I was massively depressed and suicidal growing up (I had family problems, and two of my best friends killed them selves at 13 and 17).
I dropped out of high school.
I experimented with LSD and mushrooms around 17/18 years old.
And while I didn’t realize it then, my life massively changed for the better. Maybe I grew up. Maybe I took responsibility for my life. Or maybe... there was a synergistic effect that accompanied my psychedelic use. My religious family thinks it was all their prayer and god’s work... because it’s a miracle.
As I got older, the more I believe that it had a profound impact on my mind, and my ability to perceive the world and my sense of self differently, in an empowering way.
I now am an evangelist for psychedelic use. I share it with whomever I feel would benefit, educating them on the research, on the negative stigmas, and emphasizing how necessary it is to respect the substance and approach it with care and good intent.
I ended up attended a top 12 university. I worked hard.
Most of my friends at that university experimented with LSD. None of them are crazy. They all are doing amazing things. They’re all deep and insightful.
Psychedelics have gotten such a terrible reputation.
I believe it is immensely helpful for anxiety and depression.
I believe it needs to be adopted as a therapeutic alternative to current psychiatric therapies which are toxic and destructive and deadening by comparison. (I was on countless drugs growing up, dozens, prescribed by psychiatrists... they did nothing. Just made me more dead inside.)
I also believe psychedelics open the mind in ways that only radical life experiences can.
I think this mind expansion can be useful for learning, creating, and perceiving new ways of looking at the world.
This is a good translation of the title of OP: neural plasticity is always active but never nearly as much as during major life events. Psychedlics are a shortcut to that sort of plasticity.
"open mind" is a hollow phrase, because you need an open mind to take the risk in the first place.
The only up side is that reason cannot overrule the nervous system at great length, which will sooner or later go into intoxication mode, and that the immune system can handle even chronic infections to some degree.
I would argue that some of the mental activity is caused by placebo effect, because I once experienced someone pranked, told to have been slipped MDMA, trying to embrace the situation and turning irrationally exited and happy for no substantial reason. Certainly some side effects may enhance the placebo effect, like weird after taste, alcohol or just staying up late and creating a suitable atmosphere, but believe is a strong cognitive bias. Otherwise one might just feel ill or poisoned.
A lot of the first experience involves sanity checks, so, if psychedelics have an effect on the currently running processes, so to speak, the ability to judge the situation will suffer first and inhibition won't kick in, or overreact. Then anything can happen with whatever one is liable to think about. Certainly nobody will dispute that normal productivity greatly suffers on a trip. So you can't really trust the self evaluation.
There are people who have rosy anecdotes about each of the therapies you call toxic and destructive. There are also people with horror stories about LSD. You are inappropriately extrapolating your own personal experiences to everyone else.
It's ironic to say this to someone who's advocating mind expansion, but... you need to be a bit more open minded.
Not long ago I found a shop that had CBD eliquids, they gave me a sample (3 strokes). A little bit after my brain was a minuscule amount lighter, but at layers that I never really had a control over (unlike the sensation I get when meditating, I can feel some parts of my brain going off). As usual, may be placebo, but still another thing that cause that itch for a little psychoactive help to regain my previous life quality.
 a side effect of fubared cardiovascular system is that I had to monitor my breathing and heart a lot so I would naturally have sessions of calm slow breathing exercises.
Then, one day, I decided to try something and I felt like that fog lifted. That was about 5 years ago and things have been great ever since then.
But if you have the drive, and are willing to take a small risk, you venture into the dark web and locate one of the handful of chemists/dealers who provide the world with its supply and buy in bulk.
Or you find a friend who has already done this work.
put differently: the barriers to experimentation with psychedelics are the ones that you have constructed for yourself.
First time product, dosage, aquisition method and protocol ?
Anything to read or other things to know ?
These medicines are far more powerful than you could possibly comprehend. Once you are in it, expect to have zero control, so you need a safe, experienced environment.
Also there are services that offer legal facilitated offerings: https://psychedelicsociety.org.uk/experience-retreats
While he was no guru, he had some experience, and he was one of the few and first people that had access to real LSD-25 (he was from a hippy town in CO). At the time, I was extremely interested in being able to see the world differently. I was suicidal, and desperate to escape from this internal mental hell that I had been living with for years, and trying to escape by more destructive means.
The first experience entailed a sleep over. We each took one hit. It wasn’t that potent.
It really didn’t do much. We talked about life forever. Girlfriends. Family. Just life. Laughing. Listening to stories.
I was expecting mass hallucinations, but there was none.
Just colors. Everything had more potent color. Vivid. Almost a halo of rainbow. I had a giddiness.
But no hallucinations like I was expecting.
We walked some suburban woodlands for a bit and everything was magical and exciting.
I couldn’t sleep, and was hoping for the marshmallow dinosaurs and electric zebras to manifest, but they never did.
The whole experience changed what I thought of psychedelics. I thought it’d be a more visual experience, but it ended up being much more psychological.
8-12+ hours in total.
My first time on mushrooms I was in a group of best friends. My friend and I had ventured into Florida cow pastures, donned in camouflage, the days after rainfall and had picked a pound or more. The Internet was crude back in 05, but we found resources for safely identifying them.
As a group of 7, we divided evenly and consumed. Probably 5 shrooms a piece of varying size. They were not dry. We ate with brownies and milk.
It was intense. Hilarious. Colorful. At times overwhelming. Smiling. Laughing. Confusing. We walked, we talked, we looked at the moon and stars, examined frogs and flowers and grass and trees.
All in all, a lot of bonding. It was an amazing experience.
4-6 hours in total.
Dosage is approximately 100-150mcg per tab. If it’s older, and not well kept, potency will diminish. Liquid is harder to determine, but one drop is approx the same as one tab.
If you take 1 tab, don’t expect anything dramatic. Mostly a body trip. But depends on mindset.
If you take 2 tabs, you will have a more powerful experience. More visuals.
As you take more, the trip is more intense. With that intensity comes a lot more unpredictability.
Your mind produces all kinds of images and connections, and you can get absorbed in those manifestations, for better or worse.
For any trip, set aside the day.
For LSD, it takes about 30-90 minutes for the initial effects to begin.
There is a period where you begin to peak— anxiety heightens, excitement peaks, things begin to jitter and perceptions loosen. There is usually an uneasiness, a giddiness.
This state is dose dependent, but usually lasts between 2-6 hours.
After the peak, the come down and “reintegration” can last another 6 or more hours. This period the mind is no longer “peaking” with energy. It’s making sense of the new perceptions, and integrating them back into a functional whole.
There are major perception changes on a trip. Senses. Time. Space.
Things and perceptions warp, and you gain an awareness of how flimsy and unreliable our perceptions really are.
When you go to sleep, you wake up as though nothing happened, except that you have memories of this experience that resemble a powerful dream.
There are no negative side effects, other than how powerful the experience was, how deeply it affected your notion of reality.
I usually feel very refreshed, as if the world was anew. Like the cobwebs have been cleaned and the fog lifted. There is a clarity.
One thing I always tell others and remind myself is that the entire trip is a manifest of my mind.
It’s not outside me, it’s inside me. As a result, there is no reason to lose control.
Do not react hastily to thoughts and feelings and perceptions. Accept them. Embrace them. Reflect on them. They are you. They are apart of you.
You possess them. Do not let them possess you.
Do this, and you will never have a bad trip.
I have safely tripped more times than I can count. Well over 100, with dozens and dozens of people.
(I've always been keen to try, but have avoided so far due to an unpleasant childhood experience when administered an opiate painkiller, which resulted in nightmares with conscious flashbacks for months.)
Find a nice time: for example, leave one-two days after your week-long vacation for a trip. You’ll have a clear mind and will be well-rested, so nothing to remind of a possibly stressful job.
Trip with the person from the first paragraph. One thing that I find is way more highlighted in people who are fond of psychedelics is knowing that people change when they trip and they expect that. So should be not many questions asked.
I would say approach the setting the way you would approach your therapist: personal stuff should remain in Vegas; and it will be a better trip if you can expose yourself.
Also the most imprtant part: don’t expect to feel “better”. It’s a two-sided experience, where it may swing you towards both depressing and incredibly positive. You learn how to manage that, but one thing that psychedelics are not is an escape.
It’s all about mindset and setting.
We could discuss what that entails, but that’s a long conversation. Good attitude, good vibes, safe setting, comfortable and familiar. In your home. In familiar nature. I’d avoid public places and people.
And it’s preferable for the first number of trips to have a safe and understanding “sitter” or “guide” there who is reliable and calm and supportive.
As you get more experienced, you can explore the bounds of set and setting, to push your mind to places for therapeutic purposes.
Psychedelics amplify whatever thoughts or surroundings you’re in. They turn up the volume, so to say, for good or ill.
The bad trips are the most therapeutic. You’re working through repressed thoughts and feelings that otherwise go unnoticed or denied or suppressed as a natural psycho response to pain.
Ridding self deception is the root of all therapy.
When that negativity comes to mind during a trip it’s often uncomfortable as hell. You work through it. You accept it. You embrace it. You see it in the right light, with the right perspective.
What you don’t do is resist thoughts or feelings or experiences. That only causes more problems.
You can’t run from yourself.
IMO MAPS are irresponsible promoters of psychedelics.
If you are on a high-dose trip, you lose much control of your thoughts. I have read that some medical experts administer high doses in the hope to avoid bad trips often encountered with low doses.
What if your unwanted thoughts and tendencies must be resisted to prevent further misery ?
- Try to stay calm and refuse to succumb to overwhelming terror and panic as reported on this web page.
- Try to stay calm and refuse suicide as reported on this web page.
- Try to stay calm and refuse thoughts about murder as reported here: http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/29599/1/a...
Do not use psychedelics to solve problems on your own. https://psychonautwiki.org/wiki/Set_and_setting
Let medical experts (therapists) use psychedelics as medicine as they see fit.
A few years ago, I thought I was completely incapable of feeling happiness. I hadn't experienced it for a long time and was completely numb. I was chronically depressed for 4-6 years.
I took shrooms from a friend at a security conference completely unaware of what I was getting into. For the first time in _years_, I felt truly happy. I have no idea, physiologically or psychologically, what happened, but when I woke up the next morning my entire world changed -- I didn't feel numb anymore.
That day, my chronic depression ended. I have been depression free for a few years now. We _need_ more research for this.
1. I took magic mushrooms (well truffles, Amsterdam, sold in smartshops, i.e. legal) and I felt a bit uncomfortable in my body and I felt like a kid.
2. I took magic truffles again (again Amsterdam) and I felt a lot uncomfortable in my body and was contemplating suicide. Fortunately I had on gray brain cell left that said "you can kill yourself, but only if you agree on it when you're sober and it's one week later." I locked myself in a bathroom with no windows. Yes, I could hurt myself in the bathroom, but I was fortunately to dumb to know how to do that. When the effect started cooling down it was a mix between a really bad trip and a really profound, meaningful yet really painful trip.
When I came out of the trip and felt sober I got a lot of data to analyze about myself and that definitely helped me. Yet, god forbid if I didn't have that 1 gray brain cell that realized that I was on truffles and therefore not in my right mind. Needlessly to say, when I was sober I decided to live because life is one interesting big trip anyway :D
One thing that I am realizing more and more: I really like myself sober. When I am sober I am capable of keeping my emotions in check. It's easier to love myself and all those things.
Nevertheless, I am grateful for the insights.
Psychedelics have an amazing propensity for good, but they can also destroy you. Tread carefully.
In fact, my downward spiral was instigated by another person who was tripping with me. He told me we were severely dehydrated (no, we were just severely high) and needed water asap. This prompted frantically running to a residential area asking people for water, and the rest is hell.
Going into a trip with anything weighing on your mind, or any stresses or worries can lead to a bad trip.
But I know they need to be respected and understood.
I also realize that some people with a family history of mental disorders like schizophrenia, would be better off staying away.
Like, some people have used psychedelics, and they go crazy. But how many of those people were crazy to begin with? How many would end up like that if they never tried psychedelics to begin with?
I tend to think that the fear is over dramatized.
But I do emphasize respecting its use in a profound way.
It changes you.
The upside is that real LSD is so rare, the chances of people finding it are slim to non. It’s distributed by so few people.
I would suggest that psychedelics cannot take a person with zero risk of developing psychosis, and make them psychotic. There are many apparent triggers for mental illness eg a failed relationship, a drug binge, losing your job, giving birth etc, and we don’t treat these as causal events. Psychedelics are most likely no different. People at risk of developing psychosis may have a greater willingness to try psychedelics as well, creating a biased sample.
If we ever do get regulated access to psychedelics, it will need some process to exclude ‘at risk’ persons. This will be crude and highly exclusionary at the start. Over time, genomics and brain imaging may allow more careful selection of those who can take psychedelics safely.
Psychosis is an episodic condition caused by metabolic failure. Contributing factors include malnourishment, alcohol withdrawal, chronic stress, certain prescription and OTC drugs, street drugs, etc. People would recover from psychosis if given supportive treatment - good nutrition, B-vitamins (liver, yeast, etc), appropriate pro-metabolic prescriptions, naltrexone to keep them off alcohol, etc.
My observations of the standard treatments forced on "psychotic" patients is that they are only useful for preventing the patient's recovery. My aunt's friend was always sort of 'off', now she's dying of liver failure. Didn't know until now that she's been on maintenance antipsychotics for decades, even though the trigger for her episode concluded decades ago.
If I prescribe penicillin to a patient with a pcn allergy, the fact that I “uncovered an underlying flaw” is irrelevant. Pcn is dangerous to them and should not be prescribed to them.
This is true, in one sense or another, of the majority of adverse effects people have from medications given in therapeutic ranges. It’s basically what having an adverse effect -means-.
It doesn’t mean that medication shouldn’t be given when appropriate, but it’s not a rationale for deflecting attention from the risks of the medication.
Psychedelics bring these issues to the forefront, but they don't necessarily cause mental health issues, as the same issues could happen without LSD. I understand what you're trying to express with your example of penicillin, but it's not the same thing.
In my opinion, it would be more accurate to compare psychedelic drugs to activities like meditation and fasting, which also have a risk of anxiety, discomfort, and bringing out dormant mental health issues in some people.
This is precisely what makes them such useful tools for things like PTSD and why it can be a bummer if someone does Molly at a rave and winds up with a memory of being molested and her friends are too busy doing K to talk with her.
In a safe and supportive setting, this is exactly what can help people heal.
It’s when things get uncovered but not fully released and processed they can occupy ones life.
A good psychedelic therapist or sitter should be able to help someone integrat a current or former bad trip.
I've done all 3 of these (meditation as in mindfulness), and I disagree.
Of these 3, meditation is the most harmless. It is relaxing, not discomforting (I'll hook into this again at the end of my post).
Someone can start meditating or fasting without guidance (though I recommend guidance in both cases, especially concerning fasting) and resume normal life whenever they feel like it. With psychedelics, that one doesn't fly and if you do meditation in a group such as a 10 day
Vipassana course or are in a religion or cult being forced to fast then you might also feel the same pressure. But that's an outlier; in general, meditation doesn't have such -or any- pressure. It is relaxing.
Finally, I've followed a mindfulness course for people with autism and there is no such thing as that with regards to psychedelics. The psychedelics also affected my autism, and in some situations made it much worse. All of that while I wasn't aware I had autism!
Meditation practice is not relaxing at all. The effect after meditating might be in part feeling relaxed, but in general meditation is pretty hard work.
This is probably a very common misconception, you see all the pictures of people meditating at the beach in front of a beautiful sunset and think that meditating is like going to the spa, when in fact meditating is much more like the mental equivalent of going to the gym.
Also, in many occasions (especially during a 10 day retreat like Vipassana), it can be very uncomfortable if not outright physically painful (although usually never dangerous).
Especially the effect after it makes that work more fruitful, since for various hours I'll be less tense and more focused. For example, it'd make socializing more relaxing.
Those are 2 very valid reasons for me to call it relaxing. Then again, I find running and listening to certain music also relaxing. Because after a while, I get in an automated flow ("trance") akin to meditating.
The 3rd reason is that if I'm rather tired, mindfulness can potentially get me to sleep. I often (almost daily) do it before I go to sleep, and it aids me to get to sleep. I much prefer it over: overthinking, fantasizing, or masturbating/sex.
Its already painful for me to meditate whilst sitting instead of lying but one gets used to that. Its just untrained muscles getting trained. As long as you don't strain yourself, you're fine.
Even if it's true that someone has some kind of latent / dormant condition that is ultimately triggered by the LSD, then the act of taking the LSD itself was the catalyst, and the person would have been far better off not ever having taken the drug.
The drug is illegal, and the argument growing up was that the "government was suppressing free thought" or whatever nonsense was being pushed, but the reality is that such a drug is dangerous and absolutely does hurt people. Whether connected to a predisposition of mental illness or not, it's not a hard connection and people should be extra cautious when considering whether to engage in such behavior.
We do not know if LSD was in fact the catalyst. We don’t know if the people who got ruined after taking a single tab of LSD actually took LSD or some research chemical (which are quite commonly sold off as LSD).
>but the reality is that such a drug is dangerous and absolutely does hurt people.
With this reasoning, skydiving, base jumping, and even the act of simply driving a car should should also be illegal. We let people do far more dangerous things, yet keep them legal. There is another reason LSD & most psychedelics are illegal. What that is, I don't know.
We can make random guesses all day about what’s a good outcome but how about we leave it to medical researchers to actually figure out what’s safe and beneficial?
Only in certain contexts (ie. some instances of interstate commerce).
I suspect your friend had latent psychotic tendencies. Would be interesting to look at family history.
These are powerful drugs that seem capable of both helping and doing harm. They should definitely be used with care, studied, and not abused.
Of course what the war on drugs did was to ban the scientific study of these things and push them exclusively onto the street where they did get abused.
Family histories are not always clearly diagnosed. That hypothetical uncle you've never met and no one talks about? Unknown mental health flag.
Self-diagnosis of a mental/emotional state that calls for drug-taking is itself a clue that not all is so normal in the individual's mind--or is it something wrong in the world the person wants to relate to better? Who can know but the one supposedly experiencing an unnaccepted state?
Observing/deciding/dosing by the selfsame suffering/diagnosing/tripping individual sounds risky, because if the downside is a long future of some degree of insanity, it is only a variety of Russian Roulette.
To allow scientific studies, fund them, possibly create therapies is to also conquer the stigmas involved in substantial ways and that process is tectonically, multi-generationally slow (or impossible).
What was going on in his life at the time?
Who was with him and how did they work with his “freak out”?
It sounds like he lacked the set, setting and support to integrate that experience in a healthy way.
Research chemicals pawned off as LSD is more common than ever. They are dangerous psychotic inducing deugs.
Anyone who has become an ‘acid casualty’ was dosed with these dangerous research chemicals, and everyone who was just fine had legitimate LSD?
Reading the other comments I see that others have expressed the same thought.
This seems to be more lore than fact.
And recent meta analysis shows that psychedelic use has no negative impacts on mental health (and in many cases, is beneficial).
It’s incredibly irresponsible to say it has no negative impacts without more research being done in the area.
I was diagnosed with schizophrneia and Biploar. I found that mdma in a theraputic setting helped me heal the underlying condition and resulted in an elimination of symptoms.
I’ve also had psychosis induced by psychedelics, however I also saw how the psychosis was a result of deeper held beliefs that weren’t serving. The psychosis ended up resolving with a much deeper sense of self and compassion.
That said, with a clear understanding of psychosis, how to work with and integrate it, and a theraputic setting for psychedelic use, folks might want to avoid it.
Psychedelics helped me heal without medication.
Anyway; also a strong proponent, but I’ve seen the potential harm as well. On the balance it seems worthwhile for many people, and good for many people to try a little LSD at least once.
They’re mostly all synthetics derived from amphetamine class of drugs like MDMA.
2CE. 2CB. 2CI. Etc. and countless others. No one taking them know what it truly is.
They are dangerous. And more ubiquitous than LSD-25.
You can never be sure what you’re getting. You can OD and have a psychotic episode.
I do not classify them as therapeutic psychedelics, and always advise against.
If you ever take a tab of LSD and it’s bitter or metallic, or anything but absolutely flavorless or just paper, do not take. Spit it out.
2C-E, 2C-B, and 2C-I are what they are, single compounds, just as LSD-25 is. They are phenethylamines, related to mescaline, the substance for which the term "psychedelic" was coined.
They are synthetic, as is LSD, and have a wide therapeutic index. Being less potent by weight, it is easier to measure a specific dose than with LSD, which is commonly put on paper or taken in liquid form.
Getting "puddled" from a bottle of LSD is a more likely route to a psychotic episode than anything 2C-I or 2C-B have to offer; 2C-E is a different beast.
It's fine that you have these opinions, I guess. It's just that most of them are wrong and I wouldn't want others to be mislead.
Obviously there is no research on long term effects at this point, and there may never be, but for my personal therapeutic rituals it’s affectiveness is the same.
It’s also worth noting that I’m not microdosing, which you may have assumed from my doses over time. I’m taking it once a week at an average dose of 300-600mcg with a 1-2 week break every 4 weeks (obviously I didn’t start at this dose when I first tried it). Along with other health supplements and exercise just so were clear.
I am an experienced psychonaut, but I’m not a doctor, and I’m not here to champion 1P-LSD nor my personal rituals. But this is my experience.
>It has been theorized that 1P-LSD may act as a prodrug for LSD. While 1P-LSD shows only 38% the potency of LSD in mice, LSD is detected via LC-MS when 1P-LSD is incubated in human serum. Follow-up studies are currently being conducted to compare the affinity and selectivity of LSD and 1P-LSD at 5-HT receptors, and to determine whether 1P-LSD is hydrolyzed to LSD in vivo. Otherwise, it is possible that 1P-LSD may be capable of exerting its own psychedelic effect.
The real danger of Research Chemicals is the large amount of cheap drugs of other classes produced that have similar effects and are labeled and sold as LSD. Very few people are buying those type of drugs and taking them on purpose. And they are incredibly dangerous.
NBOMEs are something you did see sold as acid especially a few years back, so I'm not saying you shouldn't be careful. The difference in effect is fairly easy to tell, though, and I have no doubt most stuff sold is the real thing. There are some closely related and nearly indistinguishable compounds, but as far as I know, they are about as hard to synthesize and should have a similar risk profile as LSD.
One can be sure of what one is getting with proper testing. Some are dangerous, others less so.
Personally I enjoyed my experiences with some of them.
that is CERTAINLY false.
You did not emphasize in any profound way.
You did imply though that it invariably changes everyone, and never was anyone you know changed for the worse. So it changes everyone for the better. But you ask, surely because you are not sure, whether those who were crazy afterwards had to be crazy to begin with. So, the only thing you really emphasized was your ignorance. What does that mean to you? Everyone is a little crazy to begin with. Thus estimates about sanity are rather distorted and a small sample group not enough, especially if you are biased by preoccupation.
Anyway, you're probably right in the sense that there are only a handful of original sources for it. But once you get the production going, you quickly end up with a crapload of doses.
Psilocybin and Depression
That's a tough question to answer, but I can share my story and maybe you can glean from it. The truth is, drugs can do incredible things for the mind, body and soul, but the person must be able to handle the intensity, and their own craving.
My upbringing was pretty rough: parents divorced when I was young and I was raised by my southern-Christian grandparents since I was five. My parents were very poor and my grandparents had already raised two kids on low income. I was fairly depressed growing up for many reasons related to my natural life. I'm first generation in my family to graduate University, let alone with a STEM degree, and my career provides a better salary than anyone in my family has ever had. It was a pleasant surprise for my family, and you'll understand after the next couple of paragraphs.
I had stated smoking pot in middle School, alcohol came next, then ecstacy, codeine, mushrooms, and Acid, all before I graduated high school. College had shown me MDMA, DMT, cocaine, various opiates, and some research chemicals my friend kept around. Recently (late twenties) I had experimented with ketamine for the first time.
In high school, when some friends and I started getting into ecstacy, it didn't take long before some of them became habitual users. At one point my friends would be taking it at school. I took this as a cautionary red flag, and reigned in my ecstasy use at the time. Sure enough, those friends became addicted to the sensations, and took life paths that would lead them to misery. This was a vital learning moment in my life.
Around that same time in high school, I had arranged with other friends to take mushrooms together at their house. I ended up taking about 7 grams, which is -plenty-, and about twice as much as the most I've ever taken. The effects were good when they were good, but really bad when they were bad. Most of the time I couldn't arrange proper sentences, regular body functions seemed like foreign operations within myself, and everything I looked at had a Kaleidoscope-esque effect on it. At one point I summersaulted into my friends wall on the way to the bathroom, where I proceeded to fail to remember how bathrooms work, and pee all over myself. This experience has since kept me distant from mushrooms.
Right into college, I had joined a political activist group and started making friends. While driving together to an overnight rally at the neighbor University, some friends in the group revealed to me that they regularly consume large amounts of psilocybin mushrooms. I didn't end up getting to know them well, but they seemed like nice and well-intended hippy-types attending college.
A month ago, I went to an epic-level music festival where the only thing more prolific than music and water were drugs. While walking to find a restroom at sunrise, I came across a guy hanging in his campsite mumbling to himself. We started some conversion and he came back to our camp to hang. Later he revealed to us that he was coming down off a twenty strip (20 hits of LSD). That guy made for some interesting conversation.
For me, more than any other type of drug I've tried, psychedelics do best at opening my mind. Other drugs have their purposes, but from these drugs, the effects are truly interesting. I feel like I'm able break down mental structures that exist in my mind, and recreate them in different ways, either for a real goal (relief from depression), or just for fun (hallucination, creative outlet). Once I found my footing with psychedelics, my experience became centered around allowing weird and non-conventional thoughts to take over my mind, until I I'm rethinking how everything workes and why things operate in today's life the way they do, and how with some wild creatively, we could have an entirely different reality that's more beneficial to us all. That, and dancing.
Imagine your brain as a snowy hill. Each decision you make is like sledding down the hill, causing a slight indentation in the snow. The more times you make a decision, the deeper the groove, the faster you make the decision and the harder it is to try something different and escape the groove. Psychedelics is like fresh powder on the hill won't the grooves away so you can try new ways of thinking / new routes down the hill.
I will add this: the shape of the hill stays the same, and mostly that fresh powder will melt back into those old ruts... the changes that these experiences bring seem, to me, more about knowing the ruts are there then they are about changing things in our lives.
The change comes from the awareness of what can be done, because formerly "natural" things that are "just what people do" start to seem like artificial, learned behaviors. That's a powerful thing to grok, and easier to comprehend at the level of our nervous system with these substances.
I haven't found these drugs to be super "fun" outside of the non-recreational ways of doing things, but the older I get the more I enjoy things that most folks find exceptionally boring. But I do find them very useful.
For people who people worry about the long term effects of these things; I feel like for most healthy adults, if they "start small" the actual long-lasting effects are pretty minor.
Here's an idea to consider for curious folks: if one or two psychedelic experiences could fundamentally alter your views on your life, you probably ought to consider the deep things in your life more often.
the long lasting effects were negligible for me. the biggest change was that i realized i might be "on the spectrum" but it isn't as though it was a life-changing realization.
i agree regarding your final point. i do think that psychedelics are more "helpful" for people who are extremely extraverted or otherwise reluctant to reflect on themselves.
I wish that I had not had to see out how badly my drinking impacted my marriage with my second wife when she unexpectedly left me, but it was a thing that I needed to learn.
So I take your point, and I am glad to learn things. In general I find learning an enjoyable experience. There are a certain amount of life-altering, important facts about ourselves that are painful to encounter in any situation.
You will need to face every thought that you normally would censor due to shame, those include (usually in this order): sexual thoughts, psychotic thoughts and religious thoughts. Then you will reach true vulnerability and loneliness (which is the prerequisite for truly connecting with others).
Any 'spiritual path' will take you through the same process but psychadelics do it faster meaning there is less control (i.e. less feeling of safety) however this can be a good thing since we often use the control afforded through for example yoga to avoid facing some flaw in our methodology.
As always I recommend patience as the principal approach and an absolute belief that the true nature of the world is 'good'.
The key insight is that everything is about relaxing and trusting the wisdom that lives deep down, it doesn't matter what you are doing, if you approach it in this way with balance and compassion as goals then you can feel better.
If you're in this thread and likely to use psychedelics, please do your research first.
My recommendation is to at least thoroughly read the following resources before beginning:
- https://tripsafe.org/how-to-take-shrooms/ (I started this website, it has quite a few users, and it's important that people who are likely to use psychedelics are aware of this info for everyone's benefit.)
- Then, next perhaps the book "The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide"
I remember one guy posting about his experience with psychedelics and then with long period of yoga and meditation. Interesting thing was, that he described something similar. On psychedelics it was as if you would take a jet plane and got somewhere really fast. Yoga and meditation, on the other hand, take you same place but you have a time to look around during the process. It takes a lot of time, though, but also is safer.
Interesting may be combining meditation and yoga with microdosing, which should still keep you on the safe side.
He said psychadelics can open the door but then you go thru the door. You don’t just keep re-opening the door.
The book goes into some detail about a few FDA-approved clinical trials for MDMA and LSD-assisted psychotherapy underway, some approaching Stage 3 -- these are mainly the result of over 15 years of work by MAPS -- if Stage 2 results are anywhere near as successful as the small Stage 1 trials, we're pretty likely to see legal and widespread adoption for the treatment of PTSD, end-of-life anxiety, and/or depression.
Glad to see public research is coming out on this, and it's not a brand new insight. Pretty sure that's why the CIA were using them in MK ULTRA mind-control experiments.
It's unfortunate many people do not understand mental illness at all, and they think therapy and drugs can be cure people. They cannot. Mental illnesses are treatable, but they cannot be cured.
Okay, I am done. I hate this world. Fuck these medications.
Look at it. Ain't working. Ain't working, people. They ain't working. Ain't nobody gonna understand. I read enough papers to fully understand no drugs can help.
But for a certain subset of population, with messed up serotonin pathways, antidepressants are the cure. Just like for a diabetic an insulin shot is.
We should be careful when saying psychiatry is "just like" biological science, it's not.
"psychiatric diagnosis still relies exclusively on fallible subjective judgments rather than objective biological tests"
While it's true many people have experienced positive results with antidepressants (many have with placebos as well), "messed up serotonin pathways" and "chemical imbalances" are marketing slogans, not scientific facts.
On the other hand, if psychedelics increases plasticity, regular use could also destabilize a mind or erode important learning.
Figuring out when it is appropriate to adjust plasticity is going to be the challenge to beneficial use here.
If the current ‘psychedelics cure mental illness’ craze leads to more indiscriminate use, it is going to lead to more terrible casualties before we work this out.
this is my understanding as well. kind of like how a child would never learn how to walk on its own if the parent held it upright 100% of the time.
unfortunately, i think a big problem with the current standard of care is that it prioritizes shutting the patient up -- reducing complaints regarding symptoms -- over curing the patient.
there is a difference; imagine if the "real" effect antidepressants have is to make people more reluctant to communicate negative thoughts to others. the patient would still be suffering just as much, but appear to have improved. the brain is subtle enough for this to be a reality...
obviously i don't believe that this example (which is totally made up) is uniformly the case. but shifting the frame to address the underlying problem of "stuck" or maladaptive neural circuitry via psychedelics could be immensely helpful for patients.
psychedelics would also improve the efficacy of the other psychoactive tool we kind of think is somewhat helpful in some instances of some kinds of cases: therapy. therapy is retooling neural circuitry the hard way -- via repeated activation of alternative thought patterns of nebulous physiology in the hopes of eventually shifting the thought pattern to be adaptive rather than maladaptive. if we had a switch to flip that would enhance neural plasticity, this process would be much faster and much more effective. it would also be much more fraught with chances of inflicting damage, i'd assume.
Just like blaming the heroine drug epidemic at pharma and doctors, it’s weird how we never look at the individual who’s taking the pills in the first place. Prior to this epidemic we had other ones to which everyone was really trying to pin the blame on something else rather than a combination to include the individual as well.
My buddy is a doctor and he’s aware of the lies/illusions patients live in. But if the doctor suggests such things like “exercise/clean up diet” for a few weeks before progressing to another step, that patient will never come back. They will also downrate the doctor on yelp like sites. So it becomes a troublesome proposition for that doctor.