Some Moms Are Microdosing Mushrooms for Anxiety and Depression

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From The Washington Post: “‘All of my mom friends are microdosing mushrooms, and I want to try it, too,’ one of my patients said during our therapy session.

A 34-year-old woman with two children under age 4, my patient lives in the Bay Area — home to one of the epicenters of what is known as the ‘psychedelic renaissance,’ making it more common for moms to discuss microdosing at play dates.

As a therapist who specializes in psychedelics for perinatal mental health, I’ve worked with numerous such women who hope to treat their depression, anxiety and trauma with therapeutic psychedelic medicine. Many of them feel more comfortable taking something they feel is more ‘natural’ such as psilocybin, which they don’t have to take daily, rather than a daily pill like Prozac, which is one in a class of drugs called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI).

Microdosing, according to experts, is taking anywhere from 5 to 10 percent of a full dose of a psychedelic medicine such as magic mushrooms or LSD . . . While many people microdose for recreation, my patient thought it could amplify her psychotherapy. After her first child was born, she was plagued with crippling anxiety. At times, intrusive thoughts such as her baby falling down the stairs haunted her, making it hard for her to sleep and causing her to believe she was not cut out for motherhood.

While psychotherapy helped her feel better, the worries of harm striking her baby didn’t fully vanish, which sometimes kept her suspended in fear.

Microdosing for mental health

Perinatal mood concerns such as anxiety and depression affect up to 20 percent of new mothers, research shows.

Psychedelics are not accepted as robust evidence-based treatment for these disorders. But Sinmi Bamgbose, a perinatal psychiatrist in Los Angeles, said when it comes to treating these mental health concerns, as well as birth trauma, she is looking forward to having psilocybin as a legal medicine option to offer women who aren’t helped by medications such as SSRIs.

Brooke Novick, a licensed marriage and family therapist and co-founder of Axis Mundi, an online organization that offers support with intentional work with psychedelics, says microdosing can help people, but that doesn’t mean ‘the mushrooms do your work for you.’

‘There is no magic pill or plant that allows you to bypass the healing of childhood trauma, symptoms of anxiety or depression.’ Novick said. ‘This sacred medicine, when used with intention, respect and care, can powerfully support us on our paths of healing and evolution.’”

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Why exactly do we think regularly ingesting these powerful psychotropic drugs is somehow different from all the other things we talk about being lunacy on this website? I’m sure the effect is not robust, they are not targeting any underlying condition, adverse reactions are horrific, and the long term downstream effects of consistently messing with your brain chemistry is not going to be good.

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    • The rhetoric of ‘you still have to do the work but they can help’ is also eerily similar to what psychiatry morphed into after it became clear the drugs did not make you ‘better than well.’ Not that taking small doses of psilocybin isn’t probably better and safer than taking an ssri daily.

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