Hallucinogenics and cluster headaches

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Posted by James ( on July 06, 2001 at 11:05:35:

The idea of people using a hallucinogenic scare the crap out of me. Not so much the mushrooms, but LSD.

When I was in my late teens, I experimented with several different so called recreational drugs. My final fling was with LSD, at age 18. I took it a couple of times, without much effect. That was to change when I went to a squat (an empty or derelict house that has been taken over my a group of non rent paying people. Generally there is no heat, water, electricity etc. as was the case here.) I took a tab and went on the scariest roller coaster ride of my life. Peoples faces were lit by candlelight and started to take on the faces of demons and monsters; the old Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde routine. I was aware that my (then) girlfriend was kissing and cuddling someone else. I have no idea if this was true or not, but in my 'trip' it was happening. There was no water and I developed a raging thirst and felt like I was in a desert. My skin started to crawl. Chunks of my face started to fall off, exposing the skull. I was pulling at the remaining pieces of skin and gouging at it. I started to get INTENSE paranoia. I was sure everyone was out to get me. The house was dark and menacing. In the darkness, just outside of the glow cast by the candlelight, unnamable things scampered and plotted against me.

Eventually someone put me in a taxi home. I remember sitting on my bed with every light, I could find, turned on and every door locked. I sat totally still for many hours, meditating and focusing my inner soul to combat my fears. Eventually, thank God, my perceptions returned to what they should be. I felt shaky and drained, both emotionally and physically.

Within a month I had my first cluster attacks. Coincidence? I have no idea, but have often wondered about a possible connection, which is re-inforced now as I discover that people are using the same to treat them. Did I trigger the condition in myself? Did that horrific night alter the bio-chemical structure of my hypothalamus? Perhaps the clusters were always there, just latent and unactivated, waiting for the LSD to open their little Pandora's box.

A footnote. Ever since then, I cannot even smoke pot. It triggers a flashback of all that paranoia. I think I tried it 2 or 3 times in the last 19 years, only to end up in my bedroom with a locked door and every light I could find blazing away.

Although I personally have no objection to pot, especially those that take it for medical conditions, such as cancer, MS, parkinsons and aids, I would hazard anyone considering taking hallucinogenics. I firmly believe that they open doorways in the mind that are not supposed to be open. That they allow us to use parts of our brain that we either have long since stopped needing or that we have not yet evolved enough yet to need.

I welcome comments on this post. I thank God I live in a country where there is freedom of speech, and entitlement to one's own opinion.

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