her, and stay in very close contact with her in the months that followed. This story is one that you seem to hear about as a sort of myth to scare you away from drugs. One thing I would like to mention is that I personally have extensive experience with, knowledge of, and respect for psychedelic drugs. This is not meant as a report to scare you into not experimenting with psychedelics, as I feel that, used correctly, they can be a powerful spiritual tool. I submit this account as a means to educate you as to the possible dangers and humbly offer you what advice I can and what conclusions I have reached.
As a bit of background information, my girlfriend at the time (who we shall hereto refer to as Susan), prior to this event did not have a great deal of experience with psychedelics. She had done Mescaline once, LSD once, and ecstasy once (while I don't feel it is a 'psychedelic' I am including it anyway). Her Mescaline experience had been extremely positive with no negative side-effects. Her first LSD ingested roughly 3.5 hits, had a very intense but altogether pleasurable trip for the first 5 hours, but then suddenly lost touch, to say the least. She suddenly was naked, repeating certain phrases over and over (such as 'I've been here before' and 'I love you guys too!'), while thinking she had to vomit every minute or so, or suddenly running to the toilet for 'other' reasons. I was with her alone for the next 5 hours. Every couple minutes it was as though I could visually watch her particular ego or sense of reality focus in on her. She would start out staring blanking into space, repeating phrases, experiencing extreme emotions, and then suddenly for a split second she would realize what reality was, then for the next second she would realize where she was... until she realized who she was, who I was, and what was happening. She would apologize and thank me for helping her and then suddenly, she would be gone again. Things I did to help her included giving her milk, making her drink water, just helping her relax and keeping the environment calm and comfortable.) Anyway, about 5-8 hours she gradually found her way back to reality and was essentially the same person afterwards (albeit one with perhaps a more enlightened view on life.)
Now, the story gets interesting. Roughly a month and a half later was her next encounter with LSD. This time she took only 1 hit. Her entire trip was great, she enjoyed it, nothing bad happened. The day after (after staying up all night), we went to the park, went on a walk, ate some lunch, just had a calm sober day really. We then went back to my house, late afternoon and decided to try to sleep... after having sex. However, directly after sex she began crying profusely, when asked 'why' all she could say was, 'I'm just so happy.' The next few hours she gradually lost touch with reality. It was very similar to the way she was acting before but was not nearly as bad. I assumed it would soon pass, another night at the most. I attempted to speed up the recovery by giving her food and liquid, which she was very uninterested in. As the night progressed I gave her sleeping pills, one Ambien and a couple Excedrin PM. She drank a couple beers to amplify the affect of the sleeping pills. I am unsure whether or not she slept, but what I can say is that I was able to get 2 hours of sleep and so I can only assume that she did sleep, otherwise it would have been impossible for me to, since she was acting very dependent on me at this point and wouldnt let me sleep (we had been up for 2 days at this point).
I awoke to her being wide awake. She seemed to be getting more and more out of touch as time passed. I stayed up with her the rest of the night, by noon the next day I decided to give her more sleeping pills, Unisom and Tylenol PM, and also Niacin, they had no affect at all. She would sometimes come back for very short time periods. She would talk about how 'she could see it', but 'it hurt to remember', she 'didn't want to come back.' At times she appeared to be in a very enlightened place, completely tranquil, happy. Others, she would experience extreme sorrow, talk about 'being in the bad place,' 'I've been here before,' or talk about how we were all just 'hanging out in our imaginations.' One thing I found very interesting was that she seemed to be reliving all of the experiences of the last couple days in reverse order, talking to people as if they were there.
To speed up the story a bit, by the afternoon on the 2 day after the trip, she was not eating, not sleeping, not drinking, and getting further and further away mentally. I enlisted the help of some close friends to help me as I was on day 3 of no sleep. That evening I was frantically awoke by them. Susan was talking in a strange dialect (language?), flailing her limbs, hitting herself and others repeatedly, showing extreme rage at times. By this point I felt I had no choice but to take her to emergency room, which with all of our combined efforts, we were able to do (through physical restraint). There were police at the emergency room but aside from a suspicious glare, gave us no trouble. The hospital had little clue about what was happening and, I feel, did virtually nothing short of restraining her. It was clear to all of us that she needed food and sleep, the staff seemed to think it would just work out naturally. Clearly they were oblivious to any situation even slightly resembling this one. Her parents arrived within a few hours.
A day and half later she was transferred to a psychiatric hospital in the nearest major city. I talked to her daily, she was very unhappy there and very disconnected from reality. She was very confused and still very much in a different world. It is extremely difficult to describe the way she was acting at this point. This hospital also (I feel) handled things very poorly. They still would not give her sleeping medication (even though she went 10 days sleeping only 6 hours) and she rarely got to even see a doctor. But, regardless, after roughly a week and a half, she was released into the custody of her parents. She was functional, but definitely still not in touch with 'reality.' The next two days at home she gradually regressed until eventually she reached the point where she KNEW the CIA was trying to kill her, that everyone was trying to shoot her, and that dead bodies were chopped up in the basement. Her parents took her back to the hospital, but she wouldn't allow her self to be committed (since she was 20 it required her permission, they had been able to convince her last time due to her state of mind), and so they struggled until finding a different facility. A psychiatric research hospital.
I know this is getting long so I will finish up... It was another two weeks before she was rereleased. It took her roughly 3 months to recover to normality. However, she is a different person. I think probably a better, happier person. As far as the experience she remembers it all. I have no doubt she experienced things extremely spiritual at times, inhabiting higher dimensions, talking spirits, and things of the sort. BUT, I also think that due to many factors she experienced many things that were pure hallucination, or signs she took to be indicative of things that were not true (in some cases very extreme things). The problem is that she is not entirely able to tell what was true and what was not.
So here are the conclusions I have reached after talking to doctors, researching, talking to her, etc. Luckily, I was mindful enough to keep logs of what she was saying throughout the experience, and also have her journals from the hospitals.
So, she was a person with some issues in her past that she did not want to deal with at the time. She suppressed these things and didn't think about them. Most likely, she was prone to this sort of psychosis and it is very possible that this would have happened even without the LSD. In this particular case though, the LSD definitely sort of opened the door. Thus I say it triggered it, but did not CAUSE it. I view this experience as a sort of transformation of her life into a better person. Others see it differently, such as her parents, but they are coming with the attitude of placing blame on everyone and everything except for their daughter. To them, it's not that their daughter had issues and problems that needed to be dealt with finally exploded, it was the fault of her boyfriend and of drugs that this horrible thing happened, a thing with no spiritual basis or positive side effects, they were convinced she was going to die.
What advice can I give? Well for one thing the doctors at the second hospital, who seemed to more fully understand what was going on, said that everything I did were the BEST things that could have been done for her, short of actually taking the LSD of course. That includes sleeping pills, food, water, vitamins, Niacin. ALSO, here are some things to be careful of.
* Isolate the person in a quiet, dimly lit room, without the coming and going of strangers
* Constant reassurance is key, 'everything is ok, everyone is ok, and that includes you.'
* The person should not be left alone. Time is extremely distorted for them and a minute can feel like a day.
* Don't ask questions, questions can provoke a flood of anxiety in a person struggling to maintain logical thought
There you have it, I hope that offers help to someone should a similar situation ever arise. Likewise though, I hope that it never does happen.
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