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Perception and reality - HPPD  [message #78027] Mon, 16 August 2021 05:46 Go to previous message
I was reading about HPPD - hallucinogen persisting perception disorder, and wanted to raise the subject because it is possibly something interesting to be aware of. 

I have taken exerts from The New Yorker, but read Vice and other online articles, including scientific, psychological discourses, but The New Yorker is not a bad place to start.

The context: Hallucinogens are enjoying something of a revival: the drugs are being tried recreationally by nearly one in five American adults (approaching that of the nineteen-sixties)...

Extract - personal account: 

Early one night in the fall of 1987, a college freshman ate half of a microdot of lysergic acid diethylamide on his way to a party. He was young, but more than a little familiar with mind-altering chemicals: LSD, mescaline, psilocybin, and other, less common psychedelics. This trip, by comparison, turned out to be only a "mild experience." The tingling euphoria, splendid visuals, and sudden bursts of insight mostly wore off by the time he retired to his dorm. But the following morning, some effects still remained.

"I opened my eyes to see what time it was," he said, on the condition of anonymity. "As I looked away, I immediately realized that the light from the digital clock was streaking." Throughout the day, other signatures of the hallucinogen high struck him. When he shifted his gaze from a page he was reading, a ghostly afterimage of the text materialized in the air, hanging legibly for a few moments. When he turned a page, a long cascading series of replicas trailed behind, like a stroboscopic photograph.

The streaking and trailing and after-imaging persisted for days. He began to panic. "I really lost it," he said. "I was sitting in one of my first college classes and, like, hallucinating." He met with psychologists, who could discern little. He called his parents, who could discern less. He became unhinged, wandering campus in a daze, squinting at the world as if through a kaleidoscope. "I broke down," he said. "I could no longer go to class. I couldn't do anything." He quit school, moved back home, and entered rehab. His search for a diagnosis came up empty: no underlying medical condition, nor had the drug been laced with something sinister. Weeks, months, then years went by. The trip just wouldn't end.

The full article is here: A trip that doesn't end (Dorian Rolston, 2013).  https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/a-trip-t hat-doesnt-end
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