Citation: Diphenhydramine. "Glimpse of Insanity: An Experience with Diphenhydramine (exp56587)". Erowid.org. Dec 28, 2008. erowid.org/exp/56587
I have always had a fascination with Diphenhydramine. When I was about 16 I remember taking 125-150mg doses and try to see how long I could stay awake before I had to submit to unconsciousness.
A few months ago I had taken a 225mg dose to see if I could get some of the hallucanagetic (I've since learned that it's more of a delirium) qualities of the drug to come out. I would have taken more, but the only thing I had at my house was Tylenol pm, which also contains a high amount of acetaminophen, which can be very toxic at higher levels. The experience mostly consisted of extreme drowsiness and some slight visual distortions in the corner of my eyes, but it was more like the lightshow I get when I press on the outside of my eyelids than an actual hallucination.
Two days ago I bought a bottle of Benedryl at the store, 125 small red pills each containing 25mg of mind-altering diphenhydramine. I wasn't planning on using them immediately, but later that night I decided what the hell, and started to dose up.
11:00 - I take my first dose, 275mg.
11:15 - I decide that 275mg is going to be pretty weak. and I want to get the most kick I can get out of this experience. I take 75mg more.
11:20 - I decide to hell with it and take 50mg more, making the total 400mg.
11:30 - I smoke my last cigarette, still not feeling even the slightest effects from the drug, not even drowsiness. I am a long time recreational user of hallucinagenic drugs (acid, psychedelic mushrooms, jimsonweed, and a few others) and I know that I am going to need more smokes for this trip. I figure that the drugs haven't kicked in at all yet so I have at least a half hour to drive to the local 24-hour supermart to pick up some smokes. [Erowid Note:
Driving while intoxicated, tripping, or extremely sleep deprived is dangerous and irresponsible because it endangers other people. Don't do it!]
11:37 - I see the first mirage, which may not have been from the drugs but simply from the poorly lit road, of people walking the sidewalks ahead, all I can see is their sillouettes. As I get closer, I see that they are stationary road signs.
11:40 - I arrive at the supermart, still no effects of the drugs. I walk in, buy my smokes, leave.
11:45 - I get back into my car and turn on one of my favorite albums (Mars Volta - De-Loused) and start to drive home while smoking a cig. I'm still not feeling any effects from the drug.
11:53 - I'm about half a mile from the turn to the road up which I live when I start to feel a little heaviness in my head, kind of like someone really gently pulling my head back to the headrest of my car seat. As I get closer to the turn, I start to get kind of a tunnel vision effect. I haven't changed speed but it feels like it's taking forever. As I make the turn I decide to be extra careful so I don't go into the ditch, and the turn seems like I make a complete 360 degree turn even though it's only been 90 degrees. On the way up the road I begin to experience the earlier sensation of dark sillouettes walking beside my car, but once I get closer I can see that they are just stationary road signs. I make the turn into my house and it feels like another long turn.
I go inside my house and lay on my bed, turning off all the lights and turning on a tv show I had recorded with a strong music soundtrack, as I had heard that diphenhydramine increases music awareness. I begin to see the mirages. First it seems like another tv screen materializes in the air next to the real one. It's playing a different tv show which I could clearly see at the time, but I can't recall now. The room is spinning a little bit, but not making me dizzy. It was kind of like there were flashlights floating around the room, pointing at my eyes. I start to see a lot more visual distortions, just bright lights out of the corner of my eyes. When I turn to look directly at them, they're gone.
1:45 - I look at the tv to notice the show I had been watching is into it's 3rd episode, it's been that long already? The visual distortions are starting to get very disorientating. I fear that I haven't reached the peak of the high and decide I just want to go to sleep, as the trip is starting to feel very uncomfortable. I still haven't had a cigarette since my drive home. I know it's very cold outside and I'm afraid I might fall to sleep out there, and a cigarette doesn't really seem that appealing at the moment anyway.
I close my eyes and start to drift in and out of consciousness. My eyes are closed but the tv is still on and I can still clearly see the television and the rest of the room through my closed eyes, although the tv show playing on my eyelids is a different one than what was really playing on the tv, but I didn't notice that at the time. I come back to reality and jolt awake, although I'm not sure if I was really asleep or just hallucinating before this, and realize that I wasn't watching the tv, that I've had my eyes closed. I start to doze off again and close my eyes. The tv screen reappears inside of my mind. I touch my eyelids to make sure they are closed, and they are.
I start having severe moments of paranoia and depression. Just for about a few minutes at a time, I start thinking angry thoughts about my friends and my girlfriends, that they are evil and they are trying to play me. After a few minutes of this it goes away and I feel normal again, but it repeats a couple of times. At this point the twitching starts. I've never had these effects ever before and they were horribly uncomfortable. Laying on my back with my head on the pillow, my right leg begins to feel restless. Every 2-3 minutes I get an irresistable urge to twitch my right leg. And when I say twitch, I don't mean a little twitch, I mean a big tremor, like I was trying to kick a field goal or something. This continues every 2-3 minutes for about a half hour until I conclude that I'm not going to be able to get asleep from just closing my eyes. I decide that this trip has gone bad and it's time to abort.
I get up and move to the bathroom and induce vomiting, throwing up the contents of my stomach. In the water, I can clearly see the 16 almost-completely dissolved benedryl tablets floating in the water. This terrifies me for some reason, and I quickly flush the toilet and walk to the sink to wash my mouth out. This is the first real detailed hallucination I see. As I look down towards the drain, I can clearly see a number pad on the drain, like the kind you see on movies attached to a nuclear warhead or something. I cock my head and look at it again, and I can still see it clearly but I realize that it's just a hallucination now and not really there.
I go back and lay on my bed and try to enjoy the rest of the visual distortions, taking comfort in the knowledge that I won't get any higher since I ejected the rest of the pills from my stomach. After about 45 minutes of laying in comfort (although I still had the leg twitches) I came back to reality in a sudden, and looked around the room, realizing that I was almost back in touch with reality. I stand up and walk around the room, and just feel a little loopy, like I was carsick or something. I try to go to sleep but I still have the leg tremors, but after massaging the muscles in my leg for a moment, they go away and I'm able to get to sleep.
Conclusion: Diphenhydramine is a very interesting drug. The trip seemed very scary at the time. The visual distortions weren't like lsd or shrooms, where they flow like water. It was more like they just appeared and disappeared all of the sudden. I could relate it most to Jimsonweed. The whole experience was a lot like dreaming while still awake. It's the next day now, and I still feel the restless sensation in my right leg, although it hasn't tremored at all. It just feels odd. I also feel slightly nauseous. The world seems to have a slight touch of reality to it, but I often feel that way after using hallucinagens.
I will probably try diphenhydramine one more time somewhere in the future, but not in this high of a dose. Maybe 200-225mg. I would deffinately say that anyone who is a fan of taking a glimpse of insanity (as I am) to try this at least once.
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