Sam Woolfe

There are classic psychedelics (psilocybin, LSD, DMT) and non-classic psychedelics (ketamine, MDMA) that receive a lot of scientific and public attention regarding their potential mental health benefits. These are substances that, when combined with psychotherapy, can be helpful in resolving or alleviating conditions such as depressive and anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and addiction. There are also other non-classic psychedelics that are receiving increased attention for their ability to effectively improve people’s mental health, including 5-MeO-DMT and ibogaine.

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Originally published at https://www.samwoolfe.com on August 1, 2022.

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One of the most common pieces of advice you’ll hear when it comes to tripping is not to take psychedelics if you’re in a negative frame of mind. This is encompassed by the concept of ‘set and setting’, with the first half — ‘set’ — referring to the fact that one’s mindset can influence the quality of a psychedelic experience. (Setting, meanwhile, refers to how one’s environment and social context can affect the journey.)

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Originally published at https://www.samwoolfe.com on July 11, 2022.

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Strolling aimlessly — instead of having set routes, and set sites to see — is something I’ve always enjoyed doing, especially in big or new cities. I discovered that there was a French term for this aimless strolling, considered to be a kind of art. And that’s flânerie, while the person who engages in this activity is called a flâneur. These terms are derived from the Old Norse verb flana, which means “to wander with no purpose”.

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Originally published at https://www.samwoolfe.com on June 27, 2022.

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Asemic writing is, by definition, meaningless. It is wordless writing. But what attracts artists and viewers alike to the art form is the way that certain marks can appear meaningful. The scrawls and strokes can be so reminiscent of a natural language or system of glyphs that they look as if they could be read — if only one was well versed in it. This is because this art form often utilises the gesture(s) of writing that is familiar to all of us, be that the kinds of strokes and shapes we make, the repetition of them, the ‘flow’ of writing (as in cursive), joining characters into discrete words, the spaces between words, the creation of sentences, the beginning and end of sentences, and so forth and so on.

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Originally published at https://www.samwoolfe.com on June 13, 2022.

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Negative visualisation might sound like an oxymoron at first. How could something negative be helpful? Well, in short, negative visualisation is a philosophical mindset and a coping mechanism developed by famous philosophers like Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius. It’s a Stoic principle, and it can help you cultivate gratitude in your life. (The method actually originated with the Cyreanic philosophers, but was later adopted by the Stoics.) The practice has also been referred to as premeditatio malorum (“premeditation of evils”). Seneca discussed it in his Moral Letters to Lucilius.

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Originally published at https://www.samwoolfe.com on May 25, 2022.

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Within the field of psychiatry, the decision to provide a mental health diagnosis to someone experiencing emotional distress — a range of troubling emotions, thoughts, and behaviours — often presents a moral dilemma. Of course, there may be an assumption among psychiatrists that diagnoses are, generally speaking, in a patient’s best interest, since it is intended to pinpoint what condition it is exactly that needs treating, allowing the most effective recommendations for treatment to be made.

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Originally published at https://www.samwoolfe.com on May 23, 2022.

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Sam Woolfe

Sam Woolfe

I'm a freelance writer interested in philosophy, ethics, psychology, and mental health. Website: www.samwoolfe.com