LSD and experimental psychoses

experimental_psychoses_image.jpgLiving Tech has scanned a 1955 article on ‘Experimental Psychoses‘ that discusses the use of LSD to simulate psychotic states.

When LSD was first discovered, it was thought that the profound alteration of reality that it causes could be used as a ‘model’ for psychosis in psychiatric research.

However, as a recent Canadian Journal of Psychiatry article noted, this idea quickly faded, owing to the fact that the LSD experience and the psychotic experience are typically quite different.

For example, in psychosis ‘hearing voices’ and paranoia are common, whereas after taking LSD visual hallucinations and elation are more common.

Nevertheless, the 1955 article published in Scientific American (ominously only attributed to ‘Six Staff Members of Boston Psychopathic Hospital’), is fascinating glimpse into both the pre-1960s days of LSD research and the early days of trying to understand the neurobiology of psychosis.

Link to article ‘Experimental Psychoses’.
Link to ‘Flashback: Psychiatric Experimentation With LSD in Historical Perspective’ from CJP.

2 Comments

  1. Kschltr
    Posted October 13, 2006 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    LSD, as a prescription medication in past decades, was found to be effective in very minute measured doses for individuals requiring stimulation of organic processes related to neurotransmitter inadequacies, blocks or other disfunction. ACTH, Dopamine, Serotonin related disorders, prior to the development of other alternatives to prevent reuptake or increase circulation of such neurotransmitters vs. just stimulating the excessive production and shotgun effect of increasing neurotransmitter activity, were occasionally temporarily ameliorated by minute controlled doses.
    The popularity of LSD as a miracle drug, and recreational drug, eventually leading to the Learyesque escapades of such notables as the Merry Pranksters and Kesey’s crowd, produced a generation of PSYCHOTIC individuals who believed LSD and other ORGANIC substances would help to them achieve some enlightened state or other…
    LSD is just like splashing water on an exposed electrical circuit board. The resultant short circuits and cross wiring result in less than predictable results which are not often measurable as merely “elation, or visual hallucinations”. The effects over time are potentially deadly and frightening in the absence of internal and external controls to limit the potential damage caused by suggestive individuals being lost in their own minds and becoming ORGANICALLY AUTISTIC, while projecting their own spin on the reality they often eroneously perceive to be objective.
    The loss of objectivity in such cases is a result of over stimulation of internal processes in potentially unbalanced fashion, and while an individual under control of other types of medication may experience a variety of up and down, compensatory or decompensatory effects, the individual maintained on doses of LSD, while seeming PSYCHOTIC to others and out of touch with conventional reality, often functions internally, albeit temporarilly in the absence of intensive external supports, in a fashion which is rooted in the brain and minds ability to organize itself based upon learned internal rules of order from chaos.
    In states in which neurological function appears fairly normal or viable, some individuals may be stimulated with controlled doses of LSD to create an internal environment which permits self organization and seeming homeostasis, but only temporailly without outside assistance and constant monitoring.
    PSYCHOSIS is PSYCHOSIS, but the shared delusions of our collective societies and our collective conscious, as described by Uncle Carl Jung, can only be understood if one learns progressively the rules of balance, moderation and order based in Lao Tse’s constructs. The Freudian model, which is an attempt at objectively defining the steps in cognition from Unconscious, to Preconscious, to Conscious, and in describing the mechanisms by which we attempt to separate our ID, or Human Instinctive Nature sans higher morale and learned constucts of the Super Conscious is informative from an indiviual learning perspective and necessary knowledge in order to begin understanding the reverse perspective of Jung from a Historical, Anthropological, Comparative Religious, Philosophical and otherwise species generated COLLECTIVE KNOWLEDGE or COLLECTIVE RACIAL/SPECIES MEMORY perspective.
    Biological, evolutionary reality is quite real and necessary to sustain our timelines and corporeal forms for the purposes of actualization of our potential to achieve balance, harmony, and seek satisfaction of our needs which are PHYSIOLOGICAL.
    The danger LSD and other approaches to modifying our realtime perspective on other than an individual basis presents is associated with the fact that LSD may provide a means for reorganization of the Freudian Individual Model but NOT permit integration of common perspectives and perceptions of reality to be shared universally.
    In other words, LSD can create an environment which to others is PSYCHOTIC and outside of the mainstream, just as any other substance, set of circumstances, trauma, or forced/induced deviation from the norm of common cultural perspective may.
    There is no difference between PSYCHOSIS and PARANOIA induced by conditioning and learning, trauma, physiological alterations in brain chemistry, need to reject painful realities and create parallel internal states, as illustrated by DISSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER to escape unreconcilealble conditions in order to survive and function.
    In other words, we are all sharing a common delusion and create our own objective/subjective paradoxical states which to us may seem normal, while to others they represent a state of severe decompensation and failure to function.
    Ever wonder what goes on in the minds of folks in COMAS? Sometimes it seems to work for them, while at others it does not. The same may be true for folks like us in altered brainstates. We may in fact interact and mediate the information field of our perceived universe in a fashion which is adaptive for us and highly destructive or dysfunctional for those around us.
    I find no difference between DRUG INDUCED PSYCHOSIS and PSYCHOSIS. Sometimes psychotic individuals are just attempting to compensate for failures to communicate with their own brains internally and fail to communicate effectively with those around them. Internal attempts at CONSCIOUS SELF ORGANIZATION are the result.
    Folks who are “LOCKED IN” as described in Film “AWAKENINGS” starring Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro are sometimes able to learn who to function temporarilly with the assistance of such ergotamine based neurostimulants, but the eventual result is deterioration of function unless the individual, before returning to physiological baseline, reorganized their own internal balance brainstate. A feat most are incapable of accomplishing without considerable loss of balance, perspective, temporal spatial, emotional and overall cognitive dissonance.
    Perhaps Moses and the ancients of other root beliefs are half right. Reality and the Universe is created, FIRST BY NATURE and then INTERPRETTED BY US as a species linked to one another by Uncle Carl’s COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS, but that must be mediated by each of us as SUBJECTIVE INDIVIDUAL ENTITIES with unique personality and physical form as described by Herr Doktor Freud.
    Once we achieve the balance internally and externally to some comfortable degree, Old Abe Maslow’s processes seem to take from seat and precedence. We build our own world, but we must do it together. Substances which alter our internal neurochemistry to the effect of altering our perceptions of spacetime, sound, light, and generate mood swings such as any comtemporary PSYCH MED which RESTRICTS activity as antagonists to perceived physiochemical function, or prevent the reuptake of normal levels of such naturally occuring chemicals try to prevent, cause selective psychosis.
    Sometimes, under certain conditions for certain individuals that may be informative, but never should that subjective internal state caused by such substances be considered NORMAL.
    Normal is a Statistical word coined by Mathematicians in the 19th Century to describe that which happens within the parameters of the “NORMAL BELL CURVE”, the sum of which is always “1” ONE, and represents all that potential may or may not occur within PROBABILITY. Some of us are just a few STANDARD DEVIATIONS OFF OF THE MEAN…

  2. Kschltr
    Posted October 13, 2006 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I know… that was a rambling rant of sorts, but based in both clinical and personal experience. BTW – the film “Awakenings” was NOT about LSD, but rather a true event in modern American medicine which occured in on the East Coast in the 60’s, or possibly early 70’s.
    The point being, however, we share species specific as well as culturally and racially specific inherited memory which is rooted in a sense of a collective consciousness and “future” brainstate memory rooted in our propensity to experience spacetime aberrations associatively precognitively.
    LSD enhances or rather excites the production and release of neurotransmitters in often unpredictable and uncontrollabel fashion. As stated, in small doses under rigid medical controls the drug was useful for some folks in need of such stimulation, but our clinical experience over many decades of psychotropic pharmacological research and development, combined with the rampant abuse as a recreational hallucinogen brought the manufacture and prescription to an abrupt halt.
    Altered brainstates, whether due to organic or functional changes are not any significantly different from each other on the surface. Of course, the root cause of our dysfunction is relative to the essential root of the individual’s particular spacetime transit and focal point of the individual’s point of self awareness and perspectives of the individual’s own core belief of the origin of their body/mind or consciousness.
    Pathology of a functional type is exacerbated by such substances as LSD. Pathology of an organic type which includes decreased baseline neurotransmitter release or failure to bind at receptor sites MAY, at times be improved upon by the effects of such ergotamine neurotransmitter agonists as LSD, just as L-Dopa is effective in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, although chemically different and more targeted towards the physiological effects of Parkinson’s vs. the diminished cognitive activity, failure of appropriate neuropsychological memory stacking access, and delayed reponses of patients experiencing the TYPES of signs and symptoms, including psycho/motor retardation, as a primary indication of a condition which MAY or MAY NOT have responded to such treatment in the past.
    There is no reason to treat in this fashion now. There is reason to believe the PSYCHOSIS we diagnose in members of our society rooted in a wide variety of causes, both functional/conditioned, or physiological/organic is any different from the effects of poorly prescribed or utilized LSD.
    We share a delusion, we actually share many cross culturally. We seek to achieve individual, as well as collective psychosocial homeostasis while we seek means to avoid pain and serve our survival, pleasure, and overall actualization needs. When we are on the same page it works. When we are not, it doesn’t. Too much overanalysis and too much rigid conservatism or fundamentalism results in conflict becoming narrowly focused and results of failure to integrate individuals into our society who manifest beliefs, ideas or behaviors WE determine to be undesireable, vs accepting them as adaptive on the parts of the individuals or groups adhering to them.
    We must be careful when we use the work psychosis when describing brainstates, as we are all, at times, quite psychotic and capable of splitting off into our own inflexible and dysfunctional little universes at any time.
    We should be more focused upon the view of rationale for attempts to ameliorate our cognitive and emotional problems with foreign substances and consider that a realtime attempt to externalize and control by external chemical means our internal brainstates to ADAPTABLY improve our condition, and thereby our behavior in order to function in a more COLLECTIVELY acceptable fashion.
    It is all about adaptation. We attempt to adapt by inventing terms and definitions to describe problems, then catagorize them into specific types by identified dysfunctions specific to the definition, THEN we attempt to isolate, alienate, destroy OR in modern times, attempt to develop means by which the condition can be physiologically treated to improve the conditions of that which is internally perceived by the patient.
    This is especially true in psychology and psychiatry wherein the attempts to ameliorate or modify BEHAVIOR and PERCEPTION is more and more focused upon the use of drugs vs. a combination of drugs, analysis, education, conditioning, and efforts to redirect the patient towards more ACCEPTABLE functioning.
    LSD is a past experiment which went quickly awry with sometimes disasterous social consequences, but opened a new chapter in the development of such drugs as Thorazine (1954) and many, many others since.
    See notes on the effect of THORAZINE on the downsizing of the US inpatient population, specifically NEW YORK STATE beginning just one after the approval and general use/abuse of THORAZINE to CONTROL SYMPTOMS AND BEHAVIOR and render a rather high proportion of our inpatient population relatively harmless, and OVERMEDICATED, NEUROLOGICALLY IMPAIRED, WITH HORRENDOUS SIDE EFFECTS, etc… UNTIL SUCH TIME AS ALTERNATIVES WERE DEVELOPED, SUPPORT SERVICES WERE FEDERALLY MANDATED FOR THE OUTPATIENT POPULATIONS DISCHARGED ON EXCESSIVE DOSES AND ABANDONED FOR FINANCIAL REASONS, etc…
    WE ARE ALL PSYCHOTIC OR POTENTIALLY SO. IT IS NOT THE TERM TO USE IN THIS CASE. LSD’s effects are so broad and unpredictable based upon dosage and the individual brainstates, belief systems and GESTALTS in general as to be useless by any conventional interpretation of psychopharmocology.


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