Episode 40: Complex PTSD (C-PTSD) Treatment with Psilocybin and LSD with Guy

In this episode, I had the honor of speaking with Guy Murray. Guy suffered from C-PTSD, complex PTSD, from trauma experienced in childhood and in war in Afghanistan. That led him to psilocybin and LSD for help. His story is an important one and is being told in the documentary, Breaking Through PTSD with Psychedelics… So…let’s hear from Guy.

Breaking Through PTSD with Psychedelics: https://youtu.be/1xvdV01MsWI  (Trailer)

Dr. Ben Sessa 

We discussed:

  1. Breaking Through PTSD with Psychedelics – your story of using Psilocybin and Lsd to heal from C-PTSD, that had developed from childhood and later Afghanistan
    1. Childhood development of PTSD?
    2. Afghanistan?
    3. Joined the Army; sense of service
    4. It was shocking
    5. Ended up in the bloodiest toll in Afghanistan (1:4 in his position died)
    6. Feb 25th; fierce battle; watching; friends got ambushed; watched friend die; 
    7. Somatic injury Peter’s book “…Tiger”
    8. Stuck in stunned state for 2-3 hours
    9. Wanted to break down but friend stopped him from losing it
    10. His mates needed him on the battlefield
    11. Became dissociative
    12. Nine years lived with those terrors; ruminating; those memories were defining him
    13. Wanted to become an officer; did interview with the commanding officer; realized he needed to get out, not become an officer
    14. Got bad advice from a military therapist; told to just keep going and just figure it out
    15. Took an overdose of opioid; attempted suicide, moving away from life rather than towards death
    16. Left 3 months before end of duty; partied; skied; played the system; gone for 4 years with drink and drugs; drastic ups and downs
    17. Just couldn’t sit with pain
    18. It took a break-up to wake him up; saw TED talks other info on psilocybin and depression
    19. Started university
    20. Foraged for mushrooms in Scotland; Stamets
    21. Couldn’t find any in the forests; dejected; at work, the sun came out and shined on the mushrooms right where he worked
    22. For the next two months, walked in nature with mushrooms and a notebook
    23. Began to see his thoughts fueled the emotional turmoil; engaged with that side of himself
    24. Same old arguments with family brought him back down
    25. Knew he had to do the work; a friend had a method with LSD
    26. Biggest breakthrough in Barcelona; took 10 hours
    27. “I love you!” Unconditional, couldn’t accept it; thought it meant he was gay; fundamentally gay; figured out he can’t be loved by men, like his buddies in Afghanistan; 
    28. Sat next to a fire in a chapel, and it all broke free: “I never loved myself.” Always there for everyone else but never himself
    29. This happened 10 hours in, way past the peak
    30. We all have the power of God to love ourselves; the father, son, holy ghost in a non-religious way; breaking dawn within your heart
    31. Saw that suffering is a choice; purged, there went his trauma
    32. Life hasn’t been the same since
  2. How did you use Psilocybin and LSD to help yourself?
    1. Experiences?
    2. Lessons?
    3. Had support around him; counselors; therapists; trauma therapists; friends; social support; 
  3. Outcomes: how are things today?
  4. Other questions:
    1. Set/setting/dose/substance: social, have people around; 
    2. How to have an insightful experience
    3. Stigma?
      1. Comes from a place of not knowing
      2. Dad was a cop; Mom a teacher; very anti-drug;
      3. They want you to be in the image they created of you
      4. University not ready (yet) to start a psychedelic society
  5. Breaking Through PTSD with Psychedelics
    1. Did a 1-Minute interview to get a part as an extra; the filmmaker saw it; invited him to interview
    2. BBC News (Breakfast News) picked it up
    3. Drug Science
    4. Keith Abraham, CEO of Heroic Hearts UK
    5. Putting pressure on gov’t to make changes
  6. What else?