Citation: RevMeo. "Sim Sickness: An Experience with Kratom (with use of Oculus Rift) (exp107788)". Erowid.org. Jan 20, 2016. erowid.org/exp/107788
[ This experience report first appeared as the article 'VR + Kratom --> Sim Sickness' in Erowid Extracts issue #27
Three hours after swallowing six grams of encapsulated kratom leaf, I began a 3D virtual reality (VR) combat helicopter training mission using the DK1 version of the Oculus Rift head-mounted display. Almost immediately, the shifts in my visual field corresponding to sharp turns precipitated slight vertigo-like disturbances. The craft seemed to rotate faster than I'd previously experienced when playing sans kratom.
While maneuvering the helicopter in the virtual skies, I could feel the symptoms increasing. Surprisingly, the unease didn't seem to reduce my performance. I was so immersed in the game that I didn't think of ripping the gear off my head to get my feet back on 'solid ground'.
But 15 minutes later, I realized the time had come to remove the headphones and headset and get back to baseline -- at least a kratomed baseline. I sat, unmoving, for a short while before walking into the bedroom (swaying a bit along the way) to explain the symptoms to my wife.
I'd previously experienced a mild form of 'sim sickness' -- think motion sickness but induced by illusory movement -- and I was familiar with the nausea and vomiting that can accompany kratom. Fast movements, such as those I was pulling in the helicopter, are known to trigger sim sickness in some people, though I had never experienced it myself with this particular game. The dose and variety of kratom I'd consumed was well within my safe limits, and wouldn't normally cause any side effects. However, the symptoms from the combination of kratom and VR weren't quite like those produced by either one alone.
As I stood speaking to my wife, I had the sensation of spinning or twisting, though I wouldn't characterize it as dizziness.
I had the sensation of spinning or twisting, though I wouldn't characterize it as dizziness.
It felt like there was a semi-solid mass in my head, yet I had no headache. Looking down on the bed, I felt compelled to collapse face-first onto its softness. It was a novel and strange desire for me, and it felt good when I did it. Yet once on that puffy duvet, I realized my urge wasn't satiated. Standing up, it again felt as though the best thing for getting past this quasi-vertigo would be a face-plant on the bed. That brief moment of falling was splendid; the blissful seconds after landing, equally soothing. Then the discomfort returned along with the need to do it again.
I wasn't stoned out of my gourd on kratom -- even if I had been, such behavior would strike me as especially odd. The 2-3 hours I was awake after removing the headgear were punctuated by moments of nausea, and I continued to feel more altered than normal, although the sensation did wane.
The next morning I woke with a minor mental hangover; I didn't feel physically ill, but I didn't feel in balance either, and my thoughts weren't as sharp as they'd be on a normal post-kratom morning.
In hindsight, it wasn't the brightest idea to combine an evolving technology known to induce motion-sickness with a plant linked to similar physical responses. So, for those who use kratom, be warned that it might exacerbate other motion sickness-inducing activities.
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