In 2020 I took half in a psilocybin research. Psilocybin is the psychedelic ingredient in magic mushrooms. The research was performed in a London hospital and aimed to research the potential advantages of psilocybin in treatment-resistant sufferers melancholy – a situation that I've struggled with for 55 years. The program consisted of 5 remedy classes, a single dosing day, then six weeks of integration remedy through which I mentioned my experiences with psilocybin with the therapist. The analysis workforce that led the research consisted of younger, forward-thinking psychiatrists, neuroscientists and therapists – all with meditation, holotropic breath work and the concepts of Carl Jung. Their ethos was based mostly on the fringes of recent scientific considering that always appeared to blur the strains between science and metaphysics. But they have been additionally medical professionals compiling fact-based proof in a multi-million greenback drug research and steering my non secular interpretations of the psilocybin journey in the direction of one thing extra tangible that could possibly be put right into a database.
The dosing day
The drive to the hospital that morning felt significant due to a sequence of oddly synchronous occasions. Suffice it to say, after I bought to the division the place the trial happened, I already felt like I had stepped down the rabbit gap. Upon arrival, my blood stress and coronary heart price have been measured after which taken to a room softly lit by candles and salt lamps. At the foot of the mattress, two therapists have been making ready for the six-hour vigil and noticed calmly all through my journey and solely intervened after I wanted help or a rest room break. They advised me to “go with everything that came up on the trip”. If I noticed a door, I ought to undergo it; If I noticed a staircase, I ought to go up it. “
I took the pills, put on my headphones, and lay down on the bed, waiting for the magic to happen.
At first I felt physically overwhelmed, even slightly nauseous, by the experience. My eyes were closed behind an eye mask, but I could see colorful, cartoon-like gears and shapes spinning and turning and locking into place. The shapes were hard left and hard right in my mind's eye, as if my brain was being rearranged, reassembled in a bizarrely funny and highly symbolic way. During this part of the trip, I tried to follow the therapist's advice to explore the experience, but I could only go where the psilocybin was taking me. It was like the drug understood what I needed and was determined to reconnect my nerve pathways in wonderfully important ways, regardless of my preconceived intentions.
At some point the music softened and I was able to deal with the experience as my therapists suggested. The colorful, tearing shapes disappeared, as did the nausea. Suddenly a girl I hadn't seen since 1976 appeared powerfully in the center of my spiritual eye. We've talked for a long time about the past and in doing so came up with this somewhat fluffy concept that we call “closure”. The music became even quieter and my mind turned to the metaphysical nature of things. I realized that my lifelong struggle with depression was an important aspect of my spiritual growth and that I could not advance in life until the nature of its purpose was revealed. I was reminded of the strangely synchronous succession of events that happened on my way to the hospital that morning and replayed the events like watching one of those Hollywood blockbusters that you only see at the end of the movie, like all parts are connected to each other. That's when you see the bigger picture. And in many ways, that's exactly how I see my psilocybin experience; as if I had taken a quick look at the bigger picture.
It's been 4 months for the reason that Psilocybin Study, and though I nonetheless have a day or two that depression forces me back to bed, these relapses are generally less intense than they used to be. This is exceptional when compared to traditional drugs, which are often of little use and have a number of negative side effects. I'm assuming psilocybin will be treatment-resistant before the end of the decade. will be widespread depression and other mental health Conditions.
Now that I have experienced the vast new world of psychedelic therapy, my personal lack of confidence in traditional psychiatric interventions has solidified. I no longer seek solutions based on the antiquated scope of my local mental health team. Not when I know the answers are way beyond their limited scope.
A model of this story was beforehand posted on the writer's weblog, Adults with autism.
Photo by Artur Kornakov on Unsplash