The Clinical Syndrome
I want to bring attention to a generally unrecognized condition which results in a serious, at times severe, dysfunction in people who have experienced LSD previously. I have termed this condition The Post-LSD Syndrome. The bad news is that there is a severe condition, The Post-LSD Syndrome, which can occur as a result of even a single exposure to LSD, even decades after the exposure. The good news is that it can be relatively easily treated. I have gradually become aware of this condition over a course of more than 40 years of private and institutional practice of Pyschiatry and Psychoanalysis, particularly in the last ten years, and have now recognized more than 300 patients with this condition. Surprisingly, after a lengthy search of the literature, I have found nothing in the literature which specifically describes The Post-LSD Syndrome, and there are only a handful of cases in the literature which touch on the problem indirectly.
As I see it, The Post-LSD Syndrome (The Syndrome) is a discrete, unique syndrome which encompasses a particular group of severe symptoms which can be viewed as a triad of 1) a severe sleep disturbance, 2) a severe anxiety state which often is tantamount to a panic state, and 3) mental instability, i.e., impaired ego functioning and emotional instability. Some patients experience an acute onset with extreme distress, panic, and psychotic-like symptoms, while others have a gradual progression of symptoms over months or even years. Many patients experience these symptoms severely in a chronic form for years, and often resort to various measures such as medications, alcohol, or drugs to relieve the distressing symptoms, particularly the severe anxiety.