Since retiring from the NHL after the 2014-15 season, Dan Carcillo has had his battles with both depression and anxiety.

The now 35-year-old, who was in nearly 100 fights during his NHL career, has tried several different ways to get better mentally, spending north of $200,000 at various medical clinics trying to find something that would help. Unfortunately, nothing seemed to work.

The two-time Stanley Cup Champion has alienated himself from a large part of the hockey community, including former friends and teammates, as he hasn’t been shy about calling out both league and team staff for not warning players about the effects head injuries can cause. He has been involved in multiple lawsuits against both the NHL and CHL. This in itself has been tough on Carcillo, who admitted he considered suicide on more than one occasion.

“I was lost. I was lost in life,” he said in a recent interview. “Nobody really wanted to hang out with me. I could tell I was a burden to my family. I didn’t want my kids to learn how to grow up seeing the way I was acting. I just thought it might be better for me to be gone.”

13 months ago, a big change came in Carcillo’s life. A former teammate suggested an unconventional option. The teammate continued to bug him to come visit a location, which Carcillo won’t disclose, to undergo a treatment he claims saved his life. He was administered what’s known as a “hero dose” of psilocybin, an ancient psychedelic plant medicine commonly known as magic mushrooms. While he described the experience as challenging – a hallucinogenic exploration of the darkest corners of his psyche – he says the after-effects have been remarkable.

“I’m doing phenomenally well,” Carcillo said, while also mentioning his suicidal thoughts are gone. “I’m living my best life right now.”

Since he tried this out 13 months ago, Carcillo has become a big advocate for the benefits of psychedelic drugs. He isn’t shy about mentioning them or his use of them on his social media pages, and encourages any of his followers going through low points mentally to try the same treatments. While some have soured on Carcillo due to him calling out many coaches, trainers and even players over the years, it is great to hear that the former NHLer, who played in 429 career games, is in a better place mentally.

NOVEMBER 29, 2020  (19H26)
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