Erowid References Database
Saidel DR, Babineau R.
“Prolonged LSD Flashbacks as Conversion Reactions”.
J. Nerv. Ment. Dis.. 1976;163(5):352-55.
A case study of a patient with prolonged LSD flashbacks is presented. A man (20 yr) presented with a 3-yr history of frequent visual distortions. He also complained of more recent free floating anxiety and confusion in various interpersonal situations. He had ingested no hallucinogenic drugs for 3 yr but he considered the distortions to be a continuation of his prior drug experiences: 15 LSD trips and 5 experiences each with amphetamines and mescaline, all within an 18 mth period. He suffered a baseline visual fuzziness during those 3 yr and his symptoms were exacerbated when he was fatigued, when studying for exams and when he was frustrated in tackling a difficult problem. He was a bright, highly intellectualized, somewhat phobic, cautious and obsessive young man. The father was perceived in the family as uninvolved and ineffectual whereas the mother was more dominant in the family and with the patient was controlling, guilt provoking and intrusive. The majority of his drug use including his most traumatic trip occurred after traumatic domestic experiences. His eventual request for therapy was precipitated by his helplessness in controlling the distortions which impaired his ability to meet the challenge of 2 life events: his career choice following graduation, and a conflict between his mother and his girlfriend and his perception that he was forced to choose between them. Therapy consisted of psychodynamically orientatedpsychothe apy comprising 20 1-hr sessions on a l x wkly basis. In the transference relationship he was quite dependent, treating the therapist as a benign authoritarian and the positive transferase was used as a base from which the therapist could repeatedly challenge the patients fear that he had suffered organic brain damage. 6 Wk after therapy initiation he gave up the organic theory and gradually accepted the explanation of the importance o affects and of life crises insufficiently resolved. The perceptual distortions remitted over a 2-wk period and for the final 3 mth of therapy he had only 1 flashback. This case study demonstrates that LSD flashbacks may be maintained by the same psychodynamic process as any other neurotic symptom.
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