Can Psychedelics Treat Mental Health Disorders?

can psychedelics treat mental health disorders

Can Psychedelics Treat Mental Health Disorders?

Psychedelics are growing in demand as more people turn to holistic alternatives to healing.

Hallucinations, vomiting and distorted vision: these are just a few of the reported side-effects associated with psychedelics. Although this might be enough to put people off, psychedelic-assisted therapy is more popular now than ever before. People all over the world are using ‘hallucinogens’ to heal childhood abuse, trauma, and addiction. Some even say it has the power to heal the world.

What Is A Psychedelic And How Does it Work?

A psychedelic is a psychoactive substance that produces changes in perception, mood, and cognitive function. They come in many different forms, but for ease of reference, they can be separated into two main categories: ‘natural’ and ‘synthetic’ psychedelics. The former are usually found in trees, vines, seeds, fungi and leaves. For example, Ayahuasca and Psilocybin. The latter are man-made substances, often manufactured in laboratories, such as MDMA and DMT.

Psychoactive substances work by targeting the senses. They can cause a person to see or hear things that may not exist. You must be wondering: “Why would anyone go through a psychedelic experience?” The fear of the unknown is what scares many people off. It was the same for me, too! However, an increasing number of studies have shown the profound healing benefits associated with psychedelics. So much so, psychedelics are causing therapeutic breakthroughs for people with addictions, mental health issues and even those with treatment-resistant depression.

Are Psychedelics ‘Drugs’ Or Therapeutic Agents?

According to Bryan Roth, Professor of Pharmacology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine:

Millions of people have taken these drugs recreationally, and now they are emerging as therapeutic agents.

A ground-breaking study conducted by the Beckley/Imperial Research Programme has provided conclusive evidence for the efficacy of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy in treating depression at the expense of all other treatments. In this revolutionary study, psychedelic mushrooms were given to 20 patients with depression, all of whom had previously tried at least two other treatments without success. The results were miraculous: all patients showed a reduction in their depression scores for up to 6 months after treatment.

It’s not only ‘magic mushrooms’ that are being shown to possess healing properties, however. The results of a controversial trial with MDMA showed that the ‘party drug’ could be more effective than therapy alone in treating PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). After just three sessions, 88% of people had a “meaningful reduction in symptoms”, and 67% no longer had PTSD, a mental health condition that affects nearly 3.5% of U.S. adults.

Is An Altered State Of Consciousness The Key To Healing?

Pioneer of psychedelic research, Franz Vollenweider says:

Psychedelic drugs activate a therapeutic, dreamlike state, intensifying sensory perception, and memories pop up like little films.

The Zurich-based psychiatrist believes that this receptive state of mind provides an opportunity to help people escape from destructive thought patterns, particularly those from childhood. In addition, brain imaging studies have shown that psychoactive substances have profound effects on neural activity. As the networks in the brain are far more connected, this allows for a higher state of consciousness and introspection. In doing so, users can process and release these repressed memories, which would otherwise take years to address through conventional therapy.

Psychologist Nicole Anders could not be more buoyed by the impact of psychedelics, in particular Ayahuasca. This South-American, psychoactive ‘brew’, which within 45 minutes of being ingested, affects the human consciousness for as much as six hours. When speaking about the medicine, Nicole recalled how it was a huge turning point in helping her to deal with bereavement:

I have sat in a ceremony with Ayahuasca twice. The first time it was a transformative, positive, and beautiful experience, which allowed me to grieve the loss of my mother. I felt so much love.

And yet, for all the benefits, there are some things to bear in mind. Common side-effects include intense vomiting and diarrhoea. More commonly known as ‘the purge’, these effects are considered by many experts to be an essential part of the experience. Purging helps to release trapped emotions, something that pharmaceutical drugs fail to do.

Are You Wondering If Psychedelics Are For You?

One thing’s for sure, psychedelic therapy isn’t for the faint-hearted. Like with anything, there are inherent risks involved, and it’s important to weigh up the opportunity costs. Therefore, if you decide in the affirmative to explore this alternative approach to healing, it is essential to do your due diligence first.

By the same token, ample preparation is key to getting the best results. At Being True To You, our certified psychedelic coaches help you have a safe, meaningful, and impactful psychedelic experience by providing tailor-made coaching to help you through the process.

For more information, check out our website right here.

Disclaimer: The views in this blog and of the blog writer do not necessarily represent Being True To You LLC. The writer of this blog is an independent contractor, and Being True To You does not necessarily endorse the content written within this blog. Being True To You does not advocate, suggest, approve or disapprove of the use of psychedelic medicines such as Ibogaine. The content written in this blog is not medical advice and is for entertainment purposes only. Being True To You provides transformational recovery and integration “coaching” to individuals and families through the addiction recovery and psychospiritual healing process. Coaching is not a medical service and is not regulated by any governmental authority. It is an emerging profession not accredited by any institution or organization. Being True To You coaching is not counseling or psychotherapy and does not use professional assessments or diagnose mental illness. Being True To You coaches are independent contractors who provide recovery coaching to Being True To You assigned clients on a case-by-case basis.

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