During his last ketamine treatment, Seth Wilson made it a point to see his late mother. Wilson, a 41-year-old sommelier who owns a wine shop in Chicago, has been dealing with depression and anxiety since he was 13 years old and sought psychedelic-assisted therapy to get better. Coincidentally, this session was on what would have been his mother’s 77th birthday. He put on glasses, headphones and sat in a leather recliner as he was injected with 110 milligrams of the dissociative anesthetic ketamine.
In a matter of seconds, he was launched into the cosmos and felt its presence. His mother took him to experience his birth and showed him the afterlife. “I can remember being part of this liquid world and how we are together in this space, she said, ‘your birth is my birth, and we are the same,'” says Wilson.
He says the experience helped him deal with the trauma of his mother’s death and helped him manage his anxiety and depression by showing him that there is more to life than the physical world. “‘This is the answer; this is what it feels like to be beyond Earth,'” her mother told her. “It was an incredibly deep and moving experience.”
Humans have used psychedelics in cultural and religious rituals for thousands of years. For the past 80 years, these powerful substances have been adopted for recreational, mental health, and self-help purposes.
Could it be that we all need some spirituality and these molecules are helping? For Wilson, the divine experience, coupled with multiple therapy sessions over three weeks, gave him a breakthrough that decades of antidepressants and traditional talk therapy could not.
“We all seek the ineffable and it is so deeply personal,” he says. “I think the word ‘God’ can set people off, but it’s about this trust and faith that there is something greater and greater than us. And that this physical world doesn’t matter, and that all of our problems don’t matter, there is Something bigger”.
Alex Belser, clinical director of Cybin, a Toronto-based psychedelic therapy startup, has been studying psychedelics for two decades and conducted clinical trials of psilocybin and MDMA as potential treatments for depression, substance use, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.
But he says that for many studies there has been a correlation between high mystical scores and a greater reduction in a patient’s symptoms. “This is a strong predictor of the effectiveness of psychedelic drugs,” says Belser.
Florian Brand, CEO and co-founder of Atai Life Sciences, a publicly traded German biosciences company focused on psychedelics and mental health, says that it is still speculation, but that the mystical experience seems to have some significance in the past. patient results. “There could be benefits [de la experiencia mística]”says Brand.” I think there are multiple factors that could contribute to efficacy, but it’s still too early to say it’s the divine experience. “