Unique Keys To Mental Illness

Focus photography of psychedelics used for treating mental illness

Psychedelics For All Walks Of Life

Can chemical compounds such as DMT, psilocybin, LSD and mescaline be one day utilized to treat mental illness? MDMA is already in phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of PTSD. Defeating mental illness has already proven to be a difficult challenge for the medical community, with many drugs simply not touching the pathology responsible for these destructive conditions.

Psychedelics may one day prove to be unique keys to mental illness because of the altered states of consciousness in which they provide. It’s not necessarily their mechanism of action in the brain which is proving to be useful, but the meaningful and profound experiences which they provide for users.

Many patients in clinical trials have reported relief in their anxiety and depressive symptoms after having meaningful trips on psilocybin. The idea is that hallucinogens force the user to confront their troubles and unconscious conflicts directly in the trip; their madness comes out in a controlled and supervised medical setting.

Perhaps anxiety and depression is much more complex than the monoamine hypothesis of not having enough serotonin circulating in the synaptic cleft. Perhaps the reason why psychedelics are proving to work against these mental illnesses is because they directly tackle the unconscious conflicts which have gone haywire; psychedelics help the user untangle the intricate and sticky unconscious webs.

One exciting point about hallucinogens is that they’re non-addictive; no one wakes up everyday and states, “I want to trip on ibogaine today.” This is because hallucinogens provide such powerful experiences, that the mind simply does not have energy to “trip” on a consistent basis. This prevents users from becoming addicted.

Throughout history, psychedelics have been regarded as sacred medicines used for guidance, learning and healing. They were even previously used in the field of psychiatry in the 1950s before they left the laboratory and blew up into the free love social movement. In return, the Nixon administration viewed hallucinogens as a threat to the mind and soul of America’s youth and made them schedule I drugs; the research was buried underground.

As more traction is gained regarding the research studies on psychedelics, maybe one day we will be able to utilize these powerful medicines to help alleviate mental illness, and provide a higher quality of life for people from all walks of life.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

DMT: The Spirit Molecule

DMT vision of two women dancing in a set of mixed colors

DMT Versus 5-MeO-DMT

DMT and 5-MeO-DMT have been used for thousands of years in South American shamanic practices. Both substances provide a very psychedelic experience: the loss of one’s ego, the sensation of being transported into another world or dimension and obtaining information about life that you otherwise did not know before inhaling.

DMT stands for N, N-Dimethyltryptamine. The chemical has been found in many animals and plants. It is believed that the pineal gland of the human brain releases DMT during birth, traumatic and stressful situations and death. That being said, DMT is a natural molecule that is part of life.

DMT has long been used in ayahuasca brews by South American shamanic tribes. Some research is showing that ayahuasca may have benefits in treating depression, PTSD and drug addiction. Ayahuasca also helps many people break down their defense mechanisms, helping them establish new relationships and meaningful connections.

5-MeO-DMT stands for 5-Methoxy-N,N-Dimethyltryptamine. The chemical is derived from the parotid glands of the Colorado River toad (“Sonoran Desert toad”). Many claim that the DMT experience is highly visual and humbling while 5-MeO-DMT is like a near-death experience.

Michael Pollan describes his experience with 5-MeO-DMT in his book “How To Change Your Mind.” He states that he does not remember ever exhaling the smoke; the 5-MeO-DMT immediately transported him out of this world. 5-MeO-DMT is considered more powerful than psilocybin, LSD and DMT.

Like all other hallucinogens, the potential for psychological addiction is slim. Even if a person loves “tripping” on hallucinogens, their mind naturally prevents them from tripping too often. Simply put, a user will not feel determined to trip too often. Some users say that they trip once a month, every six months or even once a year.

Hallucinogens do not induce any physical dependence, and thus, no withdrawal is experienced. They also don’t cloud your mind as marijuana and other drugs do. You remain clearheaded while your perception of your surroundings and reality become altered. The experience is transcending to many people.

Lastly, it is important to note that DMT, like all other hallucinogens, have the potential to induce paranoia and anxiety. Set and setting are the key words to any hallucinogenic experience. If you enter the psychedelic world with something bothersome on your mind or are in an uncomfortable setting, you are risking a very bad experience with potential adverse consequences.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)