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This book came to my attention a few months before its release, when a caring friend mentioned that it might be of interest to me. This friend, along with most people who know me, was aware that I struggle daily with my mood disorder, and she was right in thinking I'd be curious to learn about a radically different approach to 'self-medication'.
Ayelet Waldman also suffers from mood disorders and according to her, she has taken just about every pharmaceutical drug available on the market, AND suffered all the accompanying side-effects. Treating a mood disorder such as bipolar disorder is complicated business and usually involves a whole drug cocktail to stabilize both the highs and lows. Approaching menopause, Waldman found that she was becoming more and more out of control, and the feeling she was putting her marriage at risk with repeated angry outbursts along with suicidal thoughts prompted her to seek a solution.
Having studied a book on the subject of microdosing which provided helpful guidelines, and not least of all, having procured a small vial of LSD from a mysterious source, she decided to become her own research subject for a month-long trial which involved taking minute amounts of LSD every three days and journaled any changes she was able to perceive over this period. At the kind of doses she was taking (about one-tenth of a standard hallucinogenic dose), the user experiences no hallucinatory effects whatsoever. Instead, she describes the overall effect of the experience as providing a feeling that one is more focused, more in control and with the general impression that one is just having... a really good day.
Waldman makes it very clear that she is by no means a typical drug user and that in fact, with her background as a Federal public defender, she is probably more cautious than most. She did a lot of reading and research on LSD to discover that it is actually a relatively safe drug and that one is unlikely to ever overdose on it. Furthermore, she was very much against the idea of 'tripping out' or getting high in any way. The doses she was taking did not produce psychotropic effects, which leads Waldman to make some very good points on the merits of legalization of drugs, which might be beneficial for treating individual who do not respond to other pharmaceutical drug regimens. She makes good points on why there is a need replace the ineffective and ultimately racist 'war on drugs', and develop a more practical approach to drug use, to, among other things, allow for more clinical trials and ultimately to give adults a right to decide for themselves whether they would like to alter their consciousness with drugs or not.
I would not say this is a 'general interest' book. I had a keen interest in it because it treats on a subject that is very close to me, but I can imagine that someone expecting to read about someone's wild experiences with LSD will be sorely disappointed.
89 of 89 people found this review helpful
I disagree with the other reviews that didn't care for the medical and historical content in the book. I found it very necessary and enjoyable. If you're looking for a light-hearted fiction novel about a happy go lucky "really good day", this is not what you want. If you want an informative experience on the curious topic of micro dosing from a relatable narrator, this is what you want!
63 of 63 people found this review helpful
I really enjoyed listening to this book it was a very insightful account of microdosing
I enjoyed this immensely.
Entertainingly read and backed up with some extremely valid points about the crazy prescription and illegal drug industry in the US (and to a lesser extent in the UK)