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A Disjointed Blur of Scenes and Images
Amphetamines (Adderall), Sleep Deprivation & Alprazolam
by Dr Kaptagon
Citation:   Dr Kaptagon. "A Disjointed Blur of Scenes and Images: An Experience with Amphetamines (Adderall), Sleep Deprivation & Alprazolam (exp112433)". Erowid.org. Oct 12, 2018. erowid.org/exp/112433

 
DOSE:
  repeated oral Amphetamines (pill / tablet)
    repeated oral Pharms - Alprazolam (pill / tablet)

BODY WEIGHT: 160 lb


Amphetamine Psychosis

For several days prior to this incident I had been using amphetamine, in the form of Adderall, steadily and heavily. After what I believe was an initial 60 mg dose, I proceeded take an additional 20 or 40 mg every few hours. I also took an the occasional milligram of Xanax as needed for physical tension and anxiety. I spent all day and night holed up in my apartment with a companion, talking, reading, studying, playing video games, drawing, and listening to music.

As was usually the case whenever I went on a 'speed bender', the first couple of days flew by magically, sustained by a soaring, ecstatic high. Cognitive skills were crisp and supremely superb at the outset, but after two straight days of stimulation, mental and physical exhaustion began to take over.

As time went on and the effects of sleep deprivation mounted, I continued to take substantial doses of amphetamine ever few hours, whenever I felt my mind slowing and my body becoming achy and tired. By the morning of the third day, visual hallucinations and delirium were occurring.

The visual hallucinations began with the perception of animal and human sized shapes slowly moving and shifting in the dim light and darkness filling my apartment. In the darkness, these looming forms seemed entirely real. I would frequently reach out and try to press my fingers into the rippling fabrics which swayed before me. As the hours went by and I became more exhausted, I began to see visual distortions everywhere: colors deepened and intensified, objects swelled and swayed as if they were breathing, everything seemed to be gently swaying and pulsing. Visually, it was as if I had been on a serotonergic psychedelic, but without CEVs or fractal patterning.

Although I remained strongly stimulated mentally and apparently quite coherent, I found it progressively more difficult to follow a train of thought.
Although I remained strongly stimulated mentally and apparently quite coherent, I found it progressively more difficult to follow a train of thought.
I found it very difficult to understand the meaning of long or complex sentences, much less several sentences in a row. My own attempts at making coherent thoughts became similarly confused. I would usually forget my point whenever I spoke. Typing and composing sentences was very difficult; I would have to read and re-read, many times, the first few words of the sentence I was trying to write in order to recall what I was trying to say. This mental confusion was irritating but not distressing. I believed that I could overcome it by taking more pills and trying harder, although this of course wasn't true.

On the morning of the third day, I began to perceive bizarre humanoid beings filling various corners of the apartment, especially the closet. In retrospect, I was looking at the folds, textures, and colors of things like clothing, bed sheets, pillows, and curtains, but at the time, I deliriously believed that I was picking out the outlines of troll- or elf-like beings which were standing still and staring at me from all over the room. I was not particularly disturbed by this, since I had a strong and inexplicable feeling that these creatures were completely harmless. For minutes on end, would simply stare back at them, watching their mouths or eyes slowly open and close, or their heads slowly rotate.

My companion, who was taking the same drugs as I was, had been having similar experiences over the course of the past few days. But now, on the fourth morning without sleep, she became convinced that there were intruders in our apartment. I didn't believe her at first, since I assumed she was also seeing the troll-things. However, she became increasingly agitated, and began to pace around the apartment, trying in vain to find the intruders. Her excitement and sense of certainty became contagious, and I too began to believe that there were flesh-and-blood beings hiding somewhere in the apartment. It should be pointed out that it would have been nearly impossible for a person, let alone several people, to be hiding in our small third story apartment, but in spite of realizing this, it didn't occur to us to stop looking for them after our initial search of the premises. We tried to convince each other that the intruders were actually just spiritual entities which were inhabiting our garments, whatever that was supposed to mean, and so there was nothing to worry about!

Our folie a deux reached its crescendo by mid-morning the third day. Events from this time seemed to occur in a disjointed blur of scenes and images. At some point, my companion insisted that we call the police, and I, confused and delirious, agreed. She dialed 911 and told the dispatcher that there were multiple intruders in our home. At some point (the order of events is jumbled in my memory) we tucked our cat into a backpack (!?) so that we could take her with us to protect her from harm before proceeding outside to stand in the parking lot to wait for the police to arrive. Soon enough two cops appeared; one of them asked which apartment was ours. He then drew his gun and rushed through the door. After a brief search, he returned and spoke with his partner. They informed us that there was no intruder, and asked how we thought they had entered the apartment, to which my companion answered, 'through the window', even though our apartment was on the third floor! They then asked whether or not we had taken drugs, and we told them the truth, at which point they decided to take us to the hospital. We returned our cat to the apartment and climbed into separate police cars. At the hospital we were placed in separate brightly lit rooms, where we were left for what seemed like an eternity.

I felt upset that I was wasting my time in a hospital bed with nothing to occupy my mind. I was restless and irritable. Shortly after being left alone on a hospital bed with an IV in my arm, I began to experience fresh delusions. I began to fixate on the sporadic stream of voices from people in the hall. Gradually, I began to think that I could hear the voices of my parents talking with a doctor about something, but I couldn't make out specific words at first. Slowly I began to hear isolated words and then phrases, all of a very sinister nature. I eventually came to believe that my parents had suddenly and inexplicably arrived at the hospital after being informed by the police that I had been taken there. It should be noted that it would have been physically impossible for my parents to have been there, but the impossibility didn't occur to me at the time. I soon came to the conclusion that I had been condemned to be tortured to death with medical instruments by the hospital staff, and I had to fight hard to resist fully believing in this paranoid delusion. Somehow, I didn't panic.

Eventually a doctor appeared to tell me that I could go. My companion and I somehow made it back home, where we tranquilized ourselves to sleep with Xanax. When we had awakened from our sleep, the psychosis was entirely gone.

In retrospect, I was struck by the fact that at all times throughout this experience I felt lucid and utterly convinced that what was happening was real, even though I was also aware of the fact that hallucinating. It was as if only a part of my mind had become delusional while the rest remained coherent and on speed. I have never felt such profound confusion and delirium without an accompanying loss of awareness reality. I would describe the overall experience as one of 'lucid delirium', and not one to be intentionally repeated.

Exp Year: 2018ExpID: 112433
Gender: Not Specified 
Age at time of experience: 35 
Published: Oct 12, 2018Views: 782
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Sleep Deprivation (140), Pharms - Alprazolam (98), Amphetamines (6) : Small Group (2-9) (17), Multi-Day Experience (13), Health Problems (27), Combinations (3)

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