Psychedelics have gotten a bad rap. Often associated with the small period of time they became popular in the ’60s, they were researched in clinical, cultural, and spiritual contexts for many decades prior to that.
The reputation of psychedelics as recreational and dangerous has reduced attention towards some of that valuable research. Or at least it did. Now, we are seeing an uptick in the interest of drugs like this, which include compounds like psilocybin from certain species of mushrooms, for therapeutic uses. Trials are finding amazing effects on anxiety, depression, PTSD, and fear of death by using psychedelics in a responsible and highly controlled environment.
If you missed this week’s episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, my guest Dr. Anthony Bossis discusses the value in researching medicinal psychedelics. Anthony is a clinical psychologist and clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine investigating the effects of psilocybin. Dr. Bossis was the director of palliative care research, co-principal investigator, co-author, and session guide on the 2016 landmark study showing a significant reduction in emotional distress along with enhanced existential wellbeing from a single psilocybin-generated mystical experience in persons with cancer.
Throughout our talk, Dr. Bossis sheds light on the untapped resource of psychedelic therapy when it comes to mental illness and end of life care. Many people with fatal diagnoses have overcome their fear of death and made amends with unfinished business in his trials. His professional experiences, profound scientific knowledge, and complex insights make it clear that there is more to this story than you might have thought.
We also dive into the topic of overcoming trauma and reframing mindset. Dr. Bossis shares how psychedelic therapy can allow us to see ourselves within a much larger landscape, a process that recalibrates our sense of self and who or what we may be connected to.
This is a truly unique and fascinating episode. I hope you’ll take this opportunity to learn more about a topic that we’ll be hearing a lot more about in the years to come.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD