I would like to preface this article by saying that psychedelics affect everyone differently. You may have a very different experience than myself. I am not suggesting that psychedelics are guaranteed to help anyone the way that they helped me.
Research has shown that psychedelics such as LSD and magic mushrooms can have a positive impact on mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Like most treatments for depression, the results are never guaranteed and you should not rely solely on psychedelics for treatment. With that being said, here’s my experience:
Since I was around 9 years old, I knew that my mood and temperament were far from typical compared to that of a regular kid. I would throw daily temper tantrums that involved me throwing everything in my room at the walls and screaming that I just wanted to die. These temper tantrums were rarely caused by anything significant. My mood was just generally low and I was always on the brink of lashing out.
I had difficulties in my relationships with friends and family. By the time I was in high school, I was completely miserable and unhappy with my life. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety when I was fifteen, but my doctor and mom decided against me taking antidepressants. I was living in Port Alberni, which for a mixed kid, was extremely challenging. I often heard racist jokes from my peers. I felt like an alien in my hometown.
I went through a few counsellors, which did help a little bit, but I still couldn't find any contentment or stability with life. I simply did not want to be alive. I grew up hoping my life would get better after high school, but as I began college, I realized that my life would not improve just by moving cities. I was having daily panic attacks and suicidal thoughts. One night, I brought myself to the hospital because I feared I would seriously try to take my own life. I was convinced nothing was going right and that nothing was ever going to improve.
After the visit, I ended up on antidepressants for a couple of months, but they only seemed to worsen my mood. My doctor did tell me that my medication might make me feel worse before getting better, but, at that point, I felt like I couldn’t let my depression get worse. I stopped taking the medication and didn’t try antidepressants again for seven years.
In 2019, I moved to Vancouver from Victoria to pursue a career in counselling. I had finished my bachelor’s degree in psychology and I was excited at the prospect of helping people improve their mental health in a way I could never do for myself. It was difficult making friends in Vancouver and I started feeling more alone and depressed than I had since high school. The antidepressants that I was taking did help level out my mood a bit, but I was still far from where I felt I needed my mental health to be. I wondered how I could effectively help my clients when I couldn’t even help myself.
I was looking for alternative treatment options when I stumbled upon research examining the effectiveness of LSD and magic mushrooms for treating depression and anxiety. I read about people who experienced improvements and I was eager to see if I could experience the same. I had done magic mushrooms several times while in Victoria and LSD a handful of times without experiencing any long lasting changes to mental health. Was I doing it wrong? Would things be different if I tried again? Did I need to take a higher dose? A lower dose maybe? Multiple doses? These questions raced through my head as I searched for a place to buy psychedelics.
By now, Lucy and I were together. She had tried magic mushrooms once and was interested in experimenting more with psychedelics in general. We ordered about an ounce of mushrooms and ate about an eighth each. We experienced some visuals and altered patterns of thought. My mood improved and my depression was no longer front and centre. I watched the walls move as new ideas jumped into my head. I thought about everything, from how the universe began to how I could save money on my next grocery trip. Without negative thoughts clouding my brain, I was finally able to think freely. It felt amazing. For once, I felt like I could start moving myself in the right direction.
Unfortunately, when my trip was over, so was my break from my depression. I tried mushrooms several times in the following months but I always ended up with the same result: while the trip would be amazing, the effects only lasted so long. Now I needed to try something new: I decided it was time to give LSD a try.
LSD was a bit more difficult to find. After a bit of searching, I was able to find an online dispensary that offered acid tabs for $15 each. After some experimenting with dosage, I took two tabs. Within hours I felt as though my anxiety and depression had vanished completely. My mood was the best it had been in years. I was absolutely amazed with the difference I felt in my mood and temperament for the two weeks following my trip and was coming up with new goals and strategies to improve my mental health every day.
I continued experimenting with LSD. I took around 100ug to 200ug every month or so. At this point, I had replaced my antidepressants—which didn’t seem to do much for me anyway—with LSD and magic mushrooms.
This lasted and was effective for several months. However, there came a time that the effects were no longer as significant as they had been at the beginning, and my depression was returning and becoming difficult to manage once again.
I took a break from psychedelics for a few months and tried other techniques. I encouraged myself to be more active and social when possible. This helped improve my depression a bit, but my energy and mood were still low. After a few months passed without psychedelics, I decided to try taking LSD again. By now I had access to some of the highest quality LSD in the world.
My first trip back after a long time, I experienced vivid visuals and I couldn’t help but smile for hours on end. It worked! I was figuring out what was working for me.
I continued using psychedelics to treat my depression by taking a macrodose every two to three months. After a couple of trips, I noticed that my energy and mood were improving significantly. Somewhere along my journey and trips, I went from wanting to die for most of my life to being terrified of death and valuing life more than I thought was possible. I can’t even kill a bug anymore because I value their consciousness as I do my own. My new found fear of death had amplified my anxiety, but my depression was nowhere to be found.
It has been about four months since I seemingly cured my depression, and although my anxiety is still going strong, my life has improved more than I could have ever hoped. I am excited to have new experiences and have finally found joy in my life. I only wish that I could have found the value of being alive sooner. Though I still struggle with anxiety, I now have the energy and will to find a way to deal with it now that my depression is under control. This is a continuous journey, but it is absolutely worth it.
If you’ve had similar experiences, I would love to connect with you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on IG @hofmannhangout.
Thanks for reading.