psychedelics treating depression | Terezia Farkas | depression help | Beliefnet

The latest research shows that using psychedelics to treat depression and addiction leaves a positive, long-lasting impact on mood and thinking. That’s because psychedelic drugs alter how a person sees and thinks about his/her self. Instead of feeling depressed, a person feels euphoric.

Psychedelic drugs used to be just a ‘hippie’ thing. But they aren’t anymore. Psychedelic substances have been used by many cultures throughout the centuries to alter perception of life, relieve pain, and lift up mood. If a psychedelic drug is used properly, it can be medicinal. Many of these substances are found in nature, like the Bufo toad venom, rattlesnake venom, mushrooms, and plants. By the way, Bufo alvarius toad venom is making a come-back as a treatment for depression.

Ketamine as a psychedelic drug.

Psychedelic mushrooms and LSD are commonly used as mood enhancers. But to treat depression, doctors are using ketamine. You may have heard about ketamine. Ketamine is a manufactured drug, used as anesthesia for surgery. Ketamine’s numbing effect is similar to morphine, giving relief from pain while putting a person to sleep. But, ketamine also produces memory loss. That’s why it’s often used as a date-rape drug.

Used properly as a medical tool, ketamine can relieve depression. I’m cautious about saying it will cure depression, because very few people actually ever get cured from depression. Ketamine opens up brain pathways that other anti-depressant drugs can’t get too or, don’t work as well on.

How does psychedelic depression therapy work?

Usually, the therapy happens with a researcher. The research doctor will have the patient enter a comfortable room. Once comfortably seated or lying down, a dose of psychedelic substance (mushroom, LSD, ketamine) is given to the patient. The researcher sits with the person for the duration of the experience, which lasts anywhere from 4 – 6 hours. Then, like any relaxation therapy, the researcher guides the person with imagery and suggestions through the experience.

The more the patient relaxes, the more depression seems to leave and be replaced with happiness. Usually, the patient will have an out-of-body experience. Out-of-body experiences are amazing. Does the soul really leave the body, or does the brain trick the person into ‘seeing’ all those things? It’s hard to tell. But the out-of-body experience does leave the person feeling more spiritually connected to the universe. That spiritual experience leaves such a profound impact, big life changes can happen. Addictions are given up. Depression disappears because the soul is happy and not afraid or in pain.

Note of warning.

Not everyone has the same uplifting psychedelic experience. Before trying this type of therapy, other treatments need to be tried first. Also, the person has to be using an anti-depressant. The anti-depressant continues to be used during the process, because psychedelic treatment takes anywhere from 4-6 sessions for long-term improvements.

There’s also the question of is it the psychedelic substance itself, or the experience of feeling free to let go of negative, painful emotions that actually is the cure? The answer to that question still needs a lot more research.

Find me on twitter @tereziafarkas

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