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    #26
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    Therapy didn't help my anxiety, so I turned to psychedelics

    I am in some kind of hole, I told my therapist. I was trying to work out what was happening to my mind. Months of traumas - family issues, the violent death of a friend, the implosion of my relationship, had, like a slow poison, seeped into my life until I felt paralyzed. I was trapped in a loop of discursive, self-critical thought. I am a freelance journalist, but I found myself unable to take on new assignments and, inexplicably, unwilling to invoice for finished work. After our session, my therapist eyed me with indifference and handed me forty photocopied pages on cognitive behavioral therapy as he shuffled me out the door. I got the sense that approach was going nowhere.

    I had researched meditation, exercise, dietary changes and other ways to prevent myself from slipping further down the hole. But the most intriguing method I came across was psychedelic drugs, which had, in recent studies, shown great efficacy in treating depression, anxiety and PTSD. My underwhelming experience with therapy had left me with the kind of hopelessness that breeds desire for radical solutions. I opened my laptop and googled Toronto psychedelic drugs.

    6 weeks later, on a Sunday in February, I was lying on the floor of a woman's apartment in the east end, wrapped in a Mexican blanket and weeping uncontrollably. I'd met the woman a few hours earlier. She was a shaman, a spiritual healer who practices South American plant medicine. In her pre-shamanic life, she suffered from a severe drug addiction, was homeless and hadn't spoken with her family for a decade. Eventually, she made her way to South America, where she trained in the shamanic arts, conducting ceremonies using a psychedelic tea called ayahuasca.

    The author Michael Pollan, in his recent book on psychedelics, describes the concept of ego dissolution, which is an often-reported and now scientifically supported effect of potent psychedelics. Scientists at Imperial College London have observed that activity in the brains Default Mode Network, the system responsible for building a sense of self and reflecting on the self's nature, can drop dramatically during a psychedelic trip. The default mode network is vital to healthy neural function, acting as the brains central coordinator. But its also a real son of a bitch, the devil on your shoulder, the author of hopelessness and self-blame. Conditions like anxiety and depression can be associated with a default mode network run amok and, according to proponents of psychedelic treatments, a little dissolution of the ego can be a good thing.

    The shaman said she had personally synthesized the medicine I was about to take, DMT. She produced a glass pipe and explained that I was to take five hits. "On number three, you'll tell me you've had enough, and I'll tell you to keep going," she said. If you have ever been close to blackout drunk and seen the world spin uncontrollably around you, then you know what the third hit of DMT is like. The shaman guided the pipe to my mouth for the fourth and then fifth hits, and suddenly I was laid out on my back.

    Everything turned black, as though I was watching a blank screen, except that there was no me watching. The blackness was just there, happening. I was vaguely aware of the self, but only insofar as I knew that I was aware at all. Then a pool of green, red and yellow fire appeared, swirling around what looked to be a medieval helmet.

    This was taking place within the confines of my brain, yet it was completely involuntary - decisive, overwhelming subjugation of the ego. I started to feel some sense of self again, in the form of two distinct emotions: I was in awe of the fire and terrified of the helmet. I felt I would fall into it and that I was going to die. The image shattered. The pieces re-emerged as a pattern of purple and black shields, then disappeared. Soon, I was aware of the shamans hand on my arm, and I realized that I had been weeping. Respira, she whispered. Breathe.

    She was fascinated by what I told her about the helmet and shields. Like all of our emotions, anxiety is a chemical effect in the brain, one that likely evolved over millennia because it served a purpose in our survival. It was a kind of armor, meant to protect us. But when the mind surrenders control, anxiety can become a cage. The helmet made some sense.

    Sitting under the fluorescence of the 501 streetcar on my way back home, I thought more about the helmet and how it had shattered before it could take me. Perhaps my anxieties could shatter, too, if I could manage to observe them from the outside. These are realizations that don't require DMT or shamans, of course. But the trip brought shape and clarity to what I had been feeling. I cant say that the fear and the panic have vanished. Sometimes they wake me up early in the morning, or accompany unexpected moments of disappointment or failure. But they seem more brittle now, with obvious cracks through which I can see a world that is a little lighter.

    https://torontolife.com/city/life/th...wers-expected/
    Last edited by mr peabody; 02-10-2018 at 23:07.
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    #27
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    Ann and Sasha Shulgin


    Psilocybin investigated for its anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties

    Recently, psilocybin received recognition as a potential treatment for anxiety. A pilot study conducted explored the ability of psilocybin to reduce anxiety in individuals with advanced stage cancer. Although a small study and exploratory in nature, it suggested that psilocybin could have some benefit in reducing anxiety and improving mood in patients with a terminal illness.

    In a study due to be published soon in Biological Psychiatry, a research group in Switzerland explored a potential mechanism for reduced anxiety after psilocybin administration. The authors, Kraehenmann et al., administered psilocybin or placebo to a group of participants. Then, they monitored the participants' brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while the subjects completed a task that generally increases activation in an area of the brain called the amygdala. The task involved viewing a series of pictures; half of the pictures presented negative stimuli like a car accident, and the other half presented neutral pictures like everyday objects or scenes from daily life.

    The amygdala is an almond-shaped collection of nuclei in the temporal lobe (there are actually two amygdalae--one in each hemisphere). Increased activity in the amygdala has been associated with emotional reactions, and especially with fear and anxiety. Hyperactivity in the amygdala has also been observed in depressed patients, and treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) has been found to reduce that hyperactivity. This suggests that increased activity in the amygdala may also play a role in symptoms of depression.

    Kraehenmann et al. found that psilocybin administration improved mood and decreased anxiety. But the study also offered some insight into what might be causing that reduction in anxiety. After taking psilocybin (as compared to placebo), activity in the right amygdala was reduced while viewing negative images, and activity in the left amygdala was decreased in response to both negative and neutral images.

    Psilocybin is thought to act as an agonist at serotonin receptors, meaning it increases serotonin transmission. Thus, it may be that antidepressants like SSRIs that act on serotonin--at least as part of their mechanism--have something in common with psilocybin. And, it suggests that perhaps psilocybin should continue to be investigated for its antidepressant and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) properties.

    https://www.neuroscientificallychall...d-the-amygdala
    Last edited by mr peabody; 22-10-2018 at 08:36.
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    Psychedelic medicine for anxiety

    After the DEA’s Controlled Substances Act of 1970 put hallucinogens and cannabis in Schedule 1, research on both essentially ended.

    But now the authors describe two recent clinical studies that used psilocybin along with psychotherapy and produced positive results in treating anxiety and depression.

    Both are randomized placebo-controlled studies recently completed by groups at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and at New York University (NYU). Study results are in press. Both are reasonably large phase II trials of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy in patients suffering from cancer-related psychosocial distress.

    “These two studies,” the authors wrote, “represent the first sufficiently powered, formal double-blind, placebo-controlled assessment of a psychedelic agent for therapeutic effect using modern clinical approaches and assessment instruments.”

    "Both studies found remarkable efficacy. That is unprecedented for cancer-related psychosocial distress with any currently available conventional therapies,” they added.

    The JHU study investigated the effects of a high oral psilocybin dose with a low dose as a placebo on anxiety or depressive disorders caused or worsened by the cancer diagnosis.

    Rating scales showed sustained positive effects on anxiety and depression at six months, and an immediate post-session mystical experience (a subjective experience involving feelings of internal and external unity, sacredness, positive mood, transcendence of time and space, among others) score correlated strongly with positive therapeutic results.

    The study showed that a single psilocybin dose, given under supportive conditions to screened and prepared participants, produced substantial and enduring decreases in anxiety and depression in patients with a life-threatening cancer diagnosis.

    http://cherylpellerinscience.com/pro...ty-depression/

    -----

    MDMA and PTSD
    *

    MDMA interacts with a transporter in the brain that causes the release of serotonin, which in turn causes the release of other neurotransmitters and hormones. For people who might otherwise flee psychotherapy, MDMA reduces fear and increases trust and empathy. MDMA is also mildly stimulating rather than sedating. The overall effect is to calm patients and help them engage with a therapist about difficult experiences. Sessa likens MDMA to a life jacket.

    U.S. psychiatrist Michael Mithoefer leads clinical trials studying MDMA for PTSD. In an initial trial, Mithoefer and colleagues worked with patients who had PTSD for an average of 20 years, mostly from sexual trauma. The patients had undergone previous psychotherapy for an average of almost five years and were not helped by conventional antidepressants. They received MDMA or a placebo two to three times, with doses one month apart, as part of eight-hour sessions with two therapists followed by an overnight stay at the clinic for continued monitoring.

    Going through the psychedelic experience, patients could focus inward and stay quiet as they wished or talk with the therapists. They also had extensive preparatory and follow-up psychotherapy sessions. Of 12 patients who received MDMA, 10 of them (83 percent) showed significant relief of their PTSD symptoms. In the placebo group, only two out of eight patients (25 percent) showed improvement with the same psychotherapy support.

    Other studies show similar positive results, although “it is hard to have an effective ‘blind’ with this type of substance,” Mithoefer concedes, because patients can usually tell whether they’ve been given a placebo or the real thing.

    *From the article here: https://inchemistry.acs.org/content/...nic-drugs.html

    Last edited by mr peabody; 21-10-2018 at 08:49.
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    #29
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    Least anxiogenic psychedelics


    -2C-I and 4-HO-MET are both pretty good that way, IME.

    TheAzo

    2C-C is by far the least anxiety provoking psychedelic IMO, 2C-B coming in close second. I also think Mescaline can be very friendly.

    -<SpaceHead>

    2C-C is magical in this respect. 4-HO-MET, 4-HO-MiPT or 4-HO-MPT are all wonderfully colorful without being too anxiety inducing.

    -reformer

    5-MeO-DMT. I love it, it is almost like benzo and it gives me state of extreme peacefulness. 2C-I is nice and enjoyable!

    -allium

    My girlfriend suffers from anxiety and is taking citalopram for it, and she says 4-AcO-DiPT produces no anxiety for her.

    -MachoSavage

    2c-c by a wide margin. Its hard to even imagine anxiety on 2c-c at less than about 60mg.

    -egor

    2C-B and 4-AcO-DMT (very very similar drugs) are very easy to handle mentally, 2C-B makes me euphoric and takes me "along for the ride" without any emotional effort.

    -danceofdays

    5-Me0-DALT is a great psych for a new tripper. It's not heavy mentally or visually. But the bodily euphoria is something else, and it's a great introduction to the profoundness.

    -Carver Slice

    Well, I tried the 4-AcO-DMT tonight at 10mg. No anxiety or negative sides at all!

    -Reefers

    Mescaline. Extremely clear headspace, warm visuals that aren't overwhelming. Very much like a warm blanket over a psychedelic.

    -SpecialK_

    I would have said 2C-C earlier but after trying a few tryptamines I would say 4-HO-DiPT.

    -Solipsis


    http://www.bluelight.org/vb/threads/...ic-Psychedelic
    Last edited by mr peabody; 01-10-2018 at 08:52.
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    Could psychedelic drugs treat depression and anxiety?


    Psychedelic such as LSD and ayahuasca change the structure of nerve cells, causing them to sprout more branches and spines, UC Davis researchers have found. This could help in "rewiring" the brain to treat depression and other disorders.

    Scientists have demonstrated how psychedelic drugs such as DOI, DMT, and LSD, cause structural and functional changes in brain cells that could feasibly be harnessed to help treat depression and related disorders. Depression is known to cause the atrophy of neurons in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in the brain, and in vitro and in vivo studies by researchers at the University of California, Davis, have found that different classes of psychedelic drugs increase the numbers of neuronal branches, or dendrites, as well as the density of dendritic spines and synapses in cortical neurons. Some psychedelics tested, including LSD, demonstrated structural effects that were even more potent than those of the anesthetic ketamine, which over the last two decades has been the subject of intense research as a potentially fast-acting antidepressant for people who don’t respond to existing therapies.

    “People have long assumed that psychedelics are capable of altering neuronal structure, but this is the first study that clearly and unambiguously supports that hypothesis,” comments research head David Olsen, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry, biochemistry and molecular medicine at UC Davis. “What is really exciting is that psychedelics seem to mirror the effects produced by ketamine.”

    The UC Davis team has coined the term "psychoplastogen" to describe neuronal plasticity-promoting compounds, and reports on its work in a paper, entitled “Psychedelics Promote Structural and Functional Plasticity,” which is published today in Cell Reports.

    Multiple studies have demonstrated that the pathophysiology of depression and related disorders is associated with atrophy in PFC neurons and with “structural changes, such as the retraction of neurites, loss of dendritic spines, and elimination of synapses,” the researchers write. "One of the hallmarks of depression is that the neurites in the prefrontal cortex—a key brain region that regulates emotion, mood, and anxiety—those neurites tend to shrivel up," Dr. Olson explains.

    Finding compounds that can promote structural and functional plasticity of neurons in the PFC could feasibly offer a general solution to treating such disorders, but the few compounds identified so far have “significant drawbacks,” the team continues. Of these, the most promising, ketamine, has shown “remarkable clinical potential as a fast-acting antidepressant,” even for treatment-resistant populations. Studies in animals have shown that the compound can promote the growth of dendritic spines, boost production of synaptic proteins, and bolster synaptic signaling.

    Some clinical studies have shown that, like ketamine, serotonergic psychedelic drugs can also have long-lasting antidepressant and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects, including in treatment-resistant patients, and one, MDMA recently received FDA breakthrough therapy designation for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, while such serotonergic psychedelics have demonstrated promising anxiolytic and antidepressant properties, how they work isn’t yet understood, and questions about their potential safety has held back clinical use. "These are some of the most powerful compounds known to affect brain function, it's very obvious to me that we should understand how they work," Dr. Olson states.

    This similarity between the effects of serotonergic psychedelic drugs and ketamine, both in clinical studies and in animal models, led the UC Davis team to reason and test whether the therapeutic effects of these different drugs might stem from similar mechanisms of action, which promote structural and functional plasticity in cortical neurons.

    Initial in vitro studies using rodent cortical cultures showed that just about all of the tryptamine, amphetamine, and ergoline-type psychedelic compounds tested promoted neuritogenesis, with many demonstrating more potent effects than ketamine. In vivo evaluation in Drosophila larvae then confirmed that the drugs significantly increased dendritic branching of sensory neurons.

    “…our results demonstrate that psychedelics can promote changes in neuronal structure across vertebrate (rats) and invertebrate (Drosophila) species, suggesting that they act through an evolutionarily conserved mechanism.”


    Loss of dendritic spines is another hallmark of neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, and in a separate set of microscopy studies the UC Davis team showed that treatment of mature rat cortical cultures with DOI (amphetamine), DMT (tryptamine), and LSD (ergoline) increased the numbers of dendritic spines, and also promoted the formation of synapses, resulting in increased synaptic density. Follow-on in vivo studies in adult rats also showed that treatment with DMT led to increases in dendritic spine density in prefrontal cortical neurons 24 hours after dosing. These results were comparable to those resulting from a similar dose of ketamine. DMT-induced increases in dendritic spine density were also linked with increased postsynaptic electrical activity. “Because the half-life of DMT is exceedingly short (~15 min), these results confirm that structural and functional changes induced by DMT persist for hours after the compound has been cleared by the body,” the team said.

    Prior studies have demonstrated that the behavioral effects of ketamine are dependent on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is also known to play a role in neuritogenesis and spinogenesis. The team’s studies also demonstrated that inhibiting BDNF’s high-affinity receptor TrkB (or tropomyosin receptor kinase B) blocked the ability of either the psychedelic drugs or BDNF itself to stimulate neuritogenesis and spinogenesis.

    Activation of TrkB promotes mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling, “which plays a key role in structural plasticity, the production of proteins necessary for synaptogenesis, and the effects of ketamine,” the authors comment. Then they found that treatment with the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin also blocked the ability of psychedelic drugs to promote neuritogenesis, “thus confirming that mTOR activation plays a role in the plasticity-promoting effects of classical serotonergic psychedelics."

    In a final set of studies the researchers investigated whether the serotonin 2A (5-HT2A) receptor, which is primarily responsible for the hallucinogenic effects of classical psychedelics, played any role in the plasticity promoting effects of DOI, DMT, and LSD. They found that chemically inhibiting 5-HT2A completely blocked psychedelic drug-related neuritogenesis and spinogenesis.

    “Our work strengthens the growing body of literature indicating that psychoplastogens capable of promoting plasticity in the PFC might have value as fast-acting antidepressants and anxiolytics with efficacy in treatment-resistant populations and suggests that it may be possible to use classical psychedelics as lead structures for identifying safer alternatives."

    "Ketamine is no longer our only option,” Dr. Olson notes. “Our work demonstrates that there are a number of distinct chemical scaffolds capable of promoting plasticity, like ketamine, providing additional opportunities for medicinal chemists to develop safer and more effective alternatives.”

    “We have demonstrated that the plasticity-promoting properties of psychedelics require TrkB, mTOR, and 5-HT2A signalling, suggesting that these key signalling hubs may serve as potential targets for the development of psychoplastogens, fast-acting antidepressants, and anxiolytics,” the authors conclude. “Taken together, our results suggest that psychedelics may be used as lead structures to identify next-generation neurotherapeutics with improved efficacy and safety profiles.”

    https://www.genengnews.com/gen-news-...xiety/81255910
    Last edited by mr peabody; 09-11-2018 at 20:35.
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    LSD liberated me from the prison I had built for myself


    I was 20 years old, freshly dropped out of college, and a couple months removed from my first drink. I bloomed into rebellion later than most, because I grew up in the shadow of my sister’s addictions, multiplicitous, but primarily oriented towards methamphetamine. I’d always seen all drugs as shades of the same.

    My panic attacks began on my first day of kindergarten. By 2nd grade, I’d taught myself how to fake sick well enough that I missed half a semester with “allergies.” When middle school rolled around, my anxieties manifested in a physical way. My blood cell counts plummeted. The doctors ran every test imaginable. I laid in bed all day. I wore a surgical mask when I left the house. A cold would kill him, the doctor whispered.

    Suicidal thoughts started when I was 16. I had scarcely made it through my freshman orientation when I swallowed a bottle of pills and awoke in a hospital. My scholarship was revoked, my invitation to an education was rescinded, and my family was scared to look me in the eye.

    So now here I was, a year later, as anxious and depressed as ever. I’d tried a dozen different SSRIs and mood stabilizers. Nothing worked.

    I was working at a coffee shop, and I’d started hanging out with a hippie coworker named A. I’d text him late at night when I found myself spiraling and he’d bring me a gram of pot and we’d smoke on my porch until my eyes grew heavy and I could sleep.

    When he mentioned LSD to me for the first time, I scoffed. I’d seen the cartoonish depictions of acid trips in movies, and I’d heard all the scare-lines: it stays in your system forever, it drives you mad etc. But of course, desperation can awaken in a man any number of possibilities of which he never thought himself capable. A called it spiritual. I was so tired of hurting.

    2 weeks later, he showed up at my apartment with tin foil and a book called Be Here Now. I placed the stamps on my tongue and thumbed through the book. I couldn’t make head or tail of it. All the hippie jargon and imprecise language. Why had he given this to me? What was I hoping to find?

    I laid in my bed and turned out the lights. I began to see trails of light across the dark corners of my bedroom. I felt stirred to stand. I drifted towards the window, but instead of urban blight, it was pure light, living water. I floated atop the water of the endless ocean. Not a wave or ripple as far as the horizon. A place of strange and perfect calm.

    My busy head was quieted. I had no fear of the future, or regret of the past. I lived in the timeless present. My anxieties of inadequacy disappeared. My ego stretched and snapped, my costume flew off, and all that was left was pure awareness. I sat in boundless beauty. It was a miracle, and it was totally ordinary. When I opened my eyes, I was back in my room. The song played itself out. I had slipped out of my pain for a lifetime and fallen back into my body here, three minutes later.

    I rushed to the mirror, surveyed the vehicle that carried my pure consciousness across time and space, and for the first time in my life, I felt total compassion for him. I forgave my body for its asymmetry; I forgave my brain for its limitations; I gave up the narratives I’d created. And it liberated me from the prison I’d built for myself.

    4 years since that trip, I’ve had no major depressive or manic episodes. I haven’t taken a psychedelic in two years, and I’m no longer prescribed antidepressants. I’m working to cultivate a daily meditation practice, and I’m lighter, happier, and more stable than I ever thought possible.

    Like a fish can’t see water, I couldn’t see that the point was right in front of me. Everything is everything, and I am part of the unfolding. Call it God, the simulation code or the quantum fabric of our physical world. Whatever the name, the good, the bad, the pain, the ecstasy, it’s all divine.

    I can’t go back and teach my younger self that lesson, so I’m writing it down. I hope this finds someone at just the right time and place to receive it.

    https://www.psymposia.com/magazine/l...lt-for-myself/
    Last edited by mr peabody; 01-10-2018 at 10:28.
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    Treating anxiety with psychedelics

    Many people find their day-to-day experience of life is filled with anxiety, limiting the activities they do and the enjoyment they have in life. Psychedelics like mushrooms and LSD have been used for decades to treat anxiety disorders and to reduce anxiety levels.

    For some, these substances seem to directly alleviate feelings of anxiety, even at very low doses. For others, psychedelics help them explore the root causes of their anxieties and find peace with them, a new touchstone for letting go of anxiety.

    This description may sound abstract to someone suffering from anxiety. The healing process can be a little difficult to convey. Recent clinical research has shown dramatic reductions in anxiety even after a single psychedelic experience. Psilocybin enables patients facing the anxiety of terminal illness to embrace their fate and find peace with their loved ones.

    Here is one woman's story of being treated with mushrooms as she was facing death, described in a New York Times article:

    Norbert Litzinger remembers picking up his wife from the medical center after her first session and seeing that this deeply distressed woman was now "glowing from the inside out." Before she died, she described her psilocybin experience on video:

    "I felt this lump of emotions welling up . . almost like an entity," Sakuda said, as she spoke straight into the camera. "I started to cry . . Everything was concentrated and came welling up and then . . it started to dissipate, and I started to look at it differently . . I began to realize that all of this negative fear and guilt was such a hindrance . . to making the most of and enjoying the healthy time that I'm having." Sakuda went on to explain that, under the influence of the psilocybin, she "came to a very visceral understanding that there was a present, a now," and that it was hers to have.

    What is so remarkable is that even a single dose of a psychedelic substance can create long lasting changes, reducing anxiety, depression, and creating more emotional openness. LSD, MDMA, and psilocybin have all been studied for anxiety reduction. Remember that a psychedelic experience can sometimes produce anxiety or can focus the mind on sources of anxiety, as part of the process of addressing the root causes. Starting with small doses and following all the safety guidelines can help reduce anxiety.

    http://howtousepsychedelics.org/anxiety/


    Last edited by mr peabody; 09-10-2018 at 08:29.
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    Psilocybin healed me from crippling anxiety

    When I was in my late teens I first experienced my first real bout of depression, precipitated by the social isolation that came from acute social anxiety. I felt insecure and inadequate amongst my peers, so avoided socializing completely unless alcohol was involved.

    Fast forward through my 20’s and early 30’s and the rut I developed as an adolescent had stayed with me. The pattern was work, where I felt safe and in control, and then evening drinking in the bars and clubs as a social outlet. I avoided anything social where drinking would be unacceptable, I felt as though I needed it to mask my anxiety.

    Throughout those years of many extremely drunken nights, I accumulated what I can only describe as a ball and chain of shame. From the many forgotten nights, fights, arrests and broken bones I increasingly looked back at my past and only saw failure. Bouts of depression were a recurring feature, broken up by periods of welcome but fragile relief when the latest SSRI prescription temporarily lifted my mood.

    At 33 I left my fairly respectable 4-year position as Head of Technical at a media company, due to stress and the desire to take time out to try and ‘fix’ my issues, I left with no plans other than to ‘work on myself.’ I ended up moving back to my mum’s house where the following events took place.

    I had been out of work for a couple of months and Instead of a life of self-development and exploration, stagnation and rumination had firmly set in. Christmas came, and went, and as the days passed I feel ever deeper in to a dark and lonely place…

    I became extremely socially anxious, terrified of the future and resentful of the past. I was rendered house bound or even bed bound for much of the time. The anxiety was so crushing that had to force myself just to eat a bowl of cereal each day, and when I was out of bed I paced around like a caged animal, the suffering and fear were intense.

    As the days, weeks and months fell through my fingers and I had failed to pull myself out of the hole, the feelings of hopelessness grew. The thought of suicide advanced from a fantasy to a considered reality. Over my life I had tried SSRI’s, MAOI’s, CBT, counseling, drama therapy, high does fish oil, transcranial direct current stimulation, running and more and now I had got to the point where I thought I had run out of options and hope. And then, after more than six months of blackness, I had an incredible experience.

    It was the darkest night of my life. Followed by a kind of awakening. Early on in the day, I was running through the park feeling full of pain, fear and shame, desperate to escape the never-ending crippling anxiety and depression. I clasped my hands together and asked God/the universe (even though I consider myself an atheist) for help and guidance to see me through and to help me learn to accept myself…

    That night I decided to take some magic mushrooms. I had read about their healing potential with depression and PTSD so with little else to try I swallowed 2 grams of ‘Golden Teacher’ mushrooms and retired for the evening to bed.

    An hour later I was lying in bed with a deep sense of dread, my mind racing over the past. All my foolish mistakes and drunken incidents, all the bitterness and fear I had felt. All the resentment towards my family for the pain of the past. All my social anxiety and fear of judgment, embarrassment or rejection, and all my foolish and selfish behavior.

    At that moment I felt my heart break and my soul die. In that moment I felt sure I was doomed, that it was too late to live the life I had once imagined or be the person I would have liked to be. All hope was lost…

    As I lay in bed in the near dark, puffing on my vape pen, the layers of water vapor stratified and descended over the room like an eerie mist. In the dull light, my bed sheets appeared like a death shroud, draped over my torso and knees, ossified and covered in cobwebs. On the back of the door hung a long black jumper and I suddenly felt as though an angel of death was standing there watching over my corpse, signaling the end for me.

    I gasped in a panic, shocked at the feeling of annihilation. In the midst and terror off feeling my whole being and identity crumble, I sat up and focused my mind intensely. Then came a voice, from what seemed outside of me, a voice of strength and wisdom. It said ‘No more blame.’ All of a sudden, what felt like a light and energy from the universe, lit up my body and filled my empty corpse with life. My heart burst open, with an incredible fire, and for the first time, I understood.

    I started sobbing and cried ‘thank you’, ‘thank you’ with a feeling of gratitude so powerful I had never felt before. I was overjoyed to be alive, filled with feelings of love; for my family and friends, and all other beings finding their way through their short time on this earth.

    I bowed down across my bed, hands clasped, in astonishment, bursting with gratitude, humility and love. My deep feelings of shame dissolved as I caressed my face softly. With tears of joy I declared ‘I am human, I am flesh and blood, I am not a worm’… And like a universal wisdom was raining down on me I felt I understood true compassion, the power of love to destroy fear, the unity of all mankind, the meaning of giving, humility, strength and courage.

    Realizations ran through my mind, like dominos, knocking down one old thought pattern after another, releasing me from the mental prison I had found myself in. I laughed and cried wiggling my feet and toes as though I were a child again, rediscovering the joy of playfulness and the sensuality of my own body; and then came another realization; ‘I am not a victim, I have agency in this world.’

    I made my way down to the garden, outside the night sky was clear and the air was fresh. I smiled and laughed at the new feelings of love and appreciation I could feel. For my mum, my dad, all my family and friends; the night sky, the cool breeze, plants, slugs and everything else. Deepest of all I felt love for my sister, who has tried so hard to help me over the years. I felt the love and bond between us like a mixing of particles stretching across the universe, harmonious and inseparable. I bowed down again with appreciation and humility to whatever had released me. I was resurrected.

    The next day my depression was gone, I had no anxiety, I chatted with an old friend without an ounce of self-consciousness that would always have plagued me. And I felt like I am a man, not a boy for the first time in my life.

    I still am depression free am working everyday with gratitude and humility to build the kind of life I can be proud of.

    http://reset.me/personal-story/psilo...n-and-anxiety/


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    How psychedelics kill the ego and transform the brain

    Estalyn Walcoff arrived at the nondescript beige building in Manhattan's Gramercy Park neighborhood on a balmy August morning, hours before the city would begin to swell with the frenetic energy of summer tourists. She was about to face a similar type of chaos — but only in her mind.

    Pushing open the door to the Bluestone Center at the NYU College of Dentistry, Walcoff entered what looked like an average 1970s living room. A low-backed brown couch hugged one wall. On either side, a dark brown table held a homely lamp and an assortment of colorful, hand-painted dishes. A crouching golden Buddha statue, head perched thoughtfully on its knee, adorned another table closer to the entrance.

    Months before, Walcoff had volunteered to participate in a study of how the psychedelic drug psilocybin, the main psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, affects the brain in cancer patients with anxiety and depression. The promising results of that five-year study, published in December, have prompted some researchers to liken the treatment to a "surgical intervention."

    The researchers believe they are on the cusp of nothing less than a breakthrough: A single dose of psychedelic drugs appears to alleviate the symptoms of some of the most common, perplexing, and tragic illnesses of the brain. Because depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, the timing seems ideal.

    In people like Walcoff, whose depression and anxiety strike after a cancer diagnosis like a powerful blow, one dose of psilocybin seemed to quiet her existential dread, to remind her of her connectedness with the world around her, and, perhaps most importantly, to reassure her of her place in it.

    And these results don't seem to be limited to people with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses. Participants in a handful of other studies of psychedelics consistently ranked their trips as one of their most meaningful life experiences— not only because of the trip itself, but because of the changes they appear to produce in their lives in the months and years afterward.

    Still, the existing research is limited — which is why, scientists say, they so badly need permission from the government to do more.





    Clark's story


    1990 was a year of life and death for Clark Martin. His daughter was born, and he was diagnosed with cancer.

    Over the next 20 years, as his daughter took her first steps, experienced her first day of school, and eventually grew into a smart, fiercely independent teenager, doctors waged a blitzkrieg on Martin's body. Six surgeries. Two experimental treatments. Thousands of doctor visits. The cancer never went into remission, but Martin and his doctors managed to keep it in check by staying vigilant, always catching the disease just as it was on the brink of spreading.

    Still, the cancer took its toll. Martin was riddled with the effects of anxiety and depression. He had become so focused on saving his body from the cancer that he hadn't made time for the people and things in his life that really mattered. His relationships were in shambles; he and his daughter barely spoke.

    So in 2010, after reading an article in a magazine about a medical trial that involved giving people with cancer and anxiety the drug psilocybin, he contacted the people running the experiment and asked to be enrolled.

    After weeks of lengthy questionnaires and interviews, he was selected. On a chilly December morning, Martin walked into the facility at Johns Hopkins, where he was greeted by two researchers, including Bill Richards, a psychologist. The three of them sat and talked in the room for half an hour, going over the details of the study and what might happen.

    Martin received a pill and swallowed it with a glass of water. For study purposes, he couldn't know whether it was a placebo or psilocybin, the drug the researchers aimed to study.

    Next, he lay back on the couch, covered his eyes with the soft shades he'd been given, and waited.

    Within a few minutes, Martin began to feel a sense of intense panic.

    "It was quite anxiogenic," he said. "and I just wanted everything to snap back into place. There was no sense of time, and I realized the drug was in me and there was no stopping it."





    Martin, an avid sailor, told me it reminded him of a frightening experience he'd had when after a wave knocked him off his boat, he suddenly became disoriented and lost track of the boat, which was floating behind him.

    "It was like falling off the boat in the open ocean, looking back, and the boat is gone," he said. "And then the water disappears. Then you disappear."

    Martin was terrified and felt on the verge of a "full-blown panic attack." Thanks to the comfort and guidance of his doctors, however, he was eventually able to calm down. Over the next few hours, the terror vanished. It was replaced with a sense of tranquility that Martin still has trouble putting into words.

    "With the psilocybin, you get an appreciation — it's out of time — of well-being, of simply being alive and a witness to life and to everything and to the mystery itself," said Martin.

    Lots of things happened to Martin during his four-hour trip. For a few hours, he remembers feeling at ease; he was simultaneously comfortable, curious, and alert. He recalls a vision of being in a sort of cathedral, where he asked God to speak to him. More than anything else, though, he no longer felt alone.

    "The whole 'you' thing just kinda drops out into a more timeless, more formless presence," Martin said.

    As his trip slowly began to draw to a close and he began to return to reality, Martin recalls a moment when the two worlds — the one in which he was hallucinating and the reality he could call up from memory — seemed to merge. He turned his attention to his relationships. He thought of his daughter, his friends, his coworkers.

    "In my relationships, I had always approached it from a 'How do I manage this?' How do I present myself?' 'Am I a good listener?' type of standpoint," Martin said. "But it dawned on me as I was coming out of the trip that relationships are pretty much spontaneous if you're just present and connecting."

    That shift, which Martin said has deepened since he took the psilocybin in 2010, has had enduring implications for his relationships.

    "Now if I'm meeting people, the default is to be just present — not just physically, but mentally present to the conversation," he said. "That switch has been profound."

    While he felt himself undergo a shift during his trip on psilocybin, Martin says the most enduring changes in his personality and his approach to interacting with those around him have unfolded in the months and years since he took the drug. For him, the drug was merely a catalyst — a "kick-start," he likes to call it. By redirecting his perspective for a few hours, the psilocybin unleashed a chain reaction in the way he sees and approaches the world, he said.

    This squares with what researchers have found by looking at the brain on psilocybin.

    Taking the road less traveled

    Ask a healthy person who has tripped on psychedelics what it felt like, and they'll probably tell you they saw sounds. The crash-bang of a dropped box took on an aggressive, dark shape.

    Or they might say they heard colors. A bright green light seemed to emit a piercing, high-pitched screech.

    In actuality, this "cross-wiring" — synaesthesia, as it's known scientifically — may be one example of the drug "freeing" the brain from its typical connection patterns.

    This fundamental change in how the brain sends and receives information also might be the reason the drugs are so promising as a treatment for people with mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, or addiction. To understand why, it helps to take a look at how a healthy brain works.





    Normally, information is exchanged in the brain using various circuits, or what one researcher described to me as "informational highways." On some highways, there's a steady stream of traffic. On others, however, there are rarely more than a few cars on the road. Psychedelics appear to drive traffic to these underused highways, opening up dozens of different routes and freeing up some space along the more heavily used ones.

    Robin Carhart-Harris, who leads the psychedelic research arm of the Center for Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, captured these changes in one of the first neuroimaging studies of the brain on a psychedelic trip. He presented his findings last year in New York at a conference on the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. With the psilocybin, "there was a definite sense of lubrication, of freedom, of the cogs being loosened and firing in all sorts of unexpected directions," Carhart-Harris said.

    This might be just the kick-start that a depressed brain needs.

    One key characteristic of depression is overly strengthened connections in brain circuits in certain regions of the brain — particularly those involved in concentration, mood, conscious thought, and the sense of self. This may be part of the reason that electroconvulsive therapy, which involves placing electrodes on the temples and delivering a small electrical current, can help some severely depressed people — it tamps down on some of this traffic.

    "In the depressed brain, in the addicted brain, in the obsessed brain, it gets locked into a pattern of thinking or processing that's driven by the frontal, the control center, and they cannot un-depress themselves," David Nutt, the director of the neuropsychopharmacology unit in the division of brain sciences at Imperial College London, told me.




    Visualization of the connections in the brain of a person on psilocybin, right, and in a person not given the drug.


    Nutt is one of the pioneering researchers in the field of studying how psychedelics might be used to treat mental illness. He said that in depressed people, these overly trafficked circuits — think West Los Angeles at rush hour — can lead to persistent negative thoughts. Feelings of self-criticism can get obsessive and overwhelming. So to free someone with depression from those types of thoughts, traffic would need to be diverted from some of these congested ruts and, even better, redirected to emptier highways.

    That's precisely what psychedelics appear to do.

    "Psychedelics disrupt that process so people can escape," Nutt said. "At least for the duration of the trip, they can escape about the ruminations about depression or alcohol or obsessions. And then they do not necessarily go back."

    A 4-hour trip, a long-lasting change

    "Medically, what you're doing with psychedelics is you're perturbing the system," Paul Expert, who coauthored one of the first studies to map the activity in the human brain on psilocybin, told me over tea on a recent afternoon in London's bustling Whitechapel neighborhood.

    Expert, a physicist at the King's College London Center for Neuroimaging Sciences, doesn't exactly have the background you'd expect of someone studying magic mushrooms.

    But it was by drawing from his background as a physicist, Expert told me, that he and his team were able to come up with a systematic diagram of what the brain looks like on a psilocybin trip. Their study, published in 2014, also helps explain how altering the brain temporarily with psilocybin can produce changes that appear to develop over time.

    When you alter how the brain functions — "perturb the system," in physicist parlance — with psychedelics, "that might reinforce some connections that already exist, or they might be more stimulated," Expert said.

    But those changes aren't as temporary as one might expect from a four-hour shrooms trip. Instead, they appear to catalyze dozens of other changes that deepen for months and years after taking the drug.

    "So people who take magic mushrooms report for a long time after the actual experience that they feel better, they're happier with life," said Expert. "But understanding exactly why this is the case is tricky because the actual trip is short, and it's not within that short span of time that you can make those new connections. That takes much more time."





    The clinical trials that Walcoff and Martin took part in, which took place at NYU and Johns Hopkins over five years, are the longest and most comprehensive studies we have to date of people with depression using psychedelics.

    Last year, a team of Brazilian researchers published a review of all the clinical trials on psychedelics published between 1990 and 2015. After looking at 151 studies, the researchers found only six that met their analysis criteria. The rest were either too small, too poorly controlled, or problematic for another reason.

    Nevertheless, based on the six studies, the researchers concluded that ayahuasca, psilocybin, and LSD may be "useful pharmacological tools for the treatment of drug dependence, and anxiety and mood disorders, especially in treatment-resistant patients."

    "These drugs may also be useful pharmacological tools to understand psychiatric disorders and to develop new therapeutic agents," they wrote.

    Because the existing research is so limited, scientists still can't say exactly what is happening in the brain of someone who has tripped on psychedelics that appear to unleash such a cascade of life changes like the kind Martin described.

    What we do know, though, is that things like practicing a musical instrument or learning a skill change the brain. It's possible that psychedelics do something similar over the long term, even if the actual trip — the phase of drug use that many people focus on — is pretty brief.

    "In other words, a trip might trigger a sort of snowball effect in the way the brain processes information," Expert said.

    And something about the experience appears to be much more powerful for some people than even years of taking antidepressants.

    A small recent trial of psilocybin in people whose chronic depression had not responded to repeated attempts at treatment with medication suggested that this may be the case. While the trial, co-directed by Amanda Feilding, who founded the Beckley Foundation, was designed to determine only if the drug was safe, all of the study participants said at a one-week follow-up that they saw a significant decrease in symptoms. The majority said at a follow-up three months later that they continued to see a decrease in symptoms.

    "We treated people who'd been suffering for 30 years, and they're getting better with a single dose," said Nutt, who was one of the authors of the study. "So that tells us this drug is doing something profound."

    Killing the ego

    Between 1954 and 1960, the psychiatrist Humphry Osmond gave thousands of alcoholics LSD.

    It was part of an experimental treatment regimen aimed at helping them recover. Osmond thought that the acid would mimic some of the symptoms of delirium tremens, a psychotic condition common in chronic alcoholics who stop drinking that can involve tremors, hallucinations, anxiety, and disorientation. Osmond thought the experience might shock the alcoholics, who had failed to respond to any other treatments, into not drinking again.

    He was wrong.

    Rather than terrifying his patients with an extreme case of shakes and hallucinations, Osmond found that the acid appeared to produce positive, long-lasting changes in their personalities. Something about the LSD appeared to help the suffering alcoholics "reorganize their personalities and reorganize their lives," Michael Bogenschutz, an NYU psychiatrist, said at a conference on therapeutic psychedelics last year.

    A year later, 40 to 45% of Osmond's patients said they had not returned to drinking — a higher success rate than any other existing treatment for alcoholism.

    In an interview with the Harvard psychiatrist John Halpern, Abram Hoffer, a biochemist and colleague of Osmond's, said: "Many of them didn't have a terrible experience. In fact, they had a rather interesting experience."

    While some say the trip is interesting, others have called it "spiritual," "mystical," or even "religious."

    Scientists still can't say for sure what goes on in the brain during a trip that appears to produce these types of experiences. We know that part of it is about the tamping down of certain circuits and the ramping up of others.





    One circuit that seems to go quiet while tripping is the connection between the parahippocampus and the retrosplenial cortex. This network is thought to play a key role in our
    sense of self, or ego.

    Deflating the ego is far from the soul-crushing disappointment it sounds like. Instead, it appears to make people feel more connected to the people and environment around them.

    Carhart-Harris, who conducted the first study of its kind to take images of a healthy brain on LSD, said in a news release that his findings support that idea.

    In a person not on a drug, specific parts of the brain light up with activity depending on what they're doing. If they're focused on reading something, the visual cortex sparkles with action. If they're listening carefully to someone, their auditory cortex is particularly active. Under the influence of LSD, the activity isn't as neatly segregated.

    "The separateness of these networks breaks down, and instead you see a more integrated or unified brain," Carhart-Harris said.

    That change might help explain why the drug produces an altered state of consciousness, too. Just as the invisible walls between once segregated tasks are broken down, the barriers between the sense of self and the feeling of interconnection with one's environment appear to dissolve.

    "The normal sense of self is broken down and replaced by a sense of reconnection with themselves, others, and the natural world," said Carhart-Harris.

    Because two of the characteristics of mental illnesses like depression and alcoholism are isolation and loneliness, this newfound interconnection could act as a powerful antidote.

    "It's kind of like getting out of a cave. You can see the light, and you can stay in the light," Nutt said. "You've been liberated."

    A spiritual experience

    Humans have a long history of looking to "spiritual experiences" to treat mental illness — and of using psychedelics to help bring about such experiences.

    Ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic beverage brewed from the macerated and boiled vines of the Banisteriopsis caapi (yage) plant and the Psychotria viridis (chacruna) leaf, has been used for centuries as a traditional spiritual medicine in ceremonies among the indigenous peoples of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Its name is a combination of the Quechua words "aya," which can be loosely translated to "spirit," and "waska," or "woody vine."

    Europeans first encountered ayahuasca in the 1500s, when Christian missionaries traveling through Amazonia from Spain and Portugal saw indigenous people using it. (The missionaries called it the work of the devil.)

    It's now understood that ayahuasca has a similar effect on the brain as magic mushrooms or acid. Yet unlike magic mushrooms, whose main psychoactive ingredient is psilocybin, ayahuasca's effects come from mixing the drug dimethyltryptamine, or DMT, from the chacruna plant, and the MAO inhibitor from the yage plant, which allows the DMT to be absorbed into the bloodstream.

    In the early 1950s, the writer William Burroughs traveled through South America looking for the yage plant, hoping to use it to help cure opiate addiction. Some 15 years earlier, a man suffering in a ward for alcoholics in New York had a transformative experience on the hallucinogen belladonna.

    "The effect was instant, electric. Suddenly my room blazed with an incredibly white light," he wrote.

    Shortly after that, the man, William Wilson, founded the 12-step recovery program Alcoholics Anonymous. Wilson later experimented with LSD and said he believed the drug could help alcoholics achieve one of the central tenets of AA: acceptance of "a power greater than ourselves."

    Nevertheless, ayahuasca, LSD, and other hallucinogens were slow to gain notoriety across Europe and North America. They saw a temporary surge in popularity in the US in the 1960s, with people like Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert writing about the "ego loss" produced by magic mushrooms as part of their Harvard Psilocybin Project.

    But in 1966, the government outlawed psychedelics— and most experimentation, along with research into their potential medicinal properties, came to a screeching halt.





    Meanwhile, scientists have experimented with the drugs in whatever capacity they can.

    Bogenschutz has spent years studying the effects of a single dose of psychedelics on addicts. He's found that in most cases, studies suggest the hallucinogens can improve mood; decrease anxiety; increase motivation; change personality, beliefs, and values; and, most importantly, decrease cravings. But how?

    "One of the big questions was how would a single use produce lasting behavior change?" he said in 2014. "Because if this is going to produce any lasting effect, there have to be consistent changes."

    Based on several small pilot studies that he's helped conduct, Bogenschutz hypothesizes that the drugs affect addicts in two ways, which he breaks down into acute (short-term) effects and secondary (longer-term) effects.

    In the short term, psychedelics affect our serotonin receptors, the brain's main mood-regulating neurotransmitters. Next, they affect our glutamate receptors, which appear to produce the so-called transformative experiences and psychological insight that people experience on the drugs.

    "This is the most rewarding work I've ever done," Bogenschutz said. "To see these kinds of experiences ... it's just not as easy to get there with psychotherapy."

    Staying in the light

    From the time she was born, Clark Martin's daughter and her father had a difficult relationship. Martin and his partner never married, but they loved their child and divided their time with her as best they could.

    Still, Martin couldn't help but feel as though their time together was consistently strained. For one thing, the spontaneity that's so vital to many relationships was absent. He always knew when their time together started and when it was coming to an end.

    "You're not having as much everyday experience," Martin said. "Instead, you're having kind of a planned experience. And that affects the depth of the relationship, I think."

    Martin felt similarly about his father, who had developed Alzheimer's several years before. Martin would visit him when he could, but whenever they were together, Martin felt compelled to try to push the visit into the confines of what he thought a "normal" father-son interaction should be. He'd try to make their discussions mirror the ones they would have had before his father became ill.

    "I kept trying to have 'normal' conversations with him," Martin said.

    About three hours into his psilocybin trip at Johns Hopkins, Martin recalled a memory of his teenage daughter.

    He said he "had been so focused on pursuing my own ideas about what was best for her, trying to be the architect of her life," that he had let that get in the way of making sure she knew how much he loved and cared about her.

    One afternoon about a year after the trip, Martin drove out to visit his father. This time, Martin took him for a drive.

    "He always loved farming and ranching, and we'd just get in the car and spend hours driving along," Martin said.

    As they drove, rolling, green hills sped past them. His father looked out at the lush horizon with awe, as if he were seeing it for the first time. The crisp, blue sky. The soft blanket of grass.

    All of a sudden, Martin's father saw something. He gestured out the window, but Martin saw nothing — just grass and trees and sky. Then something moved in the distance.

    There, in the middle of two emerald hills, a deer cocked its head up.

    "It was miles away," Martin said. "I would have completely missed it."

    https://www.businessinsider.com/psychedelics-depression-anxiety-alcoholism-mental-illness-2017-1?utm_source=intl&utm_medium=ingest
    Last edited by mr peabody; 06-12-2018 at 02:01.
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    CBD treatment for anxiety disorders

    Esther Blessing, Maria Steenkamp, Jorge Manzanares, Charles Marmar

    Cannabidiol (CBD), a Cannabis sativa constituent, is a pharmacologically broad-spectrum drug that in recent years has drawn increasing interest as a treatment for a range of neuropsychiatric disorders. The purpose of the current review is to determine CBD’s potential as a treatment for anxiety-related disorders, by assessing evidence from preclinical, human experimental, clinical, and epidemiological studies. We found that existing preclinical evidence strongly supports CBD as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder when administered acutely; however, few studies have investigated chronic CBD dosing. Likewise, evidence from human studies supports an anxiolytic role of CBD, but is currently limited to acute dosing, also with few studies in clinical populations. Overall, current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders, with need for further study of chronic and therapeutic effects in relevant clinical populations.

    Preclinical evidence conclusively demonstrates CBD’s efficacy in reducing anxiety behaviors relevant to multiple disorders, including PTSD, GAD, PD, OCD, and SAD, with a notable lack of anxiogenic effects. CBD’s anxiolytic actions appear to depend upon CB1Rs and 5-HT1ARs in several brain regions; however, investigation of additional receptor actions may reveal further mechanisms. Human experimental findings support preclinical findings, and also suggest a lack of anxiogenic effects, minimal sedative effects, and an excellent safety profile. Current preclinical and human findings mostly involve acute CBD dosing in healthy subjects, so further studies are required to establish whether chronic dosing of CBD has similar effects in relevant clinical populations. Overall, this review emphasizes the potential value and need for further study of CBD in the treatment of anxiety disorders.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/

    -----

    The biggest challenge I’ve found with CBD is finding the right dosage.

    Kicking my SSRIs and opioids to the curb was the best decision I’ve made in years!

    The NCBI study states that: “We found that existing preclinical evidence strongly supports CBD as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, OCD and PTSD when administered acutely.”

    My recommendation is to start low, and move slowly. Give CBD the chance to work. It’s not THC, it doesn’t hit you immediately.

    Chad Waldman

    -----

    At a certain dose, CBD can help people control or even reduce the levels of stress they experience. CBD has been proven to help people handle all different kinds of emotional conditions including anxiety, fear and stress. CBD is able to control these emotions by focusing on the certain role of neurotransmitters called monoamines which are the transmitters responsible for releasing vital hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which all play an important role in helping control anxiety levels.

    Chris Van Dusen

    -----

    If you are in a situation where you can consume THC with CBD, I would suggest a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio with all the other cannabinoids still intact. What some people do is take CBD during the day so they can function, and a combination of THC/CBD in the evening.

    Andrew Havens

    -----

    I have been using CBD oil for over two years now. I usually vape my CBD oil for fast absorption in my body. I usually take CBD for my anxiety. I have social anxiety, I get nervous around customers, I get panic attacks as well. But since I am using the CBD oil, my anxiety is at bay. I would say CBD + THC both are best for pain relief.

    Andrew Flit

    -----

    I have personally experienced so much relief with my CBD oil for my severe anxiety. I’ve been able to cut way back on my prescription medication and I hope to be completely off here in another month or so. One thing I would caution is that not all CBD oils are the same. While some may work for a time they tend to level out. Make sure you are getting one that is water soluble since our bodies are made mostly of water. There are a few companies out there that have engineered their oils to mix with the body.

    Kathy Poole
    Last edited by mr peabody; 16-11-2018 at 10:35.
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    This war zone anthropologist used ayahuasca to heal his PTSD

    “What lives in my head is an abnormally long horror film about the monstrosities of the human race,” says anthropologist Riccardo Vitale, Ph.D. After two decades of working in some of the most violent and war torn regions of the world, as an advisor and researcher for large international aid and development agencies, he found himself struggling with a serious case of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    PTSD is a condition that develops after exposure to a traumatic event. Although it is closely associated with war veterans who witness and experience horrific and violent acts on the battlefield, it is also common among women who have been physically or sexually assaulted and those who go through terrifying and life threatening events, like Riccardo.

    “In Mexico I did participant/observation research and worked with human rights organizations documenting abuses against indigenous peasants,” Riccardo tells Reset. “Most of this time I lived with indigenous Tzeltal, Chol, Tojolabal and Tzotzil communities."

    “In 1996, after receiving some death threats, I was told to leave the country for my own security,” he continues. “And I did, but I came back two months later.”

    A year after he was warned to leave Mexico, Riccardo was abducted in broad daylight.

    “As I walked near the Zocalo, in the middle of the day, someone approached me and said my name,” he tells us. “An unidentified car appeared and I was pushed in as the vehicle drove away. I was kept for about a day inside an old, beaten, unmarked car in the middle of a field in a rural area near Tuxla Gutierrez, the capital of the State of Chiapas.”

    Although Riccardo was released the next day and forced to fly out of the country, his kidnapping and deportation coincided with a massacre of forty-five indigenous Tzotzil as they celebrated mass in a small chapel.

    “As a young, enthusiastic, budding anthropologist I identified strongly with the indigenous people of Chiapas. The massacre and the deportation devastated me emotionally,” Riccardo explains.

    “Because of Acteal (the village where the massacre took place) I stopped celebrating Christmas and New Year’s for more than seven consecutive years. I actively avoided family, people, and festive gatherings. I spent many Christmases and New Year’s locked in hotel rooms or alone in Cambridge working on my PhD.”

    According to the Sidran Institute, an international non-profit that helps people understand and treat PTSD, sufferers may feel emotionally detached, withdraw from friends and family, and lose interest in everyday activities. They can also become very irritable and prone to anger.

    “I became very uncompromising with myself and with others. Rigorous in my work, but also inflexible, belligerent, and temperamental,” Riccardo says. “Anger and poor mental hygiene were issues.”

    Numerous studies have shown that the trauma and extreme stress that triggers PTSD actually causes brain changes and even brain damage, meaning that the emotional symptoms of the disorder have physical dimensions and it is not simply something that people can “snap out of.” In fact, most people with PTSD suffer for years as psychologists still struggle to manage the disease.

    For Riccardo, however, the experience in Mexico was just the beginning. After the deportation and massacre in Mexico, he soon found himself right back in the hot zone again.

    “Towards the end of my Ph.D. I did some work with refugees along the Iraqi borders,” he tells us. “In two different trips I had to witness some atrocious episodes and scenes. I can’t talk about these experiences out of decency, out of respect for the victims, and out of pain. The images are just too horrible and sad to convey.”

    These events only served to worsen Riccardo’s PTSD symptoms.

    “The relationship with my family deteriorated. I couldn’t relate to anyone anymore,” he says. “I was only interested in human rights and social causes. I stopped all hobbies. The concept of vacation was foreign to me. My life-long passions for skying, sailing, and scuba diving went to sleep."

    “When my grandfather and then my grandmother died, I felt so estranged from family that I didn’t even think about catching a short flight to attend their funerals. This is something I will always regret.”

    For the next ten years Riccardo worked for various human rights organizations in Colombia, often on the front lines of conflict, advocating for the victims of the half century of violence that has rocked this incredibly bio-diverse but tragic land. During a break between consulting jobs, Ricardo was traveling along the southern Putumayo River, when he encountered the Amazonian medicine known as yage or ayahuasca.

    “I had traveled several hours south in the Putumayo River — this is a definite no-go area of Colombia,” he tells us. “Whilst in navigation, I spotted some Red Cross boats flashing their huge identifying flags. Great, I thought, I’m freelancing in a war zone without any assignment. I got that familiar, stomach churning, alert, alert, adrenaline boosting feeling."

    “A couple of days later, at the old man’s wooden hut, in a remote area on the Ecuadorian side of the river, I was served a large chalice filled with a large portion of yage. A few small candles dimly lit the room. The old man and I were the only two people present."

    "Just as I gulped down a first portion of the brew, a mortar went off in the distance, the sky lit up for a short moment. Then for a few seconds we heard gunfire. ‘It’s far away in Colombia,’ muttered the old man as he smiled compassionately."

    “As the loud concert of the tropical forest reclaimed the night, I thought: ‘There is a reason why I am here and closed my eyes to wait for yage to start its work.’”

    A highly hallucinogenic tea made from mixing N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) containing leaves with a particular rainforest vine, yage has been used since time immemorial by a large number of different indigenous societies across the Amazon. They consider it to be a sacred medicine that heals at a deep spiritual level. But the process is often quite intense.

    “The famous ayahuasca purges, the diarrhea and vomiting, were just minor nuisances — a relief in fact — compared to other physical, spiritual, and mental hurdles that these experiences posed,” Riccardo recalls. “I felt so miserable that I wished I would die. I saw a huge red octopus-like creature convulsing inside my body. It was terrifying.”

    But that ‘red octopus’ experience was a turning point for Riccardo, as the darkest ayahuasca ceremonies often turn out to be the most cathartic.

    “I feel that yage continues to work in the weeks and months following the ceremonies,” Riccardo tells us. “The integration period is quite long. Only about six or seven months after my last ritual in 2015, I became aware of substantial and profound changes in my personality."

    “At the end of 2015, after almost two decades of conflictive relations, I told each member of my family how much I loved them. I also said that I had forgiven myself for all of my mistakes and forgiven the mistakes of anyone else in my family.”

    The profound healing power of ayahuasca, which often takes the participant into deep emotional places and forces them to re-live memories, is something that is creating a momentum of advocacy for its use to deal with modern day health crisis’s — like addiction and PTSD.

    “The numerous anecdotal accounts of people reporting that ayahuasca experiences helped them overcome their PTSD justify a scientific study,” Rick Doblin, the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), tells Reset.

    MAPS has initiated several important studies that prove that psychedelics are perhaps the most powerful treatment options available for certain disorders, including the first North American observational study of the safety and long-term effectiveness of ayahuasca treatment for addiction and dependence.

    They also recently published a bulletin on how PTSD affects the memory functioning of the human brain, and how ayahuasca can be used as treatment for the disorder.

    “In the psychotherapy of the future, it’s possible that people with PTSD will be treated with a several month process of psychotherapy including a series of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy sessions, some with MDMA and others with more classic psychedelics like ayahuasca, LSD, ibogaine, mescaline, or psilocybin, along with the option of marijuana,” says Doblin. “The long-term goal would be to enable people to function without symptoms of PTSD and without the need for any further medications.”

    For Riccardo, working with ayahuasca over the last two years has continued to pay off. He feels that the PTSD has been resolved and that dramatic change and real healing have taken place in his life.

    “In 2016, the ceremonies brought me some very different experiences,” he says. “The utter agony was gone. There was some pain, but eventually that also changed. I realized that I’m on a learning path. Yage is showing me a way. It’s an interesting, significant, yet difficult and slow learning process. The ceremonies of 2016 focused on the equilibrium between matter and spirit; self control and the power of the mind over matter."

    “I have learned to process adversities and obstacles, even daily minor ones, as learning opportunities that you can resolve with clarity and grace.”

    Riccardo now makes his home in Colombia, and has developed deep relationships with several indigenous communities in the Putumayo area.

    “An Inga friend, an experienced yage drinker, told me that the medicine dismembers your defenses and your ego. It takes you apart. Until you are a nothing but pieces of disconnected raw material. Everything is there though, all the hurt, the pain, the joy. At this point your task is to reassemble everything. To rebuild yourself,” Ricardo explains.

    And rebuilding his life is now what occupies Riccardo’s time. Although he continues to do advocacy and research work on human rights issues here in Colombia, he has also teamed up with a handful of anthropologists and human rights professionals to create an anthropology-based organization in partnership with local Inga communities and the Union of Traditional Indigenous Yage Medics of the Colombian Amazon (UMIYAC). Together they aim to assist indigenous communities that are experimenting with alternative development models based on cultural exchanges, small scale farming, and traditional healing practices.

    “Now we are marketing, raising more necessary funds and organizing a crowd-funding campaign for an Amazonian Center for Ancestral and Spiritual Plant Knowledge and Education,” Riccardo tells us. “This is a community-based initiative. It’s an educational hub were youth from the Amazonian basin can learn and practice ancestral medicine from elderly healers. This is a key issue, because every year that goes by we are losing a huge patrimony of autochthonous knowledge about plants and healing.”

    This indigenous knowledge may be the key to not just preserving traditional ayahuasca practices, but the very world we live in as well.

    “We have adopted a development model that is unsustainable,” says Riccardo. “We are stressing the ecosystem. Indigenous people are on the front line of extractive economy. They see their forests and rivers dying because of unscrupulous, aggressive mining, logging, oil perforations, flooding, droughts, cattle ranching or mono-crop cultivations of eucalyptus, soya, and African palm."

    “Concerned about these environmental catastrophes, indigenous spokespeople are proposing an alternative development model based on their millenarian experience, their philosophy, their cosmology, and their spirituality. We should listen and incorporate this vision into all development models.”

    In the end, this is the same message that ayahausca is delivering to us. The damage that we are wreaking on the earth is also the same damage we are inflicting on ourselves as manifested in war and ensuing mental illnesses like PTSD. The incredible medicinal power of ayahuasca is not that it is a magic cure-all, but a teacher that points us towards another way of being.

    “I don’t believe in panaceas,” says Riccardo. “If the world is experiencing a psychological fallout, we need to work on structural changes. Happiness is not about finding the perfect medicine; it’s about resetting our value system and the implementation of social and environmental reforms."

    “Love and compassion should replace profit as the driving force of development. This however is not going to occur as long as our quintessential spirituality is kept dormant.”

    In other words, in order to save the world, to save ourselves, maybe we should all go native.

    http://reset.me/story/this-war-zone-...heal-his-ptsd/
    Last edited by mr peabody; 15-12-2018 at 14:31.
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    Are psychedelics the new Prozac?

    Psychedelics aren't usually associated with peak mental stability. But if recent research is any indication, psychedelics may soon follow cannabis' lead into medical legitimacy,
    thanks to their ability to soothe hard-to-treat psychiatric conditions.

    In her recent book, Blue Dreams, author and former clinical psychologist Lauren Slater dives deep into a series of studies to explain how psychedelics are being tested to treat PTSD, anxiety, addiction, depression, and autism, as well as to assist late-stage cancer patients in accepting the end of life. Scientists and doctors have been studying the medical uses of these drugs for decades, but only recently has their research become more serious and conclusive.

    "There will come a time, probably sooner than later, when these drugs are legalized," Slater says. "It is amazing how well they really work." In fact, Slater predicts that the FDA will approve MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD by 2021, which is promising news for people suffering from that debilitating condition.

    "Your brain functions with less constraint while on these types of drugs. This openness of interaction and connections is what helps patients have these breakthroughs," said Slater.

    In one recent study that Slater describes in her book, MDMA was given to PTSD patients and the findings were overwhelmingly positive. "Patients with severe PTSD actually recovered," Slater explains. "Before the MDMA treatments, these patients were devastated by their past and unable to function. But after being given the drug, they were able to talk freely about their experiences, and once the MDMA wore off, they no longer felt nearly as much trauma."

    https://www.wellandgood.com/

    -----

    After witnessing the death of my 34 year old husband and another man in a violent accident, I was diagnosed with PTSD. I participated in the MAPS MDMA/PTSD study and it saved my life. My PTSD kept me from grieving, which kept me from moving forward in my life. I participated in the Boulder MAPS study in 2014 and I am finally experiencing the life saving progress everyone told me was possible.

    -anon

    -----

    I was prescribed many medications to treat my PTSD symptoms, but none of the treatments helped me. My diagnosis developed into treatment-resistant PTSD and I began to drink extremely heavily and smoke upwards of two packs of cigarettes a day. I found out about the study conducted by MAPS and I applied to participate. I was accepted to the study and I saw a profound difference in my symptoms after the first treatment. After only 3 sessions of therapy with MDMA, I no longer qualified for a diagnosis of PTSD. Now that I have recovered from PTSD, I am able to lead a happy and productive life again. I can enjoy my beautiful relationship with the love of my life and my friends and family. It is my personal goal to spread awareness about research into this treatment method so that veterans and others suffering from traumatic events can also experience life without PTSD in the near future.

    http://www.bluelight.org/vb/threads/...1#post14328181


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    MDMA proven to help those with trauma

    When MDMA (later known as ecstasy) was discovered by Shulgin in the 1950s, he noted that it had very special properties of calmness, clarity and empathy that set it apart from the many other chemically related amphetamine-like drugs. He then told this to his wife, who was a psychotherapist and who agreed and suggested that these properties were ideal as a medicinal adjunct to psychotherapy.

    She shared this knowledge and the drug to many therapists in the west coast of the US. They concurred with her analysis: MDMA was a real breakthrough in treatment, the first drug that could augment psychotherapy in which it was called “empathy”. It was especially useful in couples counselling where the empathy-enhancing effects could break down the years of tension and irritations with the partner that often build up in marriages and slowly crust over the early love and desires.

    All was well until the MDMA was recruited by the rave scene as a “dance drug” and renamed ecstasy. This led to a backlash from the media who hated the idea of young people becoming ecstatic, and developed a campaign of moral panic to get it banned. Horror stories of brain damage were invented and the few deaths massively publicised in relation to the harms of MDMA compared with other drugs such as alcohol. This campaign worked and ecstasy was banned across the globe at the end of the 1980s, despite eloquent and compelling protestations from the many therapists that had used it and patients who had benefited.

    MDMA is still illegal today despite the supposed scientific evidence of harm being largely discredited. Schedule 1 drug research with MDMA is hugely difficult and expansive but there is growing evidence of therapeutic value and neuroscience studies such as the new Gabay et al paper – reported in these pages – reveal that there is a strong scientific rationale behind its use.

    A coalition of therapists in the US under the banner of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (Maps), has fought for more than 30 years to keep the therapeutic potential of MDMA alive. They have raised charitable funds to allow MDMA to be evaluated in its use treating people with resistant post-traumatic stress disorder. Several studies have been commissioned that cover both war and other causes of trauma. They show that just two psychotherapy sessions with MDMA as part of a psychological treatment course can massively improve PTSD – often resulting in a full recovery in patients who had to that point been resistant to other conventional forms of treatment such as the SSRI antidepressant medicines and cognitive behaviour therapy.

    In light of these successes we have begun to treat people who have become alcohol dependent with MDMA in an attempt to deaden the mental pain of prior traumas. Such individuals are very common, indeed the norm, in alcohol treatment services and have a massively high failure rate with conventional abstinence-based treatments. Less than a quarter stay dry for three months, while those who carry on drinking for the rest of their lives have their life expectancy cut by 20 years. So far we have treated five people with the standard Maps protocol of two MDMA sessions two weeks apart, as part of the standard post-detox follow-up sessions. Up to this point all have stayed abstinent for the duration of the trial, which is still recruiting and will finally report next summer.

    So how does a dance drug have such a powerful therapeutic effect? The answer, we believe, is because of its unique pharmacology that leads to its special psychological effects. MDMA releases serotonin, the neurotransmitter that we now know is involved in social bonding as well as in reducing anxiety and lifting depression. MDMA also releases dopamine, which is why it can be used to give energy for all night raves, but this is a secondary and lesser action. In the quiet of the therapeutic treatment room the dopamine release may help keep patients motivated and engaged with the therapist, but it’s the ability of the serotonin to overcome fear and anxiety that’s critical.

    The current best treatment for PTSD involves reliving the trauma and gaining mastery over the emotions that emerge. For many severely traumatised individuals this is not easy: the memory can invoke such severe anxiety that the person can’t cope and leaves the room or they dissociate so can’t engage with the therapist. Our own brain-imaging study showed that MDMA dampens down the anxiety circuit of the brain and so reduces the impact of reliving negative memories.

    This new study shows it enhances trust, which is vital in the therapeutic situation where the therapist is asking the patient to re-engage with memories they would rather forget. Together these neuroscientific advances give a firm rationale for the use of MDMA in PTSD therapy and support the call that I and many others have been making that it should be taken out of the controlled drugs list and put back into the medicine cabinet.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/mdma-ecstasy-drug-study-decriminalise-ptsd-trauma-trust-david-nutt-gabay-a8643031.html
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    How I freed myself from anxiety with Iboga

    About 7 months ago I developed anxiety. It started off with a feeling of tightness in my head and soon developed into panic attacks. Life became so hard and unpleasant to live that I was having suicidal thoughts. The anxiety persisted for months, and I was walking around so hyped all the time I started suffering from hyper vigilance. I would see distortions and trails, and I would hear buzzing and beeping sounds from time to time. I managed to convince myself that it was the beginning of schizophrenia. I started panicking that I would lose my job and all my friends and end up in a mental asylum. Every time I would hear a beep or a buzz in my ears I would have intense panic attacks.

    At some point I set myself a goal to become free from anxiety no matter how long it would take or how hard it would be to achieve this goal.

    After watching and reading about Aubrey Marcus experience with iboga I decided to give it a try. I did some research and decided to go to an ibogaine provider overseas. After making contact, I was asked to provide a bit of information about myself and the reasons for wanting to do ibogaine. I also had to do an ECG and a blood test to prove that my heart and liver were healthy.

    3 months later, I traveled to a tropical island. I checked into a hotel room which was booked by the provider and later that night I met him and his wife. I later found out that he used to be an investment banker before becoming an ibogaine provider full time, which gave me a great sense of respect for him. Both he and his wife were very pleasant, spiritual people, which made me feel like I was in good hands. The couple would take turns sitting next to the patient for the entire time they were on ibogaine. They constantly check the patients blood pressure and heart rate and give the patient water to drink.

    The next morning the provider came over. We had a brief chat about what to expect over the next 24 hours and I took a test dose to make sure my body did not have any adverse reactions to ibogaine. After the test dose went down fine, I took the flood dose which consisted of 8 large capsules and lied down in my bed with a towel over my eyes to help with the light sensitivity that was to come.

    About an hour later, I noticed the ibogaine coming on when I started hearing mechanical sounds. It sounded like someone was operating a drill or a whipper snipper outside of the hotel room. For the next 8 hours I experienced seeing geometric patterns similar to those that you would see on ayahuasca. I was expecting to feel extremely noxious after reading dozens of peoples testimonials about ibogaine but the feeling never came.

    At times I would notice how weak and slow my heart beat was and how shallow my breathing was. I remember thinking to myself: "My body is in such a weak state right now that I wouldn't be surprised if I don't get through this experience."

    Late into the night, I started having extremely vivid visions. They were as real as reality itself. So realistic that I completely forgot I was on ibogaine. All of the visions had a cartoon look to them. I remember seeing beautiful lightning bolts and gorgeous flowers and thinking to myself: I've never seen anything more beautiful in my life.

    There were two medieval beings who were helping me process childhood traumas and told me some things about my future. In hindsight, after having time to reflect on this experience, I believe the visions were a way for my subconscious mind to communicate with me to tell me where I went wrong and what I needed to do to fix it.

    About 20 hours later the sun began to rise and the visions wore off, they were so real that I was convinced that I actually experienced them in the physical realm. When the provider told me he was going to leave me on my own for a couple of hours, I was feeling scared because I was afraid to be left alone with the beings that I had encountered. After he left, I got up to go to the toilet for the first time in 20 hours or so. Once I got up, I started feeling noxious and immediately purged. The after taste of purging ibogaine was very sour, however, it was not anywhere near as foul as the taste of purging ayahuasca.

    A few hours later, I had a shower and was back in bed as I was feeling very weak. The provider came over and we had a discussion about what had occurred over the past 24 hours. He told me it would be normal to feel depressed over the next two days and that I would have trouble sleeping. He gave me a bunch of vitamins to help regulate my brain chemistry and to assist with sleep.

    I did not feel any depression at all, instead I felt like my mind was in a state of zen. There was no trace of anxiety whatsoever. For the next four days or so I mostly rested in my hotel room. When I went outside, I would experience a whistling sound in my ears and a feeling as though there was an aura around me. The provider told me it was a normal experience after taking ibogaine. I did not get much sleep, but when I did, I had extremely vivid dreams. Some were dark and some were pleasant dreams.

    After I returned home, I started noticing the anxiety slowly coming back, so I started meditating every day and flooding my mind with positive thoughts, which has helped me greatly. I also started reading books and watching videos on the power of the subconscious mind and positive thinking.

    It has been two and a half months since my ibogaine journey and my anxiety is barely noticeable. I fully believe that being anxiety free is a reality with an imminent arrival. I feel extremely motivated to be the best me I can be and to pursue all my dreams and goals until they become a reality. Taking ibogaine was a very powerful experience, which shifted my outlook on life in a positive direction.

    Having 12 previous ayahuasca ceremonies with which to compare to my ibogaine journey, I feel that ibogaine should be in its own category of psychedelics. I feel it was a much more effective and powerful tool for my problems. It was such a direct experience; I felt like I went deep inside my subconscious and got to communicate to with my soul.

    The provider I used stays in touch with all of his patients. He told me that I had been upgraded to a higher consciousness and I am now starting to understand what he meant by that. I am cognizant of always saturating my mind with positive thoughts and my outlook for the future is very positive.

    I feel that everything is going to be just fine. In my experience, the 24-hour trip was nowhere near as arduous as I expected, and I recommend ibogaine to anyone that is having a mental problem and needs a positive shift in their life.

    http://reset.me/personal-story/perso...ty-with-iboga/
    Last edited by mr peabody; 05-12-2018 at 01:53.
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    I suffer from anxiety-based food aversion; my mind convinces my body that it doesn't need food. I was consuming less than 500 calories per day. I started microdosing with psilocybin, and pulled a complete 180. After the initial nausea fades, the microdose puts me very much in tune with my body and it's needs. It allows me to easily circumvent whatever "reason" it is on that day that I've used to justify not eating. Basically, it makes my hunger un-ignorable, to the point where I have to do something about it. My appetite is much healthier now thanks to this practice.

    -non-zer0

    -----

    IMO, psilocybin can be most beneficial for treating anxiety and depression. I suffered from both, and I can proudly say that they have both been gone since my first mushrooms trip back about 8 months ago. I believe mushrooms can open your mind to WHY your depression and anxiety is haunting you. It can show you what the root causes of your anxiety and depression come from, and ultimately reroute your brain in how you think about these things. Your brain becomes so rigid in anxiety and depression because it is a recurring feeling, so your brain is almost trained to or used to feeling this way. Psychedelics can obstruct this cycle, and make things almost new again. With psychedelics, mindset is everything. If you go into your trip expecting a fun time with your friends, visual enhancements, etc, that's the kind of trip you are going to get. I am not saying that a fun trip can't teach you anything, but if you treat your trip in a way that you know it will change your life, it's much more likely to do that.

    -Jrummps

    -----

    4-AcO-DMT worked wonders for my social anxiety. I assumed the opposite would be true, but I was completely worry-free when interacting with strangers in very public places.

    -TNS

    -----

    LSD helped me with debilitating anxiety and also helped me control the subsequent substance abuse that the anxiety was causing. This is a game changer for me after trying so many drugs from my doctor that never came close to the efficacy of LSD.

    -anon

    -----

    I'd say that psilocybin cured my social anxiety pretty much overnight. I went from not really talking to anyone, to becoming friends with pretty much everyone. I learned how to talk to people much better. The mushrooms made me try more at social interactions, and not to worry about the consequences so much.

    -anon

    -----

    I can talk about social anxiety and psychedelics, as I've had a lot of experience with both. My recommendation is take a low dose in a setting with strangers. If you can't tolerate the idea of tripping around strangers, then trip with a group of friends. It's important to do it in a setting that challenges your anxiety.

    The ONLY way to overcome social anxiety is to confront it. Psychedelics can help you do this.

    -TheAppleCore

    -----

    LSD cured me of my anxiety, or rather helped me understand how to deal with it. When it does come back, I know how unreasonable it is, and I can pull myself together quite quickly. What a miracle LSD is.

    -I_am_not_funny_
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    Iboga found to cure depression, anxiety, and PTSD


    Using the powerful anti-addictive properties of ibogaine, patients are not only able to conquer drug addiction but also cure a wide variety of mental health issues including depression, anxiety disorders, and PTSD.

    Tabernanthe iboga, a plant containing the entheogenic substance ibogaine, is a powerful psychedelic from West Africa that has been in use for centuries in traditional healing ceremonies. It can be used in its traditional form from the root bark of the plant, iboga, or in the laboratory-isolated form, ibogaine, which only contains the psychoactive substance ibogaine. Today iboga is best known for its miraculous ability to cure or drastically reduce addiction to alcohol, crack cocaine, and heroin in a single treatment. It can also help people overcome addiction to prescription opiates such as morphine, methadone, Vicodin, Percocet, and OxyContin. While this may sound too good to be true, scores of personal testimonies and now clinical research is backing up this claim, and iboga treatment centers are popping up all over the world specializing in treating addiction, post traumatic stress, and mood disorders.

    Treating Mood Disorders with Iboga

    While most patients undergo ibogaine therapy as a way to recover from serious drug addiction, this type of treatment can also trigger recoveries from many other psychological issues including depression, anxiety, and trauma. The drug’s deeply personal and illuminating nature also allows patients to let go of different types of patterns not related to drug use that may be equally difficult for them to break. This is especially life changing for victims of chronic depression, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which often cause such intense emotional stress that recovery seems impossible. For people who suffer from these terrible chronic afflictions, iboga offers a bright ray of hope backed by hundreds of years of traditional use, many thousands of successful anecdotal cases, and more and more scientific validation.

    https://psychedelictimes.com/learn-more-iboga/
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    Treating severe anxiety with psilocybin

    "My anxiety developed when I was diagnosed with epilepsy 11 years ago," explained Nick, as he led me on a Sunday morning nature trail to a mushroom picking hotspot in Yorkshire.

    "But I never really recognised my problem until I got knocked off my bike two years ago. I had 15 staples in my head and was hospitalised for three days. That brought it to the forefront. I realised I had quite a bad anxiety problem."

    Nick, 29, is part of a growing subculture of people who are self-medicating their mental health issues with psilocybin, while risking up to seven years in prison. With his tightly knotted hiking boots, army-green waterproof jacket and large rucksack, he looks like any other early morning rambler.

    "I first tried magic mushrooms with a couple of friends 8 years ago. Years later I read Professor Nutt's book Drugs Without the Hot Air and was interested to learn about the links between psilocybin, anxiety and depression. After reading that book I decided to start foraging for mushrooms myself."

    "In my own experience, it does have a positive effect on anxiety. As soon as I 'come down,' any thoughts of anxiety that are going through my mind immediately evaporate. It just goes in an instant - melts away. The feeling of wellbeing lasts a month or two until something triggers the negative thoughts again."

    "After searching online, I knew what I was looking for, I managed to find a couple of local fields that I forage on when the season comes. During the off-season I have to find other avenues to get hold of mushrooms, including ordering them online or buying ones grown indoors. But nothing beats the romance of finding my own. Psychedelics are something I've grown to respect, so I mainly leave it to the season as I don't want to overdo it and it lose the effect."

    "I think they have a great potential for naturally treating mental health issues without using synthetic drugs, which invariably come with a string of nasty side effects."


    "We're looking at is a largely unexplored technology that set the psychiatry world ablaze in the 1950s, aborted by widespread recreational abuse, the reaction of the media and its confluence with the Vietnam war," argues David Nichols, a Purdue University pharmacologist, in an article for the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

    James Rucker, a leading psychiatrist at Kings College London, recently spoke out against the law surrounding psychedelic drugs, which he believes is hampering research into their prospective medicinal benefits. On psilocybin and LSD, he said he believes the Government should downgrade their unnecessarily restrictive class-A, citing that they were extensively used and researched in clinical psychiatry before their prohibition in 1967.

    In 2012, researchers battled through reams of red tape as the result of the negative connotations surrounding the drug, and were eventually able to test the psychoactive effects of magic mushrooms.

    The team's study, published in British Journal of Psychiatry, found volunteers given psilocybin experienced cues to vividly remember really positive events in their lives, such as their wedding day or the birth of their child.

    It does seem there is little evidence that psilocybin is unsafe in a controlled setting, and even less evidence that it has addictive potential - or is even habitual at all - but plenty of evidence that suggests its prospective therapeutic benefits.

    Taking that into account, isn't it time that we let go of old prejudices and loosen the laws surrounding psilocybin in medical research? I say yes. Mental health is one of the most important issues of our times; we should be pouring funding into studies on how to treat it, instead of hampering the scientists.

    The human race has reaped the benefits of psychedelic mushrooms for millennia ever since they grew in the Elysian fields of Greece, yet we still know very little about how they work.
    It seems that until we wise up, people like Nick, an otherwise totally law abiding citizen, will continue to break the law.

    https://www.unilad.co.uk/featured/we...gic-mushrooms/
    Last edited by mr peabody; 17-01-2019 at 08:27.
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    Microdosing might help ease anxiety and sharpen focus


    by Blake Eligh, University of Toronto

    A new study that examines how and why people microdose and the reported effects of the practice. According to study co-author Thomas Anderson, it is the first study of its kind.

    Anderson is a PhD candidate and cognitive neuroscientist with the Regulatory and Affective Dynamics (RAD) Lab of psychology professor Norman Farb. His main research focuses on attention and meta-awareness, however, Anderson's interest in the study of microdosing was inspired by a professional literature review group where he noticed there were plenty of anecdotal reports but a dearth of scientific research into the practice.

    "There's currently a renaissance going on in psychedelic research with pilot trials and promising studies of full-dose MDMA (ecstasy) use for post-traumatic stress disorder and of psilocybin use within healthy populations or to treat depression and end-of-life anxiety," Anderson says. "There hasn't been the same research focus on microdosing. We didn't have answers to the most basic epidemiological questions—who is doing this and what are they doing?"

    In 2017, Anderson launched a collaborative investigation with Rotem Petranker, a graduate student studying social psychology with York University's Department of Psychology, UTSC psychology student Le-Ahn Dinh-Williams and a team of psychiatrists from Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Anderson and Petranker targeted microdosing communities on reddit and other social media channels with an anonymous online survey that queried participants about the quantity and frequency of their psychedelic use, reasons for microdosing, effect on mood, focus and creativity, and the benefits and drawbacks of the practice. The survey, which ran from September to November 2017, drew more than 1,390 initial responses, with 909 respondents completing all questions. Two-thirds of the group were currently practicing microdosers, or had some past experience. "We wanted to ensure the results produced a good basis for future psychedelic science," Anderson says.

    The data yielded interesting results, including important information about how much of the drug participants were taking, which had previously been unknown. "Typical doses aren't well established," Anderson says. "We think it's about 10 mcg or one-tenth of an LSD tab, or 0.2 grams of dried mushrooms. Those amounts are close to what participants reported in our data." The data also revealed information about frequency of use. Most of the microdosers reported taking the drug once every three days, while a small group microdosed once a week.

    Qualitative data from the survey revealed that microdosers reported positive effects of the practice including migraine reduction, improved focus and productivity, and better connection with others. In quantitative results, microdosers scored lower than non-microdosing respondents on negative emotionality and dysfunctional attitude.

    Microdosing respondents also reported a number of drawbacks. "The most prevalently reported drawback was not an outcome of microdosing, but instead dealt with illegality, stigma and substance unreliability," Anderson says. "Users engage in black market criminalized activities to obtain psychedelics. If you're buying what your dealer says is LSD, it could very well be something else." Anderson adds a standard caveat about safety. "We wouldn't suggest that people microdose, but if they are going to, they should use Erlich reagent (a drug testing solution) to ensure they are not getting something other than LSD."

    Dose accuracy was another issue. "With microdoses, there should be no 'trip' and no hallucinations," Anderson says. "The idea is to enhance something about one's daily activities, but it can be very difficult to divide a ?-cm square of LSD blotting paper into 10 equal doses. The LSD might not be evenly distributed on the square and a microdoser could accidentally 'trip' by taking too much or not take enough."

    Anderson and Petranker recently presented their findings at the "Beyond Psychedelics" conference in Prague, which drew researchers, physicians, mental health practitioners, policy makers, and technology and business participants from around the globe. The team will publish results from the survey in three upcoming research papers that will cover the survey results, psychiatric diagnosis analysis, and the benefits and drawbacks of microdosing.

    "The goal of the study was to create a foundation that could support future work in this area, so I'm really excited about what these results can offer future research," Anderson says. "The benefits and drawbacks data will help ensure we can ask meaningful questions about what participants are reporting. Our future research will involve running lab-based randomized-control trials where psychedelics are administered in controlled environments. This will help us to better characterize the therapeutic and cognitive-enhancing effects of psychedelics in very small doses."

    https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-...y-sharpen.html

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    We spoke to a guy who treats his severe anxiety with magic mushrooms

    By Christopher Blunt

    “My anxiety developed when I was diagnosed with epilepsy eleven years ago,” explained Nick*, as he led me on a nature trail to a mushroom picking hotspot in Yorkshire.

    “But I never really recognised my problem until I got knocked off my bike two years ago. I had 15 staples in my head and was hospitalised for three days. That brought it to the forefront. I realised I had quite a bad anxiety problem.”

    Nick, 29, forms part of a growing subculture of people who are self-medicating their mental health issues with psilocybin – the naturally occurring psychedelic compound within magic mushrooms – while risking up to seven years in prison. With his tightly knotted hiking boots, army-green waterproof jacket and large rucksack, he looks like any other early morning rambler.





    Nick’s Story

    “I first tried magic mushrooms with a couple of friends eight years ago. Years later I read Professor Nutt’s book Drugs Without the Hot Air and was interested to learn about the links between psilocybin, anxiety and depression. After reading that book I decided to start foraging for mushrooms myself."

    “From my own experience, it does have a positive effect on anxiety. As soon as I ‘come down’ off the mushrooms, any thoughts of anxiety that are going through my mind immediately evaporate. It just goes in an instant… melts away. The feeling of wellbeing lasts a month or two until something, usually an epileptic fit, will trigger off the negative thoughts again."





    “After doing some research online, so I knew what I was looking for, I managed to find a couple of local fields that I forage on when the season comes."


    “During the off-season I have had to find other avenues to get hold of mushrooms, including ordering them online or buying ones grown indoors. But for me nothing beats the romance of picking my own medication. Psychedelics are something that I’ve grown to respect, so I mainly leave it to the season, as I don’t want to overdo it and it lose the effect."

    “I think they have a great potential for naturally treating mental health issues without using synthetic drugs, which invariably come with a string of nasty side effects.”


    Mushrooms and The Media

    “What we’re looking at is a largely unexplored technology for brain science — it was discovered in the 1940s, set the psychiatry world ablaze in the 1950s, and was aborted by widespread recreational abuse, the reaction of the media and its confluence with the Vietnam war,” argues David Nichols, a Purdue University pharmacologist, in an article for the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

    James Rucker, a leading psychiatrist at King’s College London, recently spoke out against the law surrounding psychedelic drugs, which he believes is hampering research into their prospective medicinal benefits. On psilocybin and LSD, he said he believes the Government should ‘downgrade their unnecessarily restrictive class-A’, citing that they were ‘extensively used and researched in clinical psychiatry’ before their prohibition in 1967.





    A profoundly spiritual event


    One of the first studies in 40 years into the therapeutic effects of psilocybin was conducted by Roland Griffiths, of Johns Hopkins University in the US, and more than half of participants said the experience was among ‘the most significant of their lives’. The 2008 study, which was published in Journal of Psychopharmacology, took a sample of 36 participants who had never used the drug before. Six were given a placebo drug and the rest 30 milligrams of pure psilocybin.

    The volunteers in the psilocybin condition widely reported positive experiences — repeatedly described as a ‘sense of unity’. The experience was generally described as a profound spiritual event. Fourteen months after the clinical trial, over half of the participants in the psilocybin condition reported substantial increases in life satisfaction and positive behaviour. No negative experiences were noted whatsoever.

    Concern over triggering pre-existing psychosis

    Despite these findings shedding some much needed light on the topic, it’s useful to note that generalising these findings across society would be difficult due to the small sample and the fact that prospective volunteers with personal or family histories of psychotic disorders were disqualified from taking part. In an accompanying article, Griffiths acknowledges that while being physiologically non-toxic and non-addictive, users of psilocybin may experience short-term stress and panic or trigger pre-existing psychosis.

    There is little evidence that psilocybin is unsafe in a controlled setting, and even less evidence that it has addictive potential – or is even habitual at all – but plenty of evidence that suggests its prospective therapeutic benefits.

    Taking that into account, isn’t it time that we let go of old prejudices and loosen the laws surrounding psilocybin in medical research? I say yes. Mental health is one of the most important issues of our times; we should be pouring funding into studies on how to treat it, instead of hampering the scientists.

    The human race have reaped the rewards of the these psychoactive mushrooms for millennia, since they grew in the Elysian fields of Greece, yet we still know very little about how they work, or how they can benefit us. It seems that until we wise up, people like Nick, an otherwise totally law abiding citizen, will continue to break the law.

    https://www.unilad.co.uk/featured/we...gic-mushrooms/
    Last edited by mr peabody; 15-02-2019 at 14:16.
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    Nick Sand


    How I freed myself from anxiety with iboga


    About 7 months ago I developed anxiety. It started off with a feeling of tightness in my head and soon developed into panic attacks. I was feeling like a prisoner inside my own mind. I was so hard and unpleasant to live that I was having suicidal thoughts. The anxiety persisted, and I was walking around so hyped all the time I started suffering from hypervigilance. I would see distortions and trails in my vision and I would hear buzzing and beeping sounds, and I somehow managed to convince myself that it was the beginning of schizophrenia. I started worrying that I would lose my job and all my friends and end up in a mental asylum.

    At some point I set myself a goal to become free from anxiety no matter how long it would take or how hard it would be to achieve this goal.

    After reading about Aubrey Marcus? experience with iboga I decided that I owe it to myself to give it a try. I did some research and decided on an ibogaine facilitator in Thailand. After making contact with him, I was asked to provide a bit of information about myself and the reasons for wanting to do ibogaine. I also had to go and do an ECG and a blood test to prove that my heart and liver were healthy.

    My clinic constantly checked my blood pressure, breathing and heart rate. They explained what to expect for the next 24 hours and I took a test dose to make sure my body did not have any adverse reactions to ibogaine. When the test dose was fine, I took the flood dose which consisted of 8 large capsules and lied down in my bed with a towel over my eyes to help with the light sensitivity that was to come.

    About an hour later I noticed the ibogaine coming on when I started hearing mechanical sounds. It sounded like a drill or a whipper snipper outside of the hotel room. For the next 8 hours I experienced seeing geometric patterns similar to those that you would see on Ayahusca. I was expecting to feel extremely noxious after reading dozens of peoples testimonials about ibogaine but the feeling never came. At times I would notice how weak and how slow my heart beat was and how shallow my breathing was. I remember thinking to myself: ?My body is in such a weak state right now that I wouldn?t be surprised if I don?t get through this experience.?

    Late into the night I started having extremely vivid visions. They were as real as reality itself. So realistic that I completely forgot I was on ibogaine. All of the visions had a cartoony look to them. I remember seeing beautiful lightning bolts and gorgeous flowers and thinking to myself: ?I?ve never seen anything more beautiful in my life.? There were two medieval beings who were helping me process childhood traumas and told me some things about my future. In hindsight, after having time to reflect on this experience I believe the visions were a way for my subconscious mind to communicate with me to tell me where I went wrong and what I needed to do to fix it.

    After 20 hours the sun began to rise and the visions wore off, they were so real that I was convinced that I actually experienced them in the physical realm. When they said I would be left on on my own for a couple of hours I was feeling scared because I was afraid to be left alone with the beings that I had encountered. Soon after this I got up to go to the toilet for the first time in 20 hours or so. Once I got up I started feeling noxious and immediately purged. The after taste of purging ibogaine was very sour however it was not anywhere near as foul as the taste of purging ayahuasca.

    A few hours later, I had a shower and was back in bed as I was feeling very weak. Sasha came over and we had a discussion about what had occurred over the past 24 hours. He told me it would be normal to feel depressed over the next 2 days and that I might have trouble sleeping. He gave me a bunch of vitamins to help regulate the brain chemistry and to assist with sleep. I felt no depression at all, and there was no trace of anxiety. For the next 4 days I mostly rested in my hotel room. When I went outside I would experience a whistling sound in my ears and a feeling of as though there was an aura around me. Sasha told me this was normal after taking ibogaine. I did not get much sleep but when I did sleep I had extremely vivid dreams.

    After I returned home I started noticing the anxiety slowly coming back but I didn't worry. I started reading books and watching videos on the power of the subconscious mind and positive thinking. It's been two and a half months since my ibogaine journey and my anxiety is barely noticeable and I fully believe that being anxiety free is a reality with an imminent arrival. I feel extremely motivated to be the best me I can, and to pursue all my dreams and goals until they become a reality. Taking ibogaine was a very powerful experience which shifted my outlook on life in a positive direction. Having 12 previous ayahuasca ceremonies to compare to my ibogaine journey I feel that ibogaine should be in its own category of psychedelics. I feel it was a much more effective and powerful tool for my problems. It was such a direct experience, I felt like I went deep inside my subconscious.

    I am cognizant of always saturating my mind with positive thoughts and my outlook for the future is very positive. I know that everything is going to be just fine. The 24-hour trip was nowhere near as arduous as I expected, and I would recommend ibogaine to anyone that needs a positive shift in their life.

    http://reset.me/personal-story/perso...ty-with-iboga/

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    Ketamine and anxiety

    Approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of patients with generalized Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) do not experience adequate clinical benefit from current evidence-based treatment for SAD.
    This includes treatment with conventional approaches such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or venlafaxine and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Failure of anxiety relief in patients with SAD is a source of substantial morbidity, distress, and decreases in quality of life.

    Symptoms

    Feelings of shyness or discomfort in certain situations aren’t necessarily signs of social anxiety disorder, particularly in children. Comfort levels in social situations vary, depending on the individual’s personality traits and life experiences. Some people are naturally reserved and others are more outgoing.

    In contrast to everyday nervousness, social anxiety disorder includes fear, anxiety and avoidance that interferes with your daily routine, work, school or other activities.

    Emotional and behavioral symptoms

    Signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder can include persistent:

    • Fear of situations in which you may be judged
    • Worrying about embarrassing or humiliating yourself
    • Concern that you’ll offend someone
    • Intense fear of interacting or talking with strangers
    • Fear that others will notice that you look anxious

    • Fear of physical symptoms that may cause you embarrassment, such as blushing, sweating, trembling or having a shaky voice
    • Avoiding doing things or speaking to people out of fear of embarrassment
    • Avoiding situations where you might be the center of attention
    • Having anxiety in anticipation of a feared activity or event
    • Spending time after a social situation analyzing your performance and identifying flaws in your interactions
    • Expecting the worst possible consequences from a negative experience during a social situation

    For children, anxiety about interacting with adults or peers may be shown by crying, having temper tantrums, clinging to parents or refusing to speak in social situations.

    Performance type of social anxiety disorder is when you experience intense fear and anxiety only during speaking or performing in public, but not in other types of social situations.

    Physical symptoms

    Physical signs and symptoms can sometimes accompany social anxiety disorder and may include:

    • Fast heartbeat
    • Upset stomach or nausea
    • Trouble catching your breath
    • Dizziness or lightheadedness
    • Confusion or feeling “out of body”
    • Diarrhea
    • Muscle tension

    Avoiding normal social situations

    Common, everyday experiences that may be hard to endure when you have social anxiety disorder include, for example:

    • Using a public restroom
    • Interacting with strangers
    • Eating in front of others
    • Making eye contact
    • Initiating conversations
    • Dating
    • Attending parties or social gatherings
    • Going to work or school
    • Entering a room in which people are already seated
    • Returning items to a store

    Social anxiety disorder symptoms can change over time. They may flare up if you’re facing a lot of stress or demands. Although avoiding anxiety-producing situations may make you feel better in the short term, your anxiety is likely to persist over the long term if you don’t get treatment.

    Ketamine

    Converging lines of evidence from neuroimaging and pharmacological studies support the importance of glutamate abnormalities in the pathogenesis of SAD. In a previously conducted clinical study, an elevated glutamate to creatinine ratio was found in the anterior cingulate cortex of SAD patients when compared to healthy controls. Elevated brain glutamine levels have also been demonstrated in patients with SAD. Moreover, nonclinical rodent studies have established a strong link between glutamate regulation and anxiety.

    Ketamine is a potent antagonist of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, a major type of glutamate receptor in the brain. Ketamine is routinely used for anesthetic induction because of its dissociative properties. However in research studies and in some physician accounts of off-label clinical use, ketamine is an effective treatment for reducing symptoms of depressive and anxiety disorders. In multiple controlled clinical studies, ketamine has produced a rapid antidepressant effect in unipolar and bipolar depression. Ketamine’s anti-depressant effects peak 1-3 days following infusion and is observed long after ketamine has been metabolized and excreted by the body and after ketamine’s sedative and dissociative effects have dissipated.

    The results of several clinical studies suggest that ketamine may also have significant anxiolytic effects. Patients with major depressive disorder given a single ketamine infusion have shown strong and significant reductions in comorbid anxiety symptoms. A trial including 11 depressed patients demonstrated a significant reduction in anxiety symptoms (Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A)) following ketamine infusion. This improvement is supported by one of the earlier placebo-controlled trials of ketamine which demonstrated that the psychic anxiety item was one of 4 (out of 21) items on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) demonstrating significant improvement after ketamine infusion.

    https://www.ivketamine.com/anxiety/

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