1    Tripping the blues

Some neuroscientists are confirming what their colleagues were discovering in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s: that a few deep psychedelic ‘trips’, supported by conventional psychotherapy methods, may be able to unlock some crippling mood disorders and addictions. But because psychedelics are illegal everywhere, the growing movement of people in South Africa who are using them therapeutically must rely on an underground movement of traditional healers and ‘journey guides’.


Footnotes and further reading: 

1) In my hasty editing of the script, I cut out the explanation about the 2002 'Wellbeing Study', which was 'controlled', ie the participants were randomly assigned to either have the psilocybin, or a placebo. The positive feedback reported in the script is reference just to those who received the psilocybin. 

2) You can watch Dr Rosalind Watt's talk here. She is one of the psychologists working at the Imperial College London, where they're using psilocybin to work with treatment-resistant depression. 


3) How psilocybin brings about behaviour and mood changes, even after the age of 30, when personality apparently becomes 'fixed', published in the academic journal Journal of Psychopharmacology in 2011: MacLean, MA, Johnson MW & Griffiths, RR. 2011. Mystical Experiences Occasioned by the Hallucinogen Psilocybin Lead to Increases in the Personality Domain of Openness. Journal of Psychopharmacology. Vol 25 (11): 1453 - 1461.

4) A CNBC soft news piece on how MDMA (aka the party drug Ecstasy) could be the breakthrough medical technology for treating depression.