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In training for scuba diving, they tell you that when you're bellow 100 ft or so you have to watch out for changes in mental state that resemble drunkenness. The cause of these mental disturbances is called nitrogen narcosis, and it has something to do with the increased pressure on the nitrogen component of the gas that you're breathing out of your tank. I just read this article from the what-if section of XKCD (halfway down the page, under the header about Michael Phelps) that mentioned a very similar sounding disorder called high pressure nervous syndrome. Are nitrogen narcosis and high pressure nervous syndrome related, or are the effects of high pressure nitrogen and high pressure by itself separable?

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migrated from fitness.stackexchange.com Dec 25 '12 at 5:42

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what does the linked paper (by Hunger Jr and Bennet 1974) say? –  Memming Dec 28 '12 at 14:11

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