Anxiety After Mushroom Trip – One Year Later

About a year ago, I went on a psychedelic journey that went not as great as usual – but things got really strange when all of a sudden, I started experiencing panic attacks and anxiety after this mushroom trip.

While anxious feelings during a trip are quite common, it is usually reported that mushrooms have great potential of healing anxiety.

But what if you never had any anxiety but suddenly started experiencing it after a trip?

That‘s exactly what happened to me. At first, I thought it was just a bad trip and that was it. But then I started having panic attacks regularly in which I experienced exactly the same physical symptoms as during my trip.

I had never had any mental health problems before but that trip changed something – permanently.

So how is life, one year later? Luckily, I can say it is quite beautiful again and I feel like I have successfully overcome my mushroom-induced anxiety. It has been tough to deal with but I also feel like I learned a lot from those unexpected after-effects.

When I first realized something had ‚gone wrong‘, of course, I first asked the internet about it – and only found a few short anecdotes of anxiety after a trip but no reports on how the situation actually evolved for them.

That‘s why I wanted to share my experience with mushrooms and anxiety, in the hopes that it will help others who find themselves in a similar situation.

Memories from an earlier mushroom trip, back in Mexico.

Can shrooms cause permanent anxiety?

Magic mushrooms themselves do not cause anxiety. They can, however, bring feelings, fears and memories to the surface that may be deeply unsettling.

Tough trips can be a portal to deep understanding but they require a lot of work, post-trip integration and willingness to face your shadow.

If you experience anxiety after a bad trip, the best way to overcome it is by finding meaning in it.

I suggest you take some time to reflect on questions such as:

  • What were the mushrooms trying to tell me?
  • Are there things I need to change in my life?
  • Have I buried some feelings or fears for (too) long?
  • Did the trip bring up something I used to avoid facing?
  • What can I learn from a challenging situation?
  • Which aspects of my life require more attention?
  • How can I be more compassionate with myself?

I will share more about what helped me to deal with anxiety after my trip below, but first, let me tell you what happened.

Magic mushrooms have powerful healing properties. This is an artwork I created honoring the Mexican shaman Maria Sabina.

What happened during the trip?

I was staying in a quiet mountain hut with one of my closest friends and one of his friends which I quickly came to like. People I fully trusted and felt at ease with, not my first mushroom trip, either. Perfect set and setting, one could say.

I always feel slightly nervous before a trip, but it was not more than usual, so I was not concerned.

Out of us three, I was the first one to feel the effects kick in and right away I felt a little unsettled and chose to retreat from the bonfire to my bed.

Very soon, I started feeling nauseous and increasingly overwhelmed. I didn‘t experience strong hallucinogenic effects, the whole experience was very physical.

What made the whole thing so surprising was that it actually happened on a very low dose (about 1g of dried magic mushrooms).

Physical sensations I experienced:

  • nausea (to the point of throwing up)
  • feeling cold
  • shaking and twitching muscles (especially my legs were shaking a lot)

I did my best to surrender and stay calm throughout the experience. It was a little overwhelming but I was not freaked out, actually. It felt like possibly my body was simply releasing something (hence the shaking and vomiting) and I just needed to stick with it.

“This, too, shall pass.”

Interestingly, my friends barely felt the effects of the shrooms while I went through this intense experience.

Why did they affect me so much more? I have no idea. But that‘s how psychedelics work – sometimes they have nothing to say to you, otherwise even just a little will spark very intense reactions.

What happened after the trip?

The day after, I felt completely normal again. I was wondering quite a bit about why the trip had turned out this way but again, I was not really concerned – the past is in the past.

Only when about two weeks later, I had the first panic attack before a flight to see my boyfriend, I started to sense something was off.

How I felt before the flight, resembled exactly how I felt during the trip. Nauseous, cold, shaking, overwhelmed – accompanied by the feeling of not being strong enough to make it through this situation.

And that was what most concerned me. I had always had a firm belief to be strong enough to make it through anything. In those moments of anxiety, that certainty shattered.

In the months after, the same patterns kept showing up again, in different situations. It was also an intensely emotional time, including a very painful breakup.

Suddenly, things that were completely normal for me, like going on a hike or traveling, had become a challenge. I was afraid of being afraid.

Despite having traveled for years, going traveling suddenly was extremely difficult for me. I took this self portrait in Cyprus, my first trip after anxiety entered the stage – I was so panicked I almost didn’t make it on the plane.

Most situations in which I experienced anxiety/panic attacks could be led back to two triggers:

  • feeling like something is challenging
  • emotional vulnerability

In the beginning, it was hard to even talk about these experiences – just sharing the story of it, led me to start shaking and feeling very anxious.

How long did the anxiety after the mushroom trip last?

The most intense phase lasted around 3 months. I had a couple of these anxiety attacks per month and they would usually last for some hours.

It took about 6 months to feel relatively safe in my body again and not like anxiety is just lurking around the corner anymore.

I still occasionally experienced anxiety after that but it did not impact me as severely anymore. Now, after a year, I feel like my mental health is doing well again, on a similar level as it has been before. Anxiety no longer plays a role in my everyday life anymore.

Is it gone forever? Maybe, maybe not. There is no way to know for certain. But now know that I can deal with these feelings in case they do come back.

Will you become yourself again?

Experiencing anxiety for the first time feels a lot like having lost yourself. It can be really tempting to wish to just go back to your former self.

But realistically, you won‘t ever be the same again.

This experience will change you – the important thing is to not let it break you.

Being confronted with these feelings may have been something you needed to work on anyways. If you dare to face them it is very likely that you will come out much stronger than before.

Psychological distress is typically trying to tell us something – so if you take this as an opportunity to really tune in with yourself, it may actually carry a lot of potential for growth.

How I overcame anxiety after a magic mushroom trip

1. Therapy, therapy, therapy

I probably should have looked for professional help much sooner. In the beginning, I was still hoping for the anxiety to simply pass and kind of felt like it was not „serious enough“.

By the time I finally got a therapist (about 4 months after the trip), the worst had already passed. But still, seeing a therapist helped me tremendously – luckily, I was able to find an online provider that allowed me to continue therapy throughout my travels.

I learned a lot of strategies to deal with complicated feelings and got to understand myself more deeply while exploring emotions, values and acceptance.

So if you find yourself in a similar situation, I urge you to look for a therapist as soon as possible. It is very reassuring to have professional guidance in tough times and to be able to work through those feelings in a safe space.

2. Keep up (or build) good habits

With anxiety and a break-up combined, I was a complete mess for a while. But I still tried my best to keep up positive habits that would benefit my mental health, such as going for walks in nature.

Daily yoga became my life-saving anchor for a while – when I started implementing this habit was when I really started seeing improvements with my mental health and started to feel a bit more secure again.

Especially since my anxiety was so strongly physical, connecting with my body in a safe and healthy way was a very important part of my recovery. It made me feel a lot stronger again and ready to face what was coming.

Exercise is commonly recommended to improve mental health – we already know it is good for us in so many ways, right?

And: Be compassionate and loving with yourself. Is vital to care for yourself and implement things into your life that make you feel good.

3. Don‘t let anxiety stop you from living your life

The last, really important thing I‘d like to share with you is: Keep living your life. Keep doing the things you want to do and work toward your dreams.

The worst thing you can do is to let anxiety control your life. It is still you who is in charge. Anxiety might be an occasional obstacle showing up but don‘t let it become a showstopper.

It scared me shitlessly, but I still worked on finishing my van to go on a trip all the way from Germany to Iran – and eventually left. As a seasoned traveler, it was hard to admit how hard it actually was to start this trip but in the end, just one thing counts – that I went and did not let anxiety beat me.

You are equipped to meet any challenge you encounter in life. So if anxiety will be part of this season of your life, let it – you got this.

Lessons from my mushroom anxiety

„Magic mushrooms ruined my life“ would be a realistic conclusion for many reading a story like this. But no, I never wanted this to become my story.

Instead, I started looking for the lesson in all of this. What has anxiety after a mushroom trip taught me? Has it maybe even changed my life in positive ways?

1. Opening up new ways of feeling

I am a very, very mind-focused person. My world of feelings was quite shallow, rather numb. But if I had to narrow down the main effect this mushroom trip had on my life, I‘d say:

It cracked my heart wide open.

One of my theories of why I experienced these moments of anxiety is that I simply never felt this intensely. And because I did not know how to deal with these heightened feelings of pain or anxiety, my body went into panic mode.

Maybe it was simply years of bottled-up feelings that all of a sudden came to light – enough to cause anxiety.

I first had to learn to sit with these feelings and understand that they are safe for me to experience.

Before this trip, I never knew what people meant that they feel feelings in their bodies. Now I do. For a long while, however, it felt like I was just feeling the emotions we label as negative more intensely.

I was waiting for that moment when I would also feel gratitude, love, and joy more intensely. And after many months, it finally started happening. I came to know the term „full-catastrophe living“ – living fully, with all its ups and downs.

Dealing with the after-effects of this mushroom trip has given me the capacity to feel much more deeply. And I am eternally grateful for that.

2. Mushrooms (and anxiety) can guide change

The time after this particular magic mushroom was full of changes – not just the anxiety surfacing, but also the end of a relationship and the beginning of a new job coincided with it.

It was a time of falling apart and slowly piecing myself back together.

Logically, I questioned many things during that time – and also reflected on what was important to me.

After that experience, my relationship with nature has become even deeper than it has been before. Going outside is immensely healing – and I knew I really wanted to make this a priority in my life.

There are many small inner processes that started during this time and I can feel how they are taking my life in a different direction. It has taken a long time to feel safe enough again to challenge myself again but now I am looking forward to what changes the future brings.

Difficult moments often show you what you need to change in your life.

Maria Sabina illustration by Anna Heimkreiter. The wise Mexican healer is shown working with magic mushrooms.

3. Passing hardship makes you a stronger person

No, you did not ask to experience anxiety. Nor did I. But when it has already happened the best thing we can do it deal with it courageously.

In the end, those difficult moments in our lives are what make us so much stronger.

Learning how to be compassionate with yourself when everything seems to fall apart is a huge skill to have. Realizing how you managed to keep going is definitely something to be proud of.

Often, we only understand in hindsight how those times changed us and made us stronger. So, please, never lose the belief that you will make it through this.

Should you do psychedelics again after a bad trip?

For a long time, taking psychedelics again was absolutely no option for me. I don‘t think it is wise to turn to hallucinogenics while feeling mentally unstable.

In my opinion, I‘d recommend focusing on processing this trip first (thoroughly) and then seeing how you feel.

Even a year later, I‘m still not quite sure if I want to take psychedelics again – for now, not yet. They call you when you‘re ready, so I am sure I will know.

For me, it was just very important not to demonize psychedelics or blame them for the anxiety I experienced.

There certainly is a lot of healing potential to them and I’d still consider myself an advocate for psychedelics (I mean, I created a whole psychedelic art series – you can check it out here).

This trip has however taught me that you truly never know what you get. Sometimes, psychedelic integration can take a (long) while indeed.

In the end, it is a question only you can answer but be prepared and mindful when you go into your next experience.

Final words

If I can give you just one takeaway from this rather lengthy article, let it be this:

You will be okay.

I am sure of it. Sending you much love – if you experienced something similar, feel free to share your story in the comments.

Note: I‘ve used the words anxiety and panic attack pretty interchangeably here. Different therapists have diagnosed me with different things and it has felt like a mix of both at times – in the end, putting a label on it does not matter to me. Hope you can forgive this minor inaccuracy 🙂

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  1. Wow wow Wow Anna, Danke das du das so offen und reflektiert hier geschrieben hast. I admire your mind!!! Yessss. so much! 100%
    find ich super. instead of blaming – reflect i love that!!
    high fiveeee <3

    1. I am so grateful you have shared your experience as I have had a similar experience. You see for me, many years ago when I was 18 or 19 I dosed LSD and had a super tense and anxiety inducing experience. I feel it took me close to 20 years to truly process that and make myself be ok again. Prior to that I was diagnosed with a severe social and generalized anxiety disorder. It’s just how I’m wired. Recently I have begun working with a therapist that specializes in psychedelics and had a “hero” dose of mushrooms for the first time in my life. We did a lovely ceremony and I took the essence of the panther spirit with me as a messenger of one’s shadow self. I am learning I survived that and very much hesitate to call it a “bad” trip. It was just an experience I am meant to process and will be working with my therapist to integrate and process what I need. What you describe is something that very much resonates for me. Thank you and bless you so much for sharing. Seeing it’s not just me really does help.

  2. Hello Anna! Thank you for sharing this uneasy experience, that’s something not many people do. That was a thoughtful reading 🙏

  3. Thank you for sharing this. I feel like I’m reading my own story. I did psychedelics for the first time in October this year and experienced the most extreme anxiety and fear I had ever felt in my life for about 3 months. The trip itself wasn’t a bad experience which left me feeling confused as to why suddenly these intense feelings had arrived. I’m still as you say afraid of being afraid but not to the degree I have been in previous months. I still find myself having moments of not being okay but I’m better able now to talk myself through it and there’s a lot of power in knowing I can do that. The realizations I’ve had about past trauma in my life at times, have almost felt like messages straight from God and have given me some peace I haven’t felt in a long time. I’m still struggling and definitely feel my next step should be therapy. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this. It affirmed a lot of my hopes and prayers. Best wishes to you. You seem like a wonderful person with a great outlook.

    1. Hi Lauren! Oh my, it seems like this is really more common than one thinks. By now, already quite a few people have reached out and shared their stories with me… and it’s only been 2 months since this blog post went online. I’m sorry to hear you’ve also been affected! It is a tough experience to go through. I’m proud of you for doing the inner work & looking for help from a therapist. I hope things keep improving for you – sending you the strength you need to move forward and feel safe in your mind and body again. All the best, Anna.

  4. In august I took a trip to Vegas and took two edible gummies and it made me have a bad trip like really bad thinking I was “dying” and needed to go to the hospital but my friends helped me calmed down after that night I’ve been feeling the same and my anxiety has gotten worse and I’m not feeling how I was a year ago I’m more quiet and scared something is wrong with me, I’m finally going to a therapist Tuesday to see if that helps I don’t wanna be on any medications cause I’m scared of the side effects. It just is weird that I never had anxiety until that night and now it won’t go away I miss being my old self

    1. I’m glad your friends were there for you to help you calm down! It’s fantastic you took initiative and made an appointment with a therapist – I’m sure they will help you figure out what is best for your situation. I’m proud of you for doing your best to get better and wishing you all the best.

  5. Thank you for sharing this! I’ve been scouring the internet to try and make sense of my 12 hour trip of heaven/hell in April of 2022. I felt like I was a seasoned psychonaut and I prepared myself, I thought for 4 yrs to take my journey again and boy was I WRONG! I also did a couple things wrong like doing it alone and at night after hiking all day but I had done them alone before and at night with no issues. I had the most intense fear and vulnerability and I felt like I was going to be permanently insane. The visuals were amazing and I had several amazing experiences during the trip but that fear, panic, and vulnerability never went away and has gotten to the point where I’m going to have to start anti anxiety meds. The thought of taken any psychotropic again scares the hell out of me and even thinking spiritually I shy away from at times. The experience I feel gave me PTSD. It’s made me question the existence of reality and ‘God’. I went into the experience focusing on healing and I think what happened is that all my past lives trauma came up at the same time which wasn’t something I had considered, only this life’s trauma. To be honest I don’t even know if I believe that is a thing because I don’t know what to believe anymore! It made me question everything I possibly thought I had some knowledge of and I feel I’m pretty open minded. I hike, eat healthy, meditate, vibrational music, incense, literally everything I can think of to help my situation before meds. I’m working on trying to find a therapist that deals with those who have gone on spiritual journeys so they are better equipped to understand my experience and help me work through it but I’ve yet to find that person. I understand that it could’ve been underlying circumstances that have caused this and not the mushrooms themselves but I’m wondering how many people have had this type of experience and it just hasn’t come to light because all you mostly hear is sunshine and rainbows about psilocybin/hallucinogens. I don’t know anyone who can relate to me on this subject matter. I really feel alone in this so it was nice to read your post, so thank you. Even posting this has made me have some reservations because the intense vulnerability I felt from the experience I had.

    1. Hi Amber, I can definitely relate to your experience – thank you for sharing it so openly for all of us to read. 12 hours sounds almost too long for mushrooms, was it a different substance? But yes, it definitely felt vulnerable publishing this blog post, too, but a lot of people reached out saying this helped them, so I think talking about those difficult experiences is extremely valuable. And by now, I (unfortunately) can confirm that you are definitely not alone in this, I’ve received many messages and comments from people who have gone through something similar. More than I ever expected.

      It’s great that you are looking for a therapist (I encourage you to do so) and it sounds like you already have a lot of healthy habits, keep them up! Taking good care of myself was a big part of my healing journey. Remember you are are strong and equipped with everything you need to make it through this! Questioning everything in a situation like this is pretty normal, I’m especially sorry to hear it’s now already been going on for almost a year. Feel free to send an update later on, I would love to hear how your journey continues. I’m sending you much love and hope you find a way of dealing with this.

      Anna xx

    2. Oh my goodness! I really relate to this so much! Listen, I know it feels like it’s easy for me to say but I have 100% been in your shoes. No, there’s not anything wrong with you. I know I struggle when I get the intense anxiety to move past it, you’re not the only one. Even my own therapist has expressed to me similar. I am sending you much prayers and love to find the right person to help you integrate what you need so you can move on with much ease. Our anxiety is only there to try and keep us safe. Something that really helps me is I heard someone say “don’t believe everything your brain thinks”. Much peace to you my friend!

    3. I word for word experienced this exact same thing.
      You will be okay… it will take time but these feelings will go away and you will feel normal again

  6. Hi Anna

    I feel so grateful that I came across your blog just two months after you made it. This is the second attempt I made at googling about my experience — the first was a year ago, and I couldn’t quite find anything on what I went through. Looking back, I deeply connect with what you mentioned. I believe that the tough period was a wild evolving journey, like a Phoenix coming out of the fire. I have a hypothesis that perhaps after the psychedelic experience our bodies and minds needed us to be in the environments that came to us intuitively in order to be at calm. For example, sitting in nature by myself for hours was the best way for me to heal, talk to myself, and recharge. At first, I didn’t know what to do with the heavy feelings — this heavy weight on my chest, quivering anxiety. I realize that it may be just what you said, I needed to make room for big feelings and I needed to accustom myself to them rather than push away. You gotta buckle your seatbelt in and fully accept everything that will come to you. It’s easier said than done, but if you’re reading this and currently struggling, I promise it will get better. Trust in yourself and the universe. Ase

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this, it sounds like you have come a long way since the initial experience! From one internet stranger to another, I’m proud of you! 🙂

      And I agree, nature is so incredibly healing, it has also one of my most valuable tools to be with myself and find peace and calm. I’m really happy to find another story of someone who managed to get through this and I hope it will give some hope to all people who are currently struggling with a similar experience.

      Very grateful for your comment, I hope your life will keep evolving in beautiful ways!

  7. thank you so much, experiencing this right now and couldn’t find an answer anywhere. reading this article felt like a weight off my cjrst

    1. I micodose when I’m depressed. Just a little pinch does the trick. How ever, when I microdose wjen I’m happy, I actually get anxiety. Days after too. Mushrooms are sacred, they will tell you what you need to hear not what you want to hear.

  8. It’s clear that I was meant to read this!! I have a family member going through this right now. What is clear is that psychedelics,
    Depending on the person and the season of life, the journey can be intense…and what I have to believe is that it all happens for good reason. Ultimately it is about healing on a soul level. And no two souls are alike. For me, I am aware that we all get what we need in the time that we need it. And God is powerful indeed. He will only allow that of which we are ready to handle. Trusting the process is part of the healing. Having the faith and courage to endure the anxiety and go within through therapy is a must for some of us. Trauma is real and healing is possible. Many blessing to all! Thank you so much for sharing this Anna!

    1. Hi Amber, yes, there is so much truth in your words! I’m happy you came here trying to help out a family member, thank you for supporting them. Hopefully, they’ll get better soon and find a way to heal from this. But as you say, it may be a difficult journey, but recovery is absolutely possible. All the best to you!

  9. Hello there! I think it would be a good thing to share here my personal experience, since I think it might be useful for someone somewhere. For the last year and a half I started smoking weed like 4-5 times a week and everything was fine. Then this last summer of 2022 I started taking shrooms as well, and I actually enjoyed the experience, the furthest I went was taking 4+ grams and I saw some things and it was a positive experience. Then once I took 1.5 grams and after 6 hours when the effect was going away I decided to smoke a joint and then I got my first panic attack. At the time I did not realize what was happening since I smoked, but I knew that emotionally I did not feel well. Then after some weeks I decided to make some tea with 3 – 3.5 grams and after 2 hours I passed the initial stomachache, which I almost every time have, and I was starting to chill, then I somehow managed to make myself into believing that I might have been poisoned by the mushroom and then I had the 2nd panic attack. I called a friend, he came over, everything was calming down little by little, but again I did not know I had a panic attack, but I knew I needed to stop weed and shrooms for a while. So after 3-4 days I had my first panic attack while being sober and it was the most frightening one. That was back in October, after that the following months for me have been panic attacks, anxiety on a daily basis , problems with sleep, frightening vivid dreams , high pulse, high blood pressure, different negative thoughts etc. The most common feeling have been being scared, then anger ( since I have some unresolved issues from the past and most probably they come out to surface with this period of my life now) and after the anger comes melancholy. I wanted to share this with people out there, because the most important thing about everything this is that it is reversible and things can be positive again. It takes time and I know that every now and then these feeling may come back and go, but these days I feel a lot better , my sleep is back to normal, I think about the things that I want to happen in my life and not the ones that I want to avoid or escape from ( I think this is the most important trigger switch from a psychological view) and I feel better physically and mentally. So no matter who you are or where you were remember to keep going no matter how hard it is, accept the negative emotions, don’t hide from them, allow yourself to be depressed for sometime just don’t give up on life and you will be surprised how beautiful life can be.

    1. Hi Simon! Thank you so much for sharing this, I think this will be very helpful for others to read – I love how more and more people are gathering here in the comments and sharing their personal experiences. It sounds like you went through some very intense months but I’m really happy to read it got better within a few months. What do you feel has helped you the most? And yes, life is a freaking miracle, every-changing but so, so beautiful. I’m glad you can enjoy it fully again 🙂

      1. Hello Anna, Thank you for the reply! Well if I have to be honest, I don’t feel like I have healed at this stage, I still feel very fragile and vulnerable, but I do feel better and I can see some results. My advise would be the best thing is just to slow down, better diet, sport (running, swimming, cycling, hiking, whatever you like, but it is best to be a rhythmic sport ( for me swimming and cycling does the job). I also go to therapy which helps. But sports is about the body and therapy I feel like something additional, the most healing thing a person could do is heal the mind and soul. I think that most people in this community here are thinkers(from my experience most people, who are willing to take shrooms are people who think and feel and analyze themselves and the world, I have been like that since I remember myself) and after this event I was afraid to dive deep again into my thoughts and feeling. My therapist helped me there since she told me she thinks I am afraid to dive again into the deep, since I have this fear that I might go crazy. And she was right , and when I say go deep I just mean on an intellectual and emotional level (I don’t advise taking something again). And there last days I think about that intense frightening memory that I had 4 months ago and at first I was feeling like shaking just of the memory, then I said to myself OK let’s how bad can it go, what so bad can go wrong and I pushed my will and thoughts into the memory, every day I try to relive that memory and know when I think of it I feel a lot calmer, I just accept it. I also have to do this with things from the last 20 years since these episodes open past traumas and it is exhausting. I prefer to feel emotionally tired after analyzing something like that , because being tired emotionally is something completely different from anxiety and stress. My bigger advise to everyone is analyze the negative in your life, go into in, slowly step by step if you start feeling really uncomfortable, give it a rest, but just don’t push it down and down, since in the long term it will be like an extra large wave going at you, instead dive slowly and step by step every day. Become a friend with your demons, that is the meaning of life for me now these days. Hope it was helpful

  10. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been microdosing San Padro cactus. It’s mescaline. Much more gentle than psilocybin. For those who want a milder experience.

  11. Thank you for sharing your experience! I think I might be going through a similar situation but I’m not entirely sure XD. Heres my extremely confusing story. I’ve been on acid reflux medication for a few months now, and have had 0 side effects to them. During my jobs Christmas break, I went with some friends to a cabin to do some magic mushrooms. (I’ve done them before but not to the extent that I did this time). During this time I also forgot to bring my acid reflux meds. One of the nights, we did shrooms… alot of them too. That same night I had such a bad trip, I was nauseous, felt like throwing up, my stomach was in knots, and then later I was shaking uncontrollably for a solid hour. The next few days I was fine. Then about 5 days after, while retaking my reflux meds, I had a debilitating panic attack that sent me to the ER. (I never suffered from anxiety before so I had no idea what was going on). I thought that my body was rejecting my meds after being off them for a few days and that’s what was causing the attack. I was depressed and anxious for the next 2 weeks and couldn’t understand why. I have recently had another panic attack that seemed to have just showed up with no triggers at all. I was sitting in bed with my fiancee and it just came out of nowhere. Reading this post makes me think if maybe it wasnt my meds that caused this, but instead my bad trip that maybe unlocked some sort of anxiety that I’ve been suppressing for some time.

    1. Hi John! Thank you for sharing. Yes, it can be really hard to tell where it is coming from when several things come together. I hope you find a way to deal with the anxiety that is now coming to the surface, I’m sorry to hear it’s been this intense! Give yourself lots of time and space to heal. All the best, Anna

  12. This gave me so much hope, my bad trip occurred this January 2023, and have been experiencing panic attacks and similar symptoms that you described. When you said you started to feel safe again in your body this gave me so much hope as you I felt so isolated and alone in my own head without a time frame of when it’ll end. But I think reframing how we view it makes us strong – this was meant to happen to strengthen us and cleanse the fears and anxieties we carry with us but we may bury them deep inside. Thank you for sharing this – I moved country recently so being here alone without many people around me that understand feels scary and lonely I am trying my best not to have a panic attack and keep it together by just keeping myself busy. I am seeking professional help now, I am afraid but this article is my little light of hope that it’ll be ok. I am ready to do the work just as long as I know there’s an end in sight. One day soon I will be better. Every day is a struggle. I thought there was no way out but there is ❤️ Would love to ask you more questions do email me if you can x

  13. Hi Anna,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I had a similar experience with a bad trip in May of 2022. I’m an experienced psychonaut and had never had something like that happen to me. I was cold, shaking, my heart pounding, and thinking that I was dying. Since then, panic attacks and anxiety have come and gone, and I’ve spent far too much time worrying about my health (even though I’m relatively healthy).

    Knowing that other people have gone through exactly the same experience and that I have brothers and sisters in spirit out there is hugely helpful. Like you, I am very much a mind-focused person who has treated my body as an afterthought. This experience has shown me that I can’t neglect my body any longer. As I enter middle age, I need to be kind to myself and care for my physical vessel even more. As one of my favorite yogis says, “The mind and the body are one.” What happens to one affects the other. I’d never really believed that until this experience forcefully made it abundantly clear.

    On the whole, it’s been an immensely challenging year, but it’s spurred many changes in my life and will continue to. I’m planning to quit my job, take a break, and travel by myself and with loved ones. Thank you again for opening yourself up and sharing this experience with the world. It’s really helped me and based on the comments here, many other people. Namaste and danke schön!

    1. Hi Chad, thank you for sharing your story. Yes, it truly seems like it can happen to anyone, from first-time trippers to the most experienced psychonauts. Yet, I’m also really glad that this little piece of writing has brought forward so stories from people who experienced this little-discussed phenomenon.

      From what you’ve written, it sounds like you have already come to see some really important lessons in the trip. Making sense of it all definitely helps to find healing and I hope you will continue to do so.

      The changes you have planned in life sound incredibly exciting! Don’t let the fear stop you, I’m rooting for you 🙂

  14. Hey Anna,
    I believe I’m another one to join the club (unfortunately). Im very thankful for your post and I have been meaning to do something similar myself.
    I micro dosed for a few days previous to taking my first (1.5g) dose and I had good hopes for my trip. On the previous weekend I had a depression episode where I cried non stop for a few hours and I thought mushrooms was my hope to be cured of my deepest sadness. On that day I took a microdose pill and within a few minutes I felt 100% better, which confirmed that taking a bigger dosages would actually help me. So I read about it, researched and watched many videos, documentaries, etc. I was open to try and I knew it was gonna help me.
    On the next weekend, I was feeling better but not 100%, but I was feeling positive about the trip. I was home, in a safe espace with my boyfriend (who had already done 3.5g) ready to support me. The first 1h or so, I’m not too sure, it was fine, I listened to music, I saw some patters, it was nice. I felt a little nauseous but not so much. After one of the times my boyfriend checked in on me I started to fill really sad, I remember seeing lots of red dark shapes and started to feel like a bad person who don’t deserve anything good. Started to have lots of bad thoughts about hurting myself, life being pointless and being afraid of becoming permanently damaged. I remember being really afraid of loosing control and hurting people and myself as well. I felt terrified for the rest of the trip and for the next few days. It did felt like it was not going to pass. I remember not being able to sleep properly, waking up anxious, being afraid of falling asleep and getting out of myself and doing something bad, etc. this lasted for a couple of weeks. I started therapy right away in the same week but I will say that it didn’t helped much in the beginning.
    It has been very tricky and hard. The only thing that is helping is exercise, but whenever I stop for a week or so, the anxiety comes back.

    Now it’s almost a year from this hard experience and some days I feel good about it, but I still experience hard days, way less than before, but they are still here.
    I change therapists (which did help a lot), I’m trying to change some habits and keep up with the exercise and try to connect more with nature but I still struggle. I’m a very resistant type of person and I know it’s making it worse to accept what happen and my feeling, but I also know it’s a journey and each person is different and I have to be more kind and more patient.

    Thank you again for your post as I was really looking for someone who was been to something similar to try and find some light at the end of the tunnel. Please feel free to give me any further advice by email or anything else that might help this stubborn girl to have a lighter journey! Thank you ❤️

    1. Hello and welcome to the club of unfortunate trip experiences 😉 Jokes aside, I’m very sorry to hear you had such a tough trip – having those thoughts come up must have felt very intense and scary.

      I hope you know those thoughts you were experiencing do not represent reality. You deserve all the best in your life!

      I think it’s great you immediately reacted and went to see a therapist. It can be hard to navigate something like this alone. Even though it may take some time to find the right therapist and many sessions to process this, I believe it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself.

      Definitely keep up with the exercise if you feel like that helps you! For me it was a big factor, too. In general, it just helps to treat yourself with lots of love (don’t believe the negative thoughts saying you don’t deserve it) and to take good care of yourself. Try to listen to your inner world and what it needs.

      You can’t change what has happened anymore but you can definitely do your best to deal with it the best you can. It may not always be easy but I can see you are making an effort to get better and that is the most valuable thing. I’m sending you much love and lightness, keep looking for the light 🙂

  15. Hi Anna,

    I am so relieved to have found your writing on this experience. I thought I was totally alone in this. I’m having some of the worst anxiety of my life after experiencing a powerful mushroom trip/ego-death two months ago. I had no idea what was wrong and I have been struggling, so I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story.

    I am now looking forward to doing the work to learn from what my body and heart are trying to tell me. Thank you for the reminder that I/we will be ok. Much love and gratitude to you.

  16. I’m so happy that I found this site. Thank you!

    Just under two weeks ago, I took a small amount of shrooms and has a bad experience. About two days later anxiety started to creep in and now it’s bad. I have PTSD related anxiety and was told that small amounts of shrooms could help combat veterans like me. Now, I feel like it’s made it worse, much worse.

    Weirdly, I’m feeling exactly the same as I did when I was coming off Tramadol. This was prescribed to me for an injury in Iraq. Anyway, I feel a physical anxious feeling (very uncomfortable) and like a brain fog. It’s exactly the same. I overcame this last time with a little bit of Ativan .5 mg/ 1 mg at most only when the symptoms were really strong, exercise and meditation. It took me about a month and I was much better.

    This post shroom experience feels exactly the same and I’m wondering if anyone has felt these feelings and how you dealt with them. I’m trying not to get desperate or beat myself up about it, but it’s hard

    Thank you for reading this and I hope everyone feels better soon.

    1. Hi friend, thank you for bravely sharing your story! I’m sorry to hear that the mushrooms worsened your anxiety instead of making it better. That’s an interesting case to hear since so far we’ve mostly gathered people here who had no pre-existing anxiety. I know quite a few people who had very positive experiences with treating anxiety with mushrooms but it seems like it is not always the case.

      Hopefully what has helped you last time will help you again. Keeping up with exercise and meditation is always a good idea – and I’m sure that if you beat it once, you can do it again.

      I’m wishing you all the best & hope you will find the tools and support you need to heal your traumas and anxiety.

  17. Thank you, Anna. I never had anxiety like this until the tramadol issue and that was related to too much serotonin. After I made my way through that I was fine with normal levels of anxiety. I wonder if the shrooms had an effect on my serotonin. Who knows? I just sharing and hoping the best for everyone involved

  18. Thank you for sharing your story Anna! My story is very similar, I took 1G gram of Mushrooms and then I had a crazy panic attack thats been following me ever since. Ive never had a panic attack before and I was worried about feeling worried all the time. The anxiety hasnt left me since I had my trip and Ive been trying to work through it. Its great to know that there are others out there who have been feeling this and that theres light at the end of the tunnel. Im going to work on making it one of the best things to ever happen to me.

  19. My name is Mostafa. from Iran. I am really happy to meet someone like you, Anna. Your words were really beautiful and pleasant as well as helpful and you were able to speak our hearts and enlighten us among so many people in the world. I really thank God for creating servants like you. In my life, I also reached conclusions about the phenomenon of panic, which I will tell you with permission. Panic is like an obstacle that gets in your way, and you just have to pass it very slowly and continue on your way, and you shouldn’t go into it, because in that case, only that obstacle will overcome you and that’s it! So we have to learn to let go and continue on the path and that alone is the most effective. If we are in a situation of happiness and laughter, you should say to yourself, I am the laughter and joy, and on the contrary, if you are in a situation of anxiety and fear, you should say to yourself, I am the fear, and in the end, whatever situation happens to you, this is actually you. You are and you must tell yourself that I am. There is simply nothing else that comes to you. You are everything! nice to meet you. I hope I can meet you if you travel to Iran.
    Wishing you the best 🌹🌹
    This is my contact number:
    My Instagram ID:

    1. Hello Mostafa, thank you for sharing your wisdom! And I was actually on my way to Iran last year, traveled all the way from Germany to Georgia with my campervan. Because of the protests, it didn’t feel like a good time to go to Iran, so I decided against it. I hope you and your family are safe and doing well – I hope to see Iran one day and get to know its amazing people. Much love!

  20. Hi Anna, I too have recently had an experience with mushrooms that has effecting me similar to yours. I would really love to get in contact with you to further understand your experience and help me with mine. Thank you for this website. I would love to connect with you

  21. Hi Anna, it would be great to have a short chat with you if you are free?

    Basically I’ve arranged to do a psilocybin ceremony, having stayed away from psychedelics for 17 years after having one of my first ever panic attacks on them.

    But now that I’ve said I’ll do it, I’m having intense anxiety about it and imagining myself having a severe panic attack and going right back to square one again.

    Reading these stories here is making me think that’s very possible, perhaps even likely. I’d love to get your feedback!

    1. Hi Kiva, thank you for reaching out. Hmmm, if the decision to do it gives rise to really strong feelings of anxiety, you might not be quite ready? I can’t tell you what is right for you and as you know, it is hard to predict the outcome of a psychedelic ceremony. Listen to your gut feeling and trust that you will make the right decision. If you do decide to go on the journey, I’m wishing you a beautiful one and I’d be happy if you came back to share with us how it went. Much love! Anna

    2. Hello Kiva. would you mind sharing your story since its happen 17 years ago, how did you get through it. I would really appreciate it, im struggling at the moment so hearing a positive story that someone has overcame this problem would really give me hope.
      Thank you in advance

  22. Hello !
    Thank you for your post Anna, it’s very comforting to know that I’m not alone ! I’m pretty much in the same situation :
    I am 20 years old and I’ve been having anxiety/depressive episodes since my 13s. I tried mushrooms for the first time on June 2022 with my boyfriend (it was his second time). We were in our studio and it was sunny outside. I took a small amount and the package we received was 2 months old so the effects were very light. But I still had some. We went outside and after sometime it put me in a nice meditative state. I was rediscovering everything, from our little parc to the supermarkets nearby. Without having strong hallucinations, I was very calm and had a weird (but not bad) feeling, as if everyone was part of a gigantic play and as if nothing mattered. At that time I only felt a glimpse of what a bad trip could feel like : I was talking to my boyfriend but he was ignoring me and I felt a bit of bad emotions (maybe anger) but it suddenly grew bigger and into a kind of anxiety. I managed it really quickly and easily but I made a mental note to be careful because even if it lasted a few seconds, It was really powerful. On September 2022 my boyfriend was waiting for me for my second trip. I was feeling anxious and clearly not ready. There was a lot on my mind. I asked him to wait but he was getting more and more impatient. I knew I was anxious, I was going to be on my period too so I also knew that my hormones were going to have an impact on my trip, but I decided to try anyway. It was 8 am, I hadn’t eaten anything and I took 5gr of valhallas. It went slowly, but my stomach started to hurt. I didn’t know if it was a body load or the anxiety. And then I was cold, I started sweating and I lost control of my breath. I felt alone, I rethought all my relationships. My boyfriend was suffering from a body load himself so i tried to go throught it by myself, to tell myself that It was temporary, that I shouldn’t feel scared. But It was very physical and I couldn’t calm my body. I went to the bathroom, started crying, throwing up, I wanted to get the substance out of my body but I knew that I couldn’t and it scared the hell out of me. It lasted about 20 minutes (but felt like it was way longer). And then I had this idea and tried to rely on a placebo : I convinced myself that the mushrooms were out of my body and that everything was soon going back to normal. It was a long battle with my mind that lasted 4 more hours. I was having really scary visuals and thoughts.

    After that day, I developed a kind of fear/psychosis for things that didn’t reach me before. I don’t know If my mind will recover but I started my healing journey and I can already see small changes.
    To all the people that are in the first stage post bad trip : You got this I believe in your ability to heal ! It gets better after some time.
    With all my love,

  23. Thank you so much for this post I can see that it has helped a lot of people! It was very hard to find information on the Internet about adverse reactions or anxiety coming after a journey- which I think is strange!
    I am different from most folks here in that I took MDMA, the underground therapist that was my guide thought it would be a milder substance for me since I had had scary reactions with psychedelics in the the past.
    The experience was in November of 22 and I’m feeling worse and worse. I have been connecting with a therapist which has helped but I even get anxiety about therapy! Anything that leads me back to the trip is scary. My body regularly goes through physical flashbacks, mostly a pins and needles sensation and kind of a prickly heat. Life is suddenly more triggering and I kind of want to avoid family and friends. I didn’t really have anxiety before, I was feeling sad at times and depression here and there and I was trying to figure out what is was blocking me from happiness-hence the journey 😊
    Possibly imagined or possibly repressed childhood trauma surfaced and other fears that have been very destabilizing! People say often oh the medicine gives you a what you need but to me that is an oversimplification and I don’t even l know if I believe it. I don’t know what to believe anymore.
    It’s hard to even talk about the trip in detail because then it might make those fears more real and I don’t want them uttered to anyone.
    Anyway, the world just scares me know and I hope it will pass. Have been trying so hard to “ face and accept the fears and anxiety” , but the discomfort does not go away.
    I know this is long so please excuse my rambling! Thank you again and everyone for sharing ♥️

  24. About a year ago and a half ago I had a very bad experience while simply smoking weed with a couple of my friends and my girlfriend. At the time, I figured I would just try to relax and go to sleep. However I woke up the same night with the most intense feeling of anxiety I’ve ever had. It kept recurring on numerous occasions even though I wasn’t smoking. I thought I was going crazy and that my whole world was crashing. I started questioning every choice I made and would be afraid to make new choice often freezing in the moment. I could see it was affecting my relationships. I wasn’t talking to my family as often, I would freeze up when talking to my girlfriend, and I overall just couldn’t get a single thing right in my head. It’s really reassuring to hear that someone had a similar experience with anxiety because I thought that I was all alone in this. Over the past year I’ve tried just about everything and I still wake up some days feeling like I’m going to “act like that” again (freezing up and being aggravated towards others because there’s just too much going on in my head). While I haven’t been able to afford therapy, I have been doing alot better at not letting my mind get the best of me, realizing that I’m the one in control of my life. Thanks for the post I could relate alot, sorry if my writing stinks I’m not too good at it lol.

  25. Hi my name’s Elizabeth I’m struggling with anxiety after taking shrooms it messes with my mind and scares me I’m seeing a therapist next week for the first time I hope it helps
    Ik it’s not full going to go away but I don’t want it to get worse I want it to get better I recently lost my boyfriend last yr on Father’s Day so it does really help grieving at the same time hopefully after a yr it gets better how do you work or do things how do you eat I struggle to eat

    1. Hi Elizabeth, that sounds like a quite severe case, it’s good you are going to see a therapist! I’m also very sorry for your loss.

      From what most people shared here and my personal experiences, it does get better over time. Make sure to take good care of yourself – it can be a struggle to do everyday things (like in your case eating or going to work), but I think it is important to still do them, even if they cause intense anxiety at first. I believe if you repeatedly expose yourself to these kind of situations you will re-learn that it is a safe thing for you to do. And making sure you eat enough is a very essential form of self-care! You will need the strength to process everything else.

      I hope you can work through all of this with your therapist, hopefully they will be able to teach you ways of coping and help you to get better. All the best to you!

  26. Hello and thank you for sharing your story! My story is very similar in terms of the timeline of events and the physical reactions. in late December, my friends and i took a trip for a few days in a cabin and we had planned on doing shrooms. I took waaaaay too much, because the last batch i got from this guy was very weak. In total i think i took about 3-4 grams. considering this was only my 2nd time doing shrooms, that was absurd. At first after i got past the stomach ache, it was really nice. The sky was full of rainbows and i was so happy that i was crying. After about an hour or so, i started feeling sick so i went to the bathroom. This is when it went downhill. The room was growing and shrinking and growing and shrinking and i felt like i was trapped. I felt like i lost complete control of my bladder and bowels even though nothing was happening. I hyperventilated for almost and hour until i finally made it out of the bathroom. After that i laid in bed trying to just wait it out, but it kept getting worse and worse. My friends voices were echoing in the other room, (everything sounded like i was underwater too) and everytime i tried to text my fiance the letters kept flying off the screen of my phone. Once i finally got my mental state in order, my legs started uncontrollably shaking for like 3 hours. I finally was still enough to go to sleep after suffering through a bad trip that lasted about 8 hours. I woke up and actually felt fine, like nothing happened. I came home from the trip and the next few days went by like everything was normal. about 5 days after the trip, i was making dinner with my fiance when all of a sudden i felt like passing out. My vision got blurry, my heart started racing like crazy, I got cold and clammy and i couldnt stop shaking. I had no idea what was going on so i went to the ER. Turns out it was a panic attack. I never suffered from severe anxiety or panic disorder so i had no idea what it was like. the next 2 weeks that followed featured the worst depression ive ever experienced. I didnt feel like doing anything, i couldnt eat, sleep and none of my usual hobbies interested me in the slightest. after that, the depression lifted slowly, but the physical anxiety was still there. I had a constant tight feeling in my chest like my heart was going to skip a beat at any moment and i was going to start spiraling. I had about 6 panic attacks in the following 3 months. I had started therapy and antidepressants after month 2 which i think helped a lot. This is where im at now. about 4 months after the trip, my anxiety has lifted slightly, but im still fighting. My heart doesnt beat as hard as it did, and my panic attacks have been less frequent and less harsh. Im hoping that its not just due to the Lexapro, and that once im off of them, ill be fine again. I can also say that the therapy sessions had opened my eyes to see that my trip might have told me why im suffering with this anxiety. That maybe im not happy with where im at in my life and that i need a change. because of this realization, im pushing harder than ever to better myself, in every way possible. Hoping that when i see the change i want finally coming into fruition, i’ll be at peace.

    Thank you all for reading this and I hope you all get through whatever youre fighting.

    remember… “This too shall pass”

    1. I hope it’s gotten even better since this post. I relate to this a lot as I had my first trip a month ago and have had a similar experience thereafter. The gripping and tightening of the body is so hard to deal with, the lack of sleep… I’m just hoping it gradually gets better. I went back on anti anxiety meds which help take the edge off a bit but I just wasn’t prepared for this after math. I have hope I too will feel better as the months go on.

  27. Not the same but I had a very similar experience symptoms wise on MDMA, after having 20+ MDMA trips under my belt I suddenly became very ill, shaking, cold sweats, nausea. It was entirely physical and I couldn’t feel the high at all, possibly because the anxiety suppressed it so much. We were 20-30 people on the same batch and everyone had a blast, so it wasn’t the quality.

    After this I didn’t have anxiety when sober, but would get the same reaction from subsequent MDMA trips, while nobody understood why. After a year of sobriety I finally worked up the courage to try it again, but this time through the nose so I could dose more gradually and avoid the intense come up where the anxiety usually kicked in. End result was I had the time of my life and have dropped full doses orally a couple of times since with zero issues.

    Long story short, psychedelics can sometimes be unpredictable, and anxiety induced from such episodes seems to be a learned response which simply takes time (or therapy) to taper off.

    I am confident that you’ll master mushrooms again, just take as much time as possible and be as prepared as possible. Ideally your next trip should’ve been with a therapist, but in most parts of the world that isn’t very accessible yet.

    1. Thank you for your insight, I’m sure that’s very encouraging to hear for many others, too. I’m glad you were able to work through this and even got to the point where you can safely enjoy psychedelics again.

      Fully agree with what you said about the anxiety being a learned response. Even though it may not be 1:1 comparable to PTSD, it does seem like the workings are similar and certain triggers provoke us to relive the nervous system response we experienced during the trip.

      Slowly venturing back into the world of psychedelics through therapy-assisted trips would surely be ideal for those who feel the curiosity to try again. Let’s hope it does become more widely available!

      Take care, Anna

  28. Hi Anna and thank you so much for posting this article, at least i know what is happening to me. I am going to keep the story short because it just happen 4 days ago and i am feeling very anxious at the moment. It was my first time trying mushrooms, i started to feel sick and a feeling that im faiting even dying. The very next day i started to have the same fainting feeling and then after that feeling anxious most of the day. Been spending the last 2-3 days feeling anxious and afraid like 80% of the day. I am looking for some words of wisdom of what to do and some hope. I would appreciate if you could contact me in email.
    thank you in advance Anna

    1. Hi Toni! I been going through this also. I’m about 6 weeks into the anxiety attacks. It does get better. The loop phase is away. I been working out and going on lots of walks. And spending time with family and close friends. That will help 🙂

  29. Thank you for sharing this, it really helped me a lot right now in this moment and hopefully it helps more people. Those last word were really what I needed to hear which is that “I will be okay”. God bless and thank you again!

  30. I’m almost in tears reading your story. I had a low dose trip, first time, a month ago. The body load was very heavy and ever since it ended I’ve had this nonstop panic/anxiety. I did have a diagnosis of generalized anxiety prior to my trip but I had it fairly well controlled. The after effects of this trip, which wasn’t a scary trip by any means, have been sleep disturbances, high blood pressure, adrenaline dumps at 3am that jolt me awake, feelings of tightness all over my body, knots in stomach and throat, feelings of hopelessness and fear of going off the deep end. It’s quite horrible. I also cry a lot and the mood swings have been quite jarring. I’m going to start seeing a therapist soon. Your story here was very impactful to me. Though I am truly scared I’ll never feel “normal” again, and everything feels so out i control right now, I know this anxiety and fear is my shadow. I have a bit of hope after reading your post.

  31. Hi thanks for sharing your experience. I took a low dose 0.5g of mushrooms 2 days ago. No bad trip but very intense body feelings. Like if I was getting anxiety and other feelings out of my body. The next day when I woke up I had an anxiety attack that lasted 4 hours to the point I couldn’t leave my house. I had to ask me parents to bring me to the doctor it was a living hell. It calmed down but I was still on edge the next day until the middle of the afternoon. Been a hectic period for me lately (separation from my wife, best friend committed suicide and started a business this year so working like hell 12h a day 6 day a week). I was keeping all theses emotions inside of sadness, anger, worry. I guess the trip open it all up and it was a lot to coop with. It made my realise that I need help during this difficult période of me life so I’m going to see a specialist. Need to talk to someone so I don’t keep all inside. Thanks again for sharing

    1. Hi Sean, yes, it is for sure a good idea to talk to someone so you can process all of these emotions in a safe space. Keeping it all inside tends to consume us – it can be extremely hard to start acknowledging and voicing those difficult feelings, but it is a very worthwhile process. What happened in your life lately is A LOT, so please make sure to take good care of yourself. All the best, Anna

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