Studies have found that psychedelic substances that contain compounds such as “the spirit molecule”, Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) i.e. MDMA, LSD, and Ayahuasca could offer a viable solution for treating and curing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other illnesses.
After a traumatic event that affects an individual without a fight option or a flight option, i.e. tough military situations or as a helpless young child in an environment of conflict and abuse, parts of the victim’s emotional brain actually change in size and behavior, with PTSD this is a long-lasting effect; the amygdala, responsible for processing emotions like fear, is sent into overdrive, while the hippocampus, linked to processing memories and emotions shrinks. The primitive areas of the brain are over-represented, while other areas are underrepresented, the result is mental imbalance and the blurring of the lines between real threats and imagined threats.
Here are the symptoms of PTSD.
Constant danger: the ‘thinking brain’ cannot get the message through to the amygdala that the danger is over and it’s okay to relax. The hippocampus cannot take the emotional information processed by the amygdala and store it away as a long term memory, so your memories and sense of trauma stay with you all the time.
This creates hyper-vigilance, a state of heightened ‘fight or flight’ defensiveness that should only be a temporary state of mind, this explains why some PTSD sufferers come off as flinchy and over-responsive to certain stimuli.
This explains the behavior of certain PTSD victims, for example, a sexual assault victim may be terrified of parking lots because she was once raped in a similar place. Or a war veteran cannot watch violent movies because they remind them of his trench days; their atrophied hippocampus cannot minimize the interference of past memories, they become governed by the threat of danger.
‘Fight’, ‘flight’, and ‘freeze’.
When there is no ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ option, there is only the ‘freeze’ option. This ‘freeze’ option is seen in nature, ‘freezing up’ or ‘numbing out’ — in a word, dissociating from the here and now — is about the only and (in various instances), best thing you can do, if you fight or run you provoke the threat, but if you freeze, you disappear, you play dead and hope the threat passes without noticing you.
It’s a ‘dissociation’ defense mechanism, which explains the detached nature of PTSD sufferers in many cases – and their inability to concentrate.
The expectation of the body in the ‘freeze’ state is certain death or significant harm, because of this, the brain enters a state of high, unresolved trauma.
It is suggested that once the brain goes through this violent chemical ‘rewiring’ to survive the trauma, the wiring stays that way.
The brain is an adaptive organ.
The brain is a receiver and a communicator, what it receives is, in turn, what it puts out.
The brain always gives negative experiences priority in influencing its structure, this is why it takes a higher, stronger level of exposure to positive experiences and treatment to reverse PTSD, and why one strongly negative experience can have a lasting negative impact.
Our brains absorb environmental stimuli, calculate the best neurology to deal with it, and then change accordingly.
This malleability is a form of active evolutionary adaptation, without it, humans would not survive very long and would not be well equipped to deal with the ever-changing world and its many dangers.
This can be a disadvantage though, as anything can go wrong, as with PTSD it can go to extremes and hyper-vigilant mental frames linger long after the threat has gone.
For example, an environment of consistently high danger will disengage emotional processing and over-represent fear and anger. Why should the brain allocate resources to a balanced, healthy mental state when the priority is perceived to be self-preservation? The brain cannot, and will not be relaxed if a threat is always perceived, imaginary or otherwise.
Why should the brain commit resources to and engage higher functioning, non-threat processes like sociability, relationships, and emotional intelligence when the situation at hand is survival? Blood, as it has been proven, will flow away from those ‘thinking’ areas of the brain, such as the prefrontal cortex, and into our overactive ’emotional’ primitive brains.
Key affected brain regions:
- (Overactive) Amygdala; emotional reactions, ‘fight or flight’ system alarm.
- (Underactive, atrophied) Hippocampus; relay station for sorting memories.
- (Underactive) Prefrontal Cortex; logic, planning, reasoning, impulse control, organizing.
Are psychedelic compounds the ‘reset’ solution?
DMT is a substance already produced in the brain, it is linked to ‘resetting’ the neural pathways, removing ingrained ‘wired’ mental predispositions like addictions and prejudices, and seems to engage with the plasticity of the brain and its adaptability.
Anecdotally the medicinal use of psychedelic substances is highly acclaimed, and many scientific studies are starting to join the dots too.
MDMA is a ‘breakthrough’ therapy.
In late 2017, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) announced that the FDA had granted ‘Breakthrough Therapy Designation’ to MDMA for the treatment of the condition.
MAPS has stated the FDA “has agreed that this treatment may have a meaningful advantage and greater compliance over available medications for PTSD.”
MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is a success, and the numbers support it.
MDMA-assisted psychotherapy involves three administrations of the drug combined with established psycho-therapeutic techniques.
In the MAPS pilot study, 20 patients suffering from acute PTSD, most of them victims of sexual assault, were recruited for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. They all had failed to respond to previous treatments and therapy, and on average had been suffering from PTSD for over 19 years.
Further trials results showed 61% of participants no longer qualified for PTSD two months after they underwent three sessions of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.
Psychedelics can ‘compress a decade of therapy into a few hours’.
Jason Silva, philosopher, filmmaker, and public speaker has said that MDMA acts as an ultra-powerful catalyst to undo PTSD along with psychotherapy.
“Imagine if you could have the cathartic breakthroughs that ten years of hard therapy might give you in one afternoon,” said Silva, who hosts the National Geographic Channel’s Brain Games show. “It’s a shortcut to the divine.”
He cited the benefits of using psychedelic substances to treat mental disorders, like using MDMA to confront PTSD and psilocybin mushrooms for addressing anxiety in people with terminal cancer. Psychedelics have also been successful in treating addiction and depression.
Mr. Silva argued that the use of psychedelics is essential to cognitive liberty, whether they are taken for medicinal, therapeutic or recreational purposes. “Your boundaries dissolve,” Silva said. “What does that result in? Humility. Compassion. Empathy for the other. These tools blast new tunnels between the mind and the other. And it leads to a different way of looking at the world.”
Why are psychedelics illegal?
It’s all about money.
Psychedelics have been targeted by those in the medical establishment who want to keep illnesses tied into their patented, money-making recurring treatments; bottled, packaged and found on a store shelf. Nature is illegal because nature cannot be controlled and monetized.
You cannot patent medicine found in nature, if it gets out that certain natural treatments cure PTSD, cancer and so on, this will mean a big dent in the wallets of the pharmaceutical giants that rely on our dependency to make money. Their treatments are designed not to work (or work as immediately or effectively), it makes a paying customer out of the ill.
Corporate lobbyists have got governments around the world to align themselves to pharmaceutical and corporate ambitions, they have the money and power to do this, and are actively doing this behind closed doors; the world is not the fairytale you have been led to believe.
What you have been taught to think of psychedelic compounds by corporate-backed mainstream propaganda is that these substances are purely recreational, are just for hedonists that want a ‘buzz’, are addictive, and are damaging to the body and brain – none of which is proven, the consensus by people who have actually used these substances is the exact opposite.