Bad Trips Gone Good

A new study (Survey Study Of Challenging Experiences After Ingesting Psilocybin Mushrooms: Acute And Enduring Positive And Negative Consequences) from the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine had nearly 2,000 individuals complete an online survey about their single most psychologically difficult or challenging experience (worst “bad trip”) after consuming psilocybin mushrooms.

The study found that about 84 percent of users who have experienced a “bad trip” from hallucinogenic mushrooms say they benefited from the psychologically difficult situation. Some 60% of respondents considered their experience to be among the top 10 most psychologically personally meaningful experiences of their lives. Additionally, the majority of respondents said that a “psychologically difficult experience” while on Psilocybin lead to “enduring increases in well-being.” PsyPost reports that:

34 percent of participants said the bad trip was among the top five most personally meaningful experiences of their life and 31 percent said it was the among the top five most spiritually significant. And 76 percent said the bad trip had resulted in an improved sense of personal well-being or life satisfaction. Forty-six percent said they would be willing to experience the bad trip all over again.

Interestingly, the degree of psychological difficulty was statistically associated with beneficial outcomes. More difficult or challenging experiences tended to be viewed as more beneficial or meaningful. However, longer bad trips were associated with less beneficial outcomes.

Despite the counter-intuitive findings of this study, anyone who has psychedelic drug experience can assure you bad trips are not fun. Of those surveyed for this study, thirty-nine percent rated it among the top five most challenging experiences of his/her lifetime. Furthermore, 7.6% sought treatment for enduring psychological symptoms as result of their bad trip. Three cases appeared associated with onset of enduring psychotic symptoms and three cases with attempted suicide.

Remember, Set and Setting folks, Set and Setting.

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