Bansal, a New York gastroenterologist, has gone through many operations and other treatment procedures to deal with physical aspects of recurrent cancer. He suffered from a devastating depression which followed the diagnosis. He had no idea what to do, so he made a decision to undergo psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy.
From the diary of Pradeep Bansal
“I died and then I was born again. If I survive, I’ll be able to face anything and anyone in the cosmic scheme. I can become its part.”
“How much sorrow is there in the cosmos? My cancer is nothing. Life doesn’t end with death. That which was, will be again. Forever.”
“It seems that with time I’m more relaxed and hopeful. I’m calmer and composed. My family has become even more important to me now. Money, politics, material gains or alcohol seem less significant to me.”
This experience, he says, brought him something much more important than just ease. It brought him a sense of purpose.
On a physical level, Pradeep Bansal is still fighting the disease. However, his psychological problems are gone. “I realize that I still have cancer and that it can kill me in a few weeks, months or years. But my perspective has changed.”
“It’s like there’s a part of me which is objectively watching how I’m going through the painful process of treatment, and it says: ‘It’s fine. I’ll be with you through the whole journey. Don’t worry’.”
(Dr. Pradeep Bansal, účastník studie COMPASS Pathways)
“All life I’ve been suppressing my trauma – my dad died on the way to the celebration of my birth. Then, when my son was born, there was a suspicion that I had a serious illness, and with that, the fear that he may never meet his dad came. I developed an anxiety depressive disorder. For years, I was using antidepressants, I went to therapy but with no significant improvement. I lost my job, my wife left me, and my mental state was just getting worse.
For the first time in years I experienced a feeling of being carefree and secure. I realized that it isn’t necessary to understand everything in life and that I can let many things happen and not intervene – just watch and believe… I feel much, much better now.” (Patient who has gone through two sessions of ketamine-assisted psychotherapy)
Alis, a participant of an American research, was suffering from emotional fluctuations and a compulsive approach to food after a successful treatment of an oncological illness. After a psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy, she noted that she gained self-confidence to commit to goals of losing weight. She eventually lost 12 kilograms and she attributed the results to the psilocybin treatment.
“I feel incredible. I feel much more capable of doing things that I have always wanted to do, but I never had the feeling that I could do them. That slowed me down. Now, I really want to enjoy every single minute. I want to fully experience life, which I’d already known before entering the study, but I couldn’t go through with the realization of my plans. I’ve found ways to do it now.” (Patient who has undergone psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy in the USA, published results from 2017)
“I have the feeling that I’ve been cleaned from a whole lot of crap. The things that made me feel like my world had been turned off and they made me just silently stare at the ground and watch how time runs out. There is a life happening, and so many things are happening with it – just watching how that tree over there moves in the wind, watching people on the street and in cars passing by! I feel grateful that I’m alive… It’s always there. We just don’t notice it but I’m trying to notice it and not forget. I hear it all the time. It’s like awakening in a way, finding out how life really is, that it’s really like this. We just don’t notice it.”
(Patient who has participated in a study of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy in the USA, published results from 2017)
Studie: Patient Experiences of Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, A.B. Belser et al, 2017, Journal of Humanistic Psychology