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What is a bad trip?

Posted under: Latest News, News and Science

We’re living in an exciting new age when it comes to psychedelics, research is thriving and we’re learning so much about their potential health benefits. One of the most surprising things studies are revealing, is that the dreaded “bad trip” might not be so bad after all.

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What is a bad trip?

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Magic Mushroom won't grow

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A bad trip is like having a nightmare you can't wake up from. You’ll franticly feel like your losing your mind, your identity, and your whole concept of reality.

You’ll be confronted by monsters, thrown into the pits of paranoid delusions, and be tortured by past traumas and resentments. Space and time will become alien to you, and so will your own limbs and physical form.

You might start sweating or shaking as your body enters a panic response, take some deep breaths.

“You may feel like your gonna die, but everybody lives. You learn some shit from the scary trips” Joe Rogan

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How Can a Bad Trip Be Good?

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How can any of the above possibly be good? Well, ancient psychedelic sages, as well as our current researchers, are working on the basis of “what doesn't kill you makes you stronger”.

They encourage you to confront these darker experiences in order to overcome deep-seated and often unconscious, harmful mental attitudes. By being given this experience, you are offered the opportunity to recognize and overcome these issues which may ultimately enhance your life.

The bad trip is a gift in disguise, and so long as it's managed in the right way, it will rarely become a medical emergency.

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How can I avoid a bad trip?

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You can never completely avoid having one, but there are a few things you can do to minimize the chances of having a bad trip. The first and most important thing to take care of is your set and setting.

Next, make sure you’re taking good quality mushrooms at the correct dosage. Less is more, especially for beginners, so stick to this dosage guide and don’t overdo it. It’s always a good idea to have a trip sitter around. This should be someone sober and experienced, who can helpfully usher you away from the gates of darkness or support you if you're in a negative place.

Don’t “wrestle” the trip, resist it, or try to control it, you won't win, and it’ll be a very long and dark battle.

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What should I do if I Have One?

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If you feel like you’re heading towards a scary place, there are a few things you can do to try and distract yourself. Terrance Mckenna recommends chanting or singing as a release, which makes sense because traditional cultures always include singing and chanting in psychedelic rituals.

You can try breathing exercises, stretching, or meditating to calm yourself down, or If you need to release energy, try dancing, or expressing yourself with instruments and art materials. If this doesn't help then try changing your environment or make a “safe space”, using an eye mask for darkness, and gentle music through headphones.

It might be hard, but try and hold onto the concept that this is not a permanent state and other people have been through it too. If none of these things help, then all that's left is for you to buckle up your cosmic seatbelt and get ready for some life lessons. Pay attention to what the experience is telling you and don’t run away from it.

Bad trips can be very scary, but chances are, they’re not going to kill you or leave you permanently damaged. If you’re going to take plant medicines, then you should embrace their healing methods, good bad or ugly.

Even if you’ve prepared everything correctly beforehand, you may still find yourself in the realms of darkness, but just hang on in there and remember, this too shall pass. The way we look at bad trips is changing, and it seems like the term is a relic to be left behind with the anti-drug propaganda form the seventies.

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“There’s so much paranoia created around the thing that when people take it, they’re having a bad trip before they even start” George Harrison

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Extra Information: 

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Preventing Bad Psychedelic Trips

Study: ‘Bad trips’ from magic mushrooms often result in an improved sense of personal well-being