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How Psychedelics Saved My Life

Emmy-winning investigative journalist says 'magic' mushrooms and ayahuasca treated her PTSD and anxiety.
 
 
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Amber Lyon
Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of Amber Lyon

 
 
 
 

The following article was written by Amber Lyon and first appeared on Reset.me:

I invite you to take a step back and clear your mind of decades of false propaganda.  Governments worldwide lied to us about the medicinal benefits of marijuana.   The public has also been misled about psychedelics.

These non-addictive substances- MDMA, ayahuasca, ibogaine, psilocybin mushrooms, peyote, and many more- are proven to rapidly and effectively help people heal from trauma, PTSD, anxiety, addiction and depression.

Psychedelics saved my life.

My Experience with Anxiety and PTSD Symptoms

I was drawn to journalism at a young age by the desire to provide a voice for the ‘little guy.’  For nearly a decade working as a CNN investigative correspondent and independent journalist, I became a mouthpiece for the  oppressedvictimized and marginalized.  My  path of submersion journalism brought me closest to the plight of my sources, by living the story to get a true understanding of what was happening.

At a press conference exposing human rights abuses in Bahrain.

Speaking at a press conference in Lebanon on the human rights abuses I witnessed while reporting in Bahrain.

After several years of reporting, I realized an unfortunate consequence of my style- I had immersed myself too deeply in the trauma and suffering of the people I’d interviewed.  I began to have trouble sleeping as their faces appeared in my darkest dreams. I spent too long absorbed in a world of despair and my inability to deflect it allowed the trauma of others to settle inside my mind and being.  Combine that with several violent experiences while working in the field and I was at my worst.   A life reporting on the edge had led me to the brink of my own sanity.

Because I could not find a way to process my anguish, it grew into a monster, manifesting itself into a constant state of anxiety, short-term memory loss, sleeplessness, and hyperarousal.  The heart palpitations made me feel like I was knocking on death’s door.

Why I Chose Psychedelic  Drugs Medicines 

While at CNN, I investigated human rights and environmental issues.

Prescription medications and antidepressants serve a purpose, but I knew they were not on my path to healing after my investigations exposed their  sinister side effects including infants being born dependent on the medicines after their mothers couldn’t kick their addictions. Masking the symptoms of a deeper condition with a pill felt like putting a Band-Aid on bullet wound.

I was made aware of the potential healing powers of psychedelics  as a guest on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast in October 2012.  Joe told me psychedelic mushrooms transformed his life and had the potential to change the course of humanity for the better. My initial reaction was one of amusement and somewhat disbelief, but the seed was planted.

Psychedelics were an odd choice for someone like me.  I grew up in the Midwest and was fed 30 years of propaganda explaining how horrible these substances were for my health.   You can imagine my jaw-dropping surprise when, after the Rogan podcast, I found articles on the prodigious effects of these substances that behave more like medicines than drugs.  Articles like  this onethis, this this, and  this.   And studies such as  this,   thisthisthisthis… and  this … all gut-wrenching examples of how we’ve been misled by authorities who classify psychedelics as schedule 1 narcotics that have ‘no medicinal value’ despite dozens of scientific studies proving otherwise.

Tripping Around the World 

Having only ever smoked the odd marijuana joint in college, in March 2013 I found myself boarding a plane to Iquitos, Peru to try one of the most powerful psychedelics on earth.   I ditched my car at the airport, hastily packed my belongings in a backpack and headed down to the Amazon jungle placing my blind faith in a substance that a week ago I could hardly pronounce: ayahuasca.