Personal meaning intensification

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Personal meaning intensification (also known as aberrant salience) is defined as the experience of a considerably increased sense of personal significance becoming attributed to innocuous situations, and coincidences.[1][2][3][4][5] Trivial observations not usually noticed may seem connected, and a subjective state of "seeing solutions" might evolve to one of seeing problems, ultimately arriving at a full-fledged paranoid psychosis.[6] For example, one may feel that the lyrics of a song or events in a film directly relate to their life in a meaningful and distinct manner that is not usually felt during everyday sobriety. This feeling can continue to occur even when it is rationally understood that the external stimuli does not genuinely relate to the person experiencing it in such a direct manner.

At its highest level, this effect will often synergize with delusions in a manner which can result in one genuinely believing that innocuous events are directly related to them.[1] For example, one may begin to believe that the plot of a film is about their life or that a song was written for them. This phenomenon is well established within psychiatry and is commonly known as a "delusion of reference."[7][8]

Personal meaning intensification is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of hallucinogenic compounds, such as psychedelics,[2][3] dissociatives,[1] cannabinoids,[5] and deliriants. However, it can also occur under the influence of sleep deprivation and stimulant psychosis.[6]

Psychoactive substances

Compounds within our psychoactive substance index which may cause this effect include:

Experience reports

Annectdotal reports which describe this effect with our experience index include:

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Corlett, Philip R.; Honey, Garry D.; Aitken, Michael R. F.; Dickinson, Anthony; Shanks, David R.; Absalom, Anthony R.; Lee, Michael; Pomarol-Clotet, Edith; Murray, Graham K.; McKenna, Peter J.; Robbins, Trevor W.; Bullmore, Edward T.; Fletcher, Paul C. (2006). "Frontal Responses During Learning Predict Vulnerability to the Psychotogenic Effects of Ketamine". Archives of General Psychiatry. 63 (6): 611. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.63.6.611. ISSN 0003-990X. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Preller, Katrin H.; Herdener, Marcus; Pokorny, Thomas; Planzer, Amanda; Kraehenmann, Rainer; Stämpfli, Philipp; Liechti, Matthias E.; Seifritz, Erich; Vollenweider, Franz X. (2017). "The Fabric of Meaning and Subjective Effects in LSD-Induced States Depend on Serotonin 2A Receptor Activation". Current Biology. 27 (3): 451–457. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2016.12.030. ISSN 0960-9822. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Carhart-Harris, Robin L.; Muthukumaraswamy, Suresh; Roseman, Leor; Kaelen, Mendel; Droog, Wouter; Murphy, Kevin; Tagliazucchi, Enzo; Schenberg, Eduardo E.; Nest, Timothy; Orban, Csaba; Leech, Robert; Williams, Luke T.; Williams, Tim M.; Bolstridge, Mark; Sessa, Ben; McGonigle, John; Sereno, Martin I.; Nichols, David; Hellyer, Peter J.; Hobden, Peter; Evans, John; Singh, Krish D.; Wise, Richard G.; Curran, H. Valerie; Feilding, Amanda; Nutt, David J. (2016). "Neural correlates of the LSD experience revealed by multimodal neuroimaging". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 113 (17): 4853–4858. doi:10.1073/pnas.1518377113. ISSN 0027-8424. 
  4. Kapur, Shitij (2003). "Psychosis as a State of Aberrant Salience: A Framework Linking Biology, Phenomenology, and Pharmacology in Schizophrenia". American Journal of Psychiatry. 160 (1): 13–23. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.160.1.13. ISSN 0002-953X. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Murray, Robin M.; Morrison, Paul D.; Henquet, Cécile; Forti, Marta Di (2007). "Cannabis, the mind and society: the hash realities". Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 8 (11): 885–895. doi:10.1038/nrn2253. ISSN 1471-003X. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Bowers, Malcolm B. (1966). ""Psychedelic" Experiences in Acute Psychoses". Archives of General Psychiatry. 15 (3): 240. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730150016003. ISSN 0003-990X. 
  7. Chaudhury, Suprakash; Kiran, Chandra (2009). "Understanding delusions". Industrial Psychiatry Journal. 18 (1): 3. doi:10.4103/0972-6748.57851. ISSN 0972-6748. 
  8. "Glossary of Technical Terms". Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.): 819. 2013. doi:10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596.GlossaryofTechnicalTerms.