I was listening to Fresh Air this morning and Terry Gross was interviewing Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, about his new book on the recent usage of Psilocybin and LSD to treat depression and anxiety.
This is how one of the trials go:
You put on headphones (which play a carefully curated playlist of mostly instrumental music) and shaded glasses. You lay down on a comfortable couch and are accompanied by a male and female therapist. You get administered a small dose of Psilocybin and you begin your trip. And one of the really interesting things about this interview (which I pretty much thought was interesting in its entirety) was the advice patients were given if they encountered a monster during their trip.
“Do not run away. Plant your feet. Walk right up to the monster and say ‘What do you have to teach me? What are you doing in my mind?”
Apparently, they’ve found that when patients follow this advice, their encounter with a trip monster quickly turns positive.
I am going to try and volunteer to get into one of these studies. I’ve been on virtually all the SSRI’s over the last couple of decades and sure some have helped but I’d say it took a cataclysmic psychological trauma to propel me forward beyond numb moderate depression to feeling like a human being who actually likes himself and has a real, solid plan and actual optimism (or something like it) about said plan. I don’t think it was the meds. So frankly I’m open to trying something new. Isn’t that what sanity is?
Besides, I’ve always been enthusiastic about self-medication and altered state perception.
I’m very curious about what monsters I would encounter if I encountered any. I’ll have to think about this for a while.
I’ll go eat some food and maybe some monsters will come to mind.
I had lunch and no particular monsters, except my fear of death, came to mind. That’s ok; it can be a surprise!