In the United States, close to 6% of people have PTSD. Thus, approximately 6 out of every 100 people have this emotional struggle. People often experience this due to past trauma from war, rape, or other horrifying events.
One popular treatment is psilocybin therapy. Studies indicate this substance is a potent treatment for PTSD, among other struggles.
Many people try mindfulness and talk therapy, but this isn’t always enough. When traditional methods aren’t sufficient, psilocybin therapy may help. If you’re curious about the potential benefits of this substance, keep reading to learn more!
What Is Psilocybin Therapy?
Psilocybin therapy is an experimental form of psychological therapy. It may help those who suffer from untreatable mental diseases. This can include treatment-resistant depression. People with extreme PTSD also show signs of recovery from psilocybin treatments.
This therapy isn’t for those who only have a minor psychological disorder. Nor is it for those for whom traditional methods have proven successful.
Rather, psilocybin therapy aims to help treat those who have not had successful treatment yet. Studies show it’s a potentially effective treatment for depression and PTSD.
Even though psilocybin is commonly used for PTSD and depression, it’s by no means limited to these diseases. Psilocybin and other mind-altering substances have been used to treat emotional issues for centuries.
Historians have found evidence of use among Native North and South American tribes. These people seemed to use these plants ritualistically. But, these rituals were primarily the same as medicine in the past.
Today, however, doctors and mental health professionals hope to bring these herbs back into medicine. Having been tarnished by the 1960s counterculture, it may take time for this plant to regain its reputation.
Fortunately, the plant has shown great promise in being able to help people over their mental obstacles. But, it’s still a long way from being mainstream.
What is Psilocybin?
Psilocybin (Psilocybe Mexicana) is a form of magic mushroom used to induce hallucinations. Psilocybin and psilocin are both an extraction from mushrooms in clinical treatments.
Magic mushrooms are relatives of commonly consumed mushrooms, such as oyster mushrooms. The substance can be found in over 200 varieties of mushrooms rather than singular fungi.
There are lab replications for these hallucinogenic strains and natural extractions. Some recreational users choose to add these mushroom varieties to dishes or teas. This is more akin to how ancient cultures consumed these mushrooms.
Psilocybin is classified along with other psychoactive substances like LSD as an Indoleamine. These substances are somewhat different from other psychoactive drugs, such as MDMA (ecstasy).
These substances seem to interact more with the serotonin receptors. The subject is somewhat complicated and can take years to understand fully.
However, the simple explanation is these substances seem to create new neuro-pathways. This is sometimes referred to as “re-wiring” the brain, even though that’s not quite how it works.
The effects feel something like this, though. Users tend to feel renewed and balanced. Where the brain may have felt chaotic and confused before, it seems more organized and collected. These are some of the ways psilocybin can help enhance therapy.
History of Psychedelic Drugs
Researchers of our common relatives (bonobos, chimps, etc.) discovered they could digest alcohol. Our kind has been consuming and metabolizing alcohol for millions of years.
However, humans didn’t seem to start making wine and beer until a few thousand years ago. For sure, they consumed naturally occurring alcohol from fermenting foods. But, it doesn’t seem like they made it on purpose until more recently.
There might’ve been more to these wines and beers than initially thought. Many experts believe that the wine associated with the Greek god Dionysus was spiked. There is evidence that Greeks gathered magic mushrooms from the hillsides where the climate was cool.
Similarly, Vedic Soma is thought to have psychedelic properties. Native peoples of this region seemed to apply similar psychedelic mushrooms to make this drink.
Studies of these ancient cultures seem to link mental states and psilocybin. This was commonly referred to as communion or revelation from gods.
Now, scientists are re-exploring these profound effects on the human mind. It’ll just be from a scientific perspective rather than a religious setting.
Legality of Psilocybin
Psilocybin is still in the studying phase of its application and hasn’t been FDA approved. Even though the treatment has been praised as a life-changing treatment, it isn’t entirely legal yet.
Activists argue that the substance is just as safe as most administered psychoactive drugs. Similarly, they say that this treatment should be administered when traditional methods fail.
Psilocybin remains a schedule 1 restricted substance along with LSD and Heroine. Due to this restrictive nature, studies are limited. Worst of all, this has held back medical research.
Professionals argue the substance helps break down mental and emotional barriers. It may be dangerous when administered by an untrained citizen. Although, it brings healing when administered correctly.
The legality of scientific study and medical use is restricted to the state level. States such as Oregon legalized psilocybin for medical purposes back in 2020.
Other states have followed suit to decriminalize psilocybin, at least for medical purposes. However, it’s a long way from being fully legal and recognized by the medical community.
Psilocybin Effects and Mental Health
Despite the struggle for legal recognition, multiple studies have found psilocybin beneficial. Psilocybin offers excellent potential for calming anxiety and easing depression.
Its capacity to “re-wire” the brain helps people overcome addictive behavior and attachments. This allows people struggling with substance abuse or behavioral problems to break the pattern. This includes people struggling with unhealthy relationships with food.
Psilocybin is commonly used to treat both obesity and anorexia. In reframing the brain, psilocybin shifts the individual’s relationship with food.
People struggling with anxiety or depression may turn to food to feed their insecurities. Likewise, anorexic people often have a bad image of themselves. Eating food brings them guilt, sadness, and self-deprecating thoughts.
For people suffering from anxiety or PTSD, psilocybin helps soothe their minds. People who use psilocybin to treat these disorders report positive shifts in their minds. They say fewer cases of panic attacks or unpleasant flashbacks.
Those suffering from depression at times benefit more from psilocybin than traditional medications. People report improved mood and increased activity after psilocybin treatments.
Is Psilocybin Dangerous?
When properly administered by a medical professional, psilocybin is not dangerous. Psilocybin has been safely used for centuries in a controlled setting.
The atmosphere is essential for the experience, sometimes called a “trip.” This is why many professionals provide a safe space for their clients to go through the trip.
This setting typically includes soft, soothing music, a comfortable couch or bed, and a sleep mask. This gives the client a chance to experience the trip thoroughly and analyze their mind.
Many people report seeing pristine spaces, hearing kind voices, and witnessing colors. Psychiatrists will usually start you off with a microdose of psilocybin. Microdosing is the method of administering minimal quantities of a substance. This gives the patient a soft experience before having a total immersion.
This helps protect them, prepare their minds, and prevent them from panicking. Psilocybin is perfectly harmless for most people.
However, professionals will take precautions if you have a severe pre-existing condition. In particular, those who have schizophrenia shouldn’t take psilocybin. They tend to be predisposed to Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD). This is also known as a continual experience, where the trip persists long after it should.
What To Expect During Psilocybin Treatment
Psilocybin is a hallucinogen which means it is a sensory distorting substance. It will likely cause you to feel everything around you on a deeper level.
People often report feeling relaxed but somewhat disembodied. This sensation can be positive as long as the atmosphere is right. If done in the wrong setting, people can mistake this for dying and panic.
You can expect some unpleasant feelings and emotionally challenging experiences. Don’t run away from these feelings, though. This is a vital part of your healing journey.
The Future of Psilocybin Therapy
Psilocybin therapy is increasing in popularity as mental illnesses continue to plague people. As people struggle to grapple with these mental struggles and traditional methods fail, they turn to new solutions. Psilocybin use will likely only increase as studies continue showing its numerous benefits.
There is hope that psilocybin will continue to grow in popularity. Public opinion continues to shift, much to the benefit of those who suffer from illness.
At Daytryp, we are committed to helping people heal from the inside out. Please contact us with any questions you may have.