The great thing about our modern medicine in today’s world is that new discoveries are being made everyday through research and new forms of thinking. Practices that were under-researched and deemed taboo decades ago are now being re-examined with a new perspective and research, with the hopes of finding new leads and cures to diseases. One in particular that is making waves and holds a promising future in the medical world is psychedelic-assisted therapy to help treat anxiety and depression.
What is psychedelic-assisted therapy?
The official definition of psychedelic-assisted therapy is “therapeutic practices involving the use of psychedelic drugs, particularly serotonergic psychedelics such as LSD, psilocybin, DMT, MDMA, mescaline, and 2C-B, primarily to assist psychotherapy.” Currently, medicine such as LSD, MDMA, and psilocybin are Schedule 1 after liberal use in the 60s. Recently MAPS has entered phase 3 trials using controlled doses and settings and under the care of doctors and psychiatrists. The results are impressive, Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which historically has had poor treatment outcomes is showing promising results after treatment with MDMA. And terminal cancer patients are finding peace and improved quality of life after a session with psilocybin (magic mushrooms).
Why is this important?
Put aside all your preconceived notions of what you know of psychedelics, and ask yourself if there is a medicinal value to these compounds. Doctors, psychiatrists, and scientist are diligently conducting experimental trials and gathering concrete data. Properly treating mental health diseases remains a struggle for the U.S. health system, and psychedelic-assisted therapy is the next road we are traveling down for help. The conversation about mental illness has been shifting, through social media campaigns to break-out TV shows surrounding teen mental health, and the societal change in its belief that vulnerability is not weakness. The stigma around mental health has completely changed, let’s shift the stigma around psychedelic so we can be open to new potential very effective medicine
What are the benefits?
Along with data comes personal anecdotes of patients who have had positive experiences with psychedelic-assisted therapy, including a musician sharing his experience with micro-dosing LSD and the positive effect it had on his life. Micro-dosing is the practice of taking small, incremented doses of psychedelic medicine on a consistent schedule to improve mental health or access creativity. People are sleeping better, eating better, and have a more mindfulness experience of life. This practice significantly alters one’s ability to process emotions, in the hopes of decreasing anxiety and depression in patients.
So what does the future look like for psychedelic-assisted therapy? It’s bright, full of color, hope, and the ability to help change lives for the better. With the proper research and doctors committed to the practice, there will be a new and improved way to help treat and cure mental illness.
For more information on our services at Wild Women Wellness, you can visit our website or give us a call at 1-650-271-WILD. For more information on psychedelic-assisted therapy see the Trip Treatment article in the New Yorker and MAPS.org.