I've had bouts of nearly paralyzing depression and extreme anxiety all my life. After careful study (lots and lots of reading, including summaries of NIH-controlled studies), I decided to try this. Other than alcohol, I have never taken any kind of "recreational" substance in my life, so this was a real leap of faith--and every aspect of my life has improved as a result. There is really no way to convey my experiences with ayahuasca in words or images; the best summary I can give is that it was a truly communal experience with myself and with something that felt for reasons I can't comprehend rationally as coming from an intelligent third party that guided me, with a maternal type of compassion to confront difficult truths about myself. It was just a truly phenomenal experience. I eventually heard myself repeating, quietly but out loud, "thank you, thank you," and years later that feeling of gratitude has remained with me. I am not a religious person; I've only been inside of churches for weddings and funerals. I don't know how to explain the profundity of this experience, but it left me feeling safe in life, grateful for it (which I never really had been before), and aware that our worlds as we experience them are limited but are enmeshed with something spectacular that we simply cannot rationally comprehend.