In the spring of 2023, I wrote an email about the potential effects of psilocybin on anger.
More precisely, the email was focused on domestic violence.
Leading up to this moment, I had noticed my own reduced levels of irritation and aggression so I asked our fellow community members if they too had noticed anything.
One particular community member shared:
“Oh yes, especially the misuse of alcohol on his behalf is drastically lower than before, therefore no drugs to help with hangovers, etc. Overall 10 years of the broken home got fixed in a matter of weeks.
Need to learn to forgive a lot, of course, but I always see domestic violence as the sum of childhood trauma, and understanding the core of the behavior helps. MD is doing wonders, but there is a lot of work needed since it’s not magic, but it does open us to thoughts and feelings that we couldn’t process before.”
Ever since that day, this topic has been on my mind as something that should be discussed further and explored deeper.
We can see from her words that this reduction in aggression goes beyond the reduction in her partner’s alcohol intake. She correlates microdosing to her partner’s overall improved state of being, him having more access to his emotions with a potential result in more responsible drinking, fewer hangovers, and then an apparent reduction in aggression.
All emotions live on a spectrum. Aggression is when frustration snowballs into impulsive and destructive behavior.
It’s not quite rage and may or may not include violence, but it is undoubtedly destructive.
A felt sense of aggression can be experienced by those closest to us, i.e. in a domestic setting, by those completely unknown to us, i.e. road rage, or toward ourselves completely privately. No matter which way aggression is manifested, the aggressor is never spared and feels utterly out of control.
This is where psilocybin comes in.
Its impact and effect on the amygdala and limbic system induces something that was never previously available; a choice.
Suddenly, there is a way to stop the avalanche. There is a way to slow down time, to reduce the flood of emotions. The tsunami is not inevitable, an all-out destruction is not a foregone conclusion.
Personally, microdosing has reduced the occurrence of road rage in my life.
Dare go as far as to say that it has been slowly replaced with cool elegance? I won’t claim to say that is the case 100% of the time, but I can report that since microdosing I am much less angry or aggressive overall.
So if it appears to affect my personality and my levels of frustration, is it possible that this spills over into our domestic lives and all of our interpersonal relationships?
I would argue that it’s possible and plausible.
Surprisingly, the Psychiatric University of Zurich published research in 2014 showing via fMRI scans that “the bioactive component in the Mexican magic mushroom, influences the amygdalae, thereby weakening the processing of negative stimuli.”
Why do I say surprisingly? Because even after a decade, since the study was published, the findings are largely unknown and unheard of.
Except for a few laymen and outliers such as Martin Scherer, a Dutch blogger.
His piece called “How a Magic Mushroom Trip Helped Me With My Anger” described how his relationship with anger changed after attending a legal psychedelic ceremony someplace outside of Amsterdam.
His exact words are:
”After my psychedelic experience, everything feels lighter. The problems feel smaller and easier to deal with. Situations that used to trigger bad behaviors were still there, but the trigger was not as irresistible as before.
Sometimes I still feel the anger growing inside, but now it is easier to simply acknowledge it and let it go. The anger doesn’t take over like before.”
Aside from the study mentioned above, there isn’t very much data on the link between reduced aggression and psilocybin, except for domestic violence.
There are several papers linking reduced intimate partner violence with the use of psilocybin.
May the research in this regard not only continue but also increase exponentially.
Having said that, I do believe that the potential benefits of psilocybin do range far outside the confines of a domestic context. Case in point, I was honored to be a guest on Flourish Academy’s Podcast.
The way that they have set up their podcast is via Clubhouse, which is a bit of a different format than the others.
Clubhouse allows for the listeners to chime in and interact with the hosts and guests on the call.
He interacted with me and mentioned that as they are currently writing the latest book on psilocybin, the topic of aggression has not yet been considered.
Reduced aggression and psilocybin use were not a link they had yet made but would consider it as the book is being written and completed.
Away From Aggression and Toward Peacefulness
Regardless of how aggression is manifested, be it towards the ones we love the most, the ones we know the least, or simply toward ourselves; it never feels good, not ever.
I am eager to see more studies on the potential for psilocybin and other psychoactive substances to mitigate such emotional avalanches.
I also hope to see it included in Dr. James Fadiman’s upcoming book.
The ability to not feel out of control when flooded with negative emotions is not only resilience but also a few steps closer to peacefulness.
Let’s hear more about this from the scientific community and fellow citizen scientists.
Have you experienced or noticed such effects from microdosing psilocybin?
My hunch is that something important is afoot here.
Something about psilocybin brings out our softer, more compassionate, more mature, and more kind version of ourselves.
Is it true?
We don’t know yet but we can certainly continue sharing stories and start comparing notes, right?
Please share with us in the comments below.
You know I am SO KEEN to read about your journeys and your experiences.
Until then and as always.
Shine bright. Do good. Flow strong.