Can LSD and Mushrooms Help Mental Health?

Before doing any research, I had previously believed Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, LSD and Psilocybin mushrooms, were recreational drugs that were taken by hippies and Grateful Dead fans in the sixties. I believed it was a way for people to escape reality. However, after researching, it was apparent to me that people used this drug for other reasons than just to get “high”. Many people take very small doses of these drugs to benefit their mental health. This procedure is caused micro dosing, and there are many studies that show the positive results of doing this. Two studies done by Megan Webb, James Fadiman, and Sophia Korb tested the effects of micro dosing on a controlled group of people. The results show that micro dosing can benefit mental health in a variety of ways: enhance mood, increase creativity, help depression and anxiety, help people overcome addiction, replace anti-depressants and prescribed stimulants, increase confidence, and help people with mental issues due to physical problems in participants. 

Some participants in Webb’s study reported quitting heroin, opioids, alcohol, and even cigarettes due to micro dosing. One example of this is Marcus who claims, “I’ve been addicted to heroin for the past three years and I’ve also quit heroin completely, since I’ve started micro dosing,”. Another participant with an addiction to cigarettes stated that one of the first things he noticed when he started micro dosing was that he had no inclination to smoke anymore. There are also studies that show how micro dosing LSD and mushrooms can help with emotional symptoms that are a result of physical health issues. Some health issues may include cancer, menstrual cramps, or serious injuries that lead to depression. One participant named Tori in Webb’s experiment experienced a really bad brain injury that left her feeling unlike the person she was before the injury. She said starting to microdose made her feel how she felt before the injury, and that it really benefitted her mental health. Another example is that A participant in Webb’s study was experiencing extreme trauma in their life due to the death of a loved one. Her name is Ashley, and she started micro dosing as a way to help her deal with grief and sadness. Ashley stated, “We had a friend die and it was just a really hard time. I mean a very hard time, it was my husband’s best friend…So I feel like it [micro dosing] helped a lot of things too, not just the goals I did have, but i feel like it made me feel better and pulled me out of a funk I was in.”

There are many common themes and conclusions that can be drawn from micro dosing. Generally, positive experiences make up 80% of micro dosing examples, and negative and neutral experiences make up the other 20%. From performing extensive research, my previous beliefs about Lysergic Acid Diethylamide and Psilocybin mushrooms have changed. When used in a controlled setting, there are shocking positive results. I believe that micro dosing could possibly be revolutionary in the medical field and should be more seriously by people in the medical field.


Research Essay Update Blog Post

My research paper is going to be about the effects of microdosing LSD and psychedelic drugs on mental health. My plan for writing this paper is to start with the body paragraphs, and then do the intro and conclusion after. I am hoping to space out this paper properly and not leave it all for the last minute. I am definitely about meeting the word count requirements, and being able to write enough about my topic. I really hope I can stay on top of this project, and that I can execute my research properly.

Follow Up on P2 Proposal

In my first blog post I knew I was going to write about microdosing LSD. However, I am going to be zeroing in on microdosing and its effects specifically on mental health.  First, I will write about why it became illegal. Then, I will write about what LSD does in general, and the difference between microdosing and taking full amounts. Next, I will show the scientific results of those who have tried micro-dosing and then evaluate if it should be a good way to treat mental health issues, and the dangers around it.

P2 Proposal

The topic that I will be researching is whether or not LSD should be legalized for microdosing.  In this paper will begin by describing the reasons why it was originally made illegal. I will then present information and research about how microdosing can be helpful to people such as:

  • Helps people get over their fear of death
  • Help people get over addiction
  • Helps anxiety
  • Helps OCD

Space Colonization

Humans should learn how to colonize in space because it would be beneficial to the survival of the human civilization.  If humans were able to live somewhere other than Earth, it would allow for our species to live on and procreate in the event of a natural disaster.  In addition, we would have access to more new and useful resources than are available on earth. Moving our civilization to a different planet could be the only hope for saving human civilization

Many scholarly scientists say that moving human life to other planets is the only way to save the human species.  According to the Wikipedia article, in 2006 Stephan Hawking stated that if we do not colonize outer space within the next 200 years, mass extinction may be upon us.  With the diminishing ecosystem and enviroment of Earth, it is not likely that life on this planet will survive much longer. Soon, with global warming, the earth will no longer be a safe, healthy place to live. Mass extinction of the human race is likely coming in the near future. Another large argument for moving human life to other places is in the event of nuclear warfare.  If nuclear warfare were to happen on Earth, it would wipe out the human race in its entirity. Moving human colonization to a different planet could save the human race.

Another reason for colonizing off of Earth is because of the plentiful resources found on other planets. The wikipedia article states that the solar system alone has enough material and energy to support over a billion times that over the human population.  Asteroid mining would also be a great way to obtain resources outside of Earth. Asteroid mining could help find water and materials for building and sheilding from things in the atmopshere. The biggest resource that another planet could provide is a plentiful amount of space.  Because the Earth is so highly populated, moving to another space would allow for people to have more space and expansion.

Overall, colonizing planet’s in outerspace, or at least beginning to learn how to is a very smart move.  Earth as we know it will most likely not last very much longer, and if we do not take initiative the human race could soon be extinct.  The resources that the solar system could provide would also be very beneficial considering Earth is beginning to run out of certain resources. Space colonization is necessary for human civilization. 

Health or Beauty

The essay “The Price of Beauty: Methacrylates in the Artificial Nail Industry” by Mya Soukaseum is an informative essay about the health concerns in the synthetic nail industry. The thesis of this paper is that consumers and businesses must choose between health and beauty when using nail products with methacrylates in them, as they have been found to have harmful side-effects. Her essay describes multiple examples about the harmful chemicals in regular nail products. For example, how many gel and acryllic nail products contain methacrylates, and how harmful they are to human beings. People are developing respitory nervous system comp;ications, as well as rashes. This essay encompasses shocking information about the industry, and reasoning to stop the use of these products. Soukaseum’s argument is well written and very convincing.  She uses research from different scientific experiments to back up her stance as well. She also uses other tactics to convince the reader of her argument. Soukaseum uses ethos, pathos, kairos, and diction in order to persuade the reader to listen to her point of view. Her argument was very successful and convincing, and her essay is overall very well written.

The Price of Beauty Outline

THESIS:  Consumers and businesses should choose between health and beauty when using nail products with methacrylates in them, as they have been found to have harmful side-effects.

ETHOS: Mya Soukaseum uses many examples of ethos throughout this essay.  One example is by using lots of information and examples based off of reliable research.  For example, “Their finding that three of the four women identified to have ACD tested positive for two types of methacrylates on their skin (DeKoven et al., 2017)”. As you can see, the author uses proper citations and reliable statistics.  Again, “Another technician showed progressed bronchial hyperresponsiveness and asthma of an occupational origin, which only developed one year into her work. (Sauni et al., 2008)”

PATHOS: The author uses pathos in multiple ways, one being discussing how the nail technicians are getting sick.  In addition, she discusses how customers are getting rashes as well. This is pathos because it is directed to make the reader feel emotional about what is happening to people.  The author basically says this can happen to anyone.

KAIROS: This author uses Kairos because the use of gel and acrylic nails has gone up 27% in the past decade. Not only are just older wealthy women getting their nails done, men and younger ladies have started in the past 10 years.  The kairos aspect of this essay is basically saying that the industry is at its height right now, and a change is necessary ASAP.

New Beginnings

There I am, alone in a small cinder-block room.  It is humid and clammy inside. The walls are a gross yellow-white shade, like the classrooms in high school. Every couple of hours I hear the screams from my neighbors because they have found yet another cockroach. I sit on the small, uncomfortable mattress as I cry my eyes out. I just said goodbye to my family, and would not see them for a very long time- I had just been dropped off at college, and my journey had just begun.

Throughout middle school and high-school, the word “college” is something that I heard very often.  It is something held above students heads. “You better take AP classes so you can get into college,” and, “If you don’t spend seven hours a week studying for the SAT you won’t get a high enough score for colleges,” are some familiar things that I heard throughout high school.  College is used as motivation, and something for hard-working high- school students to look forward to. Everyone where I am from attends a four-year university, and my high school has a 99% rate for sending kids to college. The pressure was on.

When I chose to attend the University of Delaware, it was one of the most exciting days of my life.  When I stepped onto the campus, I felt different then I had felt when touring other schools. The people were super nice, the campus is beautiful, and the downtown area is very nice.  I felt as though it was the perfect fit. However, once I had to start looking for a roommate, I began to get nervous and anxious. I asked myself, “Would I be able to find someone I liked? What if they were weird? What if they steal my things? What if they had boys over all the time?”  My thoughts would get worse and worse everyday. I ended up choosing a roommate that looked normal over Facebook, and hoped for the best.

Besides being nervous about my roomate, college gave me more things to be scared of. I felt like I would not be smart enough to keep up my grades, and was very scared of falling behind.  In high school, I always felt like the “dumb friend”. My two closest friends are attending University of Chicago and Columbia this year, and being around them made me feel like I was not going to succeed in college.  In addition, I was very worried about the college workload, and was unsure if I was cut out for this. Throughout highschool I was always able to keep up, but college is a different story. I always heard college kids complaining about the work, and it made me extremely stressed.  Besides school work, I stressed about making new friends, and was not sure if I was ready to leave my old ones behind. It was hard to think about being friends with a whole new set of people.

The scariest part of this transition was leaving my family.  My family always eats dinner together, we do activities together, and are very close-knit. My grand-parents and both my aunts all live within 15 minutes of my hometown. My younger sister and I are also really close, and I was really scared to leave my best friend.

Flash forward two weeks after move in day, and almost all of my anxieties of college had disappeared.  Upon meeting my roommate Natalie, I was pleasantly surprised. Natalie had a lot of the same concerns that I had about going into college. We were more similar than I previously thought we were.  For example, on move-in day I realized we both came from crazy families. We have had many conversations about our nutty childhoods, and all of the questionable things our parents put us through. Also, we had a humorous argument about who would kill the spiders in the room god forbid we had any.  Nonetheless, we ended up getting along really well and shared many of the same interests. As far as the school work, so far it has been extremely manageable. Obviously it has only been two weeks and things are bound to get harder, but my fears about the school work have dissipated. (My fears of the cockroaches living in my building have  not). Leaving my family was not as hard as I thought. We talk on the phone almost every day, and we scheduled visits home for the near future. 

Although it was not the easiest decision to go to college, so far it has been completely worth it.  An important lesson that I learned through this process is to not overthink things. I psyched myself out about little things, when I should have had self-confidence.

Introducing Myself

Hello class. My name is Eliza Schank and I am from central New Jersey. I have lived in North, central, and the Jersey shore throughout my life and can confidently say that it’s one of the best states. I live around an hour from New York City and an hour from the beach. UD is only two hours away from my town. My major is University Studies right now, but I will probably declare communications as my major. I am excited for a great year!