Trying "The Mushroom Cure" For OCD

Trying "The Mushroom Cure" For OCD

An interview with comedian Adam Strauss about his autobiographical, one-man show.
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Psychedelic mushrooms might be able to help those with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

This is the premise of comedian Adam Strauss’ one-man show, The Mushroom Cure, which showed at Cherry Lane Theater in New York City this past summer.

The show is autobiographical, based on Strauss’ real struggles with this mental health condition. Strauss was diagnosed with OCD after a breakup in his late twenties, though he had been seeing therapists and trying medication for other diagnoses, such as generalized anxiety disorder and moodiness. “I grew up in Newton, Massachusetts which has, I don’t know if this is true, but it was always said that it has the highest per capita of psychiatrists for any city in the world,” Strauss says. “I wasn’t diagnosed with OCD until I had already been on medication for about 10 years. And the OCD didn’t even emerge as OCD until around that time.”

“I was on all sorts of medications for about 15 years and about 6 or 7 of those years were when I was specifically diagnosed with OCD,” Strauss explains. “I tried I think every SSRI that was on the market then. I tried benzodiazepines, I tried stuff that I don’t even know what class of medication it is, I tried everything.”

Strauss’ OCD was rooted in decision making, and he was desperate to find something that worked for him after not reacting that positively to all the medications he had tried. That’s when he found something online about the benefits of psychedelic mushrooms for people living with OCD, so he gave it a shot.

While the mushrooms didn’t entirely cure his OCD, he did find them to be beneficial and has become an advocate for advancing medical research of them. In fact, all the profits from The Mushroom Cure go to MAPS, a foundation that looks to make psychedelic medicine a legal treatment. “There’s a lot more research coming out now than there has been in the past few decades but there’s still only a trickle,” Strauss says. “[MAPS] annual budget is $4 million, whereas Pfizer spent $210 million last year just to market Cialis. So the amount of money going into research is infinitesimal compared to the amount that’s going into pharmaceuticals. As a result, stuff is received relatively slowly.”

Aside from the mushrooms, another thing that has helped Strauss cope with his OCD is a 12-step group called Obsessive Compulsive Anonymous. “In my mind that was at least as important as the psychedelics for me,” he says. “It’s a great resource for people with OCD. It’s free, they have phone meetings so you just call in. No one has to know you’re there, you don’t have to talk if you don’t want. I got a lot out of that, I still get a lot out of it.”

When it comes to representations of OCD, Strauss notices they tend to be trivialized. “On the one hand, OCD is viewed as a trivial thing - people saying ‘I’m so OCD I spent three hours cleaning my apartment this weekend just because my parents are coming.’ So it’s trivialized but on the other hand I think when people are really confronted with real, heavy duty OCD, it’s bizarre, it’s freakish, and it’s terrifying,” he explains. Additionally, many people also only assume OCD is about cleanliness rituals such as handwashing. As a matter of fact, he believes this is why he wasn’t diagnosed with the condition earlier on. “My experience, all the psychiatrists I saw did not diagnose me with OCD until I saw [the therapist mentioned in the play] and I think it’s because I didn’t have the stereotypical hand washing,” he says.

In terms of feedback Strauss has gotten, many people have approached him after the show because something in it resonated with them. “The people who talk to me, they’ve had some sort of experience that’s been powerful or real to them,” he says. “And that’s what I’m going for because I guess it’s sharing, really, I want to share my experience and have other people share with me as deeply as they can.”

Though the Cherry Lane showings of The Mushroom Cure have ended, Strauss hopes to continue to put on this play in other theaters, or even create a movie version of it. “Telling this story is the most important thing in my life, to put it bluntly,” Strauss says. “I want to keep telling this story to whoever wants to hear it, in whatever form I can, wherever I can.”
Cover Image Credit: Theater Pizzazz

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To The Senior Graduating High School In A Month

"What feels like the end, is often the beginning."
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It wasn’t too long ago that I was in your shoes. Just a little over a year ago, I was the senior that had a month left. One month left in the hometown that I grew up in. One month left with the friends that I didn’t want to leave. One month left in the place that I had called “my school” for the past four years. You are probably thinking the same things I thought whenever it came down to only 30 days left. You’re probably scared, nervous, worried, or anxious. Maybe you’re like me and are dying to get out of high school, ready to start a new chapter. Or maybe you aren’t so ready yet. Maybe you’re wishing for a little more time.

As scary as it is, this month you have left will fly by. You’ll blink and you’ll be standing in your cap and gown, waiting for your name to be called to receive your diploma. You’ll look back on your last four years at your school and wonder why time went by so fast. It’ll be bittersweet. However, trust me when I say that you have so much to look forward to. You are about to begin taking the steps to build your future. You are going to grow and learn so much more than any high school class could teach you. You are going to meet amazing people and accomplish amazing things. So, as scared as you might be, I encourage you to take that first step out of your comfort zone and face this world head on. Chase your dreams and work towards your goals. You are smart. You are brave. You are capable of achieving amazing things. All your life, the lessons you have learned have prepared you for this point in your life. You are more than ready.

There are times when you will feel alone, scared, or confused. There are times when it won’t always be easy. But those are the times when you will shine the most because I know you will work through whatever problems you may face. Don’t think of the bad times as a terrible thing. Use them all as learning experiences. As author Joshua Marine once said, “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

You might think that this is the end. However, it’s not. This is only the beginning. Trust me when I say that the adventures and opportunities you are about to face are nothing compared to high school. Whether you are going to college, going to work, or something else, this is the beginning of your journey called life. It will be exciting, it will be terrifying, but it will all be worth it.

So, as you walk out of your high school for the very last time, I encourage you to take a deep breath. Relax. You’ll always have the memories to look back on from high school. But your time is now, it begins today. Embrace it.

Cover Image Credit: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1152445/images/o-HIGH-SCHOOL-GRADUATION-facebook.jpg

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A Beginner's Guide to Milwaukee Sports

Part I: The Bucks

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Being a college student in Milwaukee has its perks, especially for sports fans. Now, while some may have brought their hometown teams to college, others (myself included) may have warmed up to the Cream City teams without knowing much about them. If this is the case for you, then these pointers can help you start enjoying Milwaukee basketball without looking and sounding like a bandwagon fan.

Quick History

www.nba.com

Here are some facts about the Bucks that can make you feel more knowledgeable about the franchise:

- They have only won one championship (back in 1971) and have lost one NBA Finals series (1974) (Land of Basketball)

- They have only had one* MVP-caliber player in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (#33) during the 1971, 1972, and 1974 seasons (Land of Basketball)

- Other Notable Players Include: Oscar Robertson (#1), Sidney Moncrief (#4), Jon McGlocklin (#14) and Ray Allen (#34) (Land of Basketball)

*Giannis Antetokounmpo may win the MVP award this year

sited: https://www.landofbasketball.com/teams/milwaukee_bucks.htm

Gear Up

https://twitter.com/bucksproshop/status/982026548705415168

This one is a bit of a no-brainer. Wearing team's colors or spirit wear is a must, especially if you're going to a game. Most items like hats and t-shirts are perfectly acceptable, and these are great if you're not trying to break the bank. Buying your gear from a sporting goods store will usually be cheaper than buying them from the team store (the main one of which is located in Fiserv Forum). Most online stores like NBA.com, Fanatics, Fansedge, and sometimes even the team's online store will have sales on sports gear, so getting a good deal on team wear is always a plus!

A Word of Caution: Jerseys

All three of these players are not part of the 2018-2019 roster and #77 and #3 have been reused by current players Ersan Ilyasova (#77) and George Hill (#3)

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If you're willing to go the extra mile, buying a jersey can really get you into locked in and pumped for the live action. However, it should be kept in mind that official Nike NBA jerseys range from $110-$250, so they definitely are an investment. While there are other options available like the FastBreak jerseys by Fanatics, they are a simpler (still official) knockoff of the Nike jerseys. Also; beware buying sale jerseys. There are usually three reasons why jerseys are ever on sale (aside from a storewide sale): a player is injured, a player doesn't play much and is about to be traded, or a player has been traded. While there is nothing wrong with having the jersey of a player who went on to another team (like Kareem and Allen), you are not exactly going to get brownie points for wearing a Jabari Parker or a Thon Maker jersey anytime soon.

Know The Current Squad

Fiserv Forum, Home of the Milwaukee Bucks

www.nba.com

Everyone in Milwaukee has heard of Giannis Antetokounmpo, but who else is part of the supporting cast?

Starting Five for the 2018-2019 Milwaukee Bucks (Basketball Reference):

- #6 Eric Bledsoe at Point Guard

- #13 Malcolm "The President" Brogdon at Shooting Guard

- #22 Khris "Money" Middleton at Small Forward

- #34 Giannis "The Greek Freak" Antetokounmpo at Power Forward

- #11 Brook "Splash Mountain" Lopez at Center

Student Perk

www.nba.com

Using your university email, you can get special discount ticket offers for home games by signing up for the Bucks' Student Rush Program. Tickets usually start at $15 per ticket, and the seats available may depend on who the Bucks are playing (and how well they are doing during the season).

Get Involved and Have Fun!

Mascot Crawl GIF by NBA - Find & Share on GIPHY Giphy

Don't be afraid to get into it! The Bucks are an amazing team to watch and they love Bucks Nation. In addition to cheering at games, going to team events and player appearances can be great ways to make memories and even get an autograph or two!

Are You a Bucks Fan Now?🦌

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I think Giannis would agree!

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