October 11, 2010

From Gita Dunbar:

Re: "Psychedelics" could find new lease on life-in the d (Aug. 18): Everything old is new again! 'An ar­ti­cle in the Aug. 20 is­sue of the re­search jour­nal Na­ture Re­views in Neu­ro­sci­ence pro­poses that "psych­e­del­ics" might be use­ful in low doses as a treat­ment for psy­chi­at­ric dis­or­ders such as de­pres­si­on, anx­i­e­ty and obsessive-compulsive dis­or­ders. '

I'm Australian. I'm now 70.

In 1966 I was given injections of psilocybin by a psychiatrist whom I consulted for severe post natal depression. 5 sessions with chat in between.

It worked a treat! Until one of my kids was killed by a car in 1969, then depression returned, albeit not so severe as before.

However, parents then dying, a son diagnosed as terminal, husband dying, son eventually dying, mother-in-law dying, sent me into the arms of anti-depressants in 1975. A couple of years as a zombie, I then chucked it in favour of naturopathic stuff, but still needed some help.

Do you know the work of Dr. Stanislav Grof? Born in 1931 in Prague, he received an M. D. from Charles University and a Ph. D. (Doctor of Philosophy in Medicine) from the Czechoslovakian Academy of Sciences. Between 1960 and 1967, he was Principal Investigator in a psychedelic research program at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

In the United States, Dr. Grof served as Chief of Psychiatric Research at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. He was also Scholar-in-Residence at Esalen Institute. He has written heaps of books. I participated in lots of his groups, both in Australia and at Esalen, and found his model so extremely helpful. He used non-drug techniques which gave the effect of a psychelitic (sp?) rather than psychedelic dose of LSD. I've never had to use antidepressants since that first lot despite sliding back a bit... thyroid deficiency for which, once diagnosed, I got effective treatnent.

Currently, Dr. Grof is Professor of Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in the Department of Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness, and teaches at the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, CA Perhaps I'm biased, but I reckon Stan is the best person to talk to about this subject...


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