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Chapter 2 Psilocybin

   2022    Medicine
Magic mushrooms, long considered sacred by the Indigenous Mazatec in Mexico, become the subject of scientific studies measuring the intense effects of its Psilocybin and its potential therapeutic use.
In the second episode, we are introduced to Ben, who’s battled with crippling Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) his entire life. When he had his firstborn, Ben’s life became full of panic attacks regarding his son’s safety, and he knew something had to change. Ben signed up for a psilocybin-assisted therapy clinical trial which was testing whether the psychedelic could help people with severe OCD. In the session under the influence of psilocybin, Ben felt decomposed and eventually grew into a tree. While living as a tree, he saw his human self, playing with his child. Though this sounds scary, from Ben’s perspective, it was beautiful. He was one with the universe, seeing himself in the ultimate third-person perspective. Finally, he saw how it could be different if he didn’t let his OCD control him. And several months out, all the symptoms disappeared.
Ben’s story is one of many told in this series, which gives hope that help is right around the corner for the millions who suffer —often in silence— with debilitating mental disorders. But Michael Pollan’s work is showcasing the success stories. Often, even in the most successful trials, psychedelic-assisted therapy only helps up to a third of people enter remission. More frequently, patients are helped —sometimes substantially— but they still suffer with their illnesses and some people aren’t helped at all.
Series: How to Change Your Mind

Navy of the Damned

       History
Recent archaeological sites in England offer a whole new perspective on the life and death of the seafarers and marines who built the British Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries. The bones of sailors reveal surprising and shocking facts. Apparently not only seasoned men but also half children did their service in the Royal Navy; according to the investigations, the youngest were no older than 13 years. A forensic archaeologist studies the injuries on bones discovered at the site of an battle and suggests how these people may have died.
Three-hundred-and-fifty skeletons, exhumed from Royal Navy graveyards from the age of Nelson's Navy, are throwing an extraordinary new light on how these sailors lived, fought, outwitted their enemy, and, from the oldest to youngest, suffered for victory. These men were the beating heart of the most victorious fleet in history and never have so many of these sailors' remains been available for forensic investigation.
Six remarkable stories stand out: the child sailor, the top man, the American gunner, the freed slave, the marine and the victim of the sailor's most dreaded disease: syphilis. Broken bones, amputations, injuries from blows with a saber or cutlass, sexually transmitted diseases, but also malnutrition - the list of causes of death is long. There is definitely no tale of seafaring romance. These fighters and sailors sailed the globe as cannon fodder, conquered an empire for the crown, and were themselves forgotten. No longer just bones in a box, the men of Nelson's Navy are back from the dead.
Series: Warrior Graveyard
Earth at Night in Color

Earth at Night in Color

2020  Nature
Walking with Cavemen

Walking with Cavemen

2003  History
Prehistoric America

Prehistoric America

2003  Nature
The Green Planet

The Green Planet

2022  Nature
Vice

Vice

2013  Culture
Wild Wild Country

Wild Wild Country

2018  Culture