Mental illness conditions have been in mainstream health focus for quite some time, largely because they have been observed to have devastating effects on health and wellness. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), over 50 million people in the United States alone were diagnosed with a mental illness condition in 2020. The statistics are even relatively worse now because studies show that one out of every five adults living in the United States has a mental illness condition.
That being said, you should know that since mental illnesses have been around for quite some time, there have been discoveries and innovations for treating and managing them. These conventional treatment approaches include the following:
Medications are usually the first line of treatment for treating and managing mental illness conditions. There are several different types of mental illness conditions, so as you would expect, several different medications are used to treat and manage these different mental disorders. For example, antidepressants like benzodiazepines are used for managing depression and anxiety. Buspirone and anti-seizure drugs like gabapentin and pregabalin are also used for anxiety management.
Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is a type of mental illness treatment approach commonly used in conjunction with medication to allow for optimum mental illness treatment results. During psychotherapy, patients get to talk and work with a certified mental professional to identify possible underlying reasons for their mental illness condition. Patients also learn how to identify symptom triggers and develop effective coping mechanisms for dealing with them.
In addition to the above-listed mental illness treatment options, there are also some alternative treatment options that are used to effect patient recovery from mental disorders. Examples of these alternative therapy options include electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and psychedelic medicine.
It should be said that conventional treatment options (such as medication use) for treating and managing mental illness conditions have been used effectively in several different cases. However, they do have some pretty severe demerits. Some of these demerits include the following:
One of the major problems with using medication for treating and managing mental illness conditions is that most drugs used for this purpose have a long onset time. When a drug has a long onset time, it means it will take a long time before the effects of its use become noticeable. This becomes a pretty significant problem because mental illness conditions usually have very unpleasant symptoms and side effects. The long onset of action means that patients will have to endure these unpleasant symptoms for long periods before they find relief.
Another problem with medication treatment for mental illness conditions is that these medications tend to have severe adverse effects. Drugs like benzodiazepines have been known to elicit pretty severe side effects like seizures and hallucinations.
In addition, some medications used in treating mental illness conditions have also been known to cause addiction problems when used for extended periods. This means that users of these medications are constantly at risk of becoming addicted to their medications.
This is perhaps one of the most significant limitations of conventional mental illness treatment options. Although the combination of medication and talk therapy for treating mental disorders is effective, it has a serious limitation in that not everyone responds positively to this treatment approach. Treatment resistance is one of the major reasons why mental illness conditions are still so prevalent.
This is where psychedelic treatment comes in.
Psychedelic-assisted therapy, also known as Psychedelic Medicine, is a treatment approach that involves the use of psychedelic drugs in combination with psychotherapy to treat various mental illness conditions. The possibility of using psychedelic drugs for medical treatment has been much discussed for a while (as far back as the 1950s). Research carried out in this period hinted at the possibility of employing psychedelic substances for medical purposes. Recently, there has been increased adoption of psychedelic-assisted therapy, especially in mental illness treatment.
At this stage, it should be mentioned that not every psychedelic drug is currently employed to treat mental illness conditions. This is because not all of these psychedelics have been confirmed to have therapeutic activity, although research and trials are ongoing. Examples of psychedelic drugs currently confirmed to have therapeutic activity for mental illness treatment include:
The major reason why there has been increased adoption of psychedelic medicine for treating mental illness conditions is the fact that psychedelic therapy offers effective treatment results. The best part is it offers treatment effectiveness with none of the downsides of conventional mental illness treatment approaches. The advantages of psychedelic medicine include the following:
Unlike antidepressants or antipsychotic drugs that have a large onset of action, psychedelics are faster-acting, and patients often report experiencing some level of symptom relief in as little as twenty-four hours. This means that patients can get fast relief from their mental illness symptoms and don’t have to endure it for long periods as they would with other treatment medications.
Another thing that has contributed to making psychedelic medicine very popular for use in mental illness treatment is that it is very safe to use. Ketamine (one of the most commonly-used psychedelics) does not elicit any of the dangerous adverse effects associated with conventional treatment medications. This makes it a perfect option for patients worried about the health risk associated with using other treatment medications. In addition, there is little to no risk of ketamine addiction during psychedelics-assisted therapy.
As earlier mentioned, one of the major reasons for the widespread occurrence of mental illness conditions is the limited effectiveness of conventional treatment approaches. A lot of people have been discovered to be treatment-resistant when exposed to conventional mental illness treatment approaches. Psychedelic medicine has been discovered to be effective in managing these treatment-resistant cases. In fact, more than 50% of individuals who were unresponsive to conventional mental illness treatment reported being able to enjoy symptom relief after exposure to psychedelic medicine therapy.
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:
Psychedelic medicine has also been used to manage addiction cases successfully.