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Journal of Psychedelic Support

Transcend Your Experience, Transform Your Life

  • by Jeremy Jules Edwards
    Considering the limitations of ketamine for depressionPhoto by Taylor Deas-Melesh on UnsplashClearly, I’m not a medical professional. This isn’t medical advice. I am a writer and lab rat exploring alternative mental health therapies in self-interest and for survival.If you’re like me (roughly 50% of the population who responds positively), you’ll find that ketamine truly is a miracle molecule for the treatment of chronic depression. Especially compared with things like SSRIs, benzos, and therapy alone, it’s remarkable how rapidly the stuff works. When I take it, I notice about a 90% total reduction of symptoms for my bipolar depression and roughly a […]
  • by Jeremy Jules Edwards
    The dissociative experience of ketamine is often described as a side effect. For me, it’s experiential psychotherapy.This is not medical advice, and I’m not a physician. Do not do what I did, as described below.Ketamine lozenges being prepared at a compounding pharmacy. Image via OsmindAn afternoon in eternityEven as an experienced psychonaut, nothing could have prepared me for the dissociative drug experience.When I took my first few doses of legally prescribed oral ketamine, written off-label via telehealth and shipped discreetly to my doorstoop, I was often alone in my living room. During the early treatments, with my dog tucked under the couch […]
  • by Mark Friedlander
    (Part 5 of the story of my psychedelic-enhanced journey to mental health)My ketamine session had been wildly successful at helping me understand the origins of my sense of shame and the underlying trauma. Just a minute or so after the ketamine had started flowing into my bloodstream, I had become cognitively aware of patterns of events that had eluded me during several months of therapy. But nearly a third of the ketamine session had involved another issue entirely, one which was completely unexpected and which I had never addressed in therapy with David.As I explained in the last chapter, remembering an event […]
  • by Mark Friedlander
    (Part 4 of the story of my psychedelic-enhanced journey to mental health)I met David, my therapist, at the ketamine clinic. Because of COVID, it was the first time I had met him in person. All of our prior therapy sessions had been via tele-health. I had feared that meeting in person might be awkward, but it wasn’t. He looked and sounded the same as on the computer screen, and I was immediately comfortable with him.We were at the ketamine clinic to try to find my childhood trauma — assuming there had been one. David believed that my sense of shame and obsessive personality suggest […]
  • by Mark Friedlander
    (Part 3 of the story of my psychedelic-enhanced journey to mental health)Andrea and I had mutually decided to switch to a different couples counselor, but we had no one in particular in mind. After some internet research, we contacted a therapist named David, and he arranged an “intake call” with us to check each other out.The call lasted maybe fifteen minutes, and we both liked David immediately — for different reasons. Andrea liked his well-organized interview, his explanation of the three-therapist approach, and that her individual therapist would be a woman. I liked how intelligent and articulate he was, that he liked the idea […]
  • by Mark Friedlander
    (Part 2 of the story of my psychedelic-enhanced journey to mental health)I was energized after my therapist had helped me to discover that my life had been dominated by a sense of shamefulness that I had believed unquestioningly but was really a fiction that I had invented as a young boy. I had spent much of the last few days reformulating the narrative of my life, seeing for the first time the role that my shame had played in my younger self’s actions and decisions. I wasn’t inherently a curmudgeon! It was my false sense of shame that caused me to […]
  • by Mark Friedlander
    (Part 1 of the story of my psychedelic-enhanced journey to mental health)I’m the last person you would ever suspect of experimenting with psychedelic drugs. But this is the story of how at age 64 I completely changed my personality in just a little over a year. It involved talk therapy and a lot of introspection — but the real game-changer was a couple of very successful experiments with psychedelic drugs.I grew up privileged with two loving parents in an affluent suburb. My friends and neighbors probably think that I have a near-perfect life. I went to Harvard Law School, worked as a partner […]
  • by Mark Friedlander
    (Introduction and Table of Contents)I never thought I needed “fixing.” When I started this journey, I was a 64 year old outwardly successful, happily married suburban lawyer who never gave a second thought to my mental health. I would never have believed that a couple of years later I would have remade myself into a very different, much happier person with the help of a good therapist and two incredibly successful “trips” on different psychedelic drugs.I realize that my experience with the psychedelic drugs will be what interests my readers most, so I have devoted the greatest detail to those […]
  • by Mark Friedlander
    (Part 6 of the story of my psychedelic-enhanced journey to mental health)In the days following my ketamine session, I felt triumphant and euphoric. Not only had I gotten past my “mental block” and discovered the source of my trauma, but I had reason to believe that I may have conquered the resulting shame — although I didn’t remember lifting my arms to the sky and saying, “It is lifted,” as David told me I had.And I had a new self-improvement target. I now knew why I had been so logical and unemotional my entire life: my “shield of invulnerability” was blocking my emotions and […]
  • by Mark Friedlander
    (Part 7 of the story of my psychedelic-enhanced journey to mental health)I felt frustrated and discouraged. My progress at ridding myself of my sense of shame had halted and seemed to be reversing. The talk therapy was making no progress on lowering my emotional shield. And what looked like the most promising path forward, trying to enhance my neuroplasticity with psilocybin (magic mushrooms), seemed to be off the table because it was illegal.Or was it? From online research, I could see that Oregon had legalized psilocybin, albeit prospectively. And some progressive cities, like Denver and Ann Arbor, had decriminalized it. As a […]