(Please note: Moodscope does not recommend taking new medication or changing your existing medication without consulting your doctor/therapist beforehand. Nor do we condone taking any recreational drugs.)
My psychologist is in her late twenties. She wears skinny jeans, or mini-skirts and fishnet tights with Doc Marten boots. She has long, curly, chestnut brown hair, greyish blue eyes set in an oval-shaped face topped off with a pair of round-rimmed glasses.
Like many Moodscopers, I have been through a few therapists in my time, but this one is different. Her name is Betty and I trust her completely. She filmed one of our sessions as part of a case-study and I was comfortable enough to let myself go on camera.
Right now, Betty is helping me manage my seemingly inexhaustible capacity for negative thinking.
Anti-depressants have always frightened me, I fear addiction, but finding myself dangerously close to the edge for the first time in ages, I broached the subject with Betty. It helped that I had just watched “How to change your mind” on Netflix, a docuseries based on the book by Harvard Professor, Michael Pollan. It talks about how psychiatrists are treating depression with therapeutic doses of psilocybin (magic mushrooms), MDMA (ecstasy), and mescaline, all of which are banned Class A substances.
The practice is called “microdosing”, and, in some instances, it is proving to be more successful, and to cause less adverse side-effects, than government approved psychoactive medication.
Talking of recreational drugs, in my early twenties I tried LSD with my then boyfriend. We were at his house, which he shared with a couple of aspiring actresses in the leafy suburbs of South London. The interior was painted black and red, for theatrical effect, but proved to be less than ideal for an out of body experience which involved imaginary dragons protruding from the walls.
On a separate occasion, I tried ecstasy. There were no hallucinations this time, just a profound sense of bliss as if wrapped in a bubble of love. I had been dancing all night, the sun was just creeping over the horizon, and I discovered I had developed a superpower: the ability to control my thoughts. Problems disappeared; inner turmoil vanished; - this is how patients describe the effects of microdosing in the Netflix series.
My depression stems from my childhood. I have a form of PTSD. Medically administered MDMA sounds like the perfect fix. Betty, on the other hand, is not buying it. She is of the mind that I need to resolve past trauma, naturally, without chemicals. Betty is right, of course.
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