Mixed emotions is the experience of feeling multiple emotions simultaneously with or without an obvious external trigger. For example, during this state, a user may suddenly feel intense conflicting emotions such as simultaneous happiness, sadness, love, hate, etc. This can result in states of mind in which the user can potentially feel any number of conflicting emotions in any possible combination.
Mixed emotions are often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as memory suppression and emotion enhancement. They are most commonly induced under the influence of heavy dosages of psychedelics compounds, such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline.
All experiences with mixed emotions can be categorized into four distinct types or “patterns”. These various different classifications are described and documented below:
- Sequential pattern: This is when one emotion appears first and is then replaced by a second emotion without either of the emotions occurring simultaneously.
- Prevalence pattern: This is when the two emotions occur simultaneously but, throughout the emotional episode, one is of moderate or high intensity while the other is of very comparatively low intensity.
- Inverse pattern: This is when the two emotions occur in an inverse fashion; that is, while the intensity of one emotion progressively decreases as the intensity of the other emotion proportionally increases.
- Simultaneous pattern: This is when both emotions are of moderate or high intensity and the two occur simultaneously, whether throughout the entirety of the emotional episode or simply during a portion of it.
It is worth noting that mixed emotions are a complex subjective experience and not merely a collection of independent feelings elicited in response to separate triggers. Although people can usually identify the environmental triggers responsible for their mixed emotions, the subjective feeling reflects the simultaneous occurrence of both positive and negative emotions. It can therefore be said that this state of mind is more than the sum of the emotions involved; mixed feelings are in themselves a distinct and integral emotional experience.