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Can Psychedelic Drugs Reduce Depression and Anxiety?

A man suffering from anxiety talking with his therapist about psychedelic treatment.

Psychedelic drugs have a bad reputation. From the war on drugs to the lectures you heard in high school, negative effects like addiction were always the first thing brought up about them. But that mindset is starting to change. More people and mental health professionals are going in-depth to examine the connection between psychedelics and mental illness.

In fact, John Hopkins even opened a center dedicated to psychedelics and mental illness last year. This is especially interesting for those suffering from depression and anxiety. Can psychedelic drugs be used to treat mental illness? Are psychedelics good for depression? Is it a proven science? And are there negative effects or risks to consider like you were warned about in school?

Keep reading to find out the answers to these questions, as well as, other important information about mental illness.

How are Psychedelics Being Used in Mental Illness Therapy?

Over the last couple of years, studies have emerged that show promise for using psychedelics to treat depression and anxiety. But how do these treatment work? After all, psychedelics create a unique state of mind. And it can be confusing to figure out how that can be used for therapy.

Psychedelic drugs like Ketamine, psilocybin and MDMA are given to patients in controlled doses. This allows the therapist to control the level of intense euphoria that is common with these drugs. From there, a therapist will often walk the patient through a therapy session. This involves asking the patient thought-provoking questions about their depression or anxiety.

Anxiety and depression can make it hard for people to identify the underlying cause of their disorder. The theory is that psychedelics can help patients overcome this challenge better than anti-depressants can.

How Do Psychedelics Treat Anxiety and Depression?

Depression and anxiety can be resistant to traditional treatments. That’s because every person suffering from depression or anxiety has a unique chemical imbalance in their brain. And there’s no way for medical professionals to know what that exact imbalance is.

Psychedelic drugs can help bring the chemicals in your brain into balance for a short time. Think about it like restarting a computer. Sometimes your computer has corrupted software. And by restarting it, you can get rid of those issues and start with a clean slate.

That’s the thought process behind using psychedelics to treat anxiety and depression. But it’s important to note that it’s not something that will work for everyone. And the risk of misusing psychedelics and developing an addiction or dual diagnosis disorder can be high.

Are There Risks to Using Psychedelics to Treat Mental Illness?

It’s highly recommended that using psychedelics to treat anxiety and depression should be done by a doctor. But even under the best conditions, there are risks. Some of the risks include:

  • Negative side effects: Psychedelics can cause rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, confusion, paranoia and even more anxiety.
  • Experiencing a bad trip: Having a negative trip is possible. In the worst cases, this can cause psychological trauma or cause you to have impaired judgment. It’s another reason why you should be monitored when using psychedelics.
  • Bad interactions with current medication: If you’re on prescription depression or anxiety medication, psychedelics often don’t mix well. They can even make your mental health issues worse.

Given all these risks and the fact that the research is still in early stages, it’s important that you don’t try to self-treat your depression or anxiety with psychedelics. It’s also worth noting that Ketamine is the only psychedelic that is legal in the U.S.

Discover Hallucinogen and Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Footprints Beachside Recovery

While psychedelics are on the cutting edge of treating depression and anxiety, they still carry a high risk of abuse. Maybe taking psychedelics started as a way to cope with your depression or anxiety. But your mental well-being grew weaker and it became an addiction.

At Footprints Beachside Recovery, we use our own experience with addiction to give you a more personalized rehab experience. And our dual diagnosis treatment can help you gain more insight into how your depression and anxiety is fueling your addiction.

We know the hardships that come with addiction. But along the scenic beaches of our treatment center, you can uncover hope for lasting change.

Learn More About Our Family-Run Addiction Treatment Center

We’ve beaten addiction and you have the potential to do the same. If you or your loved one is suffering, we can help you restore what addiction has taken from you. Reach out and contact us to speak with one of our friendly staff members today.

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