• Psychedelic Medicine
  • Psychedelic Medicine Moderator: mr peabody
  • Bluelight HOT THREADS
  • Let's Welcome Our NEW MEMBERS!

Medicine Anxiety

mr peabody

Moderator: PM
Staff member
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
2,985
Location
Frostbite Falls, MN



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/psilocybin-healed-me-from-crippling-depression-and-anxiety/
 
Last edited:

mr peabody

Moderator: PM
Staff member
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
2,985
Location
Frostbite Falls, MN
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/psy...ness-2017-1?utm_source=intl&utm_medium=ingest
 
Last edited:

mr peabody

Moderator: PM
Staff member
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
2,985
Location
Frostbite Falls, MN



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/
 
Last edited:

mr peabody

Moderator: PM
Staff member
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
2,985
Location
Frostbite Falls, MN



Kava and anxiety: What science says about the popular plant supplement

by Nina Pullano | INVERSE | Dec 17 2019

Drinking a ground root could help anxiety — but be careful.

Kavasutra looks like most other bars in Manhattan’s East Village, with its welcoming neon sign and dimly lit, intimate atmosphere. But the “bar” is missing a key ingredient of the typical scene — alcohol. Instead, the establishment serves kava, a drink made from a root typically found in the Pacific Islands.

It’s also where, a few years ago, I had my first (and only, to date) experience with the drink. Since then its popularity has continued to boom, in part because of anecdotal claims that it reduces anxiety. Studies do suggest that kava supplements could have a small effect on reducing anxiety — but there are dangers linked to the extract as well.

Kava, made from the plant Piper methysticum, is also sold as pills and tinctures at drugstores, nature markets, and online. Bars and cafes serve it as an alcohol-free social lubricant, like CBD or mocktails.

You don’t sip kava, I was told when I tried it. You take it like a shot. It goes down chalky, and leaves a faint numb-tingle feeling in the throat, like the one after you eat pineapple or a kiwi. Later, on my way home, I remember a subtle feeling of calm washing over me. I texted my friend, saying I thought the earthy-concoction was finally working as intended. (It’s also possible, of course, that the mellow was simply the byproduct of a long day’s end.)

While it was fun to try something new, I wasn’t particularly compelled to head back for more. But there’s a reason why kava is on-trend: People claim that it’s a tool for dealing with anxiety, stress, and sleep problems. Some more far-fetched claims include that it can help with urinary tract infections, ADHD, and toothaches.

However, experts warn that kava can also be unhealthy, especially in large amounts, causing problems with the liver and muscle function. Here’s what science can currently say about the potential benefits of the extract — and its risks.

What is kava?

The plant kava — also called kava kava — comes from, P. methysticum and grows in the Western and South Pacific. It’s part of the same genus as pepper plants and vines. Concentrated in the roots of this particular pepper plant are organic compounds called kavalactones.

There are eighteen kavalactones that have been isolated and extracted from kava root, but most research focuses on the six kavalactones that are found in the highest concentration. Each of these is associated with individual effects, but when combined — like in a kava shot — they can induce the calming effect the drink is famous for.



Traditional kava ceremonies have been performed for centuries, and kava is consumed regularly in Fiji, Hawaii, and Polynesia during social and ceremonial events.

In the United States and Europe, the rise of kava started in the late 1990s when it was promoted as a “natural” alternative to anxiety drugs like Xanax and Valium. That kava “boom” then dipped off for a bit less than a decade, until kava’s popularity returned around 2017.

Since then kava bars have popped up across the country. The place I visited in Manhattan, Kavasutra — for all its sleek city coolness — is part of a chain. There are other locations in Florida, Colorado, and Arizona.

Why are people drinking this root?

In a word: anxiety.

According to Tracy Pingel, the owner of SquareRüt Kava Bar in Austin, Texas, drinking kava can quiet the mind. She told Rolling Stone that it shuts down “what I like to call that ‘mental talking in your head.”

The active ingredients in kava, called kavalactones, have sedative, euphoric, and psychotropic properties. The kavalactone that causes relaxation is called kavain. Another kavalactone called desmethoxyyangonin causes euphoria by boosting dopamine levels.


Cross-sections of kava, the root of a Pacific pepper plant.

"Since kavalactones don’t affect the brain directly, the substance isn’t truly a sedative,"
explains kava researcher Vincent Lebot. "That’s why drinking kava doesn’t actually alter one’s perception of reality," he says.

Meanwhile, research does indicate that kava can (modestly) benefit people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). In a 2013 Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology study participants with GAD took kava for six weeks, while a separate group took a placebo. After the trial, 37 percent of the kava group saw their symptoms eased, compared with 23 percent of the placebo group.

The results suggest that kava could have a bright future as a treatment for anxiety. In turn, the study’s researcher Jerome Sarris, a professor at Western Sydney University’s NICM Health Research Institute, says "kava could supplement other treatments." He emphasizes that "it should be viewed as an additional tool, not a replacement for other anxiety treatments."

In the study, Sarris and his colleagues do note that "branding the clinical trial as an 'herbal treatment' for anxiety might have contributed to bias among participants." The study was also funded, in part, by a company that manufactures kava — though the researchers said the company didn’t have any influence on the study itself.


Kava, a root, is ground up and brewed into tea, or taken in capsule form.

Meanwhile, in a 2018 review published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, researchers analyzed 12 studies that explored kava as a treatment for GAD — including Sarris’ paper. They found that while the current evidence is promising, it’s still “insufficient to confirm the effect of kava for GAD treatment beyond placebo.”

But beyond effectiveness alone, nutritionists and other experts say that there are some key side effects to consider if you’re thinking of trying kava.

Experts urge caution

Using large amounts of kava — at least, the kind you can buy in Western countries — can cause several negative side effects, including loss of muscle control and balance, double vision, skin problems (like dryness), and hepatoxicity, or liver damage.

Importantly, in the case of the liver damage, researchers know that these cases are associated with kava intake, but it’s not clear how the dosage amount or period of use act as contributing factors.

Those problems aren’t associated with the forms of kava used traditionally by Pacific Islanders, notes the Australian Department of Health website. Rather, these issues stem from the kava-containing supplements sold outside of those traditional circles.


Kava supplements often come in a pill form.

Lebot notes that many of the side effects described aren’t necessarily more intense than, say, those of caffeine. “If you abuse coffee, you might have side effects,” he says.

But in extreme cases, liver failure resulting from kava has led to serious cases, even death. A scientific review published in 2008 found that at least four people died out of eleven cases of extreme toxicity. Those were all associated with commercial products containing kava.

“Preliminary studies suggest possible serious organ system effects,” the researchers wrote. “The potential carcinogenicity of kava and its principal constituents are unknown.”

The Cochrane Library, an organization that reviews medical research, states that more rigorous studies with larger samples — and long-term safety studies — are needed to round out the true effects of the substance.

Regulating roots

Because of the risks involved with Western kava preparations, a number of Western countries have banned the substance: Germany, France, Switzerland, Australia, and Canada. (Later, Germany reversed its ban.)

Kava is legal in the United States, but the Food and Drug Administration has sent warning letters to several companies for improper labeling. In the past, the FDA has also warned consumers about the risks of liver damage.

So if you’re going to try kava, stick close to the source. The brewed variety seems to be relatively safe, at least compared with the pills and solutions sold as “herbal supplements” that might cause serious problems. Plus, assuming there’s a kava bar near you — the website Kalm With Kava has an interactive map — you can enjoy the experience with friends willing to try a mud-like pepper shot with you.

 
Last edited:

mr peabody

Moderator: PM
Staff member
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
2,985
Location
Frostbite Falls, MN
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


 
Last edited:

mr peabody

Moderator: PM
Staff member
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
2,985
Location
Frostbite Falls, MN
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, revealing 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/voice...d-trauma-trust-david-nutt-gabay-a8643031.html
 
Last edited:

mr peabody

Moderator: PM
Staff member
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
2,985
Location
Frostbite Falls, MN



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_
 
Last edited:

mr peabody

Moderator: PM
Staff member
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
2,985
Location
Frostbite Falls, MN



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/
 
Last edited:

mr peabody

Moderator: PM
Staff member
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
2,985
Location
Frostbite Falls, MN



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:

mr peabody

Moderator: PM
Staff member
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
2,985
Location
Frostbite Falls, MN
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/w...eats-his-severe-anxiety-with-magic-mushrooms/
 
Last edited:

mr peabody

Moderator: PM
Staff member
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
2,985
Location
Frostbite Falls, MN



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/
 
Last edited:

mr peabody

Moderator: PM
Staff member
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
2,985
Location
Frostbite Falls, MN
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 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/
 
Last edited:

mr peabody

Moderator: PM
Staff member
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
2,985
Location
Frostbite Falls, MN
Microdosing psilocybin reduced my Social Anxiety

Recently, I completed a one-year experiment microdosing psilocybin almost daily. My goal was to understand the impact it would have on my work, relationships, and mental health.

I approached the experiment as a newcomer to the world of psychedelics. I'm not the kind of person to take recreational drugs. That said, I'm invested in health, mindfulness, and personal growth. I scored in the top 99th percentile for standardized tests, trained and competed in the Olympic sport of speedskating, and run a startup for one of my business idols. Over the last 14 years, to improve my life, I've used and refined everything from meditation, fasting, paleo, bulletproof, ketogenic, triathlons, powerlifting, lifestyle design, digital nomad, Getting Things Done, yoga, the principles of rationality, and nootropics, or smart drugs.

By the time I was 25, I created a life I was proud of, all while sober. So my perspective on recreational drugs was that anyone dependent on them had major problems they were running away from. I never thought of drugs as conducive to growth. Fortunately, I was wrong. After taking them in Southeast Asia, my perspective on psychedelics changed, and they became a vehicle for greater self-reflection and awareness. Psychedelics appealed to me in their ability to help me work through painful emotions of the past. My use of psychedelics has shown various benefits, including reducing my social anxiety and addressing things that even I, a so-called self-improvement fanatic, hadn't gotten around to facing within myself.

I woke up after my first dose of mushrooms to find my lifelong fear of public speaking gone. After mushrooms, I was exposed to LSD and MDMA, and traveled to Peru for a series of Ayahuasca ceremonies. They worked beyond my wildest expectations. Psychedelics served as eye-opening means for cultivating meaningful personal insight. I healed from childhood traumas I didn't even know I had.

At one point, I began wondering if there was a sustainable way to leverage the power of psychedelics on a daily basis. It was at this time I became eager to discover whether smaller doses could help improve my work, relationships, and mood.

How microdosing psilocybin impacted my life

The year I microdosed happened to be a particularly difficult one.

I was recovering from some major career setbacks due to a series of unfortunate events involving a spinal injury that ended my Olympic speedskating career. This left me hunting for a new role and taking a pay cut to pursue jobs in other industries, and there were financial challenges in my family. I had plunged into a fog of depression and anxiety almost as dark as the suicidal depression I experienced during my teenage years. I don't know how I could have made it through without microdosing.

By the end of the year, I had improved my emotional well-being and developed better relationships with the people around me. It didn't solve all of my problems or make my life a rainbow-glittery world of unicorns, but it definitely made the days easier as I picked up the pieces of my life and started anew.

Improving my relationship with myself

In my relationship with myself, I became more aware of my emotions in every passing moment, and could address them on the spot instead of letting my them build up. I was in a better mood. My mind stopped making up reasons for me to be unhappy, and instead focused my attention on the positive. Some days, a sense of inner peace would permeate my being.

I was much less self-conscious, and more creative. Everyday, more ideas and insights would pop into my mind than I knew what to do with. I held a greater appreciation for the arts. My apartment went from minimalistic and drab to tastefully and beautifully decorated. My alone time went from dead silent to filled with music, song, and dance. Despite a lifetime of hating clothes shopping, I started to enjoy every part of the process. I took up a dance class, and went from being a robotic dancer to deftly on point. I joked and laughed more.

My life became more emotionally attuned, social, happy, and carefree, and less rigid, serious, and fear-driven. Many friends of mine remarked that I was more relaxed and calm, and that I had more energy.

Relationships with others

I was more comfortable in public, and less anxious in conversations. I already considered myself open-minded and accepting, but I became more tolerant and compassionate towards people. I would chat with convenience store owners, give smiles to strangers walking down the street, and once had a 4-hour conversation with my coffee shop baristas while I waited in an airport.

At work, I was less self-conscious. I led meeting presentations without anxiety choking me up. I had better check-ins with my boss and clients, and they all seemed more impressed with my work than before. With the people close to me, doors of intimacy were opened, where there were none before. I watched myself as I expressed both positive and negative emotions in ways that made people comfortable and at ease.

Over the year I microdosed, I became a more empathetic, compassionate, and affectionate person. I began to live with more acceptance, gratitude, and presence of mind. My workaholic lifestyle turned into one of spontaneity, creativity, self-expression, and lightheartedness. I continued to live out my values, feeling even more connected than before.

Reflections and what's next

My 1-year experiment with microdosing has definitely changed my life for the better. My career, relationships, and happiness improved. In future experiments, I hope to investigate the effects of microdoses of LSD and other substances, as well as alternatives to psychedelics for creating the same positive changes.

Microdosing has served as training wheels for helping my brain develop the necessary pathways that it needed to access on its own. Nowadays, I can reach those benefits without microdosing, while keeping the parts of my personality that bring me joy. I wont need to microdose on a regular basis forever, only when I feel I need to access more of my emotional experience. Ultimately, I hope to remain connected to all parts of my psyche without the help of psychedelics, but they're always there if I need them.

https://betterhumans.coach.me/how-on...s-715dbccdfae4


 
Last edited:

mr peabody

Moderator: PM
Staff member
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
2,985
Location
Frostbite Falls, MN
After many years of anxiety, and a year of research and experimentation with psychedelics, I'll say as a positive... It works well for me, and other like-minded friends of mine. Especially MDMA, which although synthetic has helped me tremendously. Psilocybin also...

• • •

The only thing that has truly helped me with my depression and anxiety is Psilocybin which was...illegally self-administered. After years of suffering and this miraculous experience I feel intimately afraid of the law and the government because right now, taking care of my mental health is considered a serious crime. I find that to be disgraceful to say the least.

• • •

As someone who was suffering from deep depression & crippling anxiety, my life has been completely changed through the healing power of these psychedelic medicines. They did for me what countless anti-depressants never could - they changed my relationship with my body & mind, they helped me heal the deep traumas I needed to, to enable me to move forwards with my life.

• • •

Psychedelics saved me from a two year long struggle with anxiety and depression. These tools allowed me to look at life from another perspective and I want to see them help others without the fear of being prosecuted.

• • •

I've personally benefited from taking part in the study at Imperial College and psilocybin has proved to be the most effective treatment I've had for my depression and anxiety. This treatment should be widely available to those it's suitable for.

• • •

The benefits of Psilocybin are amazing. Not only during trips, which can be life changing and eye opening experiences; But also in microdosing to help the effects of depression and anxiety. Microdoses significantly helped me with many internal issues I was having mentally.

• • •

Psilocybin worked wonders in allowing me a break from the crippling anxiety I've suffered for nearly 30 years. Rescheduling would at least allow a chance for me to finally put an end to my suffering.

• • •

Psilocybin is the only thing that's ever helped me. I have complex PTSD and bipolar disorder. Self-medicating with psilocybin has saved my life twice and given me hope. It helped me see reality and that I am connected, not isolated. Nothing medically prescribed by my GP has helped - just made it worse, numbed out and dumbed down, merely existing. I really need this medicine in a legitimate clinical setting. It should not be illegal for medical use. It saves lives. I need this.

• • •

I suffer from severe anxiety and have benefited from psilocybin in the past. I would like to legally experience the benefits of psilocybin as a medicine in the future. Please consider the potential benefits to public health and reschedule LSD and psilocybin to a Schedule 2 drug.

https://psychedelicsociety.org.uk/pe...ession-anxiety
 
Last edited:

mr peabody

Moderator: PM
Staff member
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
2,985
Location
Frostbite Falls, MN



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.

In some cases, these substances seem to directly alleviate feelings of anxiety, even at very small doses (below the level at which they subjectively alter consciousness). For other people, psychedelics help them explore the root causes of their anxieties and fears and find peace with them. And for many people, psychedelics bring them to a place a spiritual peace and openness that can become a new touchstone for letting go of anxiety or learning not to identify with it so strongly.

This description of the process may sound abstract to someone suffering from anxiety day to day, but like talking therapy, the healing process of psychedelics can be a little difficult to convey until you've tried it.

Recent clinical research has shown dramatic reductions in anxiety even after a single psychedelic experience with psilocybin mushrooms. Even for patients facing the extreme anxiety of terminal illness, psilocybin allows them to embrace their fate and find peace with their loved ones.

Heres 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 Pam Sakuda 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.

Two weeks after Sakudas psilocybin session, Grob (the researcher) re-administered the depression and anxiety assessments. Over all among his subjects, he found that their scores on the anxiety scale at one and three months after treatment demonstrated a sustained reduction in anxiety, the researchers wrote in The Archives of General Psychiatry. They also found that their subjects scores on the Beck Depression Inventory dropped significantly at the six-month follow-up.

Whats remarkable about the research results from this and many other studies 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 mushrooms 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:

mr peabody

Moderator: PM
Staff member
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
2,985
Location
Frostbite Falls, MN



Here's what MDMA did for my anxiety that meds couldn't

by Suzannah Weiss | May 24 2018

"I don’t have an opinion on what anyone else should do, but numbing the fear was not the answer for me."

I was 17 when I was first prescribed Prozac for anxiety. I had an eating disorder at the time, and a psychiatrist thought it might reduce my self-starvation and self-induced vomiting. It didn’t do much, and I ended up a year later in residential treatment, where a psychiatrist increased my dosage.

That’s when I started feeling the effects—both wanted and unwanted. I began making enough progress with my eating disorder recovery to leave treatment and go to college. But I also got really tired all the time despite sleeping ten hours a night, and always felt like my brain was in a fog. The bad times weren’t as bad, but the good times weren’t as good. A new psychiatrist switched me to Zoloft, but I felt no difference.

When I was 24, I went off Zoloft almost accidentally. I’d moved to a new city and didn’t find a new psychiatrist in time to get it refilled. Once I got through a few days without it, I decided to see if I could make it longer. Mental health professionals don’t recommend this; they recommend tapering off gradually—and I can see why. I was constantly irritable. But I also felt more energetic, more alert, more awake, and more alive. I didn’t want to go back.

A lot changed during those first few months off Zoloft. My abundance of energy led me to get involved in everything from rock climbing to psychology classes. My newfound angst helped me realize I wasn’t satisfied with my 9 to 5 office job, which marked the beginning of my writing career. Within six months, I’d become a full-time freelance writer, amazing people by writing an absurd number of articles (my record is 18 in one day), often taking two or three remote jobs with the exact same hours and working so quickly nobody knew my attention was divided. I thrived off this challenge, fueled by a frantic fear of not living up to my potential. My anxiety was my secret weapon, I realized. It came from the same source as my drive.

The flip side of this energy surge was that I was getting increasingly obsessive. Within two years of going off meds, I was compulsively working more than 15 hours a day, saving money to the point of foregoing meals and doctors’ appointments, and making myself throw up almost daily. Behind my facade of perfection and success, I secretly prayed something would save me from myself, but I didn’t know what could.

I’ll be forever grateful that around that time, I was invited on a work trip to the music festival EDC Vegas, where a new friend casually mentioned that she had molly. I’d recently read about a small but impressive study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, which found that 83 percent of PTSD patients who received MDMA-assisted therapy were symptom-free after a year. I also read that studies were underway to treat social anxiety and the anxiety associated with life-threatening illnesses using MDMA.

My knowledge of MDMA’s therapeutic potential sparked my curiosity, and I asked my new friend if I could try it. On a rooftop overlooking the festival, she put a small amount in my hand (I don’t know how much, but she deemed it a “microdose”), and I felt it almost immediately. That night became my own unsupervised therapy session of sorts as I explained to her that workaholism, disordered eating, and compulsive saving were all the same: ways to feel good about myself. In that moment, though, I had self-esteem without any of those things. I saw I didn’t need them.

The next day, I dropped a client that had been mistreating me and decided to use my newfound free time to join a friend on a trip to Ibiza. On my first night there, I took my first non-micro dose of MDMA in the form of half an ecstasy pill. With confidence I didn’t normally possess, I approached the guy who’s now my boyfriend, and I spent the rest of the trip with him. On the plane ride home—my serotonin levels likely still elevated from rolling three nights in a row—I had an epiphany: All the perceived limitations in my life were self-imposed. I decided there and then to leave my New York apartment, travel, and pursue this new love interest, despite the fact that he lived in Germany.

I didn’t use MDMA again for the rest of the summer, but it was as if the effects remained. I still worked a ton—but out of enthusiasm rather than nervousness—and the work was punctuated with travel, dates, and adventures. I began spending money on myself, and I stopped making myself throw up. While SSRIs had decreased the overall intensity of my emotions, my experience with MDMA had preserved the intensity of my fear and shame—but added equally intense excitement and happiness.

It’s not unusual for a single psychedelic experience to have long-lasting effects on someone with anxiety, says James Giordano, professor of neurology and biochemistry at Georgetown University Medical Center. “Psychedelics tend to take the brain's default network offline, which allows for a reset in the pattern of neurological activations of specific nodes and networks,” he explains. Or, to put it in more understandable terms, “Think of an old record vinyl. Think of the needle being stuck on one track and playing one tune. Psychedelics lift off the stylus and put it back down so it can play other tunes.”

Over the course of the following two years, I used MDMA a few more times and gained similar benefits from magic mushrooms and ayahuasca. I should mention that this wasn’t at all a risk-free decision. Overuse or misuse of MDMA can lead to sleep problems, urinary problems, and in severe cases, cognitive impairment. Overdosing on psychedelics can put you at risk for serotonin syndrome, and long-term overuse of hallucinogens can lead to trip flashbacks. You can also do dangerous things when you’re under the influence of a drug, since you may lose touch with reality.

In the clinical settings where psychedelics are being tested for therapeutic use, these risks are lower because the drugs’ dose and purity, along with your environment, are controlled. Unfortunately, these settings weren’t accessible to me, and like many people, I took risks to gain the mental health benefits of these substances.

And the benefits felt plentiful. Psychedelics put me in touch with a more compassionate, open-hearted side of myself that I’d muted over the years. Before discovering them, I didn’t even know I had that side. I was narrowly focused on success and money, and looked out for myself above all else. It was on ayahuasca that I realized this attitude came from fear—and that this fear came from societal and familial influences. I realized I was not born anxious. Separating my anxiety from myself has helped me not give into it.

"This is another way psychedelics may help some people with anxiety: by making unconscious thoughts and feelings conscious so that we can see what thought patterns are standing in our way," says Giordano. “Once you reset the default network and you begin to engage a distinct pattern of cognition, that pattern can also be somewhat more receptive and responsive to certain aspects of emotion that were not being processed on the conscious level.”

Life inside my head isn't always easy. But ultimately I saw myself faced with two options: Numbing the fear, or building up the joy and love that are even greater than the fear. I don’t have an opinion on what anyone else should do, but numbing the fear was not the answer for me—because I ended up numbing everything else along with it.

If I’d never found psychedelics, I probably would have either remained trapped within my own compulsions, driven by fear of inadequacy, or gone back to medication that muted these feelings without really addressing their roots. I would have stayed asleep. Now, I’m awake. To everything. The good and the bad. And I want to feel it all.

https://tonic.vice.com/en_us/articl...n-he-treated-his-autism-symptoms-with-shrooms
 
Last edited:

mr peabody

Moderator: PM
Staff member
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
2,985
Location
Frostbite Falls, MN



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 2-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
 
Last edited:

mr peabody

Moderator: PM
Staff member
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
2,985
Location
Frostbite Falls, MN



5-MeO-DMT may rapidly improve anxiety

by Michelle Lyon | April 6, 2019

Anxiety and depression are considered among the most debilitating medical conditions of our times. Both have the power to strip an individual of their vitality, physical health and every essence of what it means to be a joyful human being. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. It’s also the world’s leading cause of disability. Suicide rates have skyrocketed an astounding 30% since year 2000 despite the fact that the use of prescription antidepressants has gone up an alarming 400%.

Researchers at John Hopkins may have discovered a fast-acting treatment for the millions of sufferers of mental health disorders. A new study has founf that use of the synthetic psychedelic 5-methocy-N,-N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) appears to be analogous with improvements in self-reported depression and anxiety when given in a ceremonial setting with guidance and support before, during and after taking it.

Of the 362 adults surveyed, approximately 80% reported improvements in anxiety and depression following one 5-MeO-DMT ceremony. Participants on average were given doses of 5mg to more than 15mg of vaporized 5-MeO-DMT, depending on their prior psychedelic experience.

Most of the people in the study attended the ceremonies for spiritual purposes. The psychological improvements were an unintended benefit of the intensely profound mystical experiences- 73% regarded their first 5-MeO-DMT experience as among the top 5 or single most meaningful experience of their lives.

The authors of the study believe the short duration of psychedelic effects, 30-90 minutes, makes 5-MeO-DMT a more favorable and practical psychedelic to be consumed during psychotherapy sessions. “Research has shown that psychedelics given alongside psychotherapy help people with depression and anxiety. However, psychedelic sessions usually require 7—8 hours per session because psychedelics typically have a long duration of action,” states Alan K. Davis, Ph.D., postdoctoral research fellow in the Behavioral Research Unit, at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

5-MeO-DMT is found naturally in high concentrations within the venom of the Colorado River Toad (Bufo alvarius). Scientists have been able to produce it synthetically in a lab. The synthetic version was used for this study. Prior research by Davis has shown the substance has a low risk for adverse health consequences.

5-MeO-DMT is by far the most potent of all psychedelic medicines. Users find that they completely disassociate from their body and the ego is completely dissolved. For this reason, consuming the medicine should not be taken lightly. As was done in the study, it is advisable to use 5-MeO-DMT with a guide, along with integrative therapy before and after the ceremony. Intention and set/setting are imperative to gain the most profound healing from all psychedelics.

Current findings on the positive benefits of this psychedelic are rather impressive and justify the need for future study. “It is important to examine the short and long-term effects of 5-MeO-DMT, which may enhance mood in general or may be particularly mood enhancing for those individuals experiencing clinically significant negative mood,” says Davis. “Regardless, this research is in its infancy and further investigation is warranted in healthy volunteers.”

 
Last edited:

mr peabody

Moderator: PM
Staff member
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
2,985
Location
Frostbite Falls, MN



Treating anxiety with CBD

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 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:

mr peabody

Moderator: PM
Staff member
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
2,985
Location
Frostbite Falls, MN



Psychedelics shown to relieve anxiety

Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News highlights recent breakthroughs in psychedelic research, noting that studies into the therapeutic potential of LSD, MDMA, ayahuasca, and psilocybin have reached a level of prominence unseen in decades. In it, Brad Burge of MAPS speaks about the fading taboo surrounding psychedelic, how MAPS’ psychedelic research is funded entirely by donations, and how further research into psychedelic-assisted therapy may reveal beneficial uses for treating PTSD and other medical conditions.

In a widely publicized study released earlier this month, a research team led by Peter Gasser, M.D., of the Medical Office for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy in Solothurn, Switzerland, found that of 12 patients with life-threatening illnesses, all eight receiving the drug showed statistically significant reductions in standard anxiety measures. The study, published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, was the first in 40 years to evaluate LSD’s safety and efficacy as an adjunct to psychotherapy.

“When administered safely in a methodically rigorous medically supervised psychotherapeutic setting, LSD can reduce anxiety, suggesting that larger controlled studies are warranted,” Dr. Gasser and colleagues concluded.

Before treatment, patients received two preparatory psychotherapy sessions including discussion of their health, history, mindset, personality, and social and emotional situations. “This is an absolutely important part of the treatment,” Dr. Gasser told GEN. “Building up a confidential relationship is the basis of psychedelic therapy.”

Four patients taking much weaker LSD dosages showed about the same anxiety levels, though Dr. Gasser cautioned the sample size was too small for generalization.

“What the minimum dosage for psychotherapeutic effectiveness is we don’t know exactly. The threshold dose is between 20 and 50 mcg, and I guess that the minimum dose for psychotherapy is about 100 mcg. 200 mcg, the dose of our study, is supposed to be a medium-high dose,” Dr. Gasser said.

"A follow-up study assessing interviews and anxiety testing after 12 months will soon be published," he added.

Brad Burge, a spokesman for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), told GEN the study not only shattered a longstanding taboo but launched a new era of research into LSD-assisted psychotherapy. “The breakthrough is that this is the first double-blind, placebo-controlled study administering LSD in humans,” Burge said.

“This is the first completed study of LSD that was explicitly designed to help develop LSD into a legal prescription treatment.”

Dr. Gasser’s study isn’t the first to link LSD to a medical benefit. Two years ago Teri S. Krebs, Ph.D., and Pal-Orjan Johanssen, Ph.D., both of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, concluded a single dose of LSD helped reduce alcohol abuse as early as one month afterward, and most often two and six months afterward. The findings, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, followed a review of six clinical trials with a combined 536 participants.

“We need further data on whether subgroups of individuals exist for whom LSD presents an increased beneficial effect or risk for adverse events. Future clinical trials could combine a range of doses of LSD with current evidence-based alcohol relapse prevention treatments,” Drs. Krebs and Johanssen concluded in the study. “As an alternative to LSD, it may be worthwhile to evaluate shorter-acting psychedelics, such as mescaline, psilocybin, or dimethyltryptamine.”

Psilocybin has come under review in a handful of studies for its benefits in calming users—especially military members with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Last year in the Journal of Experimental Brain Research, researchers observed that mice injected with a range of psilocybin doses acquired a robust conditioned fear response—while mice with lower doses extinguished their conditioning significantly faster than mice treated with higher doses or saline. The study noted that psilocybin’s ability to extinguish fear conditioning may be affected by its actions at sites other than the hippocampus—such as the amygdala, known to mediate the perception of fear. Also, psilocybin is not purely selective for 5-HT2A receptors.

https://maps.org/news/media/5000-psychedelics-shown-to-relieve-anxiety
 
Last edited:
Top