(Editor’s Note: I am in NO WAY advocating this, recommending this, suggesting this- the story is merely informative. XO- Erin)
Meet “Sue”, a 35 year old woman who has found new life thanks to magic mushrooms. “I haven’t had this much energy in years. In fact, it was the polar opposite. But now – my mood, my energy, my outlook on life has changed for the better. And all thanks to magic mushrooms? It feels too remarkable to be true, but that appears to be the case.”
When Sue was 25, she experienced serious depression for the first time and was unsure what was going on because it was so intense. She stopped sleeping and struggled with her work as a research analyst.
That first bout of depression lasted a year but once the chronic period lifted, she still felt low most of the time. After speaking to her doctor about how she was feeling, she was given anti-depressants. She describes feeling numb while taking them.
So, at the beginning of this year, even though she was taking a higher dose of SSRI than before when things got even worse, she decided to try something else. She did try mindfulness and therapy which helped but the pain was still very present.
While searching on the internet, she found some pioneering research about “micro-dosing” or taking small amounts of psilocybin to relieve depression (psilocybin is the active hallucinogen in magic mushrooms).
From the article:
“The forums Sue was visiting were full of people talking about micro-dosing, and it was here that she came upon Jim Fadiman. Dr James Fadiman, Ph.D. has a vast and varied CV; he’s been a business consultant, an author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide and co-founder of the Sofia University in California. Now 76, his younger years were spent as part of Menlo Park, a California-based team of researchers who studied the use of psychedelics in the 1960s.
“We were giving high doses of LSD to people for therapeutic reasons and creative problem solving, which was very successful with a lower dose of LSD,” he tells me. “People had been very excited about LSD, in part because it looks a lot like the serotonin molecule, which regulates mood.”
But, despite all the research, in 1968 the US government made LSD Schedule 1 (a drug with no medical use and a high risk of abuse) and therefore illegal – which effectively halted 60 different projects.
More from the article:
“Fadiman’s protocol consists of a suggestion that participants who already have their own psychedelic materials micro-dose every fourth day for a month and make notes of how they are feeling. A micro-dose ranges from a tenth to a twentieth of a usual dose. “If people say they’re noticing [the psychedelic effects], I advised them to lower their dose. The rocks [shouldn’t] glitter, even a little,” says Jim.”
As you can imagine, word spread. Thus far, Fadiman has collected about a hundred reports with more coming in daily. He then follows up after one month and has found that people say micro-dosing appears to “…improve practically everything you do, just a little bit. One report called it an ‘all chakra enhancer’ – people say things just seemed to work really well, and because it’s such a small dose, it impacts on mood without changing behaviour.”
Even though he wasn’t studying depression, several research participants told him that micro-dosing had alleviated their low mood. In fact, the forums were full of similar stories. And that’s when Sue found him and got a suggested protocol.
She ground up the mushrooms and started with a quarter of a teaspoon on day one.
From the article:
“I felt a marginal effect – just a slight up, but nothing more,” she recalls. “I had energy and stayed awake into the afternoon, which, with my low energy, was unusual.”
It was the effect on day two that really struck Sue: “I was amazed – my obsessive negative thinking literally just stopped. Even when I tried to find the negative thoughts, they weren’t there; they had just disappeared”
More research needs to be done and thankfully a team at Imperial College London, under Professor David Nutt, is currently studying the effects psilocybin can have on treatment-resistant depression. Hopefully, there will be even larger studies done which look at doses and depression.
For Sue, who has just finished her first month of micro-dosing, there is no comparison between mirco-dosing and SSRIs. In fact, she’s telling friends who suffer from depression about her experience. She tells Vice, “Anti-depressants have never worked for me, and micro-dosing does. I can’t explain it, and to be honest I don’t care, because I feel like me – a whole, content me – for the first time in years.”
We are so happy for “Sue” and hope to see more reseach done so more people can be helped.