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September 1966

"Psychedelic" Experiences in Acute Psychoses

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn. Dr. Freedman is currently Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Biological Sciences, University of Chicago, Chicago.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1966;15(3):240-248. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730150016003

The disease which thus evokes these new and wonderful talents and operations of the mind may be compared to an earthquake which, by convulsing the upper strata of our globe, throws upon its surface precious and splendid fossils, the existence of which was unknown to the proprietors of the soil in which they were buried.1

THIS PAPER is concerned with subjective experience in the early phases of some psychotic reactions and has been prepared with two problems in mind. First, in the experimental production of altered states of awareness in man, the most common source of information is the self-report; yet when data obtained in this way are compared to clinical conditions it becomes clear that we have very little comparable information from patients. As a result, when studies in experimental psychopathology are related to clinical states, comparisons may be confusing and can give rise