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Psychedelic drugs and anxiety.

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Hi 

A while ago I posted a thread about Neuroplasticity and someone bought up the topic of psychedelic drugs in relation to my thread whilst another user mentioned them in a post about treating narcotics and alcohol addiction. 

https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/off_belay/anyone_know_anything_about_neuroplasticity-725826

Recently there was an article in The Metro about the use of Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in treating anxiety and depression and when I saw the article it reminded me of the comments in my previous thread. 

https://metro.co.uk/2020/12/26/psychedelic-drug-dmt-could-revolutionise-how-we-treat-depression-13761644/?ito=push-notification&ci=63417&si=9447401

Bye 

MS

 NorthernGrit 07 Jan 2021
In reply to Mountain Spirit:

It still sounds like an interesting topic.

However I would say that in almost all cases self medicating in this way could be a very bad idea. I would be very interested in seeing licensed centres set up where this could be used under appropriate supervision.

Post edited at 14:40
 AJM79 07 Jan 2021
In reply to Mountain Spirit:

No surprises here, I always feel anxious after dropping a couple of microdots.

 nawface 07 Jan 2021
In reply to NorthernGrit:

Unfortunately I don't know enough about to talk in detail but my partners Uncle runs a therapy business in Holland where he will support you through a guided experience.  Uses different substances depending on the person.

And I agree that self medicating is likely to be ill advised. 

In reply to NorthernGrit:

Too right! 

 mik82 07 Jan 2021
In reply to Mountain Spirit:

There's quite a bit of research being done on the use of psychedelics in mental health currently. Things like psilocybin for depression. They do look quite promising, particularly if the use of antidepressants for months-years could be replaced by a couple of supervised doses of a psychedelic. It's a shame that the counter-cultural use in the 1960s and consequent legal crackdown led to widespread suppression of research into them. 

 Hardonicus 07 Jan 2021
In reply to AJM79:

I remember dropping way too many mushies for a first time at 15. My mate was highly anxious that he'd shit himself for most of the trip!

 Timmd 07 Jan 2021
In reply to Mountain Spirit:

You could potentially take a very tiny amount of UK mushrooms, like 5 or something, which would be highly unlikely to have effect to do with patterns or changes of perception, and see what doing that did to your frame of mind.

Only potentially, though, since minds are delicate things. I read about a scientist in New Scientist who did something along those lines, in a frequent dose, and found that it helped, but that she didn't want to get used to needing it to help with her general anxiety.

Some delving into Buddhism might help, re learning to see one's frame of mind and the outside world as being 2 separate things, and not attaching to what happens to do with thoughts? When I think of it that's probably the better option. Find an inner centre of calm to observe yourself and the world around you from, 'I am not this feeling or thought, it is simply passing by like a cloud in the sky'.

Post edited at 15:18
 stp 07 Jan 2021
In reply to NorthernGrit:

> However I would say that in almost all cases self medicating in this way could be a very bad idea.

Unfortunately in the absence of clinical help, which is how things are now in this country, people with these conditions often have no choice but to self-medicate. The 'drug' of choice is usually alcohol. This has a myriad of problems and often leads to addiction, serious health problems and death.

I know someone who suffers from depression and uses microdoses of mushrooms to help when she can get them. She was previously an alcoholic and would probably be dead by now if she hadn't spent a good while in rehab. But of course getting off the alcohol is not a treatment for the underlying depression and anxiety issues.

So I would think that mushrooms and other drugs like ketamine are likely to be far safer than alcohol is when self-medicating. And self-medicating is probably safer than doing nothing, going downhill and killing oneself.

Mushrooms have been banned in Holland now but truffles have not been and you can order psychedelic truffles legally online still the last time I looked.

In reply to stp:

I only had one drink this year - a bit of Bailey's for NYE. 

 Timmd 07 Jan 2021
In reply to stp: From my teenage and observed experience, in most people 20ish mushrooms would give 'some effect', and fewer wouldn't have much effect at all, circa 100 could be rather intense, and a few hundred a dangerous amount which some people wouldn't be the same after taking (thankfully it wasn't me). 

In the scheme of things 5 likely wouldn't do anything perceptible, but might add up over time in the way the scientist I read about found they did.

Edit: For anybody who might be pondering them, that is.

Post edited at 21:52
In reply to Timmd:

Worth remembering that potency can vary and apparently even as little as 5 can sometimes cause a mild change in perception. 

In reply to NorthernGrit:

> However I would say that in almost all cases self medicating in this way could be a very bad idea. I would be very interested in seeing licensed centres set up where this could be used under appropriate supervision.

I agree that self-medicating with IV DMT as in the article is a bit on the hardcore side of things. Apparently it's done in a 'relaxing' way. But more generally with the common orally administered psychedelics, I think it's perfectly reasonable to do the research yourself on the substance and dose, maybe build up the dose over a couple or more sessions, involve a trip-sitter if you feel the need, and get a great deal of benefit from it. I don't see why a couple of good friends with you wild camping, or whatever environment suits you as an individual, aren't just as good as a hypothetical licensed centre. Much like climbing, I don't feel the need to be guided by a qualified instructor, we can choose to learn from friends and engage in the activity on our own terms that we're comfortable with.

In the current circumstances of the pandemic, since psychedelics can sometimes make people panic and phone an ambulance, I would say that if you don't know what you're doing, or don't have someone in the house who can deal with any adverse experience without calling someone else out, now is probably not the time to start experimenting.

In reply to Timmd:

Agree with that dosing scale for liberty caps. 

> In the scheme of things 5 likely wouldn't do anything perceptible, but might add up over time in the way the scientist I read about found they did.

There's been a bit of research done on micro-dosing, and while some people swear by it, the trials are very unconvincing. I think anecdotal benefits are most likely to be placebo. There's definitely no evidence of effects "building up" - quite the opposite, psychedelics generally have rapidly building tolerance.

I find the common sense outlook "if you can't feel it, it's not doing anything" and "if you can feel it, you shouldn't be at work or driving" kind of rules it out for me. But if you're taking so little you can't feel anything, it's not going to be doing any harm.

 Timmd 07 Jan 2021
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Yes, that was for English-native UK mushrooms/liberty caps, I probably should have added that. 

After my teens and what followed I think I'm thankful for a quiet mind, but the info might help somebody not take too many I figured.

Post edited at 22:32
 Cobra_Head 07 Jan 2021
In reply to Timmd:

We used to do about 20-30, talking to my mate recently he was amazed we used to do that many, they used to do 5-10 maximum!

Having not experimented with dosage, I was none the wiser.

I wouldn't have them again, after four hours thinking I wasn't breathing.

 Timmd 07 Jan 2021
In reply to Cobra_Head: I took circa 100 the main time I took them, and didn't repeat the experience in taking that many, it was very intense and I only dabbled a little bit after that. The pinky red clouds which had me thinking of wildebeests moving across the sky were memorable though, quite profound or majestic seeming. I see it the same way a solo which I wouldn't do again now, but less calculated. It's definitely worth doing only a handful. My mind didn't suffer from it, so that's alright, fortunately.  

Post edited at 23:11
 SenzuBean 07 Jan 2021
In reply to Mountain Spirit:

I have no doubt that psychedelic drugs can help with anxiety and depression (from both an anecdotal and a scientific viewpoint). I'm glad they're finally getting some traction - the organization MAPS ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multidisciplinary_Association_for_Psychedelic_Studies ) has been pushing for this for a very long time.

I think for some people though, their depression is a symptom of shit-life syndrome - and if you had 'unfixable shit life syndrome' (i.e. your circumstances were mostly outside your control - such as crushing "medical debt" in the US, or bullying) - I'm not sure how well psychedelic experiences would help with that.

 Timmd 07 Jan 2021
In reply to SenzuBean:

> I have no doubt that psychedelic drugs can help with anxiety and depression (from both an anecdotal and a scientific viewpoint). I'm glad they're finally getting some traction - the organization MAPS ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multidisciplinary_Association_for_Psychedelic_Studies ) has been pushing for this for a very long time.

> I think for some people though, their depression is a symptom of shit-life syndrome - and if you had 'unfixable shit life syndrome' (i.e. your circumstances were mostly outside your control - such as crushing "medical debt" in the US, or bullying) - I'm not sure how well psychedelic experiences would help with that.

Absolutely, 'shit life syndrome' with no prospect of it changing, no glint of hopefulness, especially when adult education has been cut, and mental health services have been cut, and there's been a rise in short term and less secure work, and the cost of living relative to wages has risen too, and rents have risen so it's harder or impossible to buy a home (of which there's a shortage which keeps prices higher). It's a morass which would depress many people, to get out of bed to that reality each day - give or take the need to use mental health services. 

Just posting this has made me slightly lower in mood, and I've a source of hope. 

Post edited at 23:40
 marsbar 07 Jan 2021
In reply to Mountain Spirit:

It’s very interesting, but not something to try at home in my opinion.  

Are you struggling at the moment with anxiety, or just interested?  

If you are anxious one of the most amazing things that is simple but really helps is to do breathing exercises.  It has been shown to help.  

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/ways-relieve-stress/

 waitout 07 Jan 2021
In reply to Mountain Spirit:

Timely. I spent the week with a US Navy doctor who is soon to appear before congress to recommend DMT based concoctions for PTSD affected military. This guys an anesthesiologist whos knows his stuff and says it's within the realm of serious trials, in a small part due to recent relaxing of laws around drugs in some US states where PTSD affected people have long been self-treating, plus some off-record trips outside the US to places where there's long histories of knowing this. This guy believes the clinical setting isn't helpful, and that the exo-cultural stuff of shamans and singing helps.

About all I got, but made for interesting learning during long winter nights in a flapping tent. 

In reply to SenzuBean:

> I think for some people though, their depression is a symptom of shit-life syndrome - and if you had 'unfixable shit life syndrome' (i.e. your circumstances were mostly outside your control - such as crushing "medical debt" in the US, or bullying) - I'm not sure how well psychedelic experiences would help with that.

Totally agree. I think that we medicalise misery and call it "depression and anxiety" far too eagerly - this guy talks about it quite honestly here: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDhqTf5eJH4&ab_channel=HealthyGamerGG

In reply to marsbar:

Just interested. I do deep breathing as part of yoga abd before I sleep for a goodnight sleep. 

 Cobra_Head 07 Jan 2021
In reply to Cobra_Head:

Purple skies and super long green grass almost touching the sky, lamppost bending and feet breathing, all good fun.

And then a chewing gum ball that "shattered " all my teeth and then the breathing issue, which in reality was fine, but I was over breathing. After that I stopped using them, about my fifth time.

Months later smoking a joint had the same issue thinking I wasn't breathing. Then months after that a sudden flashback, while watching a demo at college, made my decide drugs weren't really worth it. I knocked them all on the head for quite a few years.

Can't imagine trying to cure anxiety on your own with them.

Post edited at 23:59
 SenzuBean 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Totally agree. I think that we medicalise misery and call it "depression and anxiety" far too eagerly - this guy talks about it quite honestly here: 

Out of interest, why do you think we medicalise misery? A necessary choice to continue with wage-slavery capitalism, or something else?

 SenzuBean 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Timmd:

> Absolutely, 'shit life syndrome' with no prospect of it changing, no glint of hopefulness, especially when adult education has been cut, and mental health services have been cut, and there's been a rise in short term and less secure work, and the cost of living relative to wages has risen too, and rents have risen so it's harder or impossible to buy a home (of which there's a shortage which keeps prices higher). It's a morass which would depress many people, to get out of bed to that reality each day - give or take the need to use mental health services. 

That's why we fight, to try and make the world a more just and fair place.

> Just posting this has made me slightly lower in mood, and I've a source of hope. 

At the same time as saying we shouldn't accept ongoing injustices, we should acknowledge that suffering is an innate part of life. In Buddhism - this is one of the four noble truths - called 'Duhka'. Suffering is a normal part of nature - it mustn't be fun to be a fish when a parasite bites off your tongue and becomes the new 'tongue', or a parasite devours your eyes from the inside while the world turns grey, or a bird to be stuck to a birdcatcher tree and to slowly starve. These and countless other examples are natural, however grotesque they are.

Accept the present (for it's unchangeable), but vigorously fight for the future.

Not sure if this is a helpful perspective, but it helps me

 freeflyer 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Mountain Spirit:

> Just interested. I do deep breathing as part of yoga abd before I sleep for a goodnight sleep. 

That sounds like a good start. The breath and yoga, especially if combined with meditation is a path for lots of folk.

There is no need for suffering; you have every chance to move beyond it. Sitting on your mat and just breathing is hard, but it does work. Nothing else is required.

Good luck!

ff

 waitout 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Mountain Spirit:

I might mention, having been into the stuff, DMT is definitely NOT the drug to reach for initially. It's as relaxing as being in the space shuttle for lift of probably is. A longer duration version like Ayahuasca perhaps, but straight DMT would be like skydiving without practice first, even if you coped with it, anything beneficial would have gone unnoticed in the direct blast of what-the-f*ck-ness.

Something to work towards though.

 davidalcock 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Mountain Spirit:

Manic depressive, supposedly. My yearly trip of good acid works wonders. Lovely clean brain after. I'd never taken it until three years ago. It works for me because much of my life has been lived *as if* I was on a dose. To take something I know I have control of in a fixed timescale perhaps exhausts certain transmitters, and takes away that fear of uncertainty. Not for everyone, sure, but that clean and peaceful feeling for a couple of months afterwards is so welcome and gives me stamina. 

Post edited at 03:01
 davidalcock 08 Jan 2021
In reply to davidalcock:

(about 3 tabs of quality - not the speedy shit - I'm so familiar with 'the vivids' I can function fine)

(but best on a sunny day in the Rhinogydd with a safe place

In reply to waitout:

I've never experimented with any narcotic. 

In reply to SenzuBean:

> Out of interest, why do you think we medicalise misery? A necessary choice to continue with wage-slavery capitalism, or something else?

Good question, not really thought about it before. I guess to the guy with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. We've created rather a lot of misery with bullshit jobs; and bullshit relationships, bullshit parenting etc. contribute their fair share too.

What to do about it? There are no easy answers, but we do have a medical system that can diagnose illnesses and prescribe treatment in the form of drugs and talking therapies. So that's what we use. I suspect that the widespread use of antidepressant drugs is motivated mostly by the medical profession's genuine desire to help people who come to them with a problem, and it's the treatment that most easily comes to hand. 

Post edited at 11:57
 marsbar 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Also antidepressants work in most cases. I probably wouldn't be here now without them.  I consider that a win.  

 Timmd 08 Jan 2021
In reply to SenzuBean:

I find Sisyphus from the Greek myths quite helpful (the one banished to the underworld to push a boulder up a hill), as a reminder that we all have a boulder to push in some form. There was a programme on R4 quite a few years ago about how the Greek myths relate to different aspects of the human condition, and the character of Sisyphus stuck.

Post edited at 13:13
 Timmd 08 Jan 2021
In reply to marsbar:

> Also antidepressants work in most cases. I probably wouldn't be here now without them.  I consider that a win.  

I don't know if I wouldn't be here, but my life would be pretty miserable and dysfunctional without them. Gradually creating a life I'm pleased with is my current aim, before experimenting with coming off them, bu if they make my life more livable/I find I need to take them still when I 'am' happy with my life as well, that would be fine, enough people drink very often ,or take E or smoke dope, and the medicalising misery theory could arguably apply to those. 

Post edited at 13:50
 Cobra_Head 08 Jan 2021
In reply to SenzuBean:

> Out of interest, why do you think we medicalise misery? A necessary choice to continue with wage-slavery capitalism, or something else?


We do it with everything don't we?

Pain for example, the first sign of pain and many people are reaching for the tablets.

My missus always say , "well take some tablets", if I've hurt myself or have a headache, backache, etc.

I prefer to know the pain is there rather than pretend the issue isn't there. Obviously I'm not superman, and do take tablets, but it's usually a last resort. It starts when they're babies, with Calpol and other stuff, to stop them crying. Probably more for the parents than the kids.

I also realise that sometimes they can be beneficial in relieving fever and inflammation etc.

 stp 08 Jan 2021
In reply to SenzuBean:

> Out of interest, why do you think we medicalise misery? A necessary choice to continue with wage-slavery capitalism, or something else?


It's the cheapest option. A pack of pills is much cheaper than a series of sessions with a trained professional to get to the bottom of one's problems. The underfunded health service often won't have the capacity for anything else. And if the cause is poor life opportunities then professional counselling can't change that anyway.

 DD72 08 Jan 2021
In reply to SenzuBean:

Yeah it is an interesting point. The type of work we do, the way we organise our societies and the relatively limited variation in personality types that allows is certainly part of it.

There is also a bit of a landgrab by the medical profession post-enlightenment of things that used to be a matter for the church. People were possessed by demons rather than being sick. In some ways it might be seen as progress but in others it is just switching one form of control for another. (Foucault covered all this in 'Madness and Civilisation').

It would be interesting to see if we ever got to some form of universal basic income, and the pressure to be and feel a certain way in order to interact with people successfully enough to be able to support yourself was reduced, whether people would be more tolerant of/able to express a wider range of mental states as a 'normal' part of the experience of living. 

In reply to marsbar:

> Also antidepressants work in most cases. I probably wouldn't be here now without them.  I consider that a win.  

It is indeed a win, and I know a lot of people who antidepressants have helped enormously. I'm not saying I think they're bad, just that I think we are too eager to medicalise misery, diagnose it as an illness and prescribe tablets to treat it. In many cases, that might be absolutely appropriate, and perhaps particularly in those cases, the drugs might work really well.

But, you're over-egging their efficacy a bit in light of how much they're prescribed. They are better than placebo. But the NNT (number needed to treat) is somewhere around 10 for SSRIs, i.e. you need to treat 10 people to help 1. It's not brilliant, and it's not "most cases". But they do work sometimes, and they don't do too much harm - if you don't like the side effects you generally come off them, you don't tend to die (although a few people do paradoxically become suicidal).

I've been told by a GP that "some people naturally don't produce enough serotonin [to be normal and not mentally ill like you] and SSRIs correct this imbalance" and this is total bollocks. It doesn't mean that SSRIs aren't useful, just that I disagree with the story being told about their use in some cases.

Post edited at 22:19
In reply to Timmd:

> if they make my life more livable/I find I need to take them still when I 'am' happy with my life as well, that would be fine, enough people drink very often ,or take E or smoke dope, and the medicalising misery theory could arguably apply to those. 

Yes, exactly. I don't see it as any different, but I am personally more comfortable taking a mind-altering drug that has a very noticeable effect for only a few hours, than one that I take every day so it has a semi-permanent effect on my mental state. 

If one is miserable, it doesn't necessarily have to be regarded as an illness, but it might still be a good idea to take an SSRI daily if the pros outweigh the cons for that person in those circumstances. For another person, they might do better if they took part in a shamanic ayahuasca ceremony, with all the vomiting and mumbo-jumbo that accompanies it; another might benefit from taking MDMA with a close friend or therapist every few weeks and talking with great, pharmacologically forced openness about what's bothering them. Another person might be better dumping their terrible boyfriend and quitting their shitty job (maybe getting pissed with their mates a few times along the way), and cracking on with life unencumbered by the bollocks that's eroding their self-worth.

I think we live in a society that's very quick to diagnose all of these people, who could benefit from totally different approaches to their predicament, with the same medical diagnosis of "depression and anxiety" and then turns straight to antidepressant drugs and CBT as the cures for their mental illness. Maybe there are more options, better suited to each individual, but we discounted them because they didn't fit the existing medical model?

Post edited at 22:17
 waitout 08 Jan 2021
In reply to Mountain Spirit:

> I've never experimented with any narcotic. 

I realize that. I was trying to alert you to making a very alarming mistake.

You're raising questions about ingesting chemicals that have guaranteed life altering effects so those who have gone before have some obligation to reference their experiences. These things are not toys or harmless hobbies to be understated in polite conversation for shits and giggles. Leave the lid on the box if passing curiosity, psychedelic tourism or pseudo-pharmacology is your only contribution. There's enough well-intended misinformation already about things like ayahuasca filling the signal with noise.

In reply to waitout:

Thid thread was meant to be a continuation of the previous thread - in a way. 

In reply to Mountain Spirit:

> Thid thread was meant to be a continuation of the previous thread - in a way. 

I think Waitout's the only one who's worried you had a meth pipe loaded up with DMT and were just about to go for it.

If you're interested in the subject, there's a really entertaining documentary series on Channel 4 called Hamilton's Pharmacopeia. Hamilton Morris is a professional druggie, basically, and an intelligent guy (although his earlier output for Vice, available on YouTube is not exactly edifying). Not all the episodes are great, but some are:

https://www.channel4.com/programmes/hamiltons-pharmacopeia

It's not just about psychedelics, and some of the more interesting episodes are about more mundane drugs, but which have really interesting stories around them (e.g. the South African quaalude one).

I'd also highly recommend Michael Pollan's book 'How To Change Your Mind' which focuses a lot on the therapeutic use of psychedelics. Lots of his lectures on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcAj1oxMT9U&ab_channel=TheRoyalInstitution

Post edited at 18:39
In reply to Jon Stewart:

The Hamiltons series looks interesting. I watched the ketamine episode recently. It shed a lot of light on what I pre conceived to be a grubby drug. I don't think I will try it but I feel more educated and less prejudicial about it now. 

 waitout 11 Jan 2021
In reply to Mountain Spirit:

> Thid thread was meant to be a continuation of the previous thread - in a way. 

In which case I owe you an apology, I had the wrong end of the stick. Though not quiet as dramatic as JS's image I did think perhaps you were evaluating using these things based off the conversations on these threads.

There's good information out there - and garbage too. On DMT I still think McKenna gives the best commentary because despite all his hippy pseudo-science, he approaches it as an explorer not a cult leader and I think that's the most dignified way. He elocution and turns of phrase are also very listenable, he places this in a context far bigger than getting high or bullshit about evolution. He was also sort of the original, and you soon realize that most since have simply hijacked out-of-context bits of his commentary as their own. We won't mention names.

Nothing better than a long drive in the country with a coffee and a McKenna talk playing. His talks are much better than his writing.

 climbit123 16 Jan 2021
In reply to Mountain Spirit:

There was a very interesting guest on the Joe Rogan podcast this week, Dr Carl Hart.

“Professor Carl Hart is an expert in the fields of neuropsychopharmacology and behavioral neuroscience. A longtime champion for evidence-based drug policies, Hart has written a number of influential books in the field. His newest is "Drug Use for Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear".”

The guy’s an open heroine user and said he finds alcohol too heavy.

 Mike505 16 Jan 2021
In reply to NorthernGrit:

I think it depends on how one approaches it, as with anything research, research and more research. I've know friends jump into the deep-end on their 1st or 2nd trip, fortunately they are emotionally stable people who handled it ok, though I'd still call this irresponsible. I can imagine someone who suffers from depression or anxiety could end up spending a few hours in a living hell if a similar approach was taken, so best to start small with someone you trust completely staying nearby (and quiet).

My personal belief is that these drugs posses tremendous potential, though it'd be a real shame if use of them was restricted to a clinical setting. I would imagine that ingesting Fungus that contains psilocybin and spending time in a woodland or other natural settings could be quite beautiful and may leave one with a renewed sense of wonder.

 AllanMac 16 Jan 2021
In reply to Mountain Spirit:

I'd like to think that even complex treatment-resistant depression and anxiety is still able to be alleviated with a two-pronged approach of talking therapy and controlled psychedelic drugs. Given that we tend to want to fix only what is immediately apparent and visible leaving the less visible stuff to continue festering, addressing one without the other is unlikely to succeed. To use a sick tree analogy, it's no good fiddling about with branches when the problem is as much in the roots and soil - and vice versa.

Good talking therapy is capable of mitigating the root of depression and anxiety through the acceptance of a shit life (it is not a cure). However, the established wiring in the brain is very likely to transmit and receive life in general, in a too well-accustomed depressed state, perhaps dysfunctionally overwhelmed by a pessimistic outlook. It is possible that as a result the depression might then persist, or recur, because only part of the 'whole person' has been addressed.

If research into them is to be believed (and personally I do believe it), the use of controlled psychedelics seems capable of 'rewiring' a mind that has lived with depression/anxiety for so long, much quicker and more effectively than conventional antidepressants currently do, and, contrary to what might be believed with psychedelics, with less dependency.

 Mike505 17 Jan 2021
In reply to Timmd:

To clarify, I assume you're talking 'Liberty Caps' / 'Psilocybe Scementia'? Potency is extremely important to understand, 30 Psilocybe Scementia vs 30 Cubensis will have wildly different effects. 

 Escher 17 Jan 2021
In reply to Mike505:

Liberty caps are called "psilocybe semilanceata'

 Mike505 17 Jan 2021
In reply to Escher:

Sorry typo + my spelling is generally horrific, especially when it comes to fungi genus/latin names.

 Timmd 17 Jan 2021
In reply to Mike505:

> To clarify, I assume you're talking 'Liberty Caps' / 'Psilocybe Scementia'? Potency is extremely important to understand, 30 Psilocybe Scementia vs 30 Cubensis will have wildly different effects. 

Yes, Liberty Caps. 

In reply to Timmd:

> Yes, Liberty Caps. 

What I find strange about our relationship with this little mushroom is that our culture just doesn't seem to acknowledge it. I'd have thought that given how it grows everywhere, pretty much wherever there's grass, it's "magical" or religious properties would be recognised by the myths and whatnot we'd have invented in our early history.

Presumably at some time in the past, we had people (witches?) using them to contact their ancestors or whatever, but there's not much sign of any such tradition visible in our culture. Prior to the current "psychedelic renaissance" it's only been teenagers and hippies who've taken any interest in them. It's not like everyone was really into tripping prior to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Guess it's just not a lot of people's cup of tea - which I find strange because I find the experience so utterly fascinating and profoundly revealing about the nature of human consciousness.

Post edited at 13:21
 Timmd 14:04 Sun
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I'm never quite sure how far to trust insights under the influence of drugs, from not quite knowing where the line is between a genuine insight, and a perception being created by the drug. I can remember while during my teens talking about mushrooms being 'mind expanding' for want of a better term to a brother who is rather scientifically minded, and he came out with 'Well, I don't suppose you know if it's just an illusion created by the mushrooms'.

I dare say, potentially, a life's journey of 'sitting and pondering' could lead somebody to find stillness or inner peace, as much as mushrooms and other drugs which may give one insights could help give insights towards.

Post edited at 14:18
In reply to Timmd:

> I'm never quite sure how far to trust insights under the influence of drugs, from not quite knowing where the line is between a genuine insight, and a perception being created by the drug. I can remember while during my teens talking about mushrooms being 'mind expanding' for want of a better term to a brother who is rather scientifically minded, and he came out with 'Well, I don't suppose you know if it's just an illusion created by the mushrooms'.

Interesting question - I see things a different way. I'm not some terrible hippy who thinks that a drug can provide access to actual information about something that you didn't know already. That would be preposterous - how could a molecule acting on neurotransmitters do that?

I'm not sure what you mean by "illusion". Drugs change your conscious experience, but they rarely make you believe something incorrect about the world. If the toilet bowl disintegrates into fractals while you're having a piss, you don't believe that anything has actually happened to the toilet boil - you just can't see it properly because you're tripping your nuts off. If you experience an overwhelming emotion while tripping, it's not an "illusion" - you really are feeling that emotion. If you feel a deep insight about, say, how we really are animals that sleep and shit and fight and f*ck just like all the others, then that's not an "illusion" - and nor is it any new information about the world, you knew it already. It's just that when you're tripping, you might really *feel* it, really *appreciate* it: the idea isn't processed intellectually as it might be when sober, its vividly *experienced*. 

An illusion is where something seems to be the case, but really (in external reality) it's different. Drugs don't create illusions, they create experiences. All experiences are real, they are what they are. Sometimes an experience can be a misinterpretation of external reality, and these I don't consider to be useful experiences  (e.g. some people, drugs or no drugs might believe they're literally communicating with a spirit or god or something, when this is clearly bollocks, whether it's through prayer or tripping, no difference).

All this said, some people do find that LSD makes their mind work in such a way that some sort of creative or problem-solving function is enhanced rather than impaired: famously, Francis Crick is said to have first visualised the double helix structure of DNA while tripping. And from personal experiences with psychedelics, I tend to realise that it would be better if I called my dad more often, and generally told the people I love that I do indeed love them. OK, it's not discovering the structure of the genetic code, but it's still useful.

> I dare say, potentially, a life's journey of 'sitting and pondering' could lead somebody to find stillness or inner peace, as much as mushrooms and other drugs which may give one insights could help give insights towards.

Sure, if you want mental stillness or inner peace, I'd recommend years of meditation rather than psychedelic drugs. But if you want to experience a radically altered state of consciousness for about 4 hours which might provide you with a different outlook on what your brain is capable of, and how this relates to your sense of who and what you are, then I'd recommend a high dose of psilocybin in an appropriate and conducive setting. For god's sake though, get the set and setting right if you're doing a hefty pile of mushrooms. 


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