Depersonalization from LSD? (Is it possible)


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Page last updated: 21/09/2022

Depersonalization from LSD? (Is it possible)

In this article, we will be discussing depersonalization from LSD, what is LSD, its effects, LSD microdosing, what is depersonalization, treatments for depersonalization from LSD and frequently asked questions about LSD depersonalization.

Is it possible to experience depersonalization from LSD? 

Yes, it is possible to experience depersonalization from LSD. According to the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, substances including hallucinogens like LSD can trigger depersonalization and derealization. LSD also communicates to our brain in a unique way and may even heighten creativity. It can also result in depersonalization even if LSD has come off one’s system. 

What is LSD?

LSD stands for lysergic acid diethylamide and is commonly known as  acid, California sunshine, hippie, yellow sunshine, zen and Lucy in the sky with diamonds. 

It is a psychedelic drug that is most commonly researched. It can be taken in small amounts and is orally taken.

It was discovered by Albert Hoffman, who accidentally ingested it while working in a laboratory and became the first recorded man to consume LSD. That experience made him dedicate his career in studying about psychedelics.  

This psychedelic drug became widely researched by many scientists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals later on and this created a better understanding of consciousness through its interaction with the brain and particularly the neurotransmitter serotonin, particularly 5HT2A receptors.

LSD is also considered by scientists to be promising in treating a couple of psychiatric diagnoses such as schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, alcoholism, and depression. Epidemiological studies showed there is less rates of suicide among individuals with mental health disorder who used LSD.

Disruption caused by taking LSD to a person’s system can cause distortions in an individual’s perception or hallucination. Hallucinations more so are sensing things that seems real to the person but truly does not exist.  Intense emotional and rapid mood swings can accompany this.

Sometimes, the effects of LSD to a person may begin as a pleasant experience and will lead to a very unpleasant one.

Moreso, LSD or acid is a class A drug of the Controlled Substance Act and is considered to be one of the few that has a high potential for abuse. And currently, there is no accepted medical use of LSD.

What is depersonalization?

Depersonalization is the experience of feeling like you are looking at yourself from outside your own and can be described somewhat like an out-of-body experience. This also makes an individual feel like they are their own observer of themselves.

Depersonalization is also one of the many signs and symptoms of other mental disorders such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Substance-use Disorder, Dissociative Disorders and other medical conditions such as brain diseases and seizures.

Depersonalization may be triggered by traumatic experiences such as physical and emotional abuse, unexpected death or suicide of a loved one or a close friend, war and growing up with a mentally ill parent or guardian.  

Depersonalization from LSD? (Is it possible)

What are the effects of LSD?

Effects of LSD may vary among individuals. Experiences while under its influence may vary in a spectrum between scary to profoundly meaningful experience.

Those who are used to or have previous experiences on LSD may describe it as a euphoric experience. On the other hand, some who are anxious type or have anxiety related mental health conditions may deem it as a terrifying experience.

It can also induce experiences of mystical-type and unique alterations of consciousness and long-term effects on an individual’s personality.

When used in high doses, strong symptoms such as hallucinations, sensory modalities, out-of-body experience, loss of self-experience, and perceptual changes may elicit.

The effects of LSD are as follows:

Physical Effects

–          Dilated pupils

–          Change in body temperature (high or low)

–          Chills or sweating

–          Loss of appetite

–          Tremors

–          Hyposomnia

–          Dry mouth

–          Rambling or incoherent speech

Mental Effects

–          Delusions

–          Visual hallucinations

–          Hearing colors, seeing sound (synesthesia)

–          Feelings of euphoria

–          Alteration of one’s sense of time and self

–          Diminished depth perception

–          distorted perception of the size and shape of objects, movements, color, sounds, touch and the user’s own body image

–          startling or irrational thoughts and feelings

–          feeling like going crazy

–          Panic attacks

–          relapse of LSD trip, often after non-consumption of LSD

–          Severe depression or psychosis

–          Anxiety

–          Paranoia

–          Disorientation


–          Improves empathy yet harms fear recognition

–          Has potential for therapy use, however, more research must be done

–          Increases unique interconnectivity in within the brain’s networks

–          Increases feelings of belongingness

–          Makes an indicidual become more open to suggestions

–          Significant changes in feelings and sensations

–          Ambivalence

–          Rapid ood swings

While the effects are as follows, it may vary according to the set and setting of the individual when LSD is consumed. Set refers to the mindset or the state of one’s psychological being while setting is the actual place and its condition such as the environment and the presence of others.

Some may also experience what is so called “bad trip”. This may be described as:

• terrifying thoughts

• despair

• feeling like going crazy

• fear of death

• fear of losing control

How is LSD causing depersonalization?

LSD is a psychedelic that interacts with the neurotransmitter serotonin which is responsible for our mood, feelings and sleep. Particularly the serotonin 5-HT2A  which is located on the visual cortex of the brain. Trapping LSD in this serotonin causes hallucination. LSD also communicates to our brain in a unique way and may even heighten creativity. 

Effects may lead to symptoms of depersonalization even if LSD has come off from one’s system. Some may continue to manifest after a few days, weeks, months to years, intermittently or once or twice. Continued use may lead to depersonalization/derealization disorder.

How long is LSD’s effect?

Effects of LSD may last up to 12 hours and this may disrupt someone’s sleeping patterns. This promotes bad sleeping hygiene may make someone experience depersonalization, since the latter is also triggered by lack of sleep. Others also experience the terrifying side of its effect and may linger even after the drug has worn off from one’s system.

Some manifest depersonalization even if it has been years after they last consumed it. This is not necessarily because of LSD itself but because of their reaction to it. Others also report that the world or their surrounding’s activities seem to align with what is happening inside their heads.

Effects of LSD may also last as follows:

–          Feelings of euphoria and other effects after 10 minutes of inducing LSD may be experienced.

–          Palpitations, nausea and vomiting may be experienced 45-90 minutes after.

–          Visual hallucinations may occur after an hour of ingestion. Some describes dots of colors, pixelated visuals or patterns.

–          Peak effects run around three hours.

–          Experiences of one’s reality will begin again after about five hours and its effects will gradually fade after about 10 hours.

–          After 12-16 hours, effects of the drugs should be worn-off.

–          After ingestion, effects may still occur for hours, days up to years.

Taking LSD also means you should be aware that there is no turning back and that the only way out is through it. Given a person’s set or setting, some may feel the urge to fight against it making the experience worse for them, eliciting irrational thoughts such as feeling like going crazy, losing one’s self and possibly trauma.

Can “microdosing” LSD be used to improve creativity?

Early researches suggest using LSD in small amounts can improve creativity, mood and focus. There is also a study that suggested LSD may be beneficial for people who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. However, there are some that believes it is too early to say so and gives precaution on recommending microdosing to patients.

What are the long-term effects of LSD?

Results of a study shows there is a positive effect on healthy research participants when LSD is used in small or single doses in a safe setting and was considered to be one of the most meaningful experience the individuals had.

Treatments for depersonalization from LSD

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

Facilitates a client to know the importance and connection of how our thoughts and emotions impacts our behavior. Learning one’s own thoughts, beliefs and attitudes will help them relate, evaluate and work on their concerns and condition. The therapist will help the person move forward and make process by helping the person provide ways to deal with their challenging life situations.

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

A therapeutic approach that focuses on the individual’s unconscious as it is manifested through client’s behaviors. This therapy goals to bring awareness to one’s self that will help understand how the past affects their present behaviors.  

Eye movement Desensitization

A therapeutic method that combines both rapid eye movement and Cognitive Therapy to help process the client’s trauma, counteract and transform negative self-statements with positive empowering beliefs and reduce painful emotional impacts of distressing memories and empower.  

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

A type of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy that teaches the client to deal with their emotional struggles and challenges by teaching them coping skills in the following areas:

–          Mindfulness

–          Distress tolerance

–          Emotional regulation

–          Interpersonal effectiveness

This therapy is also used for intervention in individuals dealing with BPD or Borderline Personality Disorder and other psychological mental health conditions.

Integrated Treatment

The client or the person dealing with depersonalization with LSD will be provided with services that serve interventions for substance use and mental health. The same medical staff usually often facilitates the treatment or intervention simultaneously.

Statistics on depersonalization and Drug-use

–          25% of the clients who recovered from substance use disorders suffer from severe depersonalization disorder.

–          More or less 44% of clients in the process of intervention develop mild depersonalization later in the course of recovery. 

–          20% less of individuals after the age of 20 experiences depersonalization/derealization disorders

FAQs: Depersonalization from LSD

What are the causes of Depersonalization Disorder?

Depersonalization Disorder may be triggered by traumatic experience/s like other dissociative disorders. Substance use, emotional neglect, emotional abuse, unexpected suicide or death of a loved one or close friend, growing with a mentally ill parent, and sexual abuse.  

How long does depersonalization last?

Experience of depersonalization may last from minutes to years in rare cases. Other disorders may also cause depersonalizations such as substance-use disorders, brain diseases, personality disorders,

Is it possible to have depersonalization with LSD?

Yes, it is possible. One of the effects of LSD is depersonalization.

Is LSD addictive?

No, it is not. It is a psychedelic drug and can be powerful due to its effects mentally and physically. However, once abused, a person can become psychologically dependent on it, which in nature, makes withdrawal symptoms mental or emotional.
Tolerance of LSD may increase for individuals who develop dependence to it.
Unlike other drugs, the person does not experience physical symptoms such as chills, nausea, sweating, and vomiting during withdrawals. Instead, a person will crave or have a strong desire to use LSD again to achieve the same pleasurable effects and experience like the first time they had it.

What are the common withdrawal symptoms of LSD?

Common withdrawal symptoms of LSD are depression, difficulty concentrating, psychosis, suicidal thoughts, mood swings, confusion, anxiety and hallucinations. Negative physical symptoms are not usual with LSD withdrawals unlike many other substances.


In this article, depersonalization from LSD, what is LSD, its effects, LSD microdosing, what is depersonalization, treatments for depersonalization from LSD and frequently asked questions about LSD depersonalization was discussed.


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