Can ‘Magic Mushrooms’ Ease Your Anxiety? (Video)
A Los Angeles videographer uses dose of psychedelic drug psilocybin to help his anxiety in our Outlier video.
January 8, 2020
Logan Stone, a 29-year-old videographer based in Los Angeles, was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in his early youth and put on medications to manage what teachers described as his excess energy and inability to focus. The meds altered his affect so much so that his friends could tell when he did and do not take his pills on any given day. Those early years, he says, “were full of anxiety,” and inform his ongoing “journey toward mental clarity and peace of mind,” he told Outlier.
Growing up, he frequently wondered why he was so paralyzed by anxiety while his peers seemed to move about the world with effortless ease. In retrospect, he believes his disquiet largely stemmed from what he describes as a self-imposed silence meant to contain a flood of feelings and thoughts. But stifling all he wanted to express left him in a perpetual state of agita and discontent. “It’s like a firehose, right? But I’m like bending the firehose and there’s all this water that wants to come out but I’m like…no way ‘cause there’s so much fear around what would come out,” he said.
Through the years, Stone took various prescription drugs to better cope with his anxiety and regulate his emotions, but it wasn’t until he discovered hallucinogenic drug psilocybin that he experienced a newfound relief. Derived from mushrooms, psilocybin can be ingested freshly, brewed in tea or cooked into food. Among Central and South American Indians, it’s considered sacred and is used to heal the sick and commune with spirits in religious rituals.
“We have been conditioned to think that anything that is a psychedelic is taking us away from our humanity, taking us away from our center, and therefore it’s not positive for us,” Stone’s shaman Dharma Love says. But the opposite, according to Love, is true. “Psilocybin opens up the channels for us to experience the love that we are, to remember who we are,” she said.
Sitting across from one another in classic Buddha poses, Stone and his healer eat a chocolate bar infused with psilocybin, “handcrafted with love, with prayers and with intention,” she said.
Watch their riveting exchange in the video above to find out why Stone answers, “perfection,” when asked how he feels after taking the drug.
About the Writer:
Amy Spencer is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has written cover stories for Parade, Men’s Journal, New York magazine and Glamour and has written three books about happiness and optimism, including Bright Side Up recommended by O, the Oprah Magazine.
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