1. Flashfire07
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    Flashfire07 Active Member

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    Perception alteration and combat drugs

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Flashfire07, Sep 9, 2011.

    Ok, lately I've decided to write a story about two people being stalked across the country by a half-human creature from another world, the only way to see him is to have your perceptions altered in some way, usually drugs or mental illness. Now, firstly I'd like to know of any mental disorders that would result in sufficently altered perception of reality. Secondly I'd like to know of any hallucinogens that would be easy to hide from law enforcement as well as provide a boost in combat (dulled pain reception, fast reflexes, even just steady hands and increased aggression).
     
  2. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    1st -Schizophrenia. People with this see people that are not there, have voices in their head. PTSD may work. Though these people are not usually pleasant to be around.
    2nd -Steroids. But since you're going the fantasy route just make a drug up, like NZT. There may be something that spikes or increases the potency of someone's adrenal glands, though I'm not aware of it.
     
  3. Flashfire07
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    Flashfire07 Active Member

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    I'm trying to avoid the obvious route, some people see authors writing about schizophrenia and they immediately assume the author is just using it as a blanket excuse for craziness. Even if it's done well it's inevitable someone will assume I'm just making it all up.

    Steroids would give a long term boost but I don't know about their hallucinogenic properties, and despite the ffantasy element I'm not keen on making up my own combat drugs, it never ends well when I make up my own 'real world' things.
     
  4. Zieki
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    Zieki Member

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    For your 2nd question, I would do some research on Norse Berserkers, who were often used as "shock and awe" troops.

    From Wikipeadia on "Berserkers":

    "Theories about what caused berserker behaviour include ingestion of materials with psychoactive properties, psychological processes, and medical conditions.

    Modern scholars believe certain examples of berserker rage to have been induced voluntarily by the consumption of drugs such as the hallucinogenic mushroom Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly Amanita,[9] or massive amounts of alcohol.[10] While such practices would fit in with ritual usages, other explanations for the berserker's madness have been put forward, including self-induced hysteria, epilepsy, mental illness or genetic flaws.[11]

    Jonathan Shay, MD, makes an explicit connection between the berserker rage of soldiers and the hyperarousal of post-traumatic stress disorder. In Achilles in Vietnam he writes:

    If a soldier survives the berserk state, it imparts emotional deadness and vulnerability to explosive rage to his psychology and permanent hyperarousal to his physiology — hallmarks of post-traumatic stress disorder in combat veterans. My clinical experience with Vietnam combat veterans prompts me to place the berserk state at the heart of their most severe psychological and psychophysiological injuries.[12]"
     
  5. Flashfire07
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    Flashfire07 Active Member

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    There's a good idea! Thanks for the suggestion, I'll be scouring the internet for that now.
     
  6. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    As for the drugs, I believe amphetamines were used as alert making drugs for pilots in Korea. Hyper alertness might allow someone to see things / notice things that other people can't.

    My understanding of the viking berserkers is that they drove themselves into a frenzy through hyperventilating, screaming a lot, and taking out their agressions before a battle by beating things / people up. They may have used some drugs too I don't know. But whether they saw things that others didn't, that I doubt. It was all about the frenzy and just slashing and smashing as hard as they could for as long as possible, and putting themselves beyond pain and fear.

    Dean R Koontz wrote a book (Twilight Eyes?) where his characters with purple eyes could see creatures that others couldn't. So maybe any drug that could alter the mechanics of perception could do the same. Likewise physical conditions - maybe a tumor on the visual cortex of the brain. Hallucinogens however, that's another matter. How would you know which of the half dozen or so dark elves surrounding you were real, and which were hallucinations?

    Cheers.
     
  7. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Opps! Just had another thought.

    You said drugs. If you want something that looks like a drug and yet isn't a chemical, and is still theoretically possible, how about a gene therapy 'drug', something that actually alters a person's genetic makeup. Use the right one and you could let them see infra red though their eyes would probably look odd.

    Cheers.
     
  8. Flashfire07
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    Flashfire07 Active Member

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    Perfect! Thanks for the response on that one! I'm aiming to keep the story realistic and this is great for that, thank you.
     

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