🍄 The New Health Club #40 - Psytech Fever, Benjamin Maack on our YouTube Show and Ketamine November!

What a conference it was on Tuesday! Psytech did an amazing job and brought all the people in the current world of psychedelics “together” via their screens and from all over the world. I had a great time on the stage of The Factory in Berlin, thanks to their amazing space that helped us to bring you this event in style.

I talked to Christian Angermayer (ATAI) and Graham Boyd (Dr. Bronner’s) about 2021, what we can expect and how we can balance a growing industry, the people’s need for healing psychedelics as well as the current legal situation— and how this will all be impacting the future of mental health. Our talk will be online very soon so keep an eye out.

My second guest was Benjamin Maack, Der Spiegel editor and author, who shared insights from his book about depression as well as his three stays at a psychiatric hospital. We had our conversation in German, as Benjamin said he would be able to express his feelings and insights into his depression much better in his mother tongue. However, for the non-German speakers you’ll also be able to view our talk (with English subtitles) over on the New Health Club YouTube show today.

I am happy we did this interview in German, since it gave Benjamin the opportunity to be so open and honest with his insights, share his thoughts about depression and how he and his family are dealing with it. I love how openly he talked and how in moments, he was even able to make fun of it, especially when you'd think there is nothing funny about being on antidepressants such as SSRIs.

To me, the stories like Benjamin’s are deeply important. They open us up to talk about ourselves, to change narratives, to make it for all of us easier to talk about mental health in a new way, something I am very passionate about here at The New Health Club. So please, enjoy the interview with Benjamin, he is a really great storyteller! And here's where you can find his book, which is a really honest, at times absurd, yet very hopeful read.

After conversations like these, I am avoiding the term “patient” now on purpose. I am more convinced than ever that looking ahead psychedelics will be a total game changer, a change many of us so desperately need.

Coming up in the next few weeks!

We have JR Rahn, founder and Co-CEO of Mindmed on the show, next week, just two days after the US election! And as promised, we dive into Ketamine, talking to experts from Novamind and Columbia University about all of its possibilities, and ways you can engage in Ketamine therapy that is already available! I even started one by myself to work on topics in my life, that I’ve been wanting to address. More to come in Ketamine November!

Research Roundup by Ewan Waddell.

In Ketamine news: A new study in mice and humans has deepened scientific understanding of the dissociative effects of the compound.

Why’s this important? Ketamine has been proven to have lasting anti-depressive effects supposedly for its ability to dissociate the patient from their “rigid, negative, and maladaptive beliefs about oneself and the world”. Therefore, a deeper understanding of these effects and how we can navigate them may allow us to streamline the effectiveness of ketamine treatment.

In psilocybin news: Canadian wellness company Numinus Wellness recently completed the first legal harvest of Psilocybe mushrooms ever undertaken in Canada.

What about synthetic psilocybin? Well, although it’s possible to synthesize psilocybin without the need for fungi, the cost of doing so is notably higher. The idea therefore is that by reducing the cost of acquiring psilocybin, the overall cost of psilocybin therapy would be lower, allowing it to be a more financially accessible treatment for those in need.

In microdosing news: Dutch researchers found improvements in both mood and cognition as a result of LSD microdosing.

But what about SSRIs? Modern antidepressants such as SSRIs have hugely varying effects and often dangerous side effects both whilst on them and whilst coming off them. The risks of microdosing psychedelics are comparatively much lower, and so the research is shining a light on them as a potential alternative to traditional pharmaceuticals.

More next time. Have a great week!