Micro-dosing for mental health is something that has been explored for some time. The pioneer of this is the Czech-born psychologist Stanislav Grof.
Micro-dosing is the practice of taking or administering very small amounts of a drug in order to test or benefit from its physiological action while minimising undesirable side effects.
So when it comes to micro-dosing psychedelics, this means consuming very low, sub-hallucinogenic doses of a psychedelic substance, such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) or psilocybin-containing mushrooms. The idea being that you get the benefit of the substance, without the trippy side-effects.
This is a trend that’s been building for a while now and articles in the media are now pretty common. Like this one in the New York Times: More People Are Microdosing for Mental Health. But Does It Work?
There’s even a show on Netflix about it: How to change your mind. In this show, author Michael Pollan leads the way in this docuseries exploring the history and uses of psychedelics, including LSD, psilocybin, MDMA and mescaline.
Using micro-dosing therapeutically
In his latest book, How to Change Your Mind, Michael Pollan writes of his own consciousness-expanding experiments with psychedelic drugs like LSD and psilocybin, and he makes the case for why shaking up the brain’s old habits could be therapeutic for people facing addiction, depression, or death.
As someone who’s taken psychedelics – albeit recreationally and not therapeutically – I have no doubt that they have the potential to provide therapeutic support when taken in small doses, but I was curious to hear someone’s experience of this.
So when a friend of mine shared a link to an article on Facebook where she was interviewed on how she had used micro-dosing to improve her mental health, I knew I wanted to talk to her about it.
I came to know Simone when I interviewed her for my Fear Free Childbirth podcast about the time she gave birth in a stream. Her YouTube video of the birth at the time had hit over 55 million views and my podcast interview with her has been one of my top episodes on that podcast. Giving birth in nature takes a special kind of fearlessness and confidence in oneself, which Simone had in bucketloads.
Simone’s experience of micro-dosing for mental health
As an experienced therapist Simone also has extensive knowledge and experience in managing emotional and mental wellbeing, so I was particularly interested in hearing how she came to turn to micro-dosing to help with her mental health.
My conversation with Simone
During my conversation with Simone we discuss;
- what lead to her deciding to try micro-dosing
- what substance she took micro-doses of
- how she felt once she started micro-dosing
- how long she used micro-dosing for
- how she came to know that her time for micro-dosing was coming to an end
During our conversation Simone shared some books and resources. These are listed below;
- A Really Good Day by Ayelet Waldman
- How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan
www.thethirdwave.co. Recommend this for a solid, practical introduction to microdosing.
Simone recommends this article because a lot has come out recently about the fact that Drs/Psychiatrists/Scientists don’t really know how anti-depressants work. Likewise, despite decades of research into psychedelics, we still don’t know exactly how psychedelics work either. She thinks it’s wise to be cautious and proceed carefully, but not to have fear about using psychedelics.
Fantastic Fungi on Netflix
How to Change Your Mind on Netflix
Here’s some research I came across:
Psychedelic microdosing benefits and challenges: an empirical codebook
Simone Surgeoner is a therapist and mentor who has helped thousands of people find their own authentic path in life. She enjoys nothing more than exploring the depths of what it means to be human. Using herself as her own guinea pig, Simone demonstrates beingness as arising from integrity with one’s essence.
Helping people find their inner truth, through their own direct experience, is the core of Simone’s work. As a mother of four daughters, currently unschooling her younger two, Simone is passionate about the liberation of all humans. Psychedelic integration and support is one of the areas where Simone supports clients, as she continues to help people at all stages of healing and evolution: sexuality, relationships, trauma, pregnancy & birth, children, hormones, health, business & career to grief and dying.