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Do psychedelic drugs effect people with aphantasia differently?

TrippyTaylor asked 4 weeks ago
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I knew from a very young age I realized I couldn’t see faces in my mind just and knew facts about them. In fact I remember looking up not being able to imagine on google before 2015 and not being able to find much, but I took mushrooms with my friend recently, its not the first time, but I think its been the strongest dose we’ve done due to them just being stronger than usual. I did more than her because shes smaller than me (6’1″ 150lbs 2.5gs, 5’5″ 110lbs 1.9gs) and she was talking about how vivid the images were in her mind, describing an octopus moving around colorful balls, and while I felt funky I couldn’t see anything by any means, it felt like a weird kind of drunk to me. do drugs effect us differently? Is weed completely different to people who have hyperphantasia? I know drugs effect everybody differently but maybe this is a huge factor in at least psychedelics. I’m curious if anyone else has had any drug experiences and have seen any hallucinations from them because I feel that I imagine when I dream, and I wonder if some people who don’t dream would see things from taking hallucinogenics. I know LSD is apparently more visually intensive than mushrooms, I wonder if that would effect aphantasic people more? I’m not really trying to do a ton of drugs to find out, but I feel whatever your stance on them I feel outright banning them works as good as outright banning sex until marriage, while some people will, obviously other people will be around it and if they do decide to use a drug, from alcohol to meth, they should know what in it, what its doing to their body, how to use it safely with harm reduction, and learn responsible drug use. I feel that this is important because people with very strong imaginations should possibly incorporate that into how much of a drug they take due to it leading to a worse experience, or possibly they could have way better experiences than aphantasics could ever experience? I’d love to hear any thoughts

Nico B December 23, 2020 04:13 pm

This is weirdly well timed, as I took Psychedelics for the first time the past Saturday. I definitely didn’t see anything that wasn’t there, but when my eyes were open the world around me was shifting, the colours were vivid, shapes were bending and moving. When I closed my eyes I still saw black. It was a really fun experience, albeit quite intense, everything looked like it was in HD and was vibrating, I felt like I was sinking and in this state of flux. However, no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t see things that were not there. So potentially that is due to my lack of being able to visualise. I’ve never enjoyed weed, it always makes me feel sleepy and light headed and I’m not sure if that’s due to being an Aphant or not. I’ve only recently reaslised I have aphantasia and it’s been a lot to get my head around, I feel as if I am missing out on something which sounds like an amazing ability to have, almost as if I have a disability of sorts. If you have any advice on how you’ve been able to come to terms with this or even turn it into a positive would be really helpful?

TrippyTaylor replied 3 weeks ago

Well, itd be good to know what substance you did and how much and height and weight also factors into account, even how much you eat beforehand can effect certain substances effects, but if its also muchrooms the potency can vary widely. If you did them with other people and they were definetely seeing things then this theory is probably accurate. I know afterwords I was talking to her and she was definetely having closed and open eyed visuals for example she said posters in my room would somewhat spin colors inside them I believe? but i’ve never done more than 2.5 of mushrooms at a time and I think you can count all the times ive done psychedelics on one hand. Im not extremely experienced with anything other than weed, which I smoke very often, so I assume its not just not as fun for people who have aphantasia, or maybe im just dependant on it who knows but I know all drugs effect everyone differently and its probably not the only factor why you dont like it and I do. I know the only substance Ive taken and visually saw a difference was when I did MDMA early before sundown and looked outside and the sun looked fucking crazy to me, but I think stimulants effect different parts of the brain than psychedelics so thats probably why im guessing if i had glow sticks the same thing would probably happen lol. With the whole realizing you have this and living with it thing, why feel like you missing out on a part of life? It makes me feel unique that I dont have to deal with shit like ptsd and people with aphantasia tend to live in the present way more than people who can imagine, which I see as a plus. We tend to not stay mad long and specifically with drugs I dont know if you, being the only other person ive talked to with it about it feel the same way, but I feel that I can control myself more while other people who do just as much as me are feeling it super intense, and while it can be intense for me it tends to not be as hard as it seems to slap other people sometimes, but that could just be me and maybe aphantasia has nothing to do with that?

Juliet Peake December 29, 2020 06:12 pm

I haven’t taken psychedelic drugs so I can’t answer this but this question raised a lot of ideas and questions for me too. Like what if you could train your brain to visualise again by regularly taking psychedelic drugs and closing your eyes to visualise things? Or would you not have hallucinations and instead, just feel euphoric or something, similar to how other, non-psychedelic drugs may effect you. Interesting question.

TrippyTaylor replied 3 weeks ago

To answer your question I have no idea, I think I recall reading people thinking their immagination back or something of that sort like getting rid of aphantasia? I could be thinking of something else, but I assume if you can do that sober psychedelics would only help with that, whether you micro dose or do a dangerous amount. Personally I was focusing on trying to see if It had any visual effect on me and honestly I really dont think it did much closed or open eyed. What psylocybin mushrooms seem to do to me specifically is, when im watching a show or something I dont know if youll understand what I mean but I seemed to get where people were coming from very easily, for example I felt like I really understood jokes or could really pick up off peoples emotions or “vibes” I guess, with slight loss of motor control like when your drunk. So I guess your right with the latter, its not “not fun” to do because I dont seem to visualize anything, I think its just completely different to what people who can imagine experience, like I think its the same drug minus the psychedelic part, which is weird to think about, and why im curious to what LSD would do to aphanatics because mushrooms are way more “introspective” I guess, and LSD is way more visual apperantly. I wonder if I just did like 4 times as much if itd force me to imagine or id just be super inebriated minus visual effects still? Again im not trying to find out the answers to these questions myself just wondering if anyone else has the answers

Daisy K December 30, 2020 12:06 pm

This is just a story from my personal life and do not condone or reccomend trying this if you are inexperienced or chance it just for the "feeling of what its like to have mental imagery." Yes it is possible to unblock this aphantasia while tripping but the cost really isn’t worth it from how I accidentally did it.
One time I had taken too much LSD at once instead of microdosing, this resulted in an "ego death". At first I was having a wonderful time staring at patterns and enjoying the sensations of touch around me. Everything felt really cool but then the friend I was tripping with started to feel sick and thats when things took a turn. The sick friend disappeared from my sight somehow and I was left with the trip sitter.
One moment I felt energized, the next I was a God. I remember sitting on the grass and looked at the moon and it was the most intensive hallucination Ive ever had. This at the time was mind boggling because I never had seen something in my imagination prior to this day and I have had psychedelics before. I could grab the moon and then "smashed it" into the ground. This was the most amazing thing ive ever seen. Multiple moons were crashing on the ground beneath me in such intricate patterns. Oddly enough it was all in greyscale but then I started to black out/lose control after my awe. I lost all control and the sober friend had to take me into his vehicle since I started yelling out of the blue. I don’t recall that but its what I was told. Mostly because I had remembered being on the grass having another worldly experience before losing my mind.
Time felt infinite. I’m not sure when I started regaining consciousness and remembering again but when I did the visuals did not stop. During my ego death I had started seeing myself infront of me cycling many times about random thingd and past truama I had experienced. It was a combination of the interior of the car and the visuals and sounds were disturbing, oddly still in black, grey and white. The sober friend wrapped me in a blanket as I was wigging out. after about an hour (my sober friend was trip sitting me still) I came down from this intense experience and just chilled out trying to process what I just saw and heard… since LSD doesn’t exactly let you sleep but makes you really alert. I laid down inside of a house once i got a grip on reality and my friend deemed me okay to have my stimulus, I tried to google what happened to me but the letters kept bouncing so i just looked at nature photos instead. The next day I felt so much clarity and was okay. Everyone involved was okay too.
Here is some information about me. I have always had aphantasia (the kind where I can’t visualize at all) but it has never stopped me from dreaming vividly in color from time to time, my ability to recall my dreams is also highly unusual despite not being able to recall imagery very well. Somehow I retain a lot of useless information from my dreams but this results in being exhahsted beyond belief if I can remember the details.
My experiences with psychedelics usually do not involve hallucinating things that aren’t already infront of me, instead it somewhat warps what I’m looking at or the lines wiggle or the patterns dance. Still I am just seeing what I see just the feeling of being impaired, I am also very sensitive to light and sounds when I’m in this state but I do not conjure up visuals on my own. Only deviate from what I’m seeing a little bit. ex I see extra lines or colors bleed out from the lines a little.
So the take away from all this is, I wonder what part of the brain aphantasia is connected to if it can soar to peaks to almost unblock it temporarily while on potent psychedelic substances.
I’d also like to note I had no control of over what I was seeing during this particular ego death. usually when I’m micro dosing I have a very controlled environment which I am familiar with so I always remember and know what I’m doing. during this particular trip it was the same space I had always done it in just the psychedelic really took me on a ride. similar to shrooms where I’m the passenger not the driver and of course less intense.

TrippyTaylor replied 2 weeks ago

Thats extremely interesting, so you can definetely take enough LSD specifically, possibly other psychedelics, to visualize at least if you can dream. Im guessing all aphantasics arent actually equal, for example some being able to dream, and that could be a big factor as to why you saw hallucinations. LSD specifically binds to serotonin, which as a neurotransmitter has a big role in the brain involved in your mood, feelings, and sleep patterns. The receptor that it binds to specifically that makes you hallucinate is 5-HT2a, which plays a big role in the visual cortex. neuroscience is fucking confusing and the smartest people dont even know exactly how our brains work, but I assume you just took so much that it basically turned on the part of your brain that lets you imagine when you dream… im guessing? You couldnt imagine more afterwards could you? like after it ended completely you felt just like how you did before? also you said you microdose usually and you accidently taking more made that happen, have you ever not microdosed and how often would you use it how you usually do, and how much did you do that made this happen? as in would it be a lot for anyone? possibly aphanatics should avoid psychedelics because ontop of the drug being intense we might have to deal with visuals we’re not used to? Also for people who havent hallucinated I hope you know you dont see stuff and cant conture up images like their there, your usually still aware and its more like when your drunk and your eyes just start doing weird stuff, but I think with more colors. you dont control it and if you do consume enough to hallucinate like that you probably wont remember or have fun doing it, as in a lot of you whove done them and things dont look like they do when your completely sober, you are hallucinating, look up an example of LSD or mushroom visuals if you think you might have. Also to anyone who might try LSD or any substance thats not mushrooms or weed, its a good idea to get a drug test kit online they are dirt cheap and for example with LSD whoever makes them can put any designer drug on blotter paper, if you put LSD in your mouth and it has any taste spit it out, most “molly” or ectasy is meth, most coke has fentanyl in it. Please just be safe if anyone is planning on trying anything in the future and do research

Daisy K December 30, 2020 09:05 pm

To answer your quiries: After the ego death experience I went back to the normal kind of tripping as one would with just altered visual of objects infront of me, this lasted about 5 hours of just feeling good and having fun with lights leaving trails and patterns wiggling. I have not really fully comprehended the ego death could of been to due to overstimulation in parts of the brain I didn’t use at all such as the visuals. So thank you for the insight, brains are very weird.

The one time I didn’t microdose was my first time ever trying LSD and I found sensations such as touch and hearing to be over stimulating. Overall a bad time haha. Which was 5 years ago. The visuals were just the usual ones of things wiggling or seeming brighter. Nothing too mind boggling and I was never chasing the crazy visuals because I figured it had to do with my lack of visualizing in general (which was none). the feeling I get of utter peace and tranquility was what I was going for. Prior to my first usage I have taken shrooms as well from time to time but I didn’t enjoy how I wasn’t in control and would couch lock similarly to having weed. The visuals were never as interesting like LSD. Plus the price tag and effects have strayed me from the usage of shrooms ever since then.

Between now and then I only ever really have LSD 2-3 times a year months apart just to help boost my moods, do art and feel better about life in general. I’ve been familar with the substance for 5 years as well. With the particular ego death incident I figured I was seasoned enough to have a go at it by having half first rather than quartering a typical square, not really an accident more so of a curiosity to see how it compared to my usual microdosing. So I just doubled my usual intake and then completed the whole tab within an hour rather than spacing it out within 2. The ego death experience happened to me early this 2020. That’s also when I learned how where I got my supply did not carefully measure out the dose on each square very well that day and that the particular one I took had an absurd amount on it from what I was used to months prior. Which explains how my friend got sick but hadn’t taken psychedlics in a few months either. She has ADHD which made her feel naseua during our shared bad time but did not spiral with me thank god. The one that sent me somewhere else were allegedy "fresh" and I didn’t think much of it til now. Typically I give myself 3 months between these experiences and acquire them to use right away so I never had the need to one up my last experience it was just consistent and never sat around for too long before using.

I don’t think that I take absurd amounts? This is presumptuous because of the people I have tripped with using the same sheet use exactly the same amount as me are people who don’t have aphantasia. They claim to see things time to time but I am just straight up chilling haha. Just taking one square each is enough for the group of friends I’m with but all of them experience very differently from one another which I’m guessing is those who do it regularly and people who don’t. Still I’m the odd person out with aphantasia but no one has spun out like I did with my ego death just off one square. sure multiple but not the one.

Looking back at it I really should of questioned how much of this substance was I actually having at a time? usually it was fairly consistent and the pure substance I did want to ingest so I didn’t worry as much. I wouldn’t know how to guage just exactly how much I was taking during these times, I just know it was "great" according to others in my local area who also got a hold of the same source. If I ever find out exactly how much has been put into a blotter I’ll let you know

i wasn’t too sure if I should of replied to myself or make a new comment but I did want the Original poster to see the comment not myself lol. There really should be an option to reply to certain parts of comment sections instead of just the one. So don’t put me in disccusion jail.

TrippyTaylor December 31, 2020 11:32 pm

I did another 2.5gs for new years and while i feel fucking crazy right now and enjoy looking at colorful things I still see completely normally, so long space cowboys

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