A ‘bad trip’ is something most users of psychedelics fear most. Whether new to alternative drugs or not, the simple fear of having a negative experience can turn people off.
You might not want the experience to be too intense, out-of-control, or negative. You may want to gain new perspectives, without feeling like you’re losing your mind, which is understandable.
Although the idea of a bad trip may seem fearful, many psychedelic users find these trips to be valuable. In fact, at times, they’re even more valuable than positive experiences.
What Is A Bad Trip?
Many associate a bad trip with the worst-case scenarios, such as having a psychotic reaction, or feeling trapped in a nightmare kind of reality.
One often imagines a bad trip ending with a hospital visit or a run-in with police. Or, worse, feeling so overwhelmed and out-of-control that the open window nearby looks good to jump through.
A 2017 survey from Johns Hopkins asked nearly 2,000 respondents about bad psychedelic trips. For 39 percent of respondents, a bad trip was one of the five most challenging situations in their life.
More commonly, a bad trip will involve the following.
- Feelings of confusion, paranoia, fear, anxiety, panic, or dread - Thought loops - Delusional thinking
How Often Do Bad Trips Occur?
In terms of how often bad trips occur, Huber says, based on her findings, they are rare.
In a controlled, clinical setting, it seems that bad trips are unlikely. They are more likely to occur when used outside of such a setting.
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