Psychological Effects of LSD

Learn about the Psychological Effects of LSD. LSD, Lysergic acid diethylamide, is a hallucinogenic drug, meaning it causes hallucinations, and this is probably its best known psychological effect, but there are a number of other serious psychological side effects that are closely linked to LSD use. 


Psychological Effects of LSD: Hallucinations

LSD is considered among the most potent hallucinogenic drugs. A hallucination is an experience involving the senses, but it does not have to be only or primarily visual. It can involve either one sense or multiple senses. Hallucinations can be pleasant, exciting, and stimulating. But some people have “bad trips” which can be frightening and during which the tripper can lose touch with reality.

Psychological Effects of LSD: Perceptual Distortions

Accompanying the hallucinations may be distortion of the senses in a variety of ways. The LSD user may have an impaired sense of time and of depth perception. Colors, sizes, and shapes may also appear distorted.

Psychological Effects of LSD: Delusions

Like hallucinations, delusions are a common effect of using LSD. When one has a delusion, one believes something that is not true, even when presented with evidence that proves otherwise and even if the thing believed is physically impossible. Delusions can include such things as believing that one is the Queen of the Moon or a goat. A delusion could also lead a person to believe that he or she was invisible or that every yellow car on the road contained a spy out to get him or her. In fact paranoia can occur with LSD use, even when not tied to a delusion.

Psychological Effects of LSD: Anxiety

Anxiety is a response to the perception that one is threatened or in danger, or that someone or something one cares about is. It may noticeable through physical manifestations like tremors, increased blood pressure, and increased heart rate. The person who has taken LSD may seem apprehensive without it being clear why.

Psychological Effects of LSD: HPPD

Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) consists of altered perceptions as if one were experiencing a trip, and/or flashbacks that occur well after the trip is over. A severe case of repeating flashbacks can be both uncontrollable and frightening to the person who experiences it, making it difficult for the person to function as usual.

Psychological Effects of LSD: Psychosis

LSD use can be followed by psychosis, a severe mental disorder, such as schizophrenia. A psychotic state is similar to a delusional state in that someone with a psychosis has a distorted sense of reality. It is not always induced by substance abuse, but it can be.

Psychological Effects of LSD: Psychological Dependence

It is not possible to be physically addicted to LSD. One can, however, develop a tolerance for it, requiring ever-larger doses to achieve the same effects. One can also become psychologically dependent on LSD, feeling compelled to continue using it.

Psychological Effects of LSD: Depression

A person who uses LSD may suffer from depression afterwards. Depression is a mental health issue that often has symptoms of reduced appetite, insomnia, feelings of hopelessness, and general sadness and removal from the world. People who are depressed may lose interest in what were their dearest friends and favorite hobbies and pastimes. Thoughts of death may accompany depression.

Psychological Effects of LSD: Suicidal Thoughts

LSD is one of a number of drugs that can cause suicidal thoughts, along with cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, and PCP (phencyclidine). Suicidal thoughts can also result from other issues connected with or caused by LSD use, such as sleep deprivation, and mental illnesses, like depression and schizophrenia.

Psychological Effects of LSD: Impairments of Mental Functioning

The user of LSD may find himself with some mental issues. For one thing, he or she may suffer from impaired memory. Attention span may be lessened, and mental confusion may occur. In addition, the user may have difficulty with abstract thought.


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