At 17, I smoked cannabis. My first sensation was a jerking movement and stabbing pain in my stomach, followed by a sickly smoky sensation that rose into my chest and made my heart beat wildly. It was accompanied by a sensation of impending doom.
The smoky sensation continued upward into my head and made it tingle all over. Over the next minute or two, my vision lost the ability to track motion. I was seeing the world as a slide show, with lengthening periods of time between each picture frame, which
I could not account for. The tingling in my head gathered to the size of a golf ball, and located to the left front of my head. The right side of my head went cold and numb. It was as if a line had been sketched right down the middle of my head. The tingling
mass slowly marched to the left rear of my head. I felt as if I were being water boarded as I struggled for snippets of consciousness in conjunction with my framing vision. Then, the tingling mass began to tense like an old watch spring being wound. The
tension increased for 4 or 5 seconds, then it discharged in a jolt of electrical energy which convulsed my mind and also my vision. Suddenly, it appeared as if I were looking through the wrong end of binoculars. My focus zoomed away and things became
very small, as if at the far end of a long tunnel. The tensing and zooming continued on intervals of 5 seconds for upwards of 3 minutes. When it subsided, I was never the same. I would not understand what had transpired for 40 years. I would believe the neuro psych
trauma I experienced was to be blamed on cannabis. But, my cannabis intoxication had an unexpected visitor. I now know the beginning was an "epigastric aura" of a temporal lobe seizure. The tensing and releasing were epileptic discharges. What followed was post ictal psychosis
which segued into an affective disorder of recurring major depression. The visual hallucinations I experienced have a name which can be found on Wiki. It comes from a cinematic effect in which a camera is mounted on a dolly and
traversed quickly. Ergo "dolly zoom". I gleaned the facts of my experience from British Neurological Texts and Journals I discovered on line. (At age 55,) My experience was "a worst case scenario". No US neurologist or doctor or mental health therapist could enlighten me.
I developed a mild head tremor. I experienced frequent ocular migraines. I suffered many more milder seizures. I survived several more major depressive episodes. I am deemed to have "significant pathology" in my left temporal lobe, based on EEG results. I expected that from my
symptoms when I ordered the EEG. It took the fun out of most of my adult life. Actually, it almost killed me on several occasions. I did have to work harder at life than I had ever intended. But, all is well that ends well and in 100 years it will have made no difference.