Riley used microdosing of psilocybin to help her to get off antidepressants. In this interview she talks about her journey.
MindLift: We’re joined here with Riley I. We’re excited to talk to you about how you used microdosing to get off . Our first question to you is how did you end up getting on antidepressants?
Riley: Yeah. So I had a couple year period where I was struggling with some mental health stuff. And through talking with a mental health professional, I was working with, came to the decision that it was something worth trying.
What went into your decision to ultimately get off them?
I decided about a year in to being on my SSRI that I was having some side effects, including kind of like a dulled emotional experience as well as a lack of appetite, and some other unpleasant side effects.
So I just thought, you know, it was worth exploring what it was like to not be on it. So it was just a curiosity thing, I guess.
How did you discover microdosing?
I heard about it through a friend who was also helping with like herbal support. And yeah, I’d heard about it in the community and from friends who had tried it and had good experiences.
But most recently, it was through a friend through a connection in town.
Was it difficult to get off of antidepressants?
So luckily, I was on a relatively low dose (for a relatively short period of time). Even then, when I would miss a couple days or something I would get some weird withdrawal symptoms.
So that made me really nervous to explore going off of them, because I was, you know, worried, I’d have like crazy withdrawal symptoms and stuff. So I would say I just went and jumped the gun and was looking at preventative options. I didn’t try going off antidepressants without other supports. And some of those supports were counseling, different herbal supports, and also microdosing. So using psilocybin to kind of like curb that withdrawal process before it even starts.
Has microdosing made a difference for your withdrawal or has it helped your withdrawal from antidepressants?
I would say yes, but like I said, I haven’t tried going cold turkey off of an SSRI without microdosing. From what I’ve heard from other people, it can be quite a ride and I did a lot of research online, found some support groups and. Yeah, I was, I was kind of ahead of the game, like really trying to prevent those kind of horror stories that a lot of people have experienced going off a psychiatric medication.
So I can’t speak to that really from experience. All I know is that my life stayed pretty comfortable through the process of coming off of an SSRI. And that’s more than a lot of people can say.
Do you think you’ll continue microdosing once you’ve totally weaned yourself off?
Well, technically I am already fully weaned off haha. But, but yes, I would say it’s gonna be a tool that I use as needed. Like at times when maybe some of my old symptoms are flaring up, or times of stress. It’s just nice to have as an option in those hard times.
Do you think microdosing could permanently replace taking SSRI’s for you?
Yeah, I think it will; I like that I can microdose for short periods of time and then just go off of it and don’t experience any withdrawal. And that’s not something that you can do with any other psychiatric medication that I know of.
So that in and of itself and the fact that that you don’t develop a dependency or addiction to it. You don’t have to go through that process of on and off. It’s just there if you need it. And that’s kind of what I found frustrating about being on an SSRI. Like, yes, it did help to some degree, but I was stuck on it basically. And I knew that I would have to go through an adjustment period going off of it, whereas I don’t have that with microdosing.
What advice would you give to people who may wish to undertake a similar journey?
I would say: prepare as much as you can.
If you’re planning to go off of a medication, there are lots of support groups out there, whether they’re online or in person, and going off of a psychiatric medication is like, it’s no joke and you want to take it seriously. I’m glad that I had the support that I did, so that it wasn’t a traumatic experience.
There are resources and specifically one that comes to mind is The Withdrawal Project. It’s a project within an organization called The Inner Compass Initiative. And it’s basically like a database that people have created through gathering anecdotal experiences from people who’ve gone through the process of getting of psychiatric medication. Whether it’s people who have been on multiple anti-psychotics throughout most of their life to someone like me, who’s just maybe just been on an SSRI for a couple years.
But there’s a wide range of experience there. And there’s a catalog of all the potential side effects you might experience and there’s a support group and a forum. So I would recommend checking out things like that. So you don’t feel like you have to do it alone.
Very cool! Thanks so much for your time, and for sharing how you used microdosing to get off antidepressants. We believe your experience is great to share with others who may be dealing with similar things.
You’re very welcome!