Psychedelic Medicine, also known as Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy, is a “novel” treatment approach used in treating and managing mental illness conditions. This therapy approach involves integrating psychedelic drugs with psychotherapy to effect optimum patient treatment and recovery results. It is worth mentioning that psychedelic drugs have been around for a while, and several studies have been conducted on the possibility of their inclusion in mental illness treatment.
It’s thanks to these studies carried out that the highly-effective psychedelic-assisted therapy was developed. Note, however, that not every psychedelic or substance with a psychoactive effect is currently employed in treating and managing mental disorders. Nevertheless, some psychedelics have been shown to significantly improve patient recovery from mental disorders. Some of these psychedelics include:
The use of psychedelic medicine in treating mental disorders is gradually gaining much traction. This is largely because psychedelic medicine has proven to be a highly-effective treatment option for managing various mental health conditions. Some mental health conditions psychedelic-assisted therapy is currently used to treat include the following:
Now, you may be wondering, “Why use psychedelic medicine for treating these mental illness conditions when there are more established treatment procedures?” Good question! It will interest you to know that although there are conventional treatment approaches for treating each of the above-mentioned mental illness conditions, psychedelic-assisted therapy is still the most preferred treatment approach. This is due to several reasons, some of which include:
Low Toxicity: Most medications used in regular mental illness treatment tend to be associated with many side effects, some of which can be potentially life-threatening (such as seizures). These severe side effects indicate just how toxic the medications can be. On the other hand, psychedelics (e.g., Ketamine) have very low toxicity. So, their use is usually accompanied by little to no side effects.
High-Efficacy: Psychedelic-assisted therapy has also been shown to have high treatment efficacy. A significant amount of people who undergo conventional mental disorder treatments are unable to get any measure of significant relief from their symptoms. These types of patients are said to be treatment-resistant. Treatment-resistant cases can occur for different mental disorders (e.g., treatment-resistant depression), and in these cases, regular medications will not offer anything beyond a transient relief from symptoms.
Unlike these “regular” approaches, psychedelic medicine has been shown to be very effective in treating and managing treatment-resistant mental disorders. In fact, more than 50% of patients who were unresponsive to other treatments have been shown to experience mental illness symptom relief when exposed to psychedelic-assisted therapy. Many of these patients went into remission, while most others could stay symptom-free for extended periods (months).
Fast Action: Another reason psychedelic medicine is currently extensively used for treating and managing mental health conditions is its fast action. Most other medications used in treating mental disorders take a long time to elicit their effect, which is undesirable, especially for patients. Psychedelic medicine, on the other hand, offers patients access to rapid relief from mental disorder symptoms.
Now that you know some of the reasons why psychedelic-assisted therapy is currently preferred for mental disorder treatment, let’s take a look at how this therapy works and what makes it so effective.
Psychedelic medicine has been used to provide effective treatment results in several different mental illness conditions. Examples of mental illness conditions psychedelic medicine are useful for treating include:
Mental illness conditions like depression place a lot of stress on the brain, and eventually, important brain connections (synapses) end up getting “cut off.” Synapses play very important roles in normal brain functioning because they allow for nerve cell communication in the brain. With Ketamine-assisted therapy, however, these synapses or connections begin to grow back, and studies have shown that the more these connections regrow, the better the therapeutic effects obtained.
Ketamine has also been observed to improve nerve cell response of previously “non-sensitive” or “deadened” glutamate receptors. Deadened or weakened glutamate receptors are one of the major causes of treatment-resistant conditions. Ketamine acts to more or less “re-activate” these glutamate receptors, making them more active and susceptible to medication effects again.
This particular point is one of the significant differences between Ketamine and other conventional mental disorder treatment medications. Most of these other medications target monoamine neurotransmitters (e.g., dopamine and serotonin) to elicit their effects. Ketamine, however, primarily targets and promotes glutamate levels in the body.
The body works on a very strict principle of balance, and when there is too much or too little of something, it becomes a problem. This is one characteristic thing that occurs in mental illness conditions. When there is an imbalance in glutamate and GABA levels in the body, it usually significantly affects mental health. When Ketamine is ingested, it also works to balance out this neurotransmitter imbalance that is likely causing the mental illness symptoms being felt.
If you’re new to psychedelic medicine, you’re probably wondering what the treatment process will look like. You should know that psychedelic therapy generally involves three stages:
This is the first stage of psychedelic medicine therapy, and it is largely a preparatory stage. In this stage, you will have a consultation with a doctor that will conduct thorough current health and medical history checks to ensure there are no treatment contraindications. You will also be able to ask any question you want regarding the therapy process.
Once you have been cleared as fit for psychedelic therapy, the next stage will involve ingesting the psychedelic drug. This stage is carried out in a treatment facility under the direct supervision of licensed and trained medical personnel. Note that the specifics of treatment duration and number of sessions depend on the psychedelic drug used and your treatment plan. But you most likely won’t need more than twelve sessions.
Integration is the last stage of psychedelic-assisted therapy, and it involves working with a trained therapist to understand all that happened during the ingestion process.
Are you interested in getting started with psychedelic medicine? If you are, then you’re in the right place. Reach out today, and let’s help you get the effective treatment results you need.