WHEN TODD’S PSYCHIATRIST suggested he start taking psychedelics, he figured it was a joke.
IT WASN’T. THE former corporate executive from Colorado retired in 2006 after an MRI revealed his spine was riddled with a dozen tumors called hemangiomas, which later spread to his brain. Todd was told he would die before the end of 2008.
Somehow, Todd has survived—he credits medical marijuana, which he now uses daily—but he is still considered terminal. “It could be tomorrow. It could be five years from now,” he says in a call.
However, the 54-year-old spent the past decade plagued by a host of mental health problems, including PTSD and treatment-resistant depression. He was suicidal and tormented by violent night terrors. Nothing, not even massive doses of Xanax or Valium, could temper his panic attacks or end-of-life anxiety.
“My mental condition was deteriorating rapidly, and I was on [antidepressant] medication No. 14 and it wasn’t working,” Todd says. “My psychiatrist said, ‘I honestly think you’re a big candidate for psychedelics.’”