Anxiety can be described as negative feelings of psychological tension and general unease. These feelings can range from subtle and ignorable to intense and overwhelming enough to trigger panic attacks and feelings of impending doom. This is often accompanied by nervous behavior such as rumination, complaints, restlessness, and muscular tension. As an emotion it is considered as distinct from fear in that feelings of anxiety are usually an overreaction to a situation that is not realistically dangerous.

In regards to psychoactive substance usage, anxiety can be caused as an inescapable effect of the drug itself, by a lack of experience with the substance, or by the experience of negative hallucinations. It is extremely common to experience this effect under the influence of cannibanoids, stimulant comedowns and hallucinogens such as LSD or salvia divinorum.

panic attacks

Panic attacks are periods of extremely intense anxiety that have a sudden onset[1] and a variable duration.[2] These usually begin abruptly and may reach their peak within 10 to 20 minutes, but may also continue for hours in extreme cases before subsiding on their own. Although this experience is incredibly stressful it is important to note that it is not physically dangerous or harmful.

The various cognitive and physical symptoms of a panic attack are described and listed below:

  • Hyperventilation - Hyperventilation occurs when one breathes deeper and more rapidly than usual. When hyperventilating, one may feel as though they are struggling to get enough air. As this causes a decrease of carbon dioxide in the blood, it may result in light headedness, a rapid heartbeat, chest pain, or a tingling sensation in one's limbs.[3] 
  • Abnormal heart rate and palpitations - Due to the release of stress hormones, one may experience heart symptoms including missed beats, palpitations, chest pain, and an accelerated heart rate.
  • Tactile suppression - This can be described as a loss of sensation as well as numbness and tingling sensations throughout the body. It may feel as if one's skin or body parts are numb to the touch, and this can occur in a small area or become all-encompassing throughout multiple body parts or the entire body. Numbness most frequently occurs within the hands, legs, arms, feet, and face. This effect is often accompanied by a pins and needle sensation and it generally increases alongside of hyperventilation.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Feelings of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Bodily pressures
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
  • Derealization
  • Depersonalization
  • Fear of losing control or going insane
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • Delusions

psychoactive substances

Compounds which may cause this effect commonly include:

1P-LSD, 2-Aminoindane, 2-FA, 2-FMA, 25B-NBOH, 25C-NBOH, 25C-NBOMe, 25D-NBOMe, 25I-NBOH, 25I-NBOMe, 25N-NBOMe, 3,4-CTMP, 3-FA, 3-FEA, 3-FMA, 3-FPM, 3-MMC, 3C-E, 4-FA, 4-FMA, 4F-EPH, 4F-MPH, 5-APB, 5-MAPB, 5-MeO-DMT, 5F-AKB48, 5F-PB-22, 6-APB, 6-APDB, A-PHP, A-PVP, AB-CHMINACA, AB-FUBINACA, ALD-52, APICA, Adrafinil, Alprazolam, Amphetamine, Armodafinil, Benzydamine, Bufotenin, Butylone, Caffeine, Cannabis, Cocaine, DOB, DOC, DOI, DPT, Datura, Dehydroxyfluorafinil, Desoxypipradol, Diazepam, Dichloropane, DPH, ETH-CAT, ETH-LAD, Efavirenz, Ethylone, Ethylphenidate, Harmala alkaloids, Hexedrone, Hexen, Ibogaine, Isopropylphenidate, JWH-018, JWH-073, LSA, LSD, Lisdexamfetamine, MCPP, MDA, MDAI, MDEA, MDMA, MDPV, Mephedrone, Methamphetamine, Methiopropamine, Methylnaphthidate, Methylone, Methylphenidate, Mexedrone, Modafinil, NEP, NM-2-AI, Nicotine, PMMA, Pentedrone, Piracetam, Prolintane, Propylhexedrine, STS-135, Salvinorin A, THJ-018, THJ-2201, Theacrine, Tyrosine, U-47700

See also

  • Anxiety suppression
  • Paranoia
  • Depression


Documentation written by Josie Kins and Jenny Kins