Dried Psilocybe Cubensis Mushrooms

Psychiatry Grad Student Says Psilocybin Mushrooms Freed Him From Bondage of Childhood Traumas

Dried Psilocybe Cubensis Mushrooms

 
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by Anonymous

on April 12, 2014

I am currently a grad student in the field of Psychiatry/Mental Health/Psychology etc. I’m hoping my account will be of use.

I have always been interested in the exploration of human consciousness.  Much of this has manifested itself in my personal experience in psychoanalysis. Over the past seven years, I had committed to meeting with a psychoanalyst where I laid on a couch and free-associated four times a week. During these fifty-minute sessions I talked about any thought that came to my mind. I talked about my dreams, my fantasies, my anxieties — my deepest inner traumas. Although professionally this has helped me immensely in my own training as a psychotherapist, psychoanalysis has helped me immensely in my gaining insight into who I am now and how I got here. It has helped me process and understand much of the trauma I had experienced as a child. Through this insight, I have gained the freedom to choose my path in life and not be a slave to my past traumas. I credit much of where I am now in my life to the work I’ve done in psychoanalysis.

I came to learn about psychedelics by reading emerging research from Johns Hopkins, where cancer patients were treated with psilocybin for anxiety. The research was very interesting and opened my mind to the possible therapeutic uses of psychedelics. At first I was a bit skeptical — I had only ever smoked pot and had no personal experience with psychedelics. My impression with drugs such as LSD, mushrooms, and other psychedelics was “isn’t that the shit dirty hippies are into?” My professional interest and training focused on how to help people in need of mental health services in a holistic manner. When it came to psychedelics, I had lumped them together with other Schedule I drugs such as heroin and crack.

As time went on and research continued to emerge, I kept coming across psychedelics in the fringes of clinical research. I decided to learn more about psychedelics, their pharmacodynamics and about individual’s anecdotal reports of their experiences. Finally, I decided I needed to see what this was all about. As a grad student, I was no longer in dorms or in a college community where I could easily acquire psychedelics with any degree of certainty of their safety. I didn’t even know a drug dealer anymore who I could call. Without going into detail, with some legwork, I was able to obtain a small amount of mushrooms. I stored them away in a cool, dry place where they stayed for about a year. I didn’t know anyone else experienced with psychedelics that could guide me. With work, school and relationships, life got busy and I forgot about them.

About a year later, I got turned onto the Joe Rogan Podcast where psychedelics are often a topic of discussion. After listening to the episode with Amber Lyon and her experience with ayahuasca, my curiosity returned and I decided to go root out those ‘shrooms I had tucked away. I still hadn’t found anyone that could guide me. Although I knew a few people who I trusted enough to “babysit” me while I tripped, I could already tell that they would exude an anxious and therefore negative energy that could possibly be detrimental to my experience. I decided to take the plunge in my darkened room alone with some good music.

As a novice, I ate a relatively small dose of mushrooms. I was nervous at first as I waited for something to happen. As I began to think I had a bunk batch, I realized something was happening. I put on the music, turned the lights down, and lay down on my bed.  One of my goals of this experience was to explore the potential psychotherapeutic applications of psychedelics. I decided to focus on areas of my life that I had explored during psychoanalysis — my abusive father, questions of my resiliency, my relationship with women. As I began to fully experience the effects of the mushrooms, I found it to be extremely difficult to contain my experience in language. Time and space fell away and I was left with my feelings of emotions.

I felt a deep connection to the universe, a feeling of transcendence from the corporeal world. I felt the layers of my ego begin to shed away as I dove deeper into my own psyche. I no longer saw myself as being a member of any particular nation state, or ethnicity, or socioeconomic class. I saw the inner humanity of myself and of every other human being in the world. I also began to explore some of my own childhood traumas. As I focused on these traumas, not only did I feel a growing compassion for that little boy who had endured so much, but I also had feelings of compassion and understanding for those who had failed him. By doing so, I felt that I had become free from the bondage of these traumas — free to explore and to live the rest of my life. Throughout this experience, the feeling that extended throughout was like a chorus to a song — it was a feeling that kept telling me that “everything will be okay — stop worrying.”

As I started to come down, I began to try to integrate and understand what I had experienced and learned. It has been about two weeks and I am still reflecting upon this trip. I explored this experience with my psychoanalyst and realized that it had also helped me crystallize many areas of my subconscious that I wasn’t able to fully explore before. It has helped me to more fully resolve areas of my life that had continued to be sources of unhappiness and anxiety.

As a training clinician, this experience has shown me a way of potentially treating various mental illnesses in a way. I believe that much of what we diagnosis as major depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, etc., are the result of various traumas we have endured in our past. When these traumas are severe enough that we can’t resolve them, they manifest though different forms such as classic depressive symptoms, panic attacks, eating disorders and so on. I believe that it is the resolution of these traumas that bring about a lasting healing in the individual. The potential for the integration of psychedelics into psychotherapy will be the new frontier of psychiatry.

My experience with psychedelics has imparted on me the need for further research. The potential for groundbreaking psychotherapeutic treatments for many mental health issues is so promising. Yet in none of my pharmacology or psychopharmacology classes have I been taught anything about psychedelics other than their abuse potential. Generations before us have decided to be willfully ignorant for over forty years and, as a result, we have a lack of research and knowledge in the therapeutic use of psychedelics. It is my hope that as a new generation of researchers, clinicians and leaders comes fourth, we will emerge to explore this field that has long been kept in the darkness of ignorance.