Around this time last year, I was really struggling psychologically from panic attacks. I don’t know what led to this affliction, but it was just awful. When you’re having an attack, you feel intense fear overwhelm you; fear like your life is in jeopardy in situations that warrant no such reaction. You lock up and feel the need to ‘get away’ or feel as if something terrible is about to happen.
In the past, I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression but this was something different. It was debilitating. I would have them when I’d go out to the store or the gym or at work in important meetings in front of my superiors who definitely knew something was up. It was embarrassing and affected my confidence doing anything as I’d always have it in the back of my mind ‘what if I have a panic attack?’
Needless to say, my life sucked and, to be honest, I thought about just ending it.
Fast forward to today and now I’m doing great, I haven’t had a panic attack since and I never saw any professional or took any prescription drugs either. So, how did I do it?
Psilocybin mushrooms. Amazingly, I believe one big 4-gram dose of Amazonian cubensis, a species of psilocybin mushrooms, miraculously cured me of this terrible affliction in one night. Let me explain how it happened.
Last year after suffering from these episodes for a few months which seemed to progressively get worse, I decided to take roll the dice and see if mushrooms could help me. In previous experiences with mushrooms, I felt during a trip that the mushrooms were trying to help me overcome my depression and anxiety by showing me how negative thought patterns and constantly beating myself down is a big contributor to all this. While I very well accept that this is probably just the mushrooms changing my perspective and allowing me to see things from a different point of view, honestly, it felt like I was communicating with something greater that wanted to help me.
This is not uncommon in psychedelics, particularly mushrooms, and many people report having very spiritual experiences and feel like they’re communicating with a higher power and their ability to help people suffering from depression and anxiety is well-documented.
However, panic attacks are a different thing and a serious condition which usually requires years of therapy and a plethora of various prescription medications to overcome. That’s IF you’re lucky.
Now, the risk of taking a heavy mushroom dose when you have panic attacks is it could potentially exacerbate your conditions, and my fear was I could very well be walking into a 6-hour long panic attack which could leave me worse off than I was before.
But, I had faith that they could help me, so I took a chance.
After taking the 4-gram dose all at once (the biggest I’ve ever taken), I laid down in a dark room as I came up as well as for most of the duration of the trip. Occasionally, I listened to my iPod, but mostly I just analyzed my thoughts and tried to find the root of the problem causing these attacks, while at the same time, I tried to prevent myself from having an attack while I was tripping.
I don’t know how it came to me, but while tripping, I somehow got the idea to suddenly focus hard on my breathing when negative thoughts or thoughts of panic would come up. To sort of override them and focus not only on in and out breaths but specifically the sensation of each breath, in an attempt to clear my mind of any bad thoughts. This went on for almost the entire trip and a few times, I would start to feel an attack coming on but I’d go right back to my breathing and, unbelievably, it worked.
It’s almost as if I was strengthening my mind to deal with these attacks as well as developing some sort of psychological immunity to them because ever since that night, I haven’t had one since. While I have had bouts of anxiety here and there, I’ve never had a full-on panic attack where I lock up and feel helpless like I did before. I think this mushroom experience is the reason why.