The LSD Experience Illustrated with Self-Portraits

Last updated on November 4th, 2019

LSD drawing For people who use lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), also known as acid, the experience is often described as spiritual.

LSD is one of the most powerful hallucinogens ever developed. Users have a hard time putting what they see and feel into words. The drug affects the brain in ways that make the user view the world as a more colorful and vibrant place.

Recently, a reddit user decided to put that theory to the test, using LSD and creating hand-drawn self-portraits throughout her entire experience or “trip.” The resulting pictures showed a dramatic and increasingly different perception of self, indicating that LSD can produce shocking changes in the way users see themselves – and the world around them.

The girl, whose name was not published with the drawings, reportedly spent between 15 and 45 minutes on each drawing. She was asked to create a self-portrait and worked without a mirror for the duration of the experiment.

  • Her first drawing was completed 15 minutes after taking LSD, before the effects of the drug kicked in, and looks perfectly normal.
  • After 45 minutes, she drew a picture that showed her with much longer, brighter hair.
  • And after two hours and 15 minutes, she drew herself with unusual facial features.
  • After three and a half hours, she no longer drew eyes in her self-portrait. She stated that she simply didn’t want to have eyes anymore.
  • Six hours in, she stopped using the black pencil and colored only in bright, vibrant hues. She no longer looked like a normal human; more like a colorful and other-worldly character.
  • At the eight hour mark, she began listening to Pink Floyd’s album The Wall. This seemed to encourage her to start drawing a body, along with her face. “During the previous one, I tried to draw what was inside my head, but in the middle of it, things were happening outside my head instead,” she said.
  • After nine and a half long hours, the effects of the LSD were almost gone. Her final drawing clearly lacked the previous colorful and artistic details seen in the images drawn hours before.

The LSD Experience

The effects of LSD are usually felt in 20 minutes after dosing. The drug produces intense effects; users claim to “see sounds” and “hear colors.” Hallucinations and delusions are extremely vivid, altering perception of time, and creating visceral reactions. And LSD isn’t always a magical ride. The intense effects can be frightening, making its long duration extremely unpleasant.

Mental Effects:

  • Visual hallucinations
  • A sense of euphoria
  • Distortion of time and identity
  • Impaired depth perception, sense of movement, color, sounds, touch and body image
  • A fear of losing control
  • Panic attacks

Physical Effects:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Altered body temperature
  • Sweating or cold chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Dry mouth
  • Tremors

Risks of Using LSD:
The risk of using LSD can depend on the amount taken, the person’s mood and personality, and the surroundings in which the drug is used. To put it simply – this is a drug that can create feelings of great joy or altered senses of distortion and paranoia. Sensibility and judgments are clouded.

Many LSD users experience flashbacks, leading them to relive the intense moments of the trip. The flashbacks usually occur without warning, sometimes even years after taking LSD. Some LSD users even end up experiencing long-lasting psychoses or severe depression after only one dose of the drug.


Also Read: A Complete History of LSD

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