Michael Pollan on testing psychedelics as a treatment for depression

“The risks are psychological. When they’re used carelessly, which is to say without a guide, sometimes people have really bad trips, most of which are just panic attacks that people recover from. But there are occasional psychotic breaks or episodes, so people really have to be careful and treat them as the powerful medicines that they are.”

“I tried psilocybin,” he said. “I was very interested in duplicating the research that was going on at Johns Hopkins and NYU. I had a guided psilocybin trip – it was underground because I didn’t qualify for any of the trials – and I worked with a guy who was very talented, very professional. “I had this incredible experience (it was a fairly high-dose experience) of my ego or sense of self absolutely dissolving until I saw myself – and I know this sounds paradoxical – spread out over the landscape like a coat of paint, yet I was still perceiving this. “And it made me realize for the first time, and this is what I took away from the experience, that we’re not all identical to our egos. Our egos push us around, our egos punish us, they defend us against new information from the world and from our subconscious feelings. And suddenly I saw my ego in a new light, and it was something I could control a little bit better. “Now, I might have gotten that in ten years of psychotherapy, I don’t know. But I got it in an afternoon.”

Original Article (CBS News):
Michael Pollan on testing psychedelics as a treatment for depression
Artwork Fair Use: P. Fraundorf

Anxiety, meet magic

The whole fungus: fine

Tripping with Buddha

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