The invisible side of magic mushrooms, from moms to home growers – KIRO 7 news Seattle
SEATTLE – Using psychedelics to treat or even cure depression. This is what new studies show is possible.
Since Seattle City Council passed a resolution last month showing unanimous support for decimating personal use, cultivation and donation of things like “magic mushrooms,” people are sharing their experiences.
KIRO7’s Deedee Sun spoke to people who say psychedelics have changed their lives, including a mom who regularly microdoses psychedelic mushrooms.
Others show off their home grow systems used to grow magic mushrooms in their Seattle apartments.
Dana Phillips, 32, is a mother of two daughters. She lives in Skagit County and microdoses psychedelic mushrooms regularly, from a few days to a few weeks.
âWe sprinkle our mushrooms and put them in a little capsule,â Phillips said, taking a brown pill out of his bag. âIf I’m feeling stressed or anxious that day, I take a small microdose,â she said.
âA lot of people would be surprised to learn that a mother attacks fungi,â said Deedee Sun of KIRO7.
âYes, oh sure. And that’s part of the reason I didn’t really share my story, âPhillips said. âThere is a lot of stigma behind psychedelics in general,â she said.
The 1960s and the counter-culture movement gave psychedelics a bad name. Mushrooms and LSD have been labeled as dangerous party drugs that could make you lose your mind. And with the launch of the War on Drugs under the Nixon administration, studies of psychedelics were banned and any emerging research of the time was shelved.
Now that is all about to change. Further studies are being carried out by major universities on the therapeutic possibilities of psychedelics, and the research shows extremely positive results.
In a recent Johns Hopkins study, researchers found that two doses of psilocybin, the active compound in magic mushrooms, produced “rapid and significant reductions in depressive symptoms.” The patients were also guided by therapists. The study found that most of the participants showed improvement, and half were still in remission four weeks later.
A NYU study found that cancer patients with problems like depression and anxiety had mental health benefits even four years after treatment with magic mushrooms.
Phillips said she suffered from depression for the past decade. Her mental health deteriorated after an abusive relationship.
âMy first big boyfriend sexually assaulted me. It was pretty intense, âsaid Phillips. “Lots of mental abuse.”
She came out of this relationship and met her husband. But after the birth of her first child, the depression returned.
âI actually got to a point where I was having really, really hard thoughts about not wanting to exist. So it was really hard for me to move through my day and see that people who met me. ‘loved me and cared for me, “said Phillips.
She said that although therapy helped, the depression never went away. Then it got worse again after her second pregnancy.
âI got to a point where I was journaling things like, oh, I don’t know if I can stay in my relationship because she was just torn apart from my emotions,â Phillips said.
It was then that she and her husband began to research psychedelics – like magic mushrooms – as an option for treating depression.
âWe realized there was a lot of research and study,â Phillips said.
A quick search and you’ll find long lists of videos on YouTube – from TED talks to college videos – many of which are scientists explaining how psylocibin, the active compound that makes mushrooms ‘magic’, can impact the body. ‘spirit.
âWith psylocibine treatment, we were seeing immediate reductions in depressive symptoms, immediate relief that lasted for months without side effects,â Dr. Rosalind Watts said at a TED talk. Watts was a key researcher in a depression study launched by Imperial College London.
“This treatment produces a rapid and significant reduction in depressive symptoms, most patients being studied,” said Dr. Ronald Griffiths, of the Johns Hopkins Psylocibin Study.
For Phillips, this last Mother’s Day, her husband surprised her with magic mushrooms.
âI was really nervous. And I kinda agreed, âPhillips said. They dipped mushrooms – not a microdose, but what is called a ‘mega’ or ‘hero’ dose in a smoothie, drank it and waited.
âWhat are the first effects that you started to notice? Sun asked.
âIt probably takes about 20 minutes. And you really start to feel like – you know when you have really big butterflies and nerves? You kind of start to have it all over your body. And everyone is different, âsaid Phillips.
The research studies are guided by therapists, but Dana was doing it alone with her husband.
âI was really scared of what I was going to find in there. Because I knew psychedelics helped you open up and look at your own consciousness, âPhillips said.
Dana says the experience was profound – and immediate.
âI dealt with all of my emotional, abusive, traumatic – super traumatic relationships that I had throughout my 20s. And I got to see them from another perspective. I was able to forgive myself for myself. having put in those situations, “Phillips said.” My life has completely changed. I will never look at my depression the same way again, “she said.
If that sounds far-fetched to you – maybe a little too “magical” – here is the theory on how it works.
Scientists believe that conditions like depression and anxiety, and even PTSD and drug addiction, pass through the neurological pathways in your brain. Thought patterns become ingrained and hard to break.
One idea is that psychedelics can break these patterns and allow neural networks to connect in ways that people cannot on their own.
âI remember saying to my husband, oh my god, I feel so alive. And it’s like you’re back! Thanks for coming back to me. Because he feared that I would get lost in my darkness again. It makes me want to cry right now, âPhillips said. âIt’s not what I wanted for Mother’s Day, but it’s exactly what I needed,â she said.
Phillip’s experience in treating his depression is considered illegal.
But now in Seattle, city council has unanimously passed a resolution supporting decriminalization.
The resolution applies to most “entheogens” – or natural psychedelics from plants and fungi.
He says that “the investigation, arrest and prosecution of anyone engaged in entheogen-related activity … should be among the city of Seattle’s lowest enforcement priorities.”
This includes the possession, taking, giving or cultivation of these substances.
âThere aren’t a lot of resolutions that are passed unanimously and we were extremely excited,â said Ben Sercombe, a Seattle resident who volunteers with Decrim Nature Seattle. The grassroots group has fought for years to have psychedelics decriminalized.
Other cities like Washington DC; Denver; Oakland, California; and Cambridge, MA have all decriminalized psychedelics in one form or another. The state of Oregon has even legalized psilocybin therapy.
Voters in Detroit just decriminalized entheogens in a ballot for this election.
Sercombe said it was essential to include the growing part in the city council resolution.
“We consider this to be absolutely important because we know that if it was done only through a medical model, few people can afford the $ 2,000 treatments and this limits the number of people who can. have access to these drugs, âSercombe said.
He takes Seattle’s new stance and showed KIRO7 how he sets up a culture of psychedelic mushrooms.
âI wanted to show my face and educate people a bit more about the growing process because it’s not that big scary drug that a lot of people maybe associate with it,â Sercombe said.
He used mushroom spores – basically mushroom seeds – and started growing them in jars of wheat kernels.
Mushroom spores are legal to buy online because they do not contain the active compound in magic mushrooms – psilocybin.
âIt’s about mycelium, which basically means that the roots of the fungus have colonized this pot of grain,â he said.
Then it’s time to grow the mushrooms. Sercombe mixed the pot of mycelium with something the mushrooms could continue to grow in.
âWhat we have is a sterilized substrate, the coyer,â Sercombe said. He said it would take about a month for the psychedelic mushrooms to start growing.
Sercombe said psychedelic mushrooms changed his life. He suffered from depression and anxiety and was taking an antidepressant called “Celexa“.
âWhat I found was that the antidepressants weren’t working for me,â Sercombe said. âIt was in college and it made me feel so boring to the world. I just remember feeling like something had happened that was quite traumatic in my life and I just remember not being able to feel anything. And conversely, if something happy happened, I wouldn’t feel so happy. It was as if my emotions were being suppressed, âhe said.
He says a psilocybin trip opened his eyes.
âInstead of protecting you from a problem, it exposes you to the problem. So you are able to understand why I feel this way, what are the factors in my life that make me depressed and bring me down, âhe said.
In clinical trials, guided psychedelic experiences didn’t work for everyone. But in all the studies conducted by the major universities, most patients showed lasting improvement after one or two doses.
It could reshape mental health treatment options for the 17 million Americans who suffer from depression.
Phillips said that’s why she wanted to share her story.
âI really want people to see how much this helps. It makes me emotional because I know there are so many other people in this space who feel stuck, âshe said.
She now microdoses mushrooms sometimes to help keep her depression and anxiety at bay and believes that “magic mushrooms” have even helped make her a better mom.
âYou never change unless you step out of your comfort zone,â Phillips said. âIt’s time to shed some light,â she said.
Some people are concerned about the increase in DUI cases with magic mushrooms, as prosecutors have found with marijuana. But KIRO7 has not found any experts in the field who are against the decriminalization of entheogenic psychedelics.
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