Veteran: Psilocybin Treated My PTSD


by Tassaliman

on August 11, 2014

The first psychedelic revolution had a tremendous impact on my life. It was 1969, I was 21 and had just returned from Southeast Asia having been a combatant in the Vietnam war. Little was known about PTSD at the time. We were just labeled as fucked up Vietnam vets. Soon after my return, I began to display classic symptoms of the disorder. I was depressed, anxious, hyper-vigilant and very aggressive. I suffered severe insomnia, was constantly nauseated, I was losing weight and wondering if I would eventually lose my mind.

As a diversion, I enrolled in a local college on the GI Bill and majored in psychology. I mostly drank a lot of alcohol, cavorted and engaged in reckless behaviors. I began to notice a group of students who were somehow different than the others. They hung out and had a cool, bohemian appearance, wore bell-bottom jeans, grew their hair long. My intuition told me they knew something I needed to learn. I was living in a conservative Southern state, so “hippies” were somewhat of a cultural phenomenon.

I gradually began to meet some of these peculiar folk and was impressed by their knowledge and appreciation of art, literature and philosophy. I would occasionally overhear whispers about LSD and tripping. I was curious and began to ask questions. Eventually I was offered psilocybin at a party and unhesitatingly shoved the capsule down my throat. I won’t attempt to describe the ineffable, but suffice to say, my mind was totally blown and restructured in a gloriously positive way. My entire life changed and from that day forward radically improved. Then Woodstock happened and I knew I had found my path, my purpose and my direction.

All these many years later and I am still a fan of hyperspace and I joyfully anticipate the second psychedelic revolution that I see approaching. I sincerely believe it will be a means to our salvation on this planet. It is our opportunity to learn, to heal, and to evolve as a species. The ancient plant medicines may well be the catalyst that allows mankind to create a new cultural paradigm, one based on love, hope and compassion. There is much work to be done.

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somewhere in Arkansas

In the original submission of the story, I correctly spelled Viet Nam the way it has been spelled since 200 b.c. Viet means “people” and Nam means “south”. It distinguishes them from the Han people of China. Vietnam is an Americanized version of Viet Nam. It came about when war reporters sent stories back via cable. The cable service charged by the word, so the names of many places were combined e.g. Sai Gon became Saigon, Da Nang became Danang, Sai Gon became Saigon, etc. Just wanted to clarify!


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