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The psychology behind hallucinations
25/07/2023
3 min

The psychology behind hallucinations

Written by: Eva Zonneveld

Have you ever wondered what happens in your brain when you hallucinate? This mystical journey through your mind is not only a fascinating subject for philosophers and artists, but also for scientists. Let's dive together into the depths of your brain to discover what really happens during a hallucinatory trip.

The beginning of the journey: The chemical trigger

It all starts with a chemical substance, such as LSD or psilocybin. When this substance enters your brain, it affects the serotonin receptors. Serotonin, known as the 'happiness hormone', assists us in how we see and feel things. When psychedelics attach to these receptors, an exciting journey of perceptual changes begins, much like a rollercoaster ride.

The brain under influence: A world of illusions

Once you're in the trip, it becomes evident that your perception of time, space, and even your own identity can distort. Your brain, usually a master at filtering information, now begins to process everything through a new, unfiltered prism. It's as if you've unlocked a hidden layer of reality, where colors are more vivid, sounds take shape, and time becomes a fluid dimension.

Synesthesia: Senses mingle

A particularly intriguing phenomenon is synesthesia, where your senses blend. Music can become visual, colors can produce sounds. It's a symphony of the senses, fused into an experience that's hard to describe in words.

Deeper into the mind: Emotions and memories

Beyond sensory changes, you might also get entangled in a web of emotions and memories. Hallucinations can bring up deep, often suppressed, emotions. This can be both therapeutic and challenging, depending on your personal experiences and the setting of your trip.

The role of set and setting

The environment in which you trip, known as 'set and setting', greatly influences your experience. A safe, comfortable environment can promote a positive journey, while a stressful or anxious setting can intensify unpleasant feelings. For more information, read our blog ‘The Importance of Environment and Mindset in the Use of Psychedelics’.

A perspective on eeality: What is real?

One of the most intriguing questions you can ask yourself during a trip is: "What is real?" Hallucinations challenge you to reconsider the nature of reality and your perception of it. It can be a philosophical journey that deepens your understanding of yourself and the world around you.

Back to basics: After the trip

As the effects wane, you find yourself back in the familiar world, but perhaps with a new outlook on life. This experience can have lasting effects on your perspective and self-insight.

Conclusion: An unforgettable journey

The psychology behind hallucinations is a complex and fascinating field. It reveals not only the mysterious workings of your brain under the influence, but also insights into the deeper layers of human experience. Whether you're a seasoned psychonaut or just curious about the phenomenon, the world of hallucinations remains an elusive, yet intriguing world to explore. Your journey through the mind is unique - a personal adventure into the unknown depths of consciousness.

Eva Zonneveld
Meet Eva, an author who merges her literary talent with a deep fascination for magic mushrooms, crafting stories that unravel the hidden realms of consciousness and the mycelium's wisdom.