The People Who Survive on Psychedelics Even When They Don’t Want To

Reilly Capps, writing for Rooster Magazine:

About once a month, when Ashley Hattle has to take her powerful and effective headache medicine, she preps for the unwanted side effects.

She clears her schedule for eight hours. She gets out the finger paint. She turns on a Harry Potter movie. Why? “Because it’s magic,” she says. And then she downs 1.5 grams of psilocybin mushrooms.

Side effects include: walls that breathe, trees that shimmy, and clouds that morph in geometric patterns.

“If I was just doing it for fun, I might enjoy it,” she says. “But I resent that I have to do this for my health.”

Her medical problem, cluster headaches, is the most painful thing a human can experience — worse than broken bones, childbirth and gunshot wounds. And story after story and study after study says psychedelics like magic mushrooms are about the best medicine.

But tripping, for Hattle, a 27-year-old advertising writer, is a pain. It’s hard to write or make phone calls. She can’t drive. She doesn’t feel comfortable hanging out with most people. And she has to spend the whole next day recovering, feeling groggy and dull.

What an interesting story. I was definitely aware that people have been using psychedelics to treat cluster headaches for years, but I didn't realize that they had to re-dose so often. I couldn't imagine feeling forced to trip multiple times a week—it sounds pretty terrible.