LSD as a therapeutic treatment.
What is LSD?
LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a synthetic substance generated from a fungus that infects rye often. It is classified as an empathogen — a substance that increases emotions of empathy and connection.
Due to the way LSD alters perception, emotion, and thinking, it is referred to be a psychedelic (or mind-manifesting) substance. When used in large dosages, it alters time and space perceptions as well as generating visual hallucinations.
Individuals who take LSD recreationally may have an exceedingly terrible experience or ‘bad trip,’ which may be rather terrifying.
However, research into the safe, therapeutic use of LSD at a regulated dose has shown that it may favorably alter people’s perspectives and alleviate concerns and anxieties.
LSD as a treatment
Psychedelic substances have the potential to alter the function and structure of the brain, as well as stimulate neuron development. Although the precise mechanism by which LSD affects the brain is unclear, it appears to interact with a variety of receptors and neurotransmitters, including serotonin and dopamine.
The use of LSD in generating new ways of thinking and’ resetting’ the brain’s habitual cognitive processes is being investigated.
The newfound interest in LSD is based on research completed 40 years ago that focused mostly on treating:
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- drug dependency
- reducing anxiety in patients with a life-threatening disease.
LSD’s beneficial effect on mental health is attributed to the ego’s weakening or ‘dissolution,’ allowing individuals to perceive the ‘larger picture’ beyond their issues.
LSD is delivered therapeutically under supervision in a secure setting, such as a psychologist’s office.
While the patient is experiencing the drug’s effects, the psychologist or medical expert gives instruction and reassurance. While the patient’s awareness has been significantly altered, they retain a vivid remembrance of their encounter.
While LSD does not appear to be addictive and no overdose deaths have been documented, some users feel anxiety and bewilderment. Additionally, there have been isolated instances of self-harm outside of a therapeutic setting.
Under the influence of LSD, individuals can have intensely confronting experiences, which is why it is critical to give it in a controlled atmosphere where the person is educated, supported, and monitored.
LSD therapy trials
While progress has been made in LSD-assisted treatment, further study into its potential therapeutic advantages is necessary before we fully grasp its effect on the brain.
2016 research indicated that LSD has the capacity to alter established cognitive processes – and once again raised the possibility of using it to treat sadness and anxiety.
Without a history of mental illness, participants received a single dosage of LSD, which produced sensations of openness, optimism, and mood for around two weeks.
Similar benefits have been observed in research on LSD as a therapeutic therapy for alcoholism – with participants reporting enhanced levels of optimism and positivity, as well as an increased capacity to confront their difficulties.
One of the most promising experiments had individuals who were facing a terminal illness. LSD was reported to alleviate anxiety related with death anticipation. Additionally, patients reported an increased sense of self-confidence, relaxation, and mental strength, with effects lasting around 12 months.