How OCD Killed Joey Ramone

By Cat Jones

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Ah, Joey. We all miss the Ramones, and this one most of all. There’s never been a band like them, before or since, though many (much more commercially successful) bands have been influenced and inspired by them, have even tried their best to copy the Ramones. But they were something unique, and Joey was their soul. There’s a lot to say about them, and a lot that already has been said by others. I’m not a music critic, and I don’t really feel qualified to add to the conversation concerning either their music or their contribution to the punk scene or the culture in general. My words regarding Joey are of a much more personal nature. They concern a pain I know very well, a secret suffering that very few of his fans could ever have understood. 

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Joey Ramone had OCD. It was an affliction so severe that his mother was once told by doctors that he would never be able to care for himself, that he would never amount to anything. He was hospitalized for it on at least one occasion, and it impacted his life greatly. But like many people with OCD, he was artistically gifted, and like most who have it, he was embarrassed by it, he struggled to keep it to himself, and he tapped a reservoir of superhuman strength, resiliency, and creativity to rise above this strangling disability. His brother, who had a front row seat to Joey’s struggles, has often been quoted saying, “There is a little genius in every madman.” Make that a lot. Joey was a lot of self effacing, gentle, quiet genius.

It’s this facet of his character that I find most touching. I feel this way because I have it too, and I know how much it hurts. I understand precisely how disabling it is, how everything you do when you have this is thousands of times harder than it is for everybody else. I know what a feat of strength it was for him to rise above this disability and do what he did. No small thing. A little over 2% of the population suffers from OCD. Of those, many are artists, most are intellectually gifted, and many either attempt or succeed at suicide. It’s not an easy path.

So when I see Joey standing up there, hiding under all that hair, behind those shades, the king of the geeks and the nerds, singing his heart out in comic-book battle punk staccato, I see a kind of victory and beauty that only about 2.3% of us can ever really comprehend. That boy was a warrior. ramones-joey.jpg

And I feel this surging love for him, this mixed up boy I never met. I am connected to him through the cracking of my teeth. Yes. It’s this one odd manifestation of OCD in me… There are many flavors of this strange dis-ease, and I have had them all… but it’s this one flavor that brings Joey to my side as we walk along. Let me try to tell you what this feels like.

A year or two ago, I was walking my dog at night, and I stumbled over a row of dark rocks outside a churchyard that I hadn’t seen in the darkness. I fell over the top of my dog, landed on him in fact, and only that saved me from a much greater injury. I’ve never liked falling, that sense of being utterly powerless in the grasp of gravity, not knowing where or how you might land, not knowing what might be left of you once you hit. And that one hurt. Something about it sparked off a syndrome of OCD that’s never gone away since. (This illness is like that. It grabs hold of you in the strangest ways. This is only one of many manifestations of it for me.)

Ever since that happened, I cannot take a step without feeling myself falling. Vividly, starkly, in lurid detail, I fall in my mind with every step I take. I literally feel my bones breaking, my teeth cracking against the pavement. I hear the soft thud of my cheekbones, muted through the flesh of my face, hitting concrete. I feel the pain, I see the wounds. Every. Fucking. Step I take.

I hide it, like Joey did. I walk along, I smile, I try to follow conversations… all the while, feeling my teeth shattering, clattering against the concrete. There’s no choice except to keep on walking. The only alternative is complete and utter disability. So I just keep walking. I just keep pretending I can’t hear the sound of ivory against pavement, can’t feel flesh breaking apart between concrete and bone.

Sometimes, I imagine Joey walking along next to me. Sadly, it was OCD and a walk that killed him, in a way. Although the official cause of death was complications from lymphoma, a disease he’d been battling for at least half a decade, the thing is, he had been in remission. And one snowy, icy new years eve in 2001, he should have been resting, I suppose. But he was restless and anxious, and apparently, his OCD was insisting he had not closed a door properly on the other side of town. He tried to resist the urge to listen to the OCD for awhile, but eventually he couldn’t stand it any more, and he took off walking across town to check that God damned door.

Joey’s bones were brittle from years of cancer and chemo, and he slipped and fell on that New York ice, and broke his hip. The stress of the fracture brought the lymphoma screaming back out of remission, and three months later, he was dead.

1302659712179_ORIGINALSo I think of that, too, when I’m walking down the sidewalk, listening to my own teeth shatter, and Joey’s hip shattering, and OCD shattering the peace of our lives.

One last thought about the ending of Joey Ramone, and then I’ll get to bed. I heard that, on the day he died, he nodded toward the boom box by his bed, directing his brother to turn it on and play the U2 song, In a Little While.

“In a little while / This hurt will hurt no more / I’ll be home, love / In a little while….”

They say that when the song was over, Joey was gone.

And I wonder at that. How do people know when it’s time for them to leave here? How does the music help them find their way? I remember when my lover was dying of cancer, I wanted so much for him to live. I begged him to stay. Made him promise me he would live (the only promise to me he ever broke). And he tried so hard to live. I remember everyone telling me I had to let him go, but I would not. For days, the doctors had been telling me he probably only had hours left to live. I refused to hear them, I chased them from his room, and I kept trying to make him live.

One afternoon, a close friend who loved us both came into his room for a visit. “I have a song I want to sing for him,” she said. Great, I thought. I expected something, I don’t know, maybe uplifting, maybe inspiring. I don’t know what I was expecting. But when she began to sing, it was Michael Row the Boat Ashore. For the first time, I heard that song for what it really was. I’d always thought of it as a children’s song, something we learned in kindergarten, nothing I’d really thought about much since. But the clear, high notes rang through that antiseptic white… and I heard it for the very first time. It was a song about death. Permission to die.

I felt so inexplicably angry and betrayed. She had been one who’d gently been trying to get me to let him go. She saw him suffering, saw him trying to fight this futile battle, reluctant to break his promise to me. I think she’d had enough, and in her gentle way, she wanted to help him out of all that pain. But I was so upset. Part of that was my OCD… I’d been working so hard to find just the right things to say and do to make him live… and to me, that song meant he would die. She was giving him permission to go. I wanted to shut her up and chase her from the room. But when I looked at Sid, he was smiling in relief. He heard it too. He knew what it was, and he was so relieved.

He closed his eyes and listened, and after she was finished, he asked us to sing Amazing Grace. And that’s when I knew, it was real. He was really going to die. Nothing I could do was going to stop this. He was going to die, and he knew it, and we all knew it, and he needed some strength to get there. God, I’d have done anything to save him. But I could not. So we all just started singing Amazing Grace. We sang and sang that stupid song. And later that night, when everyone else was gone, he opened his eyes and told me he had to go. Go where, I stupidly asked. He pointed upward. Out, he said. Out there.

He asked me for some miso soup. I made some, and was feeding him spoons of it when he died. It was like he knew he had to go somehow, but didn’t quite have the strength or know how to get there. Until he was nourished a little, with music and miso, and then he found his wings.

What a strange thing life is. And death.

“In a little while / This hurt will hurt no more / I’ll be home, love / In a little while….”

Life’s a gas, life’s a gas, life’s a gas, a gas, oh yeah
Life’s a gas, life’s a gas, life’s a gas, a gas, oh yeah

So don’t be sad
‘Cause I’ll be there
Don’t be sad at all

Life’s a gas, life’s a gas, life’s a gas, a gas, oh yeah
Life’s a gas, life’s a gas, life’s a gas, a gas, oh yeah

So don’t be sad
‘Cause I’ll be there
Don’t be sad at all”

______________________________

EDITORS NOTE: After a year up on this site, I’ve noticed that this article gets constant traffic. So I want to add just a little more for people who might have found it because they, themselves, have OCD. You don’t have to die of this devastating illness. There really is hope for it. I wrote this because I’m always interested in how OCD has impacted people’s lives, because as I said above, I have it myself. Having tried a lot of different treatments, here’s what has worked for me. First, I found 5htp helpful – a supplement you can get at the healthfood store. It worked so well that I thought maybe an SSRI would work even better, so I tried one. It did, but it came with *horrendous* side effects, and consequently I would never, ever recommend that to anyone. I stopped taking them, but the side effects persisted.

So I went to a clinic that specializes in OCD, and weirdly enough, the thing I’ve found that is more helpful than anything, is mindfulness. OCD seems to be, at its heart, an anxiety disorder. I did not realize that early on, as it seems so much more complicated. But it’s intense anxiety about the world, with the mind throwing up all these weird obsessions and compulsions in a desperate (and desperately unhelpful) attempt to control the situation and alleviate the anxiety. Learning techniques to relax, and to recognize and observe the mind at work, without struggling against it, is really helpful for me. Also, group therapy specifically for people with OCD is a great experience. You can finally talk about all the weird things no one else would understand, and you discover that, like you, people with OCD tend to be really intelligent, creative, interesting people. The stigma and shame you might have had for years falls away, and you’re around people who are actively seeking and finding solutions.

And that brings me to the other thing that has helped me more than anything. P. Cubensis. Psilocybin mushrooms. Yes, shrooms. Small studies have, for years, been suggesting that Psilocybin mushrooms alleviate depression, anxiety, and OCD. So, I tried them. And yes, I have found them to be very helpful. Yes, they are hallucinogenic, and should you want to try them, I’d suggest doing some research and probably not being by yourself the first time you try them. I’m not saying you should, I’m just saying that they’re really helpful for me. I don’t need to do them a lot. Just every now and then, and they help for a long time.

So that’s what has worked for me. And you will find something that will help you. This was an illness nobody discussed and nobody understood, until very recently. But a lot of progress has been made since Joey struggled with it. It took people who have it, getting together to talk about it, to finally begin to solve this puzzle. In the event you found this page because you, too, are struggling with OCD, may I recommend this book, that introduces ACT, a form of mindfulness therapy. (I’m not getting paid to advertise it or anything, I just found it *really* helpful and you might too.) It’s called The Happiness Trap, by Russ Harris, and you can probably find it at the library. Otherwise, you can get it online, but go somewhere like thriftbooks or amazon, where you can find it for under $10, rather than ordering it through a mental health site, where they routinely charge $35.

Feel free to share your own experiences in the comments.

 

 

18 comments

  1. Did not know that about Joey. RIP. 😦

    Do you have a good link on information about OCD? Sadly, the one person I knew who claimed to have this turned out to be a con artist using OCD as an excuse to hide her inconsistencies(and/or get sympathy). I suppose it’s possible to be a lying sleaze and have OCD, but since this person’s relationship with the truth was passable at best, Imma assuming everything they said on the subject was BS.

    • There are lots of sources of info, but it’s a big and strange illness with a lot of different “flavors.” It’s really not all about the stereotypical obsession with cleanliness that it’s usually portrayed as. While some people with OCD do experience that manifestation, many more do not.

      Most sources I’ve seen cover one or another “flavors” of the disease very well and don’t cover the others at all, or they cover a lot of different manifestations in a surface way.

      I just came across this, which I haven’t checked out yet so I hope it’s good, but most things from this source are good, and it looks compelling.

      https://thesecretillness.com/2016/05/16/this-old-ghost/

      Some time when I have the time, I’ll look for more if you like.

      • Thanks for those. Very insightful. It sounds a bit like the repeated thoughts one has in a hyper-vigalent state, coming up with and rehearsing a plan for fight/flight/safety. The difference being that the thoughts don’t stop once the situation is resolved.

        Holy shit, that would be exhausting.

        *hugs*

  2. This really touched me. I have had OCD for most of my life, it runs genetically in my family. I mostly struggle with primarily obsessive OCD, though it does like to slip in to every part of my life. When I started getting really sick in my early teen years, and my life revolved around constant hospitalization, I found the Ramones, and something clicked. I leaned on Joey, and still do a lot of the time, because although he was on SSI and very ill for most of his life, he made it for a long time. When I read his brother’s book, I was devastated when I found out that compulsive behavior contributed to his death. And when my mother was diagnosed with cancer and wasted away, I so badly tried to control it, while leaning on Joey again. I listened to his posthumous solo releases a lot toward the end of her life. I’ve managed to find hope in his life of tragedy.
    Dialectical behavioral therapy changed my life, and I so wish the research for that had been completed and popularized before Joey’s death. I do a lot of mindfulness, radical acceptance, and urge surfing. It kind of works to restructure your pathological thought processes, in a way.
    Thank you for writing this.

      • Can I share this on my tumblr blog? I post about Joey Ramone and living with OCD with semi-frequency (it’s a jumble, really). I really loved this so much and I think it’s very truthful too.

    • OCD runs in my family as well, my mother and sister had it, and I have it to a minor degree, it pops out when I am under a lot of stress. My main problems are anxiety and panic, tho I thankfully haven’t had a panic attack in years. But the low grade anxiety never goes away.

      Your recounting of your partners death had me in tears. How beautiful and tragic at the same time. Wishing you the best.

  3. I was a huge fan of the Ramones even before i accepted that I had a mental disease (When you have OCD, you know there’s something very wrong with even though no one else knows). Then, i find about Joey had OCD and started appreciating and admiring him even more. It’s a hard time living whit this, and only we that have it, know how difficult it is to perform basic task that not OCD people do like it is nothing. I just wanted to say that I’m about to start a new treatment for this horrible illness and I really wish it helps me, reading that mindfulness has helped you makes me have a little hope for myself.

    • May the treatment work for you. Yes, I find mindfulness vey helpful. Psilocybin mushrooms also help, as does 5htp, which you can find in any health food store. Those are what I’ve found most helpful. ACT therapy is vey effective – it’s a mindfilness- based technique. Keep us posted!

  4. Hi, thanks for writing this beautiful article and sharing your personal experiences with us. I didn’t kow that Joey had such bad OCD and that it contributed to his death. I was so sad to learn that nobody was with him on that cold night, otherwise he probably wouldn’t have slipped on the icy ground. At least, I would have tried my best to stop him from going to check on that infamous door. BTW, I also have a slight form of OCD which comes out especially when I feel very stressed, and it only consists in washing my face and hands several times. Anyways, I feel the necessity to wash my face several times a day everyday, but maybe because I always feel somewhat anxious. But I can’t imagine how living with a serious form of OCD might be, and how this problem might effect our lives. Thanks again for sharing your thought with us, I wish you all the best!

  5. Hi, thanks for writing this beautiful article and sharing your personal experiences with us. I didn’t kow that Joey had such bad OCD and that it contributed to his death. I was so sad to learn that nobody was with him on that cold night, otherwise he probably wouldn’t have slipped on the icy ground. At least, I would have tried my best to stop him from going to check on that infamous door. BTW, I also have a slight form of OCD which comes out especially when I feel very stressed, and it only consists in washing my face and hands several times. Anyways, I feel the necessity to wash my face several times a day everyday, but maybe that’s because I always feel somewhat anxious. But I can’t imagine how living with a serious form of OCD might be, and how this problem might affect our lives. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts with us, I wish you all the best!

  6. I very much appreciate your words. however I lost respecwhen you said Schrooms were so helpful and you recommend them. I know 3 people who died while under their influence. three wonderful people. two had heart attacks at age 21 and 33. the 3rd, who had OCD, had such horrific hallucinations even after quitting using them he had a mental breakdown and committed suicide even long after quitting. they made it worse. its screwing with an already flawed set of brain chemicals. it’s still self medicating and as always there are actual medical drugs that do the “same” thing clinically and supervised by a doctor that addicts or users of drugs that they feel make them better can do. SSRI dont always work. I had a horrible time with them, too. but theres dozens of medicines out there and being developed daily that help make ADD, OCD, anxiety, depression, etc manageable if not miraculously almost absent. it takes time to find what works. I know a few ADD folks who live on speed yet this is what ritalin and other medicines are, only legal, supervised and able to be tweaked to help. just found it irresponsible of you. the excuse of having illegal drugs or killing a family if 4 when you hit them, impaired , in your car of “I need it for my anxiety/ADD/OCD/ADHD/ stomach/nerves blah blah never kept anyone out of jail or worse being put in dangerous situations.

    • Hello,

      I saw your message in moderation today, and I want to take the time to respond to you personally, as it’s clear that you have some real concerns about what I’ve written. So, here goes, responding in line to your message.

      I very much appreciate your words.

      Thank you! Thanks for reading the piece. It’s weirdly been one of my most popular pieces, though I wrote it years ago. Do you have OCD also?

      however I lost respecwhen you said Schrooms were so helpful and you recommend them. I know 3 people who died while under their influence. three wonderful people. two had heart attacks at age 21 and 33. the 3rd, who had OCD, had such horrific hallucinations even after quitting using them he had a mental breakdown and committed suicide even long after quitting.

      There’s quite a bit to unpack here. First of all, to be clear, there is no “recommendation” in my article. I carefully explain what I’ve tried, and what has and has not worked for me. I have found P Cubensis to be very helpful, which I have honestly stated. I do not believe in censoring nor mis- representing facts. I also, very clearly, stated, “I’m not saying you should,” and I mentioned the necessity of having a “sitter” for people unaccustomed to such things who might be considering them, since the experience can be intense. I’m nobody’s doctor, and it isn’t up to me to decide what anyone else should or shouldn’t try as treatment modality. I’m certainly not going to pretend it didn’t help me, when it did, or leave my own experience out of a piece I wrote, in large part, about my own experience.

      Secondly… Hm. I appreciate your taking the time to write, and I want to respect your perceptions and feelings. I also want to be honest with you that I’m more than a little skeptical that you know anyone, much less 3 people, who died from shrooms.

      Of all 3 examples, the only one I buy as being even remotely possible is the third one.

      Now, it may very well be that you knew 3 people who, sadly, died early and that 2, oddly, had heart attacks. So I’m not calling you a liar here, and I’m sad for your pain. But the assumption that this could have been caused by, or related in any way to, psilocybin is more than a little bit far fetched.

      In fact, as a person who has studied both biochemistry and microbiology, not to mention as a person who has done a lot of research into entheogens… that is just not a believable premise. I say this because psilocybin is a very well- researched entheogen, generally considered quite safe. In order to overdose on shrooms, one would literally need to eat at least 37 lbs of them. I’m pretty sure nobody has ever, or could ever, ingest that many of them, and the literature holds no examples, ever, of such an occurrence.

      Psilocybin is generally considered almost as safe as caffeinated beverages.

      So the first 2 anecdotes are just not believable. At least, I do not believe their demise had any relation to their use of p cubensis. (When a person winds up in the ER after having ingested shrooms, it is almost NEVER the only drug they’ve taken, is never the most toxic thing in their system, and even *then* there is not usually any lasting health effects.) It’s just INCREDIBLY unlikely. And unlikely that such a thing would occur without ever making it into the literature.

      TWICE, no less.

      I’m dubious.

      Your friend who committed suicide, I’m sad to say, is much more believable. Some elements of that story don’t ring true, in that “flashbacks” from shrooms really aren’t a thing. True flashbacks are such an extremely rare occurrence that they’re now usually considered to be something of a myth, though some sources do continue to mention them. (I’ve never experienced any, but the science is not fully in yet, so although I’m skeptical about that part, I’m not going to say it couldn’t be.) On extremely rare occasions when they do occur, most sources describe them as generally very slight, not usually “hallucinations” but more likely tracers, and they don’t usually last “long after quitting.”

      It’s notoriously difficult to pin down the reason why someone might do such a thing. So I’m skeptical that one can draw a line between psilocybin use “long before” and a suicide. SO many other factors come into play….

      However, an entheogenic experience really *can* be quite intense, and is not without some psychological risk, especially in people with a history of mental illness. (The same is true, and even moreso, btw, for all psycho-pharmaceuticals. So while there is some risk with shrooms, to be sure, they are statistically not riskier than taking pills your doctor hands you.)

      So yes. There is some risk in a person with a history of mental illness taking any drug at all, including p cubensis. I have, actually, heard of people committing suicide while taking them, and although there was no indication they would not have done so anyway, this is one reason I’d never suggest anyone take them for the first time without a sitter. Nor would I presume to tell anyone to take them at all. Again, they have worked for me. That’s what I wrote in the article. Not “everyone should try this.”

      You might be interested to know, though, that psychologists and medical researchers have actually found P cubensis to be beneficial in *reducing* suicidal ideation in those prone to it, rather than causing suicide. Unlike SSRIs which are well known to increase risk of suicide. Again, the science isn’t all in yet, so we don’t really know. Many people do, sadly, commit suicide without ever having taken shrooms, and people with OCD are often at very high risk. So, yes, it would be a stretch to say, unequivocally, that your friend died as a result of their use of psilocybin. But either way, in sad to hear of your loss.

      Accurate information is vital in finding effective treatments for this. Thus, I’ve provided my own, anecdotal, experience. That cannot, credibly, be taken as a “recommendation.” It should be taken for what it is; yet another anecdotal experience wherein p cubensis helped treat OCD in someone who tried it. That’s not medical advice, as I’m not a doctor, nor is it advice to anyone to go take it on my word. Everyone needs to be responsible for doing their own research, as I did.

      My experience isn’t anomalous in that regard. There’s actually a lot of both anecdotal and peer- reviewed, research- based evidence for the efficacy of p cubensis with OCD, as well as for other mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and addiction issues.

      See, for example:

      https://reset.me/story/study-shows-psilocybin-mushrooms-alleviate-ocd-symptoms/

      https://psychiatry.arizona.edu/news/psilocybin-and-ocd

      https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-brain-food/201912/treating-depression-magic-mushrooms

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6007659/

      And even popular literature: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/vbxey8/can-you-treat-ocd-with-shrooms-psychedelics

      There really is SO MUCH INFORMATION out there. I would suggest spending some time looking into the research. It may very well not be for you, but that doesn’t make it reckless or inappropriate to share that it has worked well for me, and others.

      they made it worse. its screwing with an already flawed set of brain chemicals.

      Indeed. I’m sad to hear your fried did not find anything to help them. And the danger of upsetting one’s poorly understood chemical balance is definitely always a concern, for any psychoactive substance one might try. For example, I also find cannabis medicinally helpful, but there is a syndrome whereby it can harm some people, with a cannabis use disorder very similar to bipolar disorder. I’ve seen this happen. Some people should not use cannabis for this reason.

      Taking anything to address one’s mind chemistry always carries some risk. Some of us have suffered enough with mental illness that we’ve deemed it worth the risk, and have found effective treatments. For others, they might not need to take such a risk. But I will say, unequivocally, that it’s a dangerous myth that pharmaceutical drugs are any less dangerous than trying traditional, entheogenic and/or herbal medicinals. Either way, you’d better be willing and able to do your own research. In fact, again, statistically speaking pharmaceuticals prescribed by doctors are many, many times more dangerous than p cubensis.

      I’m sorry about your friend, whatever the cause of their ending.

      it’s still self medicating and as always there are actual medical drugs that do the “same” thing clinically and supervised by a doctor that addicts or users of drugs that they feel make them better can do.

      Again, a dangerous myth. While I’m certainly not offering this as any kind of medical advice to you, I will tell you that I’ve got a master’s degree in the mental health field, and I find the puritanical shorthand behind the phrase “self medicating” to be extremely unhelpful. It erroneously lumps together destructive addictions with carefully researched, well considered, evidence- based treatments and assumes that all are equal harmful if the person dares to take responsibility for their own well-being instead of just mindlessly trusting The Expert(TM).

      As it happens, pharmaceuticals are created for one purpose: to enrich the profit margin of pharmaceutical companies. I’m certainly not opposed to ever taking meds created by that industry: Sometimes they work well, sometimes they don’t, sometimes they kill. One should be able to recognize the differences.

      In point of fact, there is quite an alarming history of pharmaceutical companies attempting to profit from natural medicinal herbs and nutrients, by slightly altering, or “improving” upon the natural chemistry in such a way as to make the resulting drug patentable and proprietary. There have been some GHASTLY examples, in which the industry took a harmless herb or nutrient, and either sickened or killed people with their alterations.

      For instance. Cannabis has long been used medicinally in many cultures, and is generally considered absolutely safe, other than, as I mentioned, the mysterious and statistically fairly rare condition known as cannabis use disorder. (A lethal dose, if it even exists at all, is projected to be in the neighborhood of several *tons* of cannabis ingested in a single afternoon. A threshold not physically possible to reach.) Many pharmaceutical companies have set to work trying to create proprietary, designer, drugs made by chemically altering cannabis. Our weirdly puritanical culture is often more tolerant of something like this than the pure herb, which is bizarrely regarded as “a street drug.”

      It turns out that NONE of those proprietary formulations works as well as good old cannabis flower, many of them come with harmful side effects not present in the original flower, and in one very memorable case they *literally killed* and severely injured half a dozen research subjects in a clinical trial, with a pain control drug that had been expected to be completely harmless because it was based on the utterly harmless cannabis herb. NOPE.

      (See https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/french-volunteer-dies-in-cannabis-inspired-drug-trial/)

      In yet another case, because diets high in beta carotene from carrots, squash, and other vegetables have long been associated with a greatly reduced risk of lung cancer, researchers at Kaiser assumed that betacarotene supplements, created in a lab, would work even better than eating carrots. So they recruited thousands of former smokers, started giving them a dose of supplement every day, and intended to study them for years.

      Not long into the research, they had to suspend the study because it turned out that, unlike the naturally occurring nutrients, the lab- manufactured beta carotene supplements actually *increased* cancer risk.

      (See https://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/news/20041130/death-stalks-smokers-in-beta-carotene-study)

      Similarly, lab- made B complex vitamins are never as healthful or as free of side effects as the B complex nutrients one gets in a healthy, varied, diet.

      And there are hundreds more examples of how people assumed that scientists in a lab would know better than nature… And found out absolutely otherwise. I invite you to look into that great body of scientific literature as well.

      SSRI dont always work. I had a horrible time with them, too.

      Right?! Holy God, this was supposed to be the great panacea, and they’ve actually sickened and killed thousands of people. They’ve made people fat, they’ve given people bipolar mania, they’ve permanently ruined people’s sex lives, they’ve caused heart defects, and you want to talk about increased suicide risk… They’ve driven hundreds upon hundreds of people to kill themselves and/or others.

      but theres dozens of medicines out there and being developed daily that help make ADD, OCD, anxiety, depression, etc manageable if not miraculously almost absent. it takes time to find what works.

      It does, indeed, take time to find what works. However, it is a grave mistake to assume that a pharmaceutical company, and in many cases even a doctor, is better at this or has your health and well- being in mind better than you, yourself, would have.

      As one example, start looking into the opioid crisis – who caused it, why, and how many people they knowingly killed for profit. I’m guessing you probably know many more people impacted and/or killed by those drugs than by any amount of psilocybin or cannabis. I know I do.

      I know a few ADD folks who live on speed yet this is what ritalin and other medicines are, only legal, supervised and able to be tweaked to help.

      Yes, adderal is the same thing as speed, and just getting it from your doctor doesn’t make it better for you. I know people as addicted to, and as harmed by, physician- prescribed adderal as by any illicit drug. I used to live with a bunch of artists who ALL became addicted to adderal. Ew.

      For me, I’m not some chemistry experiment willing to let the pharmaceutical industry try out their proprietary chemicals, one by one by one, on my mind. They do not have a great track record for serious mental illness and I’m not likely to let them dig around in my head again. I gave them their shot, and have been left with permanent harm as a result. I’m not giving them another try at it.

      just found it irresponsible of you.

      I’m guessing that’s because you probably did not realize just how much research I’ve done into this subject, and/ or because you mistook my honest, forthright, and accurate description regarding what has worked for me as a recommendation for you. That’s not my role.

      You might also be struggling with an implicit bias, drilled into all of us since childhood, that “ordinary people” can’t be trusted to manage their own care, to know their own bodies, or to heal each other. Instead, healing knowledge is mystified and placed into the eager, and personally- profiting, hands of Authority Figures. People known as “experts.”

      People who have done far more harm to Americans, btw, than psilocybin ever has.

      (Want some real fun, look into the history of the medicalization of childbirth. Doctors seeking more status and clientele inserted themselves as ” necessary experts” into this natural process, and killed more women in the first 50 years of the medical model of childbirth than had died in all of the previous 500 years.)

      The point is not that you can never trust a doctor. The point is to examine your assumptions that doctors always know better than anyone else, that the meds they prescribe are automatically safer or more effective than traditional, natural, medicinals, that doctors automatically have your health and safety first in their mind rather than somewhere behind the profits and kickbacks and impatient desire to just push you through the pipeline. Question why you think an authority figure is better qualified to know your body, your mind, and your healing than you are. And why you assume it is automatically “irresponsible” for a person to have dared to do her own research and share her own results.

      the excuse of having illegal drugs or killing a family if 4 when you hit them, impaired , in your car of “I need it for my anxiety/ADD/OCD/ADHD/ stomach/nerves blah blah never kept anyone out of jail or worse being put in dangerous situations.

      YIKES! Yes, there’s no question that nobody gets to excuse harming others, whatever the reason. But that’s also some hyperbole begging to be unpacked.

      First of all, you have repeatedly referenced pharmaceuticals as being, allegedly, “safer” and “more responsible.” Dropping this hyperbolic example in here suggests that you think a terrible scenario like this is more likely to happen with an un- prescribed, natural, entheogen than with a prescribed “medicine.”

      I gotta call bs on that, as much as I do appreciate your sharing that concern.

      I happen to know a woman who got into a wreck, with her grandchild in the car, because of a pain control “medicine” prescribed to her by her doctor.

      That’s not rare. There are HUNDREDS of cases of people getting into accidents attributed to their use of prescribed pharmaceuticals – Xanax, clonazepam, opioids, tranquilizers of all kinds… the litigation records are FILLED with examples.

      It’s not that there’s never a place for pharmaceuticals, but holy god, you certainly can’t make the claim that everyone who takes pharmaceuticals is a responsible driver, or that they haven’t led to LEGIONS of accidental harm.

      It’s also not accurate nor responsible to lump all medicinals into the two categories of “prescribed, and thus safe and healthy” versus “non prescribed, and therefore unsafe and irresponsible.”

      Alcohol, for instance, is a much more dangerous and destructive drug than p cubensis. Yet it’s legal. Weird. It’s not prescribed, and as much as I like a cold beer, I can’t think of a single legitimate medicinal use for it, other than maybe cauterizing a wound. That isn’t the same thing at ALL as trying an evidence- based, entheogenic, treatment with miles of research to back it up. Don’t lump those two together.

      So, while I agree with you that one should not endanger others by using medication irresponsibly, I think you need to examine your assumption that this isn’t a thing with prescribed pharmaceuticals MUCH more than with traditional medicinal herbs.

      It’s also true that most mass shooters were either on, or just off, psycho- pharmaceuticals, usually SSRIs.

      (I could tell you some horror stories, but unless you want to hear them I’ll leave those out.)

      Blanket approval of psycho- pharmaceuticals over natural remedies is irresponsible and potentially harmful. In EITHER event one must be vigilant about doing their own research.

      Anyway. I hope that I’ve clarified my thoughts on that for you, especially the part about not “recommending” them to you or anyone else, only describing what has worked for me. Again, you would need to be responsible for your own treatment plan, you would make decisions based on your own research and knowledge base, just as I have done.

      In the event that you have OCD too, I hope you find something that works for you. I encourage you to be proactive with your own health and well-being, whether or not you ultimately decide to take a prescribed med or a naturally occurring one.

      Thanks again for dropping me a line!

      Regards,

      Cat

  7. […] Joey Ramone had OCD and was hospitalised for it at least once in his life. His case was so severe, doctors told his mother he may not be able to care for himself. His OCD in a way led to his death. He had the urge to check if his door across town was closed properly and by that point in his life, his physical health was not good because he was battling cancer. He tried to stop himself, but the OCD took over and he walked across the city to close the door, but that day it was very icy and he fell and broke his hip and died three months later. […]

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