Could LSD excacerbate Asthma?

Well guys, I have had a wee rummage through my old dusty research folders and came across the following article/letter published in the BMJ which I thought you may find topical in respect of recent discussions about stress and asthma ;-)

LOTTERY STRESS DISORDER

Editor, - I wish to report the appearance of a condition that has been seen in our psychiatric clinic over the past few weeks. It is not known to have occurred previously in Britain, although we suspect that it has been prevalent in other countries for some time.

The patients who have presented have shown an initially intense anticipatory anxiety, which has built throughout the week to reach a characteristic peak in the early evening on Saturday. This anticipatory anxiety is often accompanied by unrealistic optimism and grandiose ideas. Despite the unrealistic odds of millions to one the subject experiences the delusional belief that great riches are about to befall him or her (the condition seems to have no sex bias) and, on the basis of this belief, makes extraordinary, and often comprehensive, spending plans. Inevitably, at peak intensity on Saturday evenings these features give way to rapid deflation of mood and feelings of hopelessness, and relief is often sought through ingestion of excess alcohol. At the start of the week recovery has begun to set in, although, characteristically, the pattern repeats itself over the coming week.

We have noted several cases of his compulsive behaviour in the clinic and are at a loss to know how to help the sufferers. We have given the condition the provisional name of lottery stress disorder or LSD, and would be interested to hear whether other clinicians have seen similar cases.

Robert Hunter

Consultant psychiatrist., BMJ, April 1995

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