I was coming home from my friend’s lake cabin and I knew something wasn’t right. We had decided to trip on mushrooms while his parents were away. For everyone else the trip was fine, but for me it went horribly wrong. I experienced bouts of panic and lost the ability to talk; in my gut I just couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. I was unable to sleep for two nights in a row, which prevented me from coming down off the mushrooms. Two full days later I still felt like I was tripping out. Later that day, while my friend was driving me home, I experienced what I would later come to understand as psychosis, and the next thing I knew I was waking up to my parents standing over me in the hospital. I remember bits and pieces of what happened but I felt out of control like it was a bad dream. What I had experienced was a psychotic break meaning that my brain had lost contact with reality. My rational thought processes were no longer functioning correctly and I was experiencing many delusional beliefs. The way I was interpreting reality felt like a dream! I thought I had to become a monk and go spend the rest of my life in silence. I felt as though everyone I was around was talking about me and watching me. My friend who was giving me a ride home knew something was wrong, and when I freaked out and tried to run off, he held me down and called an ambulance for me. At that point I surrendered and they took me to the hospital.
I told my parents that I had taken mushrooms a few days ago and they began to understand that I had not come down correctly. After they took me home, I continued to show signs of delusions and my parents became increasingly worried. Within 24 hours it was obvious that I needed help. My parents proceeded to fly out to Los Angeles with me to get help at a treatment center. It was there that the doctors diagnosed and explained about the psychosis that occurred. The doctors proceeded to put me on antipsychotic medications which broke my psychosis and brought me back to reality. As time progressed I became more and more stable and further grounded in reality. I spent the next three months at a treatment center in Malibu allowing for my brain to heal in order to get back on my feet.
It is now of paramount importance for me to stay sober. Once someone has a psychotic break, their chance of enduring another “break with reality” drastically increases. The brain has been broken in and remembers how to go back to that state much easier. Doing any sort of psychedelic drug would send me right back into psychosis immediately. Smoking marijuana has a good chance of triggering another episode of psychosis. The best way to ensure my brain stays healthy is to stay off all mind altering substances. There is no way to guarantee that someone can come back fully from a psychotic break, there are plenty of examples of people who end up schizophrenic in a psych ward for the rest of their lives because they could not come back from a psychotic break. Why risk playing Russian roulette with my mental health when staying sober will ensure a normal healthy life?
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