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Ahmed Tahseen

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Ahmed Tahseen


By the mid-20th century, physicians and scientists were discovering antimetabolites and chemotherapeutics to augment the surgeries which had become a mainstay in cancer treatment. The approach to oncologic disease grew in its comprehensiveness—identifying environmental and genetic risk factors, developing screening measures, improving histological and surgical techniques, combining radiation therapy. We continue to improve our approach in fighting cancer; I’m lucky to find myself at a point in time when we know that psychiatric treatment is a valuable tool in improving both quality of life and survival. That’s what drew me to psychiatry. I’ve been looking for ways to improve the lives of those struggling with cancer, and any other serious medical illness, by targeting the inherent, accompanying disconnectedness—a construct that plays out in most ailments mental, physical, environmental, or spiritual.

And then, I joined the field of psychiatry and the magnitude and pervasiveness of suicidality in humankind appealed to that desire to target disconnectedness. Suicidality marks a penultimate stage in disconnectedness. Suicide is an alarming epidemic, and we desperately need to improve our approach. I have hope that we will, and I’m lucky to find myself at a point in time when we have started to accept and explore the potential of psychedelic treatments; I’m equally lucky to find myself with incredible support at an institution where many wonderful people have been critically thinking about healing in these areas. Our research aims at constructs contributing to suicidality and a possible application of psychedelic therapies—I am currently conceptualizing a role for MDMA within the stress-diathesis model of suicide with Ben Kelmendi. I’ll be additionally exploring ways to honor and translate a history of humans and psychedelics in a contemporary-digestible medium with NRTP co-resident, Brad Martins.