“I started microdosing essentially because I was in a really depressed stage of my life. It was for mental health reasons – mood balancing, mood management. It was hard for me to leave my apartment and do normal things as a human being,”
For 27-year-old Erica Avey, a German writer, the decision to microdose with the LSD analogue IP-LSD came after years of coping with symptoms of chronic depression and bipolar disorder. "There was something either chemical or epigenetic going on that I had acquired through the course of my childhood," she said in a recent blog post. "I’ll spare you my history and the potential sources of these mental loops, patterns, and behaviors. We all have them." She also admitted to never being formally diagnosed with a mood disorder or going to a medical doctor with her symptoms. Instead, she ordered the drug online and adopted a popular protocol used by other microdosing advocates: 15 micrograms on a one-day-on, three-days-off basis.
She reported feeling the benefits of microdosing almost immediately. "It definitely had the effect I wanted,” she said in a recent interview. “It lifted me out of a pretty deep depression. I’m still trying to wrap my head around what it has done to me in the long-term. I think it has changed me...I’m able to be more mindful of my emotions. If I’m feeling sad, that’s OK. I don’t obsess anymore. I don’t dwell on it. I don’t get worked up about it.”
Since 1P-LSD is currently legal in Germany, Avey had no problems being open about her microdosing in her daily life. Though she has since left her job, she continues to blog about her experiences on a regular basis. For people in other countries however, the need to be discreet is essential if they wish to keep their jobs and avoid prosecution. In the same article, Alex, a 35-year old paramedic working for the National Health Service in the U.K., talks about his own experiences microdosing with LSD. He decided to start microdosing to deal with his severe depression and to avoid taking anti-depressants which had been no help in the past.
"What struck me was that there was no discernible difference at first,” he said. “I’d never tried LSD recreationally before so I had no idea what to expect. I stared at a blank wall every now and then just to make sure I didn’t see any hallucinations, but there was nothing. Weirdly, it’s not until the next day, in retrospect where you look back, that you realise you handled things, or reacted to things differently. It’s so subtle it’s easy to miss. But it definitely worked. ”I continued taking it for approximately three months – sometimes I’d take a dose before work (around 9 mcg dose). I found that whilst it improved my concentration, I didn’t want to become dependent on it for that purpose. Once I was out of that ‘black hole’ cycle I stopped taking it, but I will take it again if I need to.”
While little real research exists concerning the effectiveness of microdosing, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency have provisionally endorsed its use. As well, many pharmaceutical companies have begun experimenting with microdosing to determine its effectiveness. Regardless of the outcome of these studies, microdosing appears to be growing in popularity. Whether this trend continues will depend on its final value in controlling the symptoms of depression and other disorders.