Kristen Bell has a headline: She recently took psilocybin mushrooms. The actress who's married to actor Dax Shepard and owns the Happy Dance CBD company tells Sean Hayes and Dr. Priyanka Wali all about her psychedelic experience on their HypochondriActor podcast (cue to the 14-munite mark).
Dr. Wali: You talked about medication therapy. What about alternative therapies like meditation? Have you ever worked with psychedelics for depression?
Bell: Are we going to have enough time to talk about this? I'll give you a headliner. I don't even drink. I mean, I discovered wine last year, twice a month I'll have it. I knew I was getting the things that qualify as depressants in my system and I knew I was paying attention to my nutrition. My husband and I went to TM classes before the kids were born and we loved it. I believe in mediation so wholeheartedly. I'd love to sit here and tell you I do it twice a day and that is incorrect. I do it whenever I can, which is once a month now because I have a five and a seven year old. I do feel great doing it.
Then last year I read Michael Pollan's book, How to Change Your Mind, and I was slack jawed. Buckle up, Sean, it's a 14-hour read.
Hayes: I'm depressed thinking about it.
Bell: Here's what it's about. He really goes into detail about this underground academic community that has continued to study the effects of LSD and psilocybin on what they call healthy normals. Back when sort of Timothy Leary ruined drugs it became so scary because everyone thought people were having sex in the streets, and some of them were. But there are aspects to those two particular drugs that the places you can go in your brain are much deeper and more healing than anything else. It's not like alcohol.
I was really interested in doing mushrooms. I really wanted to try some psilocybin and feel the doors open. Have a trip that was my own. They talk about set and setting and how to make it comfortable. And I am very lucky to be married to an ex-drug addict. Not only did he know where to get the mushrooms, he got that really nice quality, organic, set and setting, beautiful mushroom. And then he babysat me. It was for my birthday last year. I said I really would like to experience this. I'm not going to party with it, but I want to know what this feels like. And I want to be up while I'm doing it and I want you to talk to me. He took me on a walk around the neighborhood. It was so lovely...
"I really wanted to try some psilocybin and feel the doors open. Have a a trip that was my own."
I just remember I was so enamored of my own body. I had gone to the bathroom. I went to pee. I came downstairs wide-eyed and I said, "Dax, I had to pee. I felt the sensation of having to pee and all of a sudden this beautiful lady" - and I was pointing to my legs - "picked me up. She walked me down the hallway. She sat me down on the toilet. She rolled a little roll of toilet paper for me and just put it on my lap till I was done peeing. Then she wiped me. Then she flushed the toilet and now I'm back out here." But in my head, I had separated this body that had done so much good in my life, that has taken me through happiness and pain and workouts and laziness that I just, like, couldn't stop touching my legs, going, "You're so strong. You're so elegant."
Hayes: Let me ask you about depression and anxiety. How is it? Is it better?
Bell: It comes in waves, but my waves are never suicidal or anything, so I'm very lucky. It does happen to people. It can happen to non-chronic people. You can have a wave of it for three months because you're brain isn't processing chemicals.
Bell has voiced Anna in the Frozen movies and appeared in Veronica Mars, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical and numerous other movies and TV shows.
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