- Kevin O’Leary is invested in MindMed and Compass Pathways, two public companies pioneering a new mental health market focused on psychedelic compounds like psilocybin.
- The “Shark Tank” star and investor says the size and scale of the market for treatment of mental health conditions like depression and PTSD shows “incredible potential,” though it is risky.
- Former NHL player Daniel Carcillo, who suffered traumatic brain injury, is an example of a life that was saved by psychedelic therapy and he has become an entrepreneur in the emerging space as CEO of Wesana Health.
Daniel Carcillo, Wesana Health CEO, is a living example of the power of psychedelic drugs to help those suffering from mental illnesses when standard treatments — and other forms of alternative treatments — have already failed. The former National Hockey League player says he was on the verge of suicide as a result of traumatic brain injury he endured as a professional athlete.
“Nothing worked,” Carcillo said at Tuesday’s CNBC Healthy Returns Summit, which included everything from standard medicine to isolation tanks. “I started to make plans to underburden my family and take my own life. I thought I had tried everything.”
Then Carcillo discovered various mushroom-based alternative medical treatments for inflammation and wellness, such as Lion’s Mane and Turkey Tail, and psilocybin — the compound in “magic” mushrooms — the latter of which the former NHL player credits with saving his life.
He says the day after a psychedelic trip under the right setting, he woke up feeling the way he hadn’t felt in years: normal. And over the course of two weeks his symptoms lessened in intensity before “all but fading away.”
“I found myself more connected to myself and the others around me. I have three young kids under the age of six and all I wanted to do was hug them and get back to my beautiful wife,” said Carcillo at CNBC Healthy Returns. His penchant for negative self-talk turned to positive self-talk — “Lots of amazingly destructive thought patterns disappeared in two weeks,” he recalled — and today, he no longer suffers from anxiety and depression.
His experience is an anecdotal one but it is being corroborated by a growing body of clinical research in the use of psychedelics to treat a variety of mental health conditions including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Recent publications in The New England Journal of Medicine and Nature Medicine have detailed the latest encouraging results on MDMA and psilocybin as potential mental health drug breakthroughs.
The data has attracted the attention of Wall Street and investors, including Kevin O’Leary, “Shark Tank” co-host and chairman of the O’Shares ETFs.
Published: May 11, 2021
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