Science & Health

Midlife Crisis? Microdosing May Help You Reframe It

Imagine a world where you could lean into your wisdom and see midlife as a strength, not a scourge: microdosing mushrooms may make that a reality.

Min read
Kiki Dy
March 22, 2023

Midlife Crisis? Microdosing May Help You Reframe It

The midlife crisis: you blink, and all of a sudden, you’re pushing 45 and wondering what happened to the person you once had time to be. Oh, the ennui and agony of it all. Is this all there is? What happened to my hobbies? When did I start seeing a prison where I once saw possibility? 

What’s the answer? Pull an Eat, Pray, Love? Take to the Appalachian Trail? Sojourn in the Sahara, lose your laptop in the dunes? Implode your family, shack up with a mystical tricenarian who doesn’t gatekeep the best grassy knolls to forage for magic mushrooms, and start a new life as a shaman? 

You could play out any and all of these classic scenarios–or you could integrate psychedelics into your life in an intentional, therapeutic manner.

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What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

One longitudinal study followed thousands of Americans from age 41 to 50 and discovered they became less neurotic and self-conscious as they aged. Another study observed a sample of women from ages 43 to 52. The findings? They became less dependent and self-critical and more decisive and confident with age. 

We spend decades cultivating our skills and wisdom to reach midlife with peak confidence, decisiveness, and empathy. The skills we garden with time combine into what Waxman would describe as our embodied wisdom. Or, the knowledge we exemplify and loan to others to better the world and fill our cup. 

“What if, in place of fear,” she postures, “you could alchemize your anxieties into a greater understanding of yourself and those you love and lead?”

Microdosing Through The Midlife Crisis

Imagine a world where you could lean into your embodied wisdom and see this midlife crisis as a strength, not a scourge: microdosing mushrooms may make that a reality. 

Many might see a mushroom phase as a symptom of a midlife crisis, not a palliative. And, in some instances, they’d be right. Though there’s nothing objectively wrong with quitting your stuffy job to trip around the country following the Tedeschi Trucks Band–that’s not what all of us want. 

Waxman is quick to point out that her lack of knowledge precludes her from making any sort of statement regarding its use or helpfulness, however she finds the area of microdosing worth more study. Could psychedelics be a tool to tear through the torpor of the midlife slump? 

Reported to enhance creativity, openness, and life satisfaction–microdosing psychedelics could help you connect with that free-spirited person you were once upon a time before obligations. More awake, present, and optimistic, you may be able to see simple solutions to the obstacles that once paralyzed you. 

Take the Plant Parenthood movement as evidence. Moms (and dads) everywhere are intentionally integrating psilocybin into their routines to approach parenting with more optimism and openness. 44-year-old Savannah-based mom Mary*, is a great case study. She believes microdosing helped her reframe the cycle of transgenerational trauma. “I realized how much I was seeing my childhood trauma through my own kid,” she tells Retreat, “it was affecting my parenting skills. I realized the cycle of trauma needs to end with me.”

As Waxman and the studies above corroborate, midlife can be an enriching time of positive change and pronounced potential–it just depends on how you view it. 

Stepping away from a cultural myth to forge your path is never easy, but microdosing may help expedite your journey. 

Looking Forward

Research shows that psilocybin benefits depression, anxiety, and PTSD. We know that just a single typical dose of magic mushrooms can elicit positive lasting personality change. Take a heroic dose, and you may experience an altered sense of reality, mystical awakening, or ego death that changes your view of everything. 

But what about microdosing? Can microdosing change our perception enough to be effective? The science is promising but still needs to be determined. However, for most in the midlife doldrums, anecdotal evidence is all that matters. 

If you need a psychedelic or therapeutic nudge to reframe your midlife crisis, Retreat is in your corner with the empathy, insights, and expertise you need to start your psychedelic journey. Get started with our Free Microdosing Guide, or join our physician and therapist-led Microdosing Concierge Program. We promise: the crisis will pass. The sun will shine again. And life will be loved, not resented. 

* Last name has been withheld to protect privacy

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About the Author

Kiki Dy

Kiki Dy is writer, tea drinker, and dreamer living in Savannah, GA. Her work about psychedelics and women’s health can be found in Psychedelic Spotlight, Healthline, Blood + Milk, and more.

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