My struggle with mental health & how magic mushrooms helped me.
I’ve known for as long as I can remember that there was something not quite right about my feelings and actions. As young as 8 I can remember pulling the hair out of my head as a way to cope with anxiety and stress.
As a young teen I was very depressed, but had it written off as angst, because what teenagers ISN’T depressed, right? My self-harm, along with alcohol and drug use started in grade 7. I was doing anything in my power to numb the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness and sadness, even things that were contributing to those feelings. In grade 8 a teacher noticed cuts and scars on my arms and promptly sent me to the school counsellor, and that was the first time I had felt any validation about my mental health, though nothing had come of the visit. At 16 I went back to the councillor on my own because I was spiralling and I had no idea how to bring it up to my parents. She suggested therapy, but without parents consent that wasn’t going to happen. I had a half-ass diagnosis of depression but still was not given any help with coping mechanisms, medication or even really an ear to continue the discussion.
The first time I had gotten a true diagnosis was when I turned 18 and made an appointment with my nurse practitioner, she had prescribed me Lexapro (escitalopram) for major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder as well as trichotillomania, a form of hair pulling OCD. From there I had been prescribed a laundry list of medications for the same diagnosis: Celexa, Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor and most recently Remeron. None of these medications have worked, and I’ve spent the past 12 years being switched off and on them until recently.
Over the years I’ve attempted suicide over 10 times, luckily I didn’t do a very good job, but most of these times were while I was taking various antidepressants which gave me little to no hope that I’ll ever be able to function “like everyone else”. Little did I know there are more people than there aren’t that are facing the same struggle.
It took me almost 2 decades of feeling hopeless and depressed to start experimenting with magic mushrooms as a treatment for my ailments. I started microdosing every day and tripping every few weeks and it brought back the colour to my life, that seemed so grey for so long.
Recently I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which explains the antidepressants not working for me, and was prescribed Seroquel to maintain even moods. I still microdose and trip as I normally would but I feel more in control of my emotions and responses to things. Now I’m almost 2 years past my last suicide attempt and it’s been over 10 months since the last time I had self harmed myself.
My doctor has been amazing, not giving up on me when the antidepressants weren’t working and the mushrooms have been amazing for making me feel hope for the first time quite possibly in my life.
The takeaway from this, I guess, is don’t give up. Push for proper diagnosis and don’t be afraid of prescribed medication if that’s what’s best for you. Work on yourself, don’t leave it up to someone else to ease your mind.
J – (1/2 of Happy Fungus)