Health - Panic Attacks, Bad Trips, and How to Control Them

Discussion in 'LSD' started by Powder_Reality, Jul 16, 2006.

  1. Powder_Reality

    Powder_Reality Gold Member

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    Dec 22, 2005
    I have noticed that there are a lot of posts on this forum related to panic attacks. A few of these posts include people who describe feeling symptoms of panic attacks and anxiety, but aren’t aware what they are experiencing. SWIM figures that it would be beneficial to the forum community to post a report about panic attacks, bad trips, and how to control them.

    What is a Panic Attack?

    A panic attack is a period of intense fear or psychological distress, typically of abrupt onset and lasting no more than thirty minutes. Most sufferers of panic attacks report a fear of dying, "going crazy", or losing control of emotions or behavior. These feelings generally provoke a strong urge to escape or flee the place where the attack began ("fight or flight" reaction) and, when associated with chest pain or shortness of breath, a feeling of impending doom and/or tunnel vision, frequently result in the sufferer seeking medical attention.

    What are the Symptoms of a Panic Attack?

    The symptoms of a panic attack appear suddenly, without any apparent cause. They may include:
    • Racing or pounding heartbeat or palpitations
    • Sweating
    • Chest pain/PVCs
    • Dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea
    • Difficulty breathing (dyspnea)
    • Tingling or numbness in the hands, face, feet or mouth (Paresthesia)
    • A sudden feeling that everything around the person represents a threat. This can cause a person to either behave extremely defensively (perhaps even assuming the fetal position), or to become enraged and lash out violently.
    • The loss of the ability to react logically to oncoming stimuli, and the loss of cognitive ability in general. One suffering from a panic attack will often only feel the attack and will be unable to assess why they are feeling the attack or what they can do to stop the sensation.
    • Flushed face and chest
    • Chills
    • Dream-like sensation or perceptual distortion (derealization)
    • Dissociation, or the perception that one is not connected to the body or is disconnected from space and time (depersonalization)
    • Terror, or a sense that something unimaginably horrible is about to occur and one is powerless to prevent it
    • Vomiting
    • Tunnel vision
    • Fear of losing control and doing something embarrassing or going crazy
    • Fear of dying
    • Feeling of impending doom
    • Trembling or "shivering"
    • Crying
    • Heightened senses
    • Loud internal dialogue
    • Exhaustion
    • Vertigo
    The Anatomy of a Panic Attack

    A panic attack typically lasts from 2 to 8 minutes. More severe panic attacks may form a series of episodes waxing and waning every few minutes, only to be ended by physical exhaustion and sleep.

    The various symptoms of a panic attack can be understood as follows. First, there is the sudden onset of fear with little or no provoking stimulus. This leads to a release of adrenaline (epinephrine) which brings about the so-called fight-or-flight response where the person's body prepares for major physical activity. This leads to an increased heart rate (tachycardia), rapid breathing (hyperventilation), and sweating (which increases grip and aids heat loss). Because strenuous activity rarely ensues, the hyperventilation leads to a drop in carbon dioxide levels in the lungs and then in the blood. This leads to shifts in blood pH which can in turn lead to many other symptoms, such as tingling or numbness, dizziness, and lightheadedness. It is also possible for the person experiencing such an attack to feel as though they are unable to catch their breath, and they begin to take deeper breaths, which also acts to decrease carbon dioxide levels in the blood.

    Hyperventilation alone can bring about some of the symptoms of a panic attack. However, the person experiencing the panic attack often does not realize this and sees these symptoms as further evidence of how serious their condition is. An ensuing positive feedback loop of adrenaline release fuels worsening physical symptoms and psychological distress.

    Can a Panic Attack Harm You?

    While the symptoms and the seriousness of panic disorder are very real, the feelings of panic or impending death that accompany many attacks are exaggerated. Many physicians tell panic disorder sufferers that while their body is affected by the attack, they are not in any risk of fatality (except due to auxiliary reactions such as crashing a car, running into traffic, committing suicide, etc). If a sufferer can anticipate an attack and find a safe place to release, there is little immediate risk.

    Bad Trips

    A bad trip is a profoundly unpleasant experience using a hallucinogenic drug such as LSD, mescaline, DXM, or psilocybin, caused by one or more of the common undesired effects of the drug:

    · Panic Reaction
    · Amplification of unconscious fears
    · Self-aggression
    · Suicidal ideation
    · Fear of going insane or inability to return to normal
    · Perception of rapid aging of self or others
    · Profound depression

    The effects of hallucinogenic drugs vary widely from one individual to the next. Psychosis is exacerbated in individuals already suffering from this condition. Sometimes individuals under the influence of such drugs have forgotten that they have taken them, and believe that the wildly distorted world they perceive is real and will be with them indefinitely. In extreme cases, hospitalization is required, though the value of this practice is disputed by proponents of recreational use of psychoactive compounds.

    Someone who is experiencing a bad trip can often be "talked down" by someone that he or she trusts. One must get a feel for how distorted or disconnected the individual is, and then attempt to remind the individual that they took a drug and that the feelings they are experiencing are a result of the drug, and that these will eventually pass. It is also very important to talk calmly to the individual and not become agitated by their behavior, as this will only make their experience worse as they perceive the most negative aspects of whatever their mind is processing during the bad trip.

    Medical treatment consists of supportive therapy and minimization of external stimuli. In some cases, sedation is used when necessary to control self-destructive behavior, or when hyperthermia occurs. Valium is the most frequently used sedative for such treatment, but other benzodiazepines such as Ativan are also effective. It should be noted that such sedatives will only decrease fear and anxiety, but will not subdue hallucinations. In severe cases, antipsychotics such as haloperidol can reduce or stop hallucinations, but this treatment is only effective against the so-called "classical" hallucinogens (LSD, psilocybin and mescaline, among others). Antipsychotics are not effective against dissociatives such as PCP and ketamine, and should not be used if these drugs are involved.

    Timothy Leary taught that a bad trip is a result of bad set and setting, and advised that users of hallucinogens be sure that they are comfortable before taking the drugs. Leary claimed that the frequency of bad trips, although highly exaggerated by anecdotes and fabrications in the popular press, was actually about 1 in 1000. He taught that a simple temporary fix to a bad trip is sugar (in the form of candy, oranges, etc.), since bad trips may often be the result of people forgetting to eat and experiencing hyperawareness of low blood sugar.

    Alternatively, psychologist R. D. Laing held that bad trips and other such extreme experiences, drug-induced or not, were not necessarily artificial terrors to be suppressed but rather signs of internal conflict and opportunities for self-healing. The greater the pain and pathos of an experience, the greater the urgency to explore and resolve it, rather than attempt to cover it up or dismiss it.
    Though Marijuana can lead to panicked states in some cases, it does not cause 'bad trips'. These are merely anxiety attacks which lead the unexperienced user to a confused state. Simply talking them down and possibly having them eat will suffice for these anxiety attacks.

    How to Stop a Panic Attack

    In SWIM’s experience, the best way to calm yourself down during a panic attack is practice this exercise:

    When you sense that a panic attack is coming over you, stop what you’re doing and sit down. Close your eyes, exhale all the air in your lungs and slowly inhale through your nose. While you are inhaling through your nose, visualize your lungs filling up with air. When your lungs are full, hold your breath for a couple seconds. Slightly open the middle of your lips and slowly exhale through your mouth as if you were blowing through a straw. While you are exhaling, visualize your lungs exhaling all the air. Repeat as necessary. By visualizing your lungs inhaling and exhaling, you are able to distract your mind from the panic attack and concentrate on something else. If you are having racing and repetitive thoughts, sternly say “STOP!”, and start to calm yourself down with reassuring comments, such as “This is only a panic attack. It will end soon, and it won’t hurt me.” If your heart is rapidly beating and you fear a heart attack, remind yourself, “This is only a panic attack. My heart is beating fast because I am worrying, and by worrying about it, my heart is only going to beat faster.” Saying “STOP!” to yourself helps to break the cycle of repetitive thoughts and gives you a chance to replace the negative thoughts with reassuring thoughts.
    After you have calmed yourself down, you should do something that you find relaxing, such as watching TV, listening to calming music, etc.

    How to Help Someone Having a Bad Trip

    Crisis situations can manifest themselves in countless ways, anything from belligerent, potentially violent outbursts to complete withdrawal from external stimuli to debilitating paranoia or fear to relatively harmless compulsive or psychotic behaviour. How one deals with the situation depends greatly on the symptoms the person is experiencing.

    In most situations you're not trying to force any particular action or reaction on the part of the person experiencing the crisis. The point isn't to "talk them down" since this doesn't work and usually makes things worse. Make sure they know that everything in the outside world is're with them, watching out for them. Make sure they don't hurt themselves or others, and if things get out of control, call for help. Whatever you choose to do, watch for their reaction. If what you're doing seems to make things worse, move on to something else.

    Many guides and counsellors who have experience with this type of acute emotional/spiritual crisis say that the best thing to do is to tell someone to let go and relax into the feelings. The mantra "breathe, relax, let go" was developed in the 1960's and 1970's for psychedelic therapy and it is argued that much of the emotional dissonance and mental stress comes from fighting and resisting potentially uncomfortable internal processes. Guides suggest that it is the fear which is often the dominant force precipitating a crisis and the main role of a crisis-manager is to help create a space where the person can feel safer.

    Quick List
    • Try to get a sense of 'how far out' they are. Do they think they are in the same place you think you are? Do they know what time of day it is, what their name is? Do they know they ingested a psychoactive?
    • Reassure them in a calm, matter-of-fact tone that you are with them and watching out for them.
    • Remind them that this is a substance-induced state of mind, which will end.
    • Remind them to breathe and relax.
    • Let them know that spiritual crises are normal.
    • Be as calm as possible while talking to them, and use a normal tone of voice even if you are feeling anxious yourself.
    • If possible, bring them some water or a piece of bread. Ask them if they would like a sip or a bite.
    • Sit and talk. Pass the time with them.
    • If you know their name, use it a couple of times. "Hey John, how are you?
    • Introduce yourself, say your name and how you come to be there.
    • Look at beautiful things.
    • Sing (anything, but especially children's songs such as Row, Row, Row Your Boat).
    • Pet or play with an animal.
    • Go for a walk.
    • Recall good memories (beach, children, etc.).
    • Dance.
    • Hold hands.
    Pitfalls to Avoid
    • Don't try too hard to 'get them to come down'. This often makes things worse.
    • Don't confuse them by repeatedly asking them questions they can't answer.
    • Don't make them feel even more isolated by acting worried and nervous around them.
    • Probably avoid any complex physical activities, like trying to zipper a jacket or fixing the stereo or lighting the pilot light on the stove.
    • Respect their needs and boundaries.
      • Don't touch them if they don't want to be touched.
      • Give them space if they seem to want it.
    What to Do
    1. If someone seems to be having a hard time, gently ask them if they would like someone to sit with them. If it seems disturbing to them to have someone sitting with them, have someone nearby keep an eye on them unobtrusively.
    2. Relate to them in the space they are in. Oftentimes, the thing which isolates people and creates a sense of paranoia or loss is that they are *so far out* of normal awareness that people are trying hard to ground them. Start off instead by trying to just be there for them. Try to see the world through their eyes.
    3. What different ways can you change setting (noise level, temperature, outside vs. inside, etc.)? A party/rave/concert setting can aggravate a person's state of mind. Consider finding the quietest place if it seems like it will help (taking cues from the experiencer), and ask people to not crowd around. Reassure them the situation is under control, noting those who offer help in case help is needed later.
    4. How can you minimize risk of emotional or physical harm? Remember your concern for how the person is feeling, not concern for the situation (as in "oh my gawd, we've got to do something.")
    5. Paranoia: If the person doesn't want anyone near them, hang back, turn so you aren't staring at them, but keep an eye on them as discretely as possible. Think about what it would feel like to be in a paranoid state, having some stranger (whether you are or not) follow you around and watch you.
    6. What objects/activities/distractions might help the person get through a difficult space (toys, animals, music, etc.)?
    7. No Pressure: Just be with them. Unless there is risk of bodily injury, just make it clear you are there for them if they need anything.
    8. Touch. Touch can be very powerful, but it can also be quite violating. In general, don't touch them unless they say its OK or they touch you first. If it seems like they might need a hug, ask them. If they are beyond verbal communication, try to be very sensitive to any negative reaction to touch. Try to avoid getting pulled into any sexual contact. Often, holding hands is a very effective and non-threatening way to let someone know you are there if they need you.
    9. Intensity can come in cycles or waves. It also can work as a system -- a movement through transpersonal spaces which can have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Don't try to push too hard to move it.
    10. Not Forever: If they are connected enough to worry about their sanity, assure them that the state is due to a psychoactive and they will return to their 'home' state of mind in time.
    11. Normal Drug-Induced: Tell them they are experiencing the acute effects of a psychoactive (if you know what, tell them) and tell them that it is normal (although uncommon) to go through spiritual crises and they (like thousands before them) will be fine if they relax and let the substance run its course.
    12. Breathing: breathe with them. If they are connected enough to be present for assistance, get them to join you in deep, long, full breaths. If they're amenable to it, or really far out and freaking, putting a hand on their belly and saying, "breath from down here", "just keep breathing, you 'got it", can help.
    13. Relaxing: It can be very very hard to relax in the middle of dying or being pulled apart by demons, but tell them that you are there to make sure nothing happens to their physical body. One of the most important things during really difficult internal processes is to learn to be OK with them happening, to 'relax' one's attempt to stop the experience and just let it happen.
    14. Getting Meditative: Gently suggesting they try to close their eyes and focus inward can sometimes change the course of their experience.
    15. Barefeet on the ground: One of the most centering and grounding thing to do is to take off shoes and socks and get your feet directly on the hard ground. Be careful of doing this in toe-dangerous surroundings.
    16. Eye contact: If the person is not acting paranoid and fearful of you, make sure to include a lot of eye contact.
    17. Everything is Fine with Me: Make it clear that the whole world may be falling apart for them, but everything is OK with you.
    18. Healthy process: Crises are a normal part of the human psychological process and one way to engage them is as a process of healing, not a 'problem' to be fixed.
    It can be very difficult to talk, relate, or even really be fully aware of other people's presence at the peak of intense experiences. If you're sitting with a person who is in this state, listen to what they say and (if it seems appropriate and useful) you can prompt them with very simple questions about their experience...

    "What color is it?" -- "Are you sad?" -- "How old are you?"

    It seems likely that the answers you will receive will be metaphoric and not concrete. "All the colors" - "I'm as old as the river". Don't expect to carry on a normal conversation.

    The most comforting thing some people have reported helped them during acute experiences is a blanket wrapped around them. We cannot recommend enough having a thick, weighty blanket for emergencies.

    ***Note. I did not write most of this report. With the exception of the section labelled “How to Stop a Panic Attack”, the rest of the report is compiled of articles taken from different sources on the internet. Please see below for a list of the sites that I found the articles on.


    Wikipedia Encyclopedia:
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2017
  2. adzket

    adzket R.I.P. Gold Member

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    Mar 10, 2005
    37 y/o from U.K.
    i think this is a very good idea for a thread but as someone who regularly suffered from panic attacks now medicated thank god. i disagree with the part that says you get numb limbs ect and hyperventilates from not having enough co2 in your blood it is as i have been advised many times by medics and health care professionals actually from having to much co2 in your blood. this makes you feel tingly and numb, this in turn makes you feel out of control of your body, which makes you panic more and your breathing more erratic making this worse the increase co2 also makes your muscles cramp up. i am double jointed in my fingers and freaked out a paramedic during a panic attack as due to the lack of oxygen and a build up of co2 i had got muscle cramp in my hands which in turn bent my fingers back in there joints. a paper bag can be helpful in stopping hyperventilating by allowing the person to slow and regulate there breaths but this should be removed periodically as you will breath more co2 when you exhale into the bag which will again build up in you blood starting the cycle off again. the rest i totally agree with if you do suffer with panic attacks for any resin not just drug induced i would recommend seeing your g.p about medication. also practise some deep breathing and relaxation tecneaks, (keep a paper bag about just in case) also try and practise changing your mind set i.e. thinking happy safe thoughts this can be difficult to do but worth the practise. also remember the worst thing that can happen in a normal environment is your breathing will become more erratic and the build up of co2 will make you pass out at which point your body will take over and do the breathing for you at a relaxed pace until you come round. you will likely have a head ache but noting more. if worried seek medical attention.
  3. quili

    quili Silver Member

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    Jun 23, 2006
    from U.S.A.
    thanks- swim always likes to read over this sort of thing shortly before tripping- just to remind herself of how to deal with a potentially bad situation
  4. El Calico Loco

    El Calico Loco Gold Member

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    Aug 30, 2006
    from U.S.A.
    My test subjects like to have nitrous oxide on hand. Not only is it a fun thing to do while tripping on something else (I'm told), but it's a wonderful way to calm someone who is having a difficult time. Benzos are great for a full-blown freakout; N2O is good for a temporary reprieve. It gives the subjects time to center themselves without altering the entire trip (much).

    Of course, the subjects must be willing and able to drink from the balloon. I once had a dream about a girl who was having a bad time on 2C-E: she was willing to inhale nitrous on the advise of the head researcher, but had never done so before and had a difficult time accepting the gas into her lungs. Took a few tries.

  5. Nagognog2

    Nagognog2 Iridium Member

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    Feb 1, 2005
    Actually, the administration of benzodiazepines (ditto for gassing the person) to someone having difficulty during an adventure can be the worst thing to do. It re-inforces to the person that the magnified thoughts/feelings they are having does mean "there is something wrong with me!"

    Best to simply ask the person if they took a drug. They acknowledge that they did. Do they know it will wear off? Yes they do.

    That is usually the end of the subject. Suggest they go play in the shower and enjoy the sensations - or similar. And change the Heavy Metal music on the stereo! Change the "Set" the tripper is in to something mellow. Lower the fucking lights! Reassure and Distract. Works 95% of the time.
  6. mindmaster

    mindmaster Newbie

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    Sep 21, 2006
    Very good is it a breathtecnique in panik attacks you do when you meditate? it sounds like one
  7. bewilderment

    bewilderment Drug Geek Extraordinaire Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Oct 29, 2005
    from U.S.A.

    Yes, but still benzos are prescribed specifically for panic attacks. If a person is prone towards panic attacks even without drugs, wouldn't this be a good thing to do? Swim's wife's heart rate often goes up drastically...the benzos don't slow it down but they do help her calm down enough so that her heart rate can go down. Also, the breathing thing is pretty hard to do, I suspect, if one is hyperventilating (also the wife has asthma which makes things worse).

    Swim suspects that for her wife, things are a bit different...she's been into meditation and self-hynosis and things of that sort so it would seem that she'd be able to calm herself, but often she simply cannot. The limbs going numb and such while her heart races especially freaks her out a bit. She knows it's transient and swim talks her through things until the panic phase passes...but just's really intense. Swim often feels a sort of panic and anxiety when coming up, but it doesn't even hold a candle to what she watches her wife go through on certain hallucinogens.

    Also, last time this happened she had chest pains. This was with the substance 2C-E. Is this related to panic attacks or is it a serious health concern? Swim's wife has sworn of hallucinogens for the time being because of this, and I think it's a good idea. I am also taking a break for awhile. After the panic-phase, swim's wife enjoys the trip and regrets that she can't take these substances without fearing for her life during the beginning...

    Also, swim's wife seems to be much more sensitive than others to chemicals. The dosage of 2C-E during this trip was about 7mg which swim figured would be fine for her wife. I took 14mg with no problems, but her wife had this severe panic attack and afterwards was tripping MUCH harder than swim.

    Edit: Nevermind about the chest pains. It is related to the panic it seems according to this:
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2006
  8. El Calico Loco

    El Calico Loco Gold Member

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    Aug 30, 2006
    from U.S.A.
    Talk and comforting should certainly be the first resort... but some people are impervious to reason when sober, never mind while tripping. My test subjects have found benzos and N2O invaluable in such cases. Usually all it takes is a question from a trusted friend: "Do you want something to help calm you down?"

    One shouldn't push it if they refuse, of course.

  9. Potter

    Potter Platinum Member & Advisor

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    Apr 1, 2005
    from U.S.A.
    Call me a psychotic heretic, but...

    sitting there and reassuring a person is going to be ok, that there is nothing wrong, well, that's admitting there IS something wrong.

    The symptom you describe are classic sign of ego loss. You see, the ego REALLY like it self (hence being an ego) and does not under any circumstances want to be pushed aside. So, when it starts being disconnected from the main neural circuts, it releases panic signals, hence the "OMG I'm going to DIE!"

    Attempting to calm them down is just fighting the process that naturally occures when one ingests psychedelics. Under these circumstances, the best thing for the person to do is to let go and just die. It's faster and the results are far more pleasing.

    Ego loss won't do a thing to the body. Personally I love being one with the universe. For meta-programming there is no better time for a new imprint.

    "...I am Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof, do ye thus. Bind nothing! Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing; for thereby cometh hurt." Liber Al I:22

    They need to let go!

    You know the price of admission to The Magic Theater, don't you? You know that sign on the door "for madmen only" think it's a joke? Got to pay the piper some time.

    Be frank with them, that they are going to loose it and when it is all over, they can go back to the world, but for the time, they just aught to pray to whatever god they are about to meet. Tell them to "let go". If they won't, get them to scream, get them to beat all that shit into a bed. they won't go on forever, you know that...

    They went into a tripp, in a bad state of mind, being remorseful, regretting, being in that point in life with too much shit that is taking them down with it, they are going to have to face their fears. They can't run away from them self, their problems, so with the power of the sacrament running through their veins, they mine as well take a stand.

    Those huge black pupils are just brimming with Power. The drugs have stripped away all those walls they build, they hide behind so they don't need to face the ugliness every day. You could tell the person "it's ok" that "everyone loves them" "that it'll be over in the morning" but that's not going to help in the long run. Next time they tripp, those walls will crumble and the whole ride will begin again. So make them take that power and swear deadly oaths to stop drinking, to stop fucking up school, to eat better, to love their lover with a firey passion the waters of the oceans of a thousand plantes could not quench. Tell them its time to to straighten up and fly right. That yes, they are a bad person, that they did something stupid and now is not the time to be curled up in a ball weeping like a child.

    Now is the time to do what needs to be done!

    "For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect." Liber AL, I:51

    They got to do it sometime... or go live in a van, down by the river.

    Reading List:
    As always, Dale Pendell's Pharmako/poeia, Pharmako/dynamis, Pharmako/gnosis. If you don't own these... you need to own them
    and also
    'LSD Psychotherapy' by WV Caldwell
    'LSD Psychotherapy: Exploring the Frontiers of the Hidden Mind', by Stanislav Grof.
    'Fight Club', by Chuck Palahnuik
    'Be Here Now', by Ram Dass

  10. Powder_Reality

    Powder_Reality Gold Member

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    Dec 22, 2005
    I agree that benzos and gas could help calm a person down; but he also agrees that they could possibly make matters worse as Nagognog2 explains. But it would probably depend on a few different factors, including dosages, surroundings, the tripper's psychological personality, etc.

    If I was having a bad trip, he would personally take comfort in knowing that he had some benzos that he could take. Waiting for the benzos to kick in and knowing that help is on the way would definately help calm SWIM down even before they started to work (kind of like a placebo effect before the pills actually kick in). Also, a small blast of nitrous could also help SWIM break out of thought loops. A personal factor for I am that he has OCD and simply trying to stop his bad trip through talking and distraction probably wouldn't help him as much as it might help someone else.

    Now if someone was having a bad trip and is naturally a very paranoid/anxious individual, the thought of having to take a benzo because something's apparently wrong with them could definately make matters worse. It really all depends on the person's personality.

    As for their surroundings, someone having a bad trip would probably be a lot more relaxed around a calm and trusted friend who suggests taking a benzo. Now if that same tripper is in the pressence of some guy who's acting extremely worried about them and shoves some pills in their face yelling "Just take these man!", the trip could get a lot worse.

    When SWIM talks about dosage, he is mainly referring to the notion of inhaling nitrous to help a bad trip. Yes, some people would probably benefit from a little nitrous to distract them from an unpleasant thought loop or give them a quick wave of euphoria. But if they inhaled a little too much nitrous and had an out-of-body-experience, they may get a little freaked out.

    To make a long, rambling post short: it's all relative to many different factors. They need to know their body, know their mind, and know how they react to different chemicals.

    I would definately have to agree with El Calico Loco's post. Trying to calmly reason with the tripper should be the first resort, and you shouldn't try to force anything upon them.
  11. Acid_Flux

    Acid_Flux Newbie

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    Sep 24, 2007
    30 y/o

    I think that everyone makes a good point, what is important to note is that every one is different and different techniques might work for some and not others.

    I found potter's words particularly powerful though...i do believe that bad trips are caused by psychological distress before the trip. The LSD breaks down the walls you built to shut out your bad experiences, and this can be a frightening experience.

    A bad trip will, in some way, teach you more about yourself than a good one...and riding it out forces you to finally face those things you tried to shut out in your life. its like a hundred hours of therapy jammed into one.

    swim underwent a bad trip a year ago, and although it was the most hellish trauma I has ever undergone, swim can look back and realise it was swims body and mind screaming "pay attention to me! to all these problems you're shutting out! feel the feelings you don't want to feel!!" and yes it's ugly, yes it hurts, but generally it's high time to face it.
  12. ScorpioSunshine

    ScorpioSunshine Silver Member

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    Nov 17, 2008
    from U.S.A.
    Great tips!!

    I have never had a bad trip, but has come close. SWIM suffers from PD, and only had the close-calls after PD diagnosis. SWIM misses the pre-PD days, lol. :crazy

    SWIM pretty much gave up all substances, but a few years ago decided to give it one last try at the urging of a friend with whom I had never tripped. I went into a full-blow panic attack before I even started coming up. SWIM's panic attacks are horrendous....I felt bad but was unable to control her panic and went into major panic attack symptoms.

    SWIM's friends were aware of her PD and had heard her comment that she was a little afraid she might have a panic attack (this was before ingestion, yet SWIM still decided to do it).

    After the panic set in, somehow, SWIM's friends calmed her using many of the above techniques, and eventually managed to put her in a big, comfy office chair and spin her around a few times, exciting her into laughter and calming her into forgetting about the panic. I enjoyed the rest of the evening.

    Still, that was the last time SWIM touched any hallucinogenics. SWIM now has expectations that she will have a panic attack upon ingestion, so SWIM abstains. I enjoyed those days greatly, but she is OK with her decision.
  13. Wierd Logic

    Wierd Logic Newbie

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    Jul 29, 2008
    A lot of it is personal mental power. Monkey thought he was in the Holocaust for about 30 seconds (most horrible moment in his life thus far), recognised the beginning of a bad trip and got the fuck back inside away from the wooden sheds and skinny naked people. Monkey also always tries to have Valium on hand when there will be lots of people tripping, although he thinks that trying to stop a bad time with chemicals by administering more chemicals is preferably to be avoided.
    Monkey also STRONGLY advises against calling medics unless there is an actual medical (not mental) issue, and the subject is relatively under control. Its probably the thing that would freak Monkey out the most if he was having a bad trip.