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Psilocybin Therapy for Personal Growth
Mushrooms & Lamotrigine
by Explorer in Toronto
Citation:   Explorer in Toronto. "Psilocybin Therapy for Personal Growth: An Experience with Mushrooms & Lamotrigine (exp114152)". Erowid.org. Mar 25, 2020. erowid.org/exp/114152

 
DOSE:
6 g oral Mushrooms (tea)
  50 mg oral Pharms - Lamotrigine (daily)

BODY WEIGHT: 155 lb


Iím 54, was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder at age 35, and have been on Lamotrigine (Lamictal) 100 mg since age 38, dropped to 50 mg a year ago with no adverse consequences.

Iíve taken psychedelics many times before, most memorably 600 micrograms of LSD a year ago when I mistook the size of a tab as being 1/4 tab so took 8 instead of 2. I became trapped in a fractal recurring time loop for what felt like infinity. Great learnings out of that and Iíll someday write that trip report; I mention it only to to lay a foundation of experience and that 6g of mushrooms held little hint of fear or anxiety for me.
6g of mushrooms held little hint of fear or anxiety for me.


Five months ago I had a proper therapy session arranged with a pair of underground therapists with an intake and set session, followed by a five hour ďactiveĒ session on 4.5g of mushrooms, and then an integration session three days later. Did not have a mystical experience (I was lucid and talking to the therapists for most of it), but learned a lot about myself. I have read that change is most likely when enough psilocybin is taken to achieve a true mystical experience, so planned to do this session with a higher dose. This time around I understood the context of therapy much better so planned the session to have an MD friend of mine as the therapist/sitter, as opposed to an experienced psychedelic therapist. As it turned out, he didnít need to be there at all.

I took 6g of mushrooms boiled in tea. Tasted terrible, shouldíve added honey. My stated intent for the session was to find out how to make better decisions, i.e. decisions that I donít regret later as opposed to ones that are simply wrong, for example why I drink and eat more than I should at times.

I put on an eyeshade and headphones with a psychedelic therapy playlist on Spotify.

Spent the next 30 minutes wondering if Iíd taken enough, and then the next hour worrying Iíd taken too much. Then mostly all I remember is hanging in space with a bunch of abstract shapes also hanging there, slowly rotating around some large object. In retrospect I think I was a particle in the rings of Saturn, but that didnít occur to me at the time. Every time I had a thought, a photon would zoom out and ping around several other particles, and eventually come back to me as a subsequent thought.

I had been reading the book ďEverything is F*ckedĒ and so my mind was on the subject of emotional processing. Iíve found that my thoughts during a psychedelic trip are often related to recent material Iíve read or been discussing with friends.

There were three distinct segments to the trip. First I had a lot of random thoughts - wondering why boots look good on women, imagining myself as a pirate, trying to decide if I like the music. Then I got up to go to the bathroom, and when I returned, I went into a deeper trip, mystical, and I remember one scene in particular. I found myself bathed in purple light, and there were amorphous shadows around me, people, and there was conflict, but I couldnít tell what it was. Suddenly I was out of the purple light, but I could see it in the distance, with the figures fighting, but I was hiding in the dark. I became aware that I was at the bottom of the ocean, and also that I could go back to the light and conflict to investigate, but I didnít want to. Then a cylinder of light came down beside me and someone had a diving suit that they offered me, that I could get in to and they would take me back up to the surface so I wouldnít have to be scared. It was a bright white suit, with orange piping. Thatís important because it was so specific, so I know that I actually experienced this, it wasnít a dream.

As I got into the suit, it occurred to me, ďWait a minute, this is supposed to be therapeutic. Maybe Iím not supposed to get into the suit, maybe Iím supposed to stay here and investigate.Ē So I thanked the vague ďsomeoneĒ with the suit and said I was ok. Then suddenly a wave of emotion hit me, kind of a generalized anxiety, but it passed within a few seconds and I felt fine. I wondered to myself what that could possibly mean, and I realized it didnít have to mean anything. That whatever that conflict was, most likely childhood trauma of some sort, it didnít have to have an effect on my current life, and I could let it go, rather than wondering about it or being afraid of it. I had the powerful realization that since childhood I had put up protective walls to prevent me from feeling emotions, and as an adult that led me to avoid conflict, avoid emotional people.

Around this time, the therapist tapped me and asked if I was ok because I was crying with my eyes closed. I said I was fine and told him I just needed to process, rather than talk about it. We did talk for about 10 minutes, and then I went into the third and deepest part of the trip. Now I had a conversation with my daughter who has serious anorexia. Iím supportive but Iíve never emotionally connected with her pain and we had this beautiful dialog where I expressed my sorrow to her without feeling guilt, and it brought us closer. Then I had a conversation with my wife, who is moody and angry at times for little reason. When this happens I usually avoid her or become resentful, but this time I leaned into the anger, felt the power of it and used it to get closer to her. Instead of ďWhy are you so angry?Ē I felt/asked myself, ďWhy are WE so angry?Ē and then connected with her over it. I cried silently and continuously during this part of the trip.

After the trip, I had both of those conversations in real life and they were as powerful as they were during the trip.

Over the course of the following few days I had conversations with friends and took a lot of notes. I realized that sometimes I make bad decisions because I donít want to deal with emotions (e.g. anxiety or boredom cause me to drink or overeat). What a roundabout path for my brain to solve that problem! Itís been 4 months since that trip, and Iím still able to deal with emotions much more maturely.
Itís been 4 months since that trip, and Iím still able to deal with emotions much more maturely.
If I saw someone crying, I used to avoid them, and now Iíll ask them whatís wrong and can I help? Itís such a powerful change, but I also have to remember to continue practicing my new behaviour because sometimes the old neural pathways try to assert themselves. It gets easier over time though.

On my next trip I ended up exploring the childhood trauma a little bit and had some more stunning realizations that continue to make me a better person. I have a feeling that this process never ends. Onward.

Exp Year: 2019ExpID: 114152
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 54 
Published: Mar 25, 2020Views: 1,445
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Mushrooms (39) : Small Group (2-9) (17), Therapeutic Intent or Outcome (49), Guides / Sitters (39), General (1)

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