Some parents are turning to "magic mushrooms" (that is, psylocibin mushrooms) and LSD in order to be better parents, Insider reports. Some say these unusual treatments help them deal with their own depression and trauma. Others say the drugs help them be more "present" with their children.
Breaking Destructive Thought Patterns
LSD has been around since the 1930s, and humans have been getting high on psychoactive plants and fungi since well before the dawn of history. But only since the 1990s has the psychiatric community been doing any real research into how LSD and psylocibin mushrooms (whose psychoactive ingredients acts in much the same way that LSD does) can be used to treat depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Researchers say that in people who suffer from depression, PTSD and similar disorders, the brain forms patterns that continually reinforce negative thoughts in the patient.
"All these disorders involve uncontrollable and endlessly repeating loops of rumination that gradually shade out reality and fray our connections to other people and the natural world," writes Michael Pollan in his book, "How To Change Your Mind."
LSD and magic mushrooms disrupt those patterns, allowing the patient to break free of these "loops," as well as to feel more connected to the world around them.
One mother, who asked to be identified only by her first name, Nina, says that she dealt with devastating post-partum depression for a year after her daughter was born. The problem was made worse by the fact that she herself was a victim of horrific childhood trauma. She began to fear that she would repeat that cycle as a parent.
Once she began taking micro-doses of LSD -- that is, a small-enough dose from which she derives the therapeutic benefit without actually experiencing a "trip" -- everything has changed. She says she's been able to let go of some of her pain, and has a renewed and refocused energy toward her daughter.
Similarly, Nicholas Powers, a poet and journalist, says that psychedelics have "cleared the path" between him and his son. Parents Danny Allan and his wife take a significant dose of magic mushrooms every couple of months, helping him to not only work through his own issues with his mother, but to also reconnect with his son.
Not Without Risks
Taking psychedelics is not without risks, although in the case of LSD and psylocibin mushrooms, the risks are extremely small compared with those of other drugs, such as alcohol or cocaine, according to TripSafe.org. The most common negative experience is a so-called "bad trip," in which the user experiences frightening hallucinations.