The world is experiencing a devastating physical health emergency. But the coronavirus pandemic has also seen a renewed focus on our psychological wellbeing.
A study conducted in the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London found that loneliness, uncertainty and grief may be intensifying an already acute mental health crisis, and in the US there has been a 20% spike in the number of prescriptions for antidepressant and anti-anxiety drugs during lockdown. Demand for key antidepressants is threatening to exceed supply in the UK – where prescriptions have already more than doubled over the last decade.
Research has focused on how drugs such as LSD, psilocybin, DMT and MDMA work in the brain, and how they may be useful in treating disorders such as depression. Like the present pandemic, a psychedelic drug experiences can be transformative – of the individual – and of society. Both illuminate the extent to which the condition of the world we inhabit is dependent on our own behaviours. And these, in turn, are a consequence of how we feel, think and perceive.
Psychedelics appear to increase brain “plasticity”, which, broadly speaking, implies an accelerated ability to change.
One view is that a psychedelic experience is a consequence of an especially intense surge of plasticity that opens a window of opportunity for lasting therapeutic change. The same windows may open up during other extreme states, such as experiencing trauma, stress-induced breakdown, a spontaneous spiritual experience or coming close to death. The difference with psychedelic therapy, however, is that the experience is carefully prepared for, contained and mediated. If not done this way, the use of psychedelics can be dangerous.
For more details on psychedelic therapy get in contact with us to hear about our Mushroom ceremonies!