FAQ – Quick answers to common questions about bad trips

For quick answers, here’s a collection of some of the questions I’m frequently asked. I’ll be continually updating this post in order to efficiently cover the basics.

Can you have a “bad trip” from weed?

YES. Many people think that you can only have a “bad trip” from psychedelics, but it is actually very common to have scary or difficult “trips” from weed. I’ve personally had scary experiences with weed, and I’ve known and heard of people who have had life-changing experiences with it.

I think it’s important to not look at the particular substance as the cause of the bad trip. We live in a time when society is very, very good at getting us disconnected from our emotions and our true selves. In my experience, a lot of “bad” trips happen at a tipping point of disconnection from our inner beings, even if we may not realize it at the time. A trip may be the catalyst for a major shift in your life, but I wouldn’t say it’s the cause.

How long does it take to get over a bad trip?

I wish I could tell you a particular number of days, weeks, or months, but the only true answer is that it depends on you and your experience. For some people, a trip gets them a bit shaken up, and they’re fine again in a week or so. Other people have trips that turn their entire life upside down for months or even years. It depends on a few things: the intensity of your trip, your emotional history, how diligently you work to heal, and how positive you are about the situation.

So often, people are asking, “When will I be normal again?” To that, my question is, “What does normal mean to you?” In getting through a crisis situation, you need to figure out where you are right now and where you’d like to get to. Unless you know where you’re going, you won’t have a way to measure your progress towards that goal. Ultimately, while this healing process is difficult, it is SUCH a gift in terms of growing stronger, gaining wisdom, and learning about yourself. And I’m saying that having been through a terrifying, life-halting trip and an extremely long and arduous healing process.

Is it normal to have weird bodily sensations after a bad trip?

Absolutely. Bodily sensations are one of the most pronounced and lasting effects I’ve experienced following my difficult trip, and many others have them to. At first, I would constantly freak out about medical problems, such as having a heart attack. Now, I have come to view them as energy in the body rather than potential medical issues. We are made of energy, and I believe that these intense trips put us more in touch with that energy.

I promise that you will not have a heart attack or stroke. I spend 2+ years of my life worrying about heart attacks, strokes, and my throat closing up due to these sensations, and none of that ever happened. Don’t waste all those moments of your precious life freaking out like I did!

Am I schizophrenic or going crazy?

NO! No, no, no. There’s a lot of scary stuff out there online – please don’t get sucked into the fear of being schizo like so many have. You went through a very intense emotional experience that severely rattled you. I often compare it to any other intense experience, such as being in a car wreck or losing an intimate loved one. These experiences shake you up. They freak you out. They turn your life upside down. You lose sleep, feel anxious, and it takes a while for things to get back to normal. Yet, in those instances, you never think that you might be schizo. Dealing with the aftermath of this scary trip is only different in that it isn’t one of those experiences that people talk about – we don’t have a lot of words for what’s going on, so it feels like something is wrong. I promise with 100% certainty that you are neither schizo nor going crazy.

Read an entire post dedicated to this subject!

Should I see a therapist after a bad trip?

There’s no right answer to this question. I’ve personally seen a standard psychologist, a regression/hypnosis therapist, and had Reiki. Before rushing into it, it’s important to ask yourself: why do I want to see a therapist?

It seems obvious, but it’s important to really know why you’re doing something before you do it. If you simply want someone to tell you you’ll be okay, I promise you that seeing a therapist won’t help – you can have a 100 therapists tell you you’ll be fine, and it still won’t make a difference unless YOU decide to believe it. You can save some time and money by deciding right here and now that, even though you went through something very hard and emotionally scarring, you’re going to work hard to get through this and will ultimately be just fine.

Read an entire post about therapists!

Should I get on anxiety meds after a bad trip?

The only person that can answer that question is you. For my own life, I have always been strongly opposed to taking any pharmaceuticals unless it’s absolutely necessary. However, soon after my bad trip, I got myself addicted to nicotine which absolutely served as a coping mechanism for my anxiety whether or not I realized it at the time. If I could do it all over again, I would beg myself never to start using nicotine due to the horrendous process of quitting, BUT it seems to’ve been what I needed to get through that time. I believe everything happens for a reason, and I’m grateful for the wisdom and experience that I gained from having to quit nicotine.

Getting on anxiety medication is a very serious decision that should not be taken lightly, similarly to the decision to use psychedelics or other psychoactive substances. When we do this, there are great benefits but also great risks. It’s important to be educated, deliberate, and thinking about your long-term health.

Read more about my personal opinion on anxiety meds