Effects On Mood
Psychologist James Fadiman is currently in the process of collecting mood and creativity data from hundreds of microdosers around the world. Speaking to IFLScience, he explained that “the most positive responders to microdosing are those with treatment-resistant depression.”
To measure the effects of microdosing on my mood, I used two standard validated psychological tests – Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Profile of Mood States (POMS). The day before my first microdose, I recorded my baseline levels and scored 5 out of 63 on the BDI. Given that any score below 10 is considered healthy, I didn’t have much room for improvement, and while I can’t say I noticed myself feeling happier as the experiment went on, I was surprised to find that my score dropped to 1 for the entire final week of my microdosing month.
The POMS gives an overall score for mood disturbance, ranging from -32 to 200, as well as a breakdown of certain mood aspects like anger, confusion, fatigue, and vigor. At baseline, my total mood disturbance was a chirpy -5, but by the end of the month, I had become one serene bean, scoring a near perfect -28.
According to my tests, this major increase in chill was largely driven by a surge in vigor, which rose from 20 out of a possible 32 at baseline to 30 at the end of the month.
I didn't notice any changes in my disposition, but my mood scores suggested I was irritatingly happy. Created by Bedneyimages - Freepik.com
So Did It Work?
Although my mood and creativity scores both improved considerably over the course of the month, I can’t say I felt anything happening. According to Fadiman, though, that’s kind of the point of microdosing. “With people who microdose over a period of time we get no classic psychedelic effects, but see changes that are more gradual and seem to last,” he says.
It’s also worth pointing out that my results prove nothing, and that this guerrilla experiment is riddled with limitations that render it pretty useless when considered in isolation. Yet Fadiman insists that he has received huge numbers of reports similar to mine, and suggests that although “conventional science says that anecdotes don’t count, when you have several hundred of them maybe they do.”
Ultimately, it's hard to say how much of an effect microdosing had on me, but the results of my tests certainly seem to corroborate the underlying hypothesis: my scores got higher, even if I didn't.