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The Phenomenology of the Psychotic Break and Huxley's Trip: Substance Use and the Onset of Psychosis

The Phenomenology of the Psychotic Break and Huxley's Trip: Substance Use and the Onset of Psychosis

  1. Bajeda
    Nelson, B, & Sass, LA. (2008). The Phenomenology of the Psychotic Break and Huxley's Trip: Substance Use and the Onset of Psychosis. Psychopathology. 41(6):346-355.

    We discuss the implications of this for the causal relationship between psychosis and substance use and suggest several ways of understanding the overlapping phenomenologies. This includes the suggestion of a shared factor, perhaps best described as psychotic-like experience, which seems to involve a breakdown of the sign-referent relationship and relationship with the common-sense, practical world. However, in the onset of psychosis, this breakdown is primarily experienced as a sense of alienation from self and world, whereas in the hallucinogenic state a sense of mystical union and revelation seems predominant. Further research may extend this analysis by looking at experiences with other drugs, particularly cannabis, and by examining the phenomenology of psychotic disorder beyond the first episode.