For 40 years, Amanda Feilding, Countess of Wemyss and March, has believed psychedelics are an effective treatment for depression and anxiety. Now a growing number of scientists agree
Imagine a family of drugs that could treat addiction, depression and post-traumatic stress: sicknesses of the soul for which modern medicine, in all its surgical wizardry, has few cures. Substances that were a fillip to creativity and could provide those who took them with an experience comparable to seeing God or witnessing the birth of a child. Say these wonder chemicals were found: why would a society make them illegal?
The question has dogged Amanda Feilding since the 1960s, when during her teens and early 20s she first tried psychedelics. Through cannabis, LSD and magic mushrooms she found that the doors of perception were flung wide open. A blissful period of experimentation followed, in the heyday of that swinging decade, before the doors were slammed shut again in what she says was a panic about their dangers.
These drugs introduce a kind of storm, but in the context of treating a pathology, it can be a useful storm
A lot of the research is giving drugs to normal people and then asking: ‘Have you had a nice mystical experience?’