Recent research indicates that psychedelic therapy may help people suffering from anxiety. While the research is relatively new, the case for psychedelics and healing goes back thousands of years in human history.
The solution to anxiety in much of Western medicine tends to involve sedative medications, antidepressants such as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), and other pharmaceutical treatments.
How specifically can psychedelics help anxiety? Here, we’ll discuss the potential therapeutic applications of psychedelics for anxiety and how they might work. We’ll also take a moment to talk about dosage, what intentional use looks like, and how to pursue the psychedelic experience safely.
There’s a prevalent misconception, especially among people new to the concept of entheogens, that psychedelic experiences make one paranoid or agitated. If this is the case, then one would assume that psychedelics would make anxiety worse for most people. However, the opposite appears to be true, both in traditional psychedelic medicine and in modern therapeutic practice.
Indigenous people in Mexico and Central America, for example, carry on the traditions of psychedelic healing today. Practitioners (and recipients) of this type of healing apply it to various types of conditions, both mental and physical. In the context of this practice, which uses psilocybin mushrooms, the fungus is consumed to connect to a divine source.
While the name of this source varies according to tradition, the principle is the same: a higher connection to energy, spirit, and healing. By healing our minds, practitioners teach us, we can heal our bodies as well. As anyone with anxiety can attest, the mental symptoms of panic often have a very physical manifestation. Intentional psychedelic use helps address symptoms at both levels simultaneously.
Preliminary data suggests that, unlike traditional Western therapies, recipients of psychedelic therapy have better long-term outcomes.
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