Sept. 20, 2022

The Future of PTSD And Mental Health Treatment: Why MDMA and Magic Mushrooms Could Be The Cure with Jill Sitnick

The Future of PTSD And Mental Health Treatment: Why MDMA and Magic Mushrooms Could Be The Cure with Jill Sitnick

Our guest is Jill Sitnick. She is the author of “Rescuing Jill, How MDMA, with a Dash of Magic Mushrooms, Healed my Childhood Trauma-Induced PTSD.”


Summary

Our guest is Jill Sitnick. She is the author of “Rescuing Jill, How MDMA, with a Dash of Magic Mushrooms, Healed my Childhood Trauma-Induced PTSD.”

About The Episode

In recent years there's been a lot of research looking at MDMA to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. There are also a number of clinical trials looking at psilocybin (magic mushrooms) to treat depression. And both of those are probably very close to getting approved in the next couple of years.

In this episode, you’ll hear from Jill Sitnick. She is the author of “Rescuing Jill, How MDMA, with a Dash of Magic Mushrooms, Healed my Childhood Trauma-Induced PTSD.” Jill shares her experience with PTSD to explain her healing with psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. She is a strong advocate for more research into psychedelics for mental health issues in the hopes of giving more people the opportunity to heal.

What We Discuss With Jill:

  • What is MDMA
  • How can psychedelics help you heal from trauma
  • Psychedelic-assisted therapy and recreational tripping are very different experiences
  • Who should NOT use psychedelic therapy
  • Why is "set and setting" so important for this therapy
  • Why do people say this therapy is 10 years of therapy in 8 hours

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Transcript

[00:00:00] Jeremy: Coming up today on the fit mess.

[00:00:02] Jill:  I think the biggest part is understanding the therapeutic use of psychedelics. As long as people go into therapy with the right expectations, It is work on the front end and it is work during the integration on the back end. , I think people would be surprised at the amount of healing that can happen.

[00:00:19] Zach: That's Jill, sit Nick. She's the author of rescuing Jill today. We'll talk to her about why she says MDM a and magic mushrooms healed her childhood trauma induced PTSD SD. 

[00:00:30] 

[00:00:51] Zach: You know, Jeremy, I think the universe is really, , conspiring to, to make sure I know as much about this stuff as possible, because it's just really been coming up a lot lately. I've been having a lot of conversations about it. I've been doing a lot of research about it and , the one thing that keeps , Making me mad or really making me, , question, , the system.

[00:01:09] I know there are medications on the market and drug companies that are making, , millions and B probably billions of dollars on, , drugs that, that can help us in this way . But I keep reading about like the healing power of MDM, a and magic mushrooms and how, one small micro dose might be enough to, , reset you for a good year.

[00:01:30] There's no money to be made on that. So what's happening? Why are we not hearing more about this? Why did the drug companies don't want us to know about it? It's been very interesting researching this lately and I'm on the verge of going. I need to experience this myself.

[00:01:46] Jeremy: This is something that actually you're gonna hear more about in the interview. That's coming up is the, uh, the, the powers at be behind the pharmaceutical industry and, and how they, on one hand, the, as you'll hear the insurance companies might actually benefit from. Paying for fewer medications for more people.

[00:02:06] So I think that's a very interesting, , area to explore here, , but like you, this is something that just keeps sort of showing up as a blip on the radar. The more that you sort of look into how to deal with mental health issues, the magic mushrooms, the MDMA, all these things that have been, , shoved back in a corner and made illegal and stigmatized and everything for decades.

[00:02:28] It's really starting to bubble up to the mainstream and is I think on the verge of actually becoming a legal and, uh, prescribable medication to treat these issues. 

[00:02:39] Zach: Honestly, based on everything I've read , the history of, of these drugs and the research that went into them, , in the fifties and sixties. And, , the benefits just seemed to be amazing. , and, , when I was a teenager, I did, I did things that I may regret and like, you know, you do 'em for the wrong reasons and, and all of that.

[00:02:56] But, , as a 43 year old, Parent, , I'm really starting to fall in line with, , you know, some of these things that I'm reading about this being a healing process, not a let's go get high or let's go get fucked up process.

[00:03:12] Jeremy: there definitely is a distinction between the two in terms of, you know, dose and setting. And whether you do it with a, you know, a, a psychedelic Sherpa or whatever it is that you need to pair up with to, to go on this journey. , but you mentioned something about your childhood. Did, did you, you, you were into the drugs as, as a young person, is that right?

[00:03:30] Zach: I won't say, I won't say for sure, but you know, if anyone could see the video, we might see my head nodding.

[00:03:39] Jeremy: I was not, I was terrified of most of them. I had, I remember going to a party, speaking of magic mushrooms. And this is, this is where I think a lot of the stigma comes from. I remember going to a party where a friend of mine, , had a bong that he filled with magic mushroom tea that he smoked his pot through.

[00:03:57] So, I mean, just got absolutely torched by smoking weed, through mushroom tea, basically. it's those experiences that, you know, I saw people around me doing these kinds of things, and I just thought he did that. And he ended up baring for a couple of days. That doesn't seem like a good time.

[00:04:15] That is a very different experience than working with a medical professional that says based on your weight, your age, your various, uh, health attributes, this is enough to sort of put your toe in the water and then maybe go a little deeper next time and a little deeper next.

[00:04:30] Zach: I can speak from experience that there's, you know, ketamine treatment is something that's a real thing of, , helping with, with healing and, and mental health disorders. , and somebody was talking to me about it and, , ketamine was one of those drugs that, you know, I had access to as a teenager.

[00:04:48] Jeremy: I didn't even realize that it was a thing.

[00:04:52] Zach: Yeah. , but if you take too much of it, you go into something called like a K hole where you are, you are fully aware of what's going on around you. You just can't move,

[00:05:00] Jeremy: Oh, my God. See, that's the

[00:05:02] Zach: move. And I went and so like, people are telling me about the healing powers and benefits of this one drug. And I'm just like, no, no, no, no, no.

[00:05:10] I had my moment with that and it was not okay.

[00:05:14] Jeremy: But not, done, uh, in a professional setting, I'm guessing this was, uh, just screwing around.

[00:05:20] Zach: I, it was, yeah, it was more than screwing around, but yeah, no professional setting. , nobody knew what was going on. Nobody knew what they were doing and, um, yeah, no, it, it, and I am, you know, swinging back the other way of like, okay, let me take a look at this. I know that my experience won't be the same.

[00:05:37] And I was traumatized by a couple of, , experiences that I had as. Slightly dumber young person , but MDM a and, and magic mushrooms, like again, if I tried them as like a microdosing, I will say that it wouldn't be the first time that I've used them.

[00:05:52] , however would I used them for the first time was just simply to have a great weekend.

[00:06:00] Jeremy: Well, I'll say this, having taken, you know, the, the meds that are currently available to try and manage my own depression. They don't work for me if they work for you. Fantastic. I just know that whenever I took them, it either amplified my anger or made me just feel completely dead inside all of the time.

[00:06:16] So knowing that research is being done on something that can be used in smaller doses.

[00:06:21] That is largely natural. It is really exciting just to know that minds are being open to what could potentially be a huge breakthrough in dealing with mental health, 

[00:06:31] Zach: Well, I know that all of my experiences and all the research that I have done in no way qualifies me as an expert in any of these topics. Fortunately we have somebody who's got some additional experience with this, right. Is that good? Okay. We partnered with Jill Nik. She's the author of rescuing Jill. We started by asking her how she got to a point where she was experimenting with MDM, a to deal with her PTSD.

[00:06:59] Jill: My story is probably very unique in that I was not experimenting. I was, , in a therapeutic relationship due to, grief, uh, that eventually, , after 18 months after losing my partner, Carl, I went to my therapist saying I've got a problem. I'm in a whirlwind of. Trauma going on. I didn't use that vocabulary.

[00:07:25] Then I was just having like a nonstop panic attack when nothing was really wrong. I got like a work email that set me off. And for two months I felt like my world was coming apart and she shifted our focus from grief to figuring out what the heck my body was trying to say. She diagnosed me at 49 with childhood trauma induced PTSD.

[00:07:50] I always knew I had a bad childhood. I never really thought I had trauma from it. And, uh, luckily she has been working in this space. And so I had the luxury of my therapist and a guide through this whole process of, uh, MDMA through three journeys and a little bit of mushrooms in the last journey.

[00:08:10] Jeremy: I have so many questions about all that before we get to that. I'm curious. What other modalities did you try? Did you do other things to, to try and alleviate that PTSD? I mean, it sounds like talk therapy was part of it, but anything else that you, you had tried.

[00:08:23] Jill: I was, you know what I, I talk in the book about one door closes and another door opens. I mean, this was my therapist to help me through grief. I just happened to get, in my opinion, very lucky that. I was symptomatic at a time that she was still available to chat. I did not know I had PTSD. If you had talked to me before that diagnosis, I would've just said, yeah, I kind of have some anxiety, but I never would've attributed to my upbringing because in my opinion, at the time, which is what a lot of trauma people do, people had way worse backgrounds than I did come on.

[00:09:02] Jeremy: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:09:03] Jill: So, uh, no, I did. There was not any other than, you know, a couple of months of talk therapy where I was not making one bit of progress.

[00:09:11] Jeremy: geez.

[00:09:13] Jill: that was really

[00:09:14] Jeremy: So how does that conversation turn from traditional talk therapy to, Hey, here's something you should try.

[00:09:22] Jill: very, very lightly

[00:09:24] Jeremy: Very delicately. Yes. Cuz there are legal matters that we'll get to as well. I wanna find out more about that, but yeah. Tell me about that conversation.

[00:09:31] Jill: that conversation was. Very kind in that, , the first conversation I read the book, uh, the body keeps a score by, uh, Beel, uh, Denver col I always mess up his name. I'm so sorry. The, the body keeps a score is a great book. That's how I saw that. I actually had a problem and could. Come to that diagnosis. And then the conversation shifted to work@maps.org, a ps.org and Johns Hopkins.

[00:10:03] So. I didn't have any sort of, Hey, let's just try this drug tomorrow kind of conversation. It was, I wanna introduce you to the research that's going on. There's a lot of positive aspects. I have access to researchers and, um, medical people. And is this something you want to think about? Go home, do your research and come back to me.

[00:10:27] She had already screened me. I didn't have any schizophrenia in my family. So we didn't think that there would be any, uh, physical danger for going this route.

[00:10:36] Jeremy: And we're talking specifically about MDM a is, is what was discussed and, and researched what, for someone listening to this, what does that mean? What is MDM? A

[00:10:46] Jill: MDM a is a , synthetic. Product early 19 hundreds, Wikipedia has different people attributed to doing different, to developing it. Uh, it is most commonly on the street known as ecstasy party drug. I wanna be very clear. I had medical grade, MDMA delivered to me via medical people, under controlled circumstances, you know, my weight and dosage and things of that sort.

[00:11:17] It is not the traditional psychedelic that people think of in terms of creating visuals and things of that sort. One of the reasons why it's a party drug is that it makes you feel good. It releases kind of the stress on your body. And for me specifically in PTSD patients, it allows the body to relax and not always be in that fight and flight mode that the trauma memories have created in our system.

[00:11:49] And so, I've got a lot of analogies that kind of explain how MDM a works, but that's, that's the most scientific you're 

[00:11:55] gonna get 

[00:11:56] Jeremy: No, that's that's great. I'm I'm no scientist. There's no lab coats in my house. Um, So, I guess, uh, you know, somebody who is maybe, uh, skeptical of this, you know, doubts that this is a, a legitimate treatment, they're hearing this and they're going, so you're stressed out, you get high, you feel good. Makes sense.

[00:12:14] Research done, right? Like, why is it more than that? Why is it, why is it not just a glass of wine on a Friday that just relaxes you and chills you out? Why is it different?

[00:12:25] Jill: That's a phenomenal question. That's a great question, because I didn't know anything about this therapy , before this. So first of all, PTSD is not just anxiety. PTSD is. The inability to move forward in a lot of ways, I was actually borderline suicidal and for no real reason other than trauma speaking up.

[00:12:47] So let me, let me differentiate that. Number two. The biggest question that I've gotten is, well, what actually happened when you were dosed with MDMA and what's interesting is that you go into the therapy with intention. I'm tired of being afraid of the future. I wanna stop being afraid of everything. The universes after me, those were kind of my opening intentions on my first journey. I happen to be a very chatty person. Not sure if you can tell. My MDMA journeys were me chatting a lot with my guides, just about things that would come up. My guides never directed the sessions they followed, where I was going. And then occasionally I would put an eye mask on. I would lay down, I'd lay on my side.

[00:13:35] That's why I'm doing that. However you lay down and letting the medicine work. And my analogy for letting the medicine work is that after the journey. The process is called integration, and you actively start to see perspective shifts about your childhood. And so when I say let the medicine work, in my opinion, I feel like the medicine was highlighting memories in my childhood that I was going to be working on during integration.

[00:14:08] And for me, the integration period on average was two to four. when I would look at a childhood memory that caused me trauma. Uh, my mother's suicides, my father's beatings, things of that sort. , I would be able to look at those situations almost as if they were happening to someone else. My body would be calm and I could say, Hey, wait a minute.

[00:14:33] That three year old didn't deserve that beating. Hey, wait a minute. That five year old didn't cause her mom to commit suicide. , a variety of things that if you were talking to a friend, you'd be like, uh, duh, that's obvious when it's in. You. Regardless of what the trauma is. It can be a bully, it can be parents.

[00:14:53] It can be anything regardless of the trauma, when it's in you, you only still see that trauma through a child centric view and the integration phase after the MDM, a allowed me to start seeing things from an adult perspective, totally shifting my.

[00:15:12] Jeremy: I, it, it is, I'm sure a much, uh, watered down version of what you experienced, but I've had experiences through breath, work and meditation where. Traveled through this portal. And there, I was standing next to the childhood version of me saying all the things that I needed an adult to say, to say, you're going to be okay.

[00:15:29] And the weirdest thing now, I mean, I carried these horrible, um, memories with me my entire life. Now those memories include me as the adult helping that version of me. Is that a similar experience only? Amplifi.

[00:15:45] Jill: Uh, so that in my definition, that's a little bit of reparenting and I've done some of that too. Uh, I personally think our imagination is one of our best friends in healing to be able to do that kind of stuff. And I know growing up, I never had a therapist suggest that. So I would say definitely different.

[00:16:05] Different trauma points needed, , an adult Jill to kind of walk in and say, Hey, here we are. And other times, adult Jill didn't work because like five year old, Jill didn't trust adults,

[00:16:21] Jeremy: Oh, wow.

[00:16:22] Jill: really interesting dynamic.

[00:16:24] Jeremy: That is, did you ex I've I've heard from other people that have done this and they discovered traumatic memories that they didn't even know were there that were horribly abusive situations that their body went. Okay. Can't process must bury that deep. that was uncovered and completely rocked them.

[00:16:42] Did you experience anything like that?

[00:16:44] Jill: You know what I was actually afraid of that, uh, very recently in a journey, I said, you know, I'm having some issues. I won't bore you with all that stuff. I said, what happens if I find out that my father did X, Y, Z, and my guides, my guidance therapist just did that just talked me through, well, what would happen?

[00:17:03] And so I don't have, I haven't had that situation. But what I can say is that under MDM, a, I didn't know that I had like an inner five year old kind of suffering. That's where the PTSD came from. So I totally get when people say all of a sudden, I now know something that happened that I had just totally shut down before, get it, like I get how that can happen.

[00:17:30] Jeremy: So you experienced, uh, MDM a and that was two of the journeys. And the third was, was psilocybin. Is that correct?

[00:17:39] Jill: So I really struggle with getting into my body. So first journey, MDMA, second journey, MDMA third journey. The pre-work to the journey was me having a nightmare about five year old. Jill not being able to get out of my childhood house door was gone.

[00:18:00] Jeremy: Wow.

[00:18:01] Jill: So, uh, we had talked before the journey, my guide had said, you know, we might get into a situation where we really need to restructure your, your thought patterns about that time.

[00:18:14] Would you have any problem? If we introduced psilocybin at that point, I was like, no, you guys, you, you could have my brain, whatever. And so we had, uh, MDMA calmed my body down, realized in my head, I had this five year old girl stuck in my childhood bedroom and she was not leaving. And that's when we used, uh, probably a very small dose of mushrooms.

[00:18:41] I, I don't know the dose, but probably very small because that part of the journey was only about an hour, hour and a half. And with their. Uh, and kind of going into the medicine, putting my, putting my eye mask on, I was actually able to disintegrate my childhood home and be free sitting in a garden. So there are certain times that I think it's really appropriate when, when there's just a huge trauma point that needs to kind of be, yeah, dismantled maybe is the best word.

[00:19:14] Jeremy: And that, I guess that was that's one of my questions too, is, , this is something that doing a show like this being in circles that I'm in, this keeps coming up and it's, I'm taking it as a scientist. Hey, dummy, go give it a try. See if it fixes all the stuff. And so I gotta go, I gotta do this. You know, I'm very interested in trying this.

[00:19:32] But, uh, like a lot of people, it scares the shit outta me. Right? Like I, all I've heard is, you know, the walls melt, you freak out your ego dissolves. You're baring in a bucket and it's just this crazy thing. But there's somebody there going no, it's gonna be all right. Hang on, man. It's it's gonna get weird, but you're gonna be okay.

[00:19:48] So help me understand why I should not be terrified.

[00:19:53] Jill: Okay. So let's talk about, uh, let's talk about first of all, a therapeutic.

[00:19:59] Jeremy: yes.

[00:20:00] Jill: Dose and environment versus a party environment. So MDMA did not make me, nauseated or I didn't throw up no bodily functions went crazy. So that that's a good thing. 

[00:20:15] Number 

[00:20:16] Jeremy: that, that would be a traumatic experience on its own that you would need to then do another trip to get over and it'd be embarrassing in the whole thing.

[00:20:24] Jill: Well, you know, we've all heard so much about an ICA journey, which I have not taken. And I, I had this, I was like, oh, are, are all psychedelics like that? Am I gonna be running to the bathroom? And my therapist calmed to me down and said, no, that's not a MDMA does not really cause that. number one, number two appropriate dosage does not cause that physicality number three mushrooms. There's a hu. In my opinion, there is a huge difference in a journey that's like a two gram to three gram, three grams, even pretty high. The walls melting ego disillusion is a five gram,

[00:21:09] uh, journey. I have never taken a five gram journey. I've never come close to that. I know a lot of in the news, they're talking about psilocybin and alcoholism.

[00:21:20] I know a couple of people who on their own have just taken a, like a four to five gram, uh, journey with loved ones with them to keep them safe. And that was super eye opening, but I would say there is absolutely no harm in going small. When you first wanna get started to understand what it's like. Heck you can micro dose just to get a sense.

[00:21:46] Uh there's no, in this kind of therapy, there's no reason to jump into the deep end. It's very cool to kind of step by step into the water is my 

[00:21:56] opinion. 

[00:21:57] Jeremy: So, uh, I've obviously expressed that there is a stigma around this, around in, in my head and, and what I've experie. I think that stigma is, uh, largely fueled by the legality of, of these kinds of drugs. How, I mean, it's brave of you to come on to podcasts and say, I've done this. It's awesome. I mean, this is something it's not legal, right?

[00:22:17] I mean, you, you could potentially get in trouble for, for using illegal substances. So how. I guess, what would you recommend to somebody who is hearing this and going? I've got stuff I want to deal with it. This sounds like something for me. What is the, legally safe advice that you can give that person?

[00:22:37] Jill: Yeah, so the legally the legal way. So first of all, this is not fringe anymore. maps.org is actually working with the FDA. They are going to be finishing up their phase three clinical trials and you don't get to phase three clinical trials if stuff isn't working in phase one and phase two. And so the anticipated.

[00:22:57] Legalization of MDMA for PTSD as a therapy, we're anticipating sometime 20, 23, assuming everything's working. Cause the FDA is in lockstep with maps. There's no surprise here. It's a breakthrough therapy designation. you can't ki you feel like you can't wait, you can go to the maps.org website and see what clinical trials they are offering.

[00:23:22] If you feel like you're a PTSD person, if you feel like you're a depressed person, the ketamine clinics are all around. I would just be a really strong shopper and make sure it's exactly what you want. Cuz we all have different opinions about what should be done in person and what can be done virtually.

[00:23:39] I have zero opinions about that. I. That's not my world. Uh, but Johns Hopkins has FDA breakthrough therapy approval with psilocybin magic mushrooms. And they're also running a variety of clinical trials. And we're seeing, if you do start, I call it doing the Google. If you do start doing the Google, you're gonna see a number of clinical trials through other agencies, because to be quite candid, the investor space is like ramping.

[00:24:08] Big time. So if you're super motivated right now, you can do some research and try to get into a clinical trial.

[00:24:14] Jeremy: And I will say, as someone who lives in Canada, the restrictions are, uh, significantly lower than, than they are in the us. So if you feel like making a road trip, I don't know, head, head to Canada and do some research. I, I'm not, I'm not one to tell you what to do with your life. So there you go. 

[00:24:29] Jill: And I to make sure whoever you're with cuz there's a whole underground society in the us too. , most people I, that I've heard experienced, it's been super pleasant. People have been wonderful guides, Just make sure you're you're with someone you trust.

[00:24:48] And if you really wanna do that kind of work, cuz it's really important.

[00:24:51] Jeremy: was something I wanted to get to was sort of the setting of this. again, it's, you're not at a party, you know, nobody's doing keg stands. It's a, it's not that environment. So what is sort of a, the ideal setting for somebody? I mean, I guess that's, I suppose that's individual to whatever someone needs, but maybe what was your ideal setting for, for doing this?

[00:25:07] Jill: Actually, I love that you asked that question cuz um, uh, my late partner, Carl, he had bladder cancer. So we were in hospital after hospital, after hospital. And that, that was cold and sterile. Uh, the journey room, in my opinion or space, I'll say space should be welcoming. It should be inviting. There should be a place to lay down.

[00:25:28] If you're a cuddling person, like I am like, I can't get enough blankets. Bring a blanket with you, bring your eye mask, bring your fluffy socks, bring whatever will make you comfortable. And the room should be relatively comfortable. Very often in the videos online@maps.org. You see that there's a bed in a hospital room, but they've kind of, they've made it a little less clinical.

[00:25:53] If you happen to be outside with someone I've heard of that too. Whatever it is, make sure you are comfortable with the space. And my advice is bring anything with you. I almost, I always make fun that like I've got my little backpack, bring anything with you that will make you comfortable. , that really helps me.

[00:26:12] So take that advice for what it's worth.

[00:26:14] Jeremy: And how important is your intention going into it? I mean, obviously it's gonna help you unlock the things that you go into with the intention. But I know for me with the various spiritual things that I've done, the more I'm I just walk in and go, just, just show me the way. And, and I'm in for the ride, the deeper I go, the more I learn, the more I grow from that experience.

[00:26:33] If I walk going, walk in going, this looks like a bunch of horse crap. I don't get as much out of it. So, I mean, is that, uh, is that a fair assessment of, of this? Should you walk into it with an open mind? Does it make a difference?

[00:26:46] Jill: I think, I think you're spot on. I, I think the, uh, the difference with approaching these substances in a therapeutic sense is that I actively had intentions. I wanted to figure out why the heck I was so afraid. I had 20 years of a great career, a great partner. I didn't have a reason to be afraid. I wanted to understand that.

[00:27:12] And I will say too, don't be surprised. I just recently had a journey where I had a certain set of intentions and no one is more surprised than I am at the integration. That is totally leading me down a different path. Consciously, I never would've put together this intention and this kind of healing.

[00:27:32] So go in with whatever focus, whatever intention, whatever your goal. There's also nothing to say. There isn't any real harm in having a smaller journey and just kind of saying, Hey mother mushroom or whatever. Let me know what I need to understand. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that either. That's just not therapeutic in the way that I did 

[00:27:57] Jeremy: Sure. 

[00:27:57] Jill: my doctors.

[00:27:58] Jeremy: So speaking of therapeutic dosing, , I've talked to other people that say you will never see these drugs legalized because of the, you know, big pharma is gonna go well, what are we gonna get people to take every day? If there's something they can take once a year, that does the same thing. Do you think that there's any, uh, concern there that maybe not even concerned?

[00:28:18] Do you think there's potential that this could alleviate much of our mental health crisis or, or is this pretty specifically a PTSD, , treatment and not so much, you know, your, your garden, variety, anxiety and depression.

[00:28:32] Jill: So I think that's a really great question. And I'm gonna say right off the bat, I am not an expert in this space. , so the first question insurance, big pharma, a lot of the companies out there, if you wanna start. Looking at the companies now where you should maybe invest, they're actually trying to isolate specific parts of psilocybin or different parts of MDMA, , to do a couple of things.

[00:28:57] Number one, patent it. So it becomes theirs. Number two, make it more insurance. My journey is there anywhere from five to eight hours, that's expensive. , on the flip side, if you're an insurance company that is paying. , I don't know, daily, weekly, monthly for a lot of, , medication right now that lots of people would argue.

[00:29:20] Isn't really helping our mental health crisis. This other solution comes along that allows you to cut costs and ironically helps people at the same time. there is, I, I hope and think there is space for that a 10 hour total journey. A 20 hour process. I mean, I had three journeys over the course of a year and I no longer qualify for a PTSD diagnosis.

[00:29:48] I don't know what insurance company wouldn't kind of say, Hey, that can save us

[00:29:54] money. 

[00:29:54] Jeremy: Yeah. Good point. Sort of along those same lines, you mentioned schizophrenia, uh, diagnoses. Those are maybe people that should stay away from this. Anybody else who should steer clear of, this, from what you've heard or what you've read that is not beneficial.

[00:30:07] Jill: Yeah. Uh, I don't know the definition of psychosis, schizophrenia and psychosis are the two phrases I've heard the most who those, that those populations should stay away from psychedelics. So please get screened before you do anything.

[00:30:22] Jeremy: You mentioned the three journeys initially that got you to basically better fair since then. Is there, is there maintenance, do you still do it occasionally? How does that work?

[00:30:33] Jill: Oh, my gosh. So, uh, I wound up making friends with a couple of other folks. Who've also gone through the therapy and I had kind of had in my mind that, oh, I was, I was cured of that part and everything else was talk therapy. My therapist in my guide have been wonderful. I've had two journeys since.

[00:30:51] Practically a year apart. So it's definitely not something I do very often. I really, I try to go in with a lot of intention. I will say that once a trauma victim starts unraveling the onion, there's some more layers that you maybe don't anticipate and, and you can't get to that base layer without doing the, the top work.

[00:31:11] So I don't know how many journeys are ahead of me. I, I think a few more, but, um, Even still, I'm not going to talk therapy every single week, , it's definitely worth, it's definitely a modality that I appreciate. I think the biggest part is understanding the therapeutic use of psychedelics. There's a ton of research going on. The ball is already rolling. I would be shocked if it isn't legal in a year or two. And, uh, as long as people go into therapy with the right expectations, It is work on the front end and it is work during the integration on the back end.

[00:31:49] Uh, I think people would be surprised at the amount of healing that can happen.

[00:31:53] Jeremy: And where can we learn more about you? And, and, uh, you've mentioned the maps website, but about your work, your book, where can we learn about you and any other, uh, resources you wanna 

[00:32:00] Jill: Oh, 

[00:32:00] Jeremy: folks?

[00:32:02] Jill: I am, uh, Jill sit.com super easy. This is my book rescuing Jill. It's a quick read. I basically walk you through the year of going through the journeys and, um, maps.org, a ps.org has their research about PTSD with, uh, MDMA. As psychedelic Johns Hopkins, you can just, uh, do a search for Johns Hopkins and psilocybin.

[00:32:29] And a lot of stuff comes up. And for folks who are super interested south by Southwest conference, that's gonna be showing up. I went last year. They had two full days of sessions around psychedelic psychedelic research, psychedelic investing.

[00:32:45] They had. Major researchers, , Carhartt was there. The guy from, Hopkins was there. I mean, they had top level researchers there. I applied this year. Hopefully I'll get to speak, but for people who were super interested in that space, going to that conference, I think can be very helpful. 

[00:33:03] Jeremy: Okay. Our thanks to Jill sit. She is the author of rescuing Jill. You can find links to her and her work in the show notes for this episode, , at the fit mass.com as well as the links to the events coming up, that she mentioned there as well. And a lot of takeaways there, but primarily, and probably most importantly for our sake, I wonder just remind you that this is something that is probably not legal, depending on where you, where you live in the world.

[00:33:24] So we are in no way, endorsing that you go out and do. We are just offering this as something to do some research on and to follow what's being done because should this become legal? And should this become something that your doctor is able to give you to help manage whatever PTSD or, or mental health issue you've probably been wrestling with your entire life?

[00:33:45] It could be very exciting. So I just, I wanna highlight that this is, this is something to keep an eye on and do some research on because I do believe that this will become an option for you in the very near.

[00:34:08] Zach: And with any therapy, modality, it really helps to go in with an open mind and really let go of resistance and past beliefs. I mean, I talked about at the beginning of the show, some of the experiences that I've had with these things that are rather negative and have scared me, , from wanting to do this again.

[00:34:25] , but , I am reminded so often. How many times I'm wrong on my beliefs and things that I've believed since childhood. , and I preach on this show. how you should question those things. So I, I will take my own advice and, and really start to question those

[00:34:41] Jeremy: Well, along those same lines too, like how many times has there been something in your life that you're afraid of? You avoid it and you avoid it and you avoid it and it's sort of lingering there. And when you finally lean into it, it's one of the most growing healing experiences of your life.

[00:34:56] So this has definitely got me interested. It's got me wanting to do the research and find out, , more about how this might be able to help me in the future. , but , also, like you said, it's, it's about the right setting. It's about going in with the right intentions. This is not getting wasted at a party with your buddies and doing keg stands.

[00:35:13] This is something entirely different. This is a medical treat. And should be taken very seriously. If it is something that you decide to pursue when, and if it becomes legal

[00:35:23] Zach: Key key there

[00:35:25] Jeremy: that may be yeah.

[00:35:26] Zach: when it becomes

[00:35:27] Jeremy: when, when we'll stick with, when

[00:35:29] Zach: that that's when we'll start endorsing

[00:35:31] Jeremy: that's right . And as long as we're covering our bases, uh, from a, from a legal perspective, we should also note that this is absolutely not for everybody. People with schizophrenia, psychosis, very, very serious mental health issues. This is not something that, uh, is recommended for you to even be researching because it could be, uh, very dangerous.

[00:35:50] So get screened, talk to your doctor, make sure you do your due diligence on this because you do not want to mess around with this. If this is something that could actually do you more harm than.

[00:36:00] Zach: 

[00:36:00] And honestly, I, again, I am doing more and more research on this. So if, if anyone listening has, , looked into this or is thinking about this, , please feel free to go join our Facebook group. And we can have conversations around this. , our Facebook group is for fitness listeners. To connect for monthly challenges, being accountable to each other and having wonderful conversations about things that are illegal that we don't do. 

[00:36:23] Jeremy: Yeah, you could do that at the, at the fit mess.com. That's where we're gonna be back next week with a brand new episode. Thanks for listening and only doing legal things.

[00:36:33] Zach: See everyone.

[00:36:34] We should probably beef up our disclaimer on this episode. 

Jill Sitnick Profile Photo

Jill Sitnick

Rescuing Jill, How MDMA with a Dash of Mushrooms Healed My Childhood Trauma-Induced PTSD

In her 26-year career in educational technology, Jill Sitnick has been an educator, Supervisor of Instructional Technology, and Program Manager at Microsoft and Amazon.

At her core, she is a teacher known for her ability to simplify complex issues using storytelling to connect people to new ideas.

Most recently she is the author of Rescuing Jill, How MDMA, with a Dash of Magic Mushrooms, Healed my Childhood Trauma-Induced PTSD. Jill shared her experience with PTSD to explain her healing with psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. She is a strong advocate for more research into psychedelics for mental health issues in the hopes of giving more people the opportunity to heal.

Jill lives in Pennsylvania with her clingy dog who keeps the house safe from a litany of sketchy squirrels.