Alli

I'm curious to hear other people's experiences with how psychedelics have affected their mental health (positive or negative). Has anyone ever taken something that helped them overcome depression, anxiety, or past traumas? Has your view on the world, other people, or yourself changed? On the other hand, has anyone ever had a psychedelic experience that you feel made your mental health worse in the long run? I'm interested to hear how people's lives have been affected, not just during the duration of the trip, but how it may have changed you as a person. 

Last update on June 29, 6:36 pm by PSYCHEDELIC.ORG.
John cashman
#1

Had depression from a young age. Started on cannabis when 15. Alcohol 16. First psychedelic at 19. Got a high stress government job and got hooked on synthetic cannabis for 3-4 years. Had a "psychotic episode" and lost my government job. Got diagnosed as severely depressed. Got put on anti psychotics, had a couple more admissions to pych wards. Then got diagnosed as bi polar. Sparked interest in plant medicines and phychedelics. Been scheduled by police to pych ward several more times. Got diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Been on a community treatment order for past several years taking anti psychotics and mood stabilisers. Got hooked on nitros oxide which resulted in me nearly being a paraplegic scary stuff. Now just focusing on psychedelics. To look at the effect psychedelics have on mental health first you need to establish what a drug is; "a substance which causes psychological change when induced". Water falls in this category no? The dehydrated man is much different to the hydrated man..?.. don't think people experiencing certain mental health conditions should be discriminated against and told not to use certain medicines/ phychedelics. That's discrimination! Have experienced some crazy unbelievable experiences both drug induced and non drug induced. I believe the decriminalisation is not the most important issue facing today's society but believe if the attitude towards drugs and drug ussers is changed this could lead in to a trickle effect into the real immediate issues facing our planet. Like the destruction of the amazon and possible oiling of the great Australian bight. Psychedelics have taught me lessons, questioned my thoughts and hypothesis, grounded me, humbled me, nourished me and most importantly educated me.. I agree drugs can be harmful but when administered safely in the right set and setting and in moderation I  believe the risk is minimal and the potential for growth immense. The war on drugs has failed miserably I know first hand from being both an enforcer of the law as well as a "drug addict" or drug abuser that things need to change and a more holistic approach to mental health in particular the consumption of phychedelics should be researched and sought after. It's natural for animals to get intoxicated eg: elephants, dolphins, cats, etc all eat or carry out certain behaviours which induce a high or intoxication. If decriminalised, psychedelics in particular have the potential to transform people's life's. Having a mental condition and using psychedelics is not easy and is not for the faint hearted but if you stay positive, open minded, persistent and grateful I believe with a bit of work and courage psychedelics can have a positive effect on ones mental wellbeing.

PSYCHEDELIC.ORG
#2

Thanks so much for sharing!

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Joe C
#3

I've always been skeptical of the idea that mentally ill people shouldn't take psychedelics. In some cases, mentally ill people might need psychedelics more than anyone. A lot of mental illness stems from an out of control ego, or ingrained patterns of thinking that someone has held for too long to be able to question. In the words of the great Terence McKenna:

“Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third-story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behaviour and information processing."

Mental illness might in some cases be nothing more than an opinion structure and a culturally laid down model of behavior and information processing which psychedelics have the potential to dismantle.

Also, the belief that people with mental illness shouldn't take psychedelics rests on 2 false assumptions:

1) Psychedelics make you crazy, so if someone is already crazy, psychedelics will make them more crazy. In reality, psychedelics can make you more sane, and the least sane amongst us might need psychedelics the most. This is of course a generalization and there are certainly exceptions to this.

2) There is a hard distinction to be made between people with mental illness and people without mental illness. In reality, there is a spectrum which everyone is on. Mental illness could happen to anyone, and mentally ill people are not fundamentally different from so-called normal people. To be a human being is to be insane, and people who think they are not insane at all are more insane than people who at least realize that they are insane.

The real distinction is between functionally insane people, and unfunctionally insane people.

Last update on June 29, 5:57 pm by Joe C.
Sam Ripples
#4

Wow. This is actually one of my favorite topics to talk about! Psychedelics are the reason why I realized that I was mentally ill. My parents never took me to doctors or psychiatrists when I was young, so I had undiagnosed social anxiety and CPTSD.

The first time I ever did LSD, I realized that I hated myself. I'd never known that before and it started me on the mental health journey I have been on for the last seven years. After that came a mushroom experience that allowed me to understand and accept that I had anxiety--not just a weird stomach issue. And finally, I recovered suppressed memories of a childhood trauma during a more recent LSD trip that have led me to a great understanding of my CPTSD and emotional flashbacks.

So yes, I'd say that these substances can definitely be tools of healing. Not only have they allowed me to understand myself in a greater capacity, they have also pushed me towards self-actualization. I guess once you see the truth of your mind, you can either turn away in fear or try to do your best with what you have.

The only time that psychedelics have affected my mental health negatively was when I took them too often or was seeking experiences out too hard. Usually I end up having an anxious, unpleasant trip, but ultimately it shows me the reasoning behind that--I wasn't looking deeper into myself, I was looking to escape.

I feel grateful that psychedelics affect me so positively. I know quite a few people who have had one bad experience and sworn off of them forever. But I'm happy to be on this journey for sure!

Alli
#5

Thank you for sharing! I can relate to some of the stuff that you're saying. I have had stomach issues since I was a child and it wasn't until I was older that I realized that it is not just a physical issue, it's emotional and psychological in nature. I'm glad that psychedelics helped you come to realizations and have taken you on a journey to heal yourself.