It is estimated that there are about 3.4 million people with epilepsy nationwide. Contrary to what many might think, epilepsy is more than just seizures. Something all epileptics struggle with is depression and anxiety, which can be intensified by medication. Can psilocybin be used to treat it? As an epileptic, I will share with you my own experience with magic mushrooms.
My Epilepsy Experience
I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I began having seizures at age seven. One of many common misconceptions about the condition is that it always has to do with flashing lights. This is not true in numerous cases, including my own. The neurologists said that my seizures were caused by anxiety and/or suppressed anger. Lack of sleep was also found to be a contributing factor later in life. I’ve suffered from tonic clonic, partial onset and nocturnal seizures. But the seizures are only part of the story when it comes to epilepsy.
In the thirty years that I have had this disability I’ve been on six different anti-seizure medications. I have what’s called refractory epilepsy, which is when your medicines are no longer controlling your seizures. Often the cause is unknown and they’ll just keep going down a list of different medicines and doses to try out, each one with a set of adverse side-effects. Unfortunately, one that is shared among all anti-seizure medications is deppression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. I have struggled with all of these in varying degrees throughout the years, some medications making it worse than before. Sometimes I wondered if I was better off not taking medication and just having seizures more frequently if it meant not feeling like I wanted to kill myself everyday. I wondered if there was something that I could do about my depression that didn’t involve adding another pill to my prescriptions.
Magic Mushrooms as Medicine?
Sometime around 2018 I started learning about how psilocybin mushrooms were being used in therapy to treat things like depression and PTSD. As I began researching the subject I also learned that I had quite a bit to unlearn, as most of what I believed about magic mushrooms was all rooted in anti-drug propaganda that held little to no truth at all. I was very surprised to learn that they were the safest recreational drug on the planet, and that they are practically impossible to become addicted to because you just build a tolerance. It was all becoming very intriguing and I was trying to keep an open mind. Then in 2020 when COVID hit and nobody was really going anywhere, that’s when I decided it was time to go on my first trip.
One question that I needed answered before I altered my consciousness was, “Is it safe for me as an epileptic?” Everything that I read only cautioned me against MDMA (ecstasy, molly) and DMT as those can cause seizures. And I also read some testimonies from epileptics who had used psychedelics and never experienced any seizures using magic mushrooms or LSD. So based on the information that I had, I felt comfortable enough to try them at least once in my life to see if they might help with the depression that comes with the epilepsy.
I wanted to make sure I did everything the right way my first time. I had my wife act as a sitter and I was in the safety of my own home. I took four grams of a strain called B pluses. That was one of the best eight hours of my life that I’ll ever remember. There were very vibrant colors, I’ll never look at the movie Fantasia the same again, and the non-stop laughter. It’s a very spiritual experience as well. I felt extremely grateful for existence and was thanking God for creating such an organism that had this ability.
Even after coming down I noticed that I genuinely felt like I was in a better headspace. And I also didn’t feel like I needed to rush and do it again the very next night, reassuring me that I wouldn’t become addicted. It would be another four months before I would have them again. Four months! Taking four grams of psilocybin one night was able to treat my depression for that long. And it seems that using it once every three to four months significantly helps. I’ve told my neurologists that I use it, and they haven’t advised me to stop.
Due to misinformation and propaganda, magic mushrooms have had somewhat of a bad rap over the years. But I will say that from my own personal experience, I do believe that psilocybin has the ability to be used as medicine and should be legalized or at the very least decriminalized.
DISCLAIMER: This is not medical advice. Simply an account of my own experiences. I encourage anyone who might be considering experimenting with psychedelics to research the subject and practice it responsibly.