In my previous article, I discussed the benefits of psychedelics. But whenever you’re talking about anything, especially a subject as complex as psychedelics, it’s very important to remain objective and look at a certain subject from different perspectives.
So if I have talked about the positive effects of psychedelics, I have to talk about the negative ones. Fortunately though, there aren’t many, especially for most people.
That being said, here we go.
It is not known that psychedelics make people who use them schizophrenic, however, there might be a concern when it comes to people who are genetically predisposed to schizophrenia.
We do have some evidence than people who have a family history of this disease, and you were going to develop it later in your life, the use of psychedelics might speed up it’s development. So you might become schizophrenic months or years faster than you would have had you not used any psychedelics at all.
Mind you, schizophrenia is rare and to most people it’s not a concern when it comes to psychedelics because, like i said, they are not known to cause it in healthy individuals.
Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) is a disorder which occurs after psychedelic drug use. You essentially experience sensory, almost always visual, disturbances. The so-called flashbacks are for the most part a myth. But HPPD is very real.
Quite a few people develop it in a form of simple increase in sensitivity to light. Lights appear brighter than before. And so do colors in general. This effect is usually not very intense and only lasts for a few weeks.
But that’s very mild and goes away fast, without further consumption of psychedelics. Most people never develop true HPPD.
True HPPD is a lot more harsh and it often has many different forms of visual disturbances. Again, it’s very rare, and if HPPD does develop the symptoms tend to be very mild, unnoticeable unless focused on and not really interfering with life and they tend to subside in a matter of weeks months and rarely years.
But there are some cases of people developing severe HPPD that didn’t go away ever without treatment.
People who have serious HPPD often experience: visual snow, geometric hallucinations, false perception of movement in peripheral fields, flashes of color, intensified colors, trails of images of moving objects, positive after images, halos around objects, macropsia and micropsia.
Again, the intensity of these effects tends to be low and most people get used to them and don’t even notice them. Unless they deliberately focus on them.
So, most people don’t get HPPD, those who do have a very mild version of it, like lights are a bit brighter, slight visual snow and maybe more effects that are weak in their intensity,
Unfortunately, because of it’s rarity, HPPD is not very well researched. And if it doesn’t go away, benzodiazepines and anti-psychotic / schizophrenia medications usually help to diminish or completely get rid of HPPD
The exact mechanism behind HPPD is not known.
Most trips that people experience on psychedelics are considered good. It also depends on the psychedelic, of course, but most traditional psychedelics tend to give people positive experiences.
That being said, there are also plenty of negative ones that people experience and they sometimes aren’t only unpleasant but can also make people go psychotic. You see, bad trips can bring up a lot of things that the user doesn’t want to face and if he or she resists it instead of accepting and facing it, it can make the experience very painful.
Also, psychedelics in particular and hallucinogens in general distort your perception of environment and, to an extent, reality. And when having a bad trip, all of this can make you go full psycho. You might more or less lose control of yourself and hurt yourself or somebody else, or break something or cause any sort of damage by doing something stupid and dangerous.
Ability to control your mind, your thoughts and be able to calm yourself, which is easier said than done, is very beneficial in this scenario.
Also, having benzodiazepines, drugs that can help to end your trip can be very important to make sure that if things go bad, you can stop the trip and prevent yourself from anything stupid.
So, psychosis is one of the short term effects that psychedelic users experience during the trips, whereas the previous negative effects are can be felt long after the experience.
Psychedelics can be great tools for discovering and improving oneself in many ways, but they also pose certain dangers that have to be assessed when considering using psychedelics.
I have to say though, as a drug group, psychedelics are some of the safest drugs around. A lot of traditional psychedelics are actually more physiologically safe than caffeine. And there’s not a lot of negatives to be attributed to them, especially to the traditional psychedelics.
But, there are some people who have different genetic makeup and who also have been exposed to different environments all of which lead to them developing differently and these differences influence our physiology and our psychology.
And some people simply shouldn’t use them, especially people with a family history of schizophrenia.
Plus, other get HPPD from psychedelics.
During the experience itself, psychosis, paranoia and many unpleasant feelings can be felt.
However, most reports of psychedelic use are positive and most people are more or less eligible to their use and so the biggest problems for them are the negative social stigma that surrounds their use and issues with their legality. You probably won’t die because of LSD use, but you can lose your freedom because of it.
So, it can be both positive and negative. Caution has to be taken when considering psychedelics to minimize the probability of having a negative experience with negative after-effects and instead to have a great experience.