What are the effects of mushrooms?
Well, when you take mushrooms, you will lose your sense of time and will experience hallucinations like what we talked about above. You may see or sense things that are not there, or your senses may distort things that are there that you are sensing (“tripping”). You probably will feel queasy or like you are going to throw up, and some people vomit. Your balance will be off and your vision might be blurry. Your muscles will feel really weak. You can have super intense emotional swings, feeling really good and happy and then swinging suddenly into a dark and awful place emotionally. Some people think taking shrooms will make them have incredibly creative thoughts.
Are they harmful?
One of the biggest problems with hallucinogens like mushrooms, is that they are unpredictable. Each mushroom affects each person differently, so you really cannot know in advance how you will react. One of the most common bad effects is a “bad trip”. This means you take the drug and then have intensely bad feelings of anxiety, fear, panic, sadness and distress and paranoia (feeling like people are out to get you). Your hallucinations might be terrifying or you might have very disturbing thoughts and ideas. In some people with a personal or family history mental illness, mushrooms may trigger serious mental health problems such as psychosis. Psychosis is when you have delusions (false beliefs that are not part of reality and which distort the way you interact in the real world) and severe hallucinations. Psychosis requires medical and psychiatric treatment and possibly hospitalization. Severe bad trips and psychosis can lead to suicidal feelings and actions. Another problem is, since they are illegal, you have no way of really knowing what you are getting. Some other mushrooms that may look the same are poisonous and can make you really sick with liver or kidney failure, and might even be deadly.
What is the bottom line?
Mushrooms do not appear to be addictive in most people. But addiction is not the only problem with taking drugs like this. Something you need to remember with shrooms is that the effects are not predictable or reliable. They can be different between people, between different types of mushrooms, and within different experiences in the same person. Anyone with a mental health issue (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc) or with risk factors for mental illness (like it runs in your family) should stay away since the risk of triggering a severe psychiatric problem is a real one.
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