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Pandemic PTSD? Psychedelics Could Help

Pandemic PTSD? Psychedelics Could Help
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Could consuming psychedelics prevent you from suffering extended distress due to the Covid-19 pandemic? A study seems to have proven so.

A new study has suggested that psychedelics may lead to significant decreases in experiential avoidance, depression severity, and suicidal ideation. This study might imply that psychedelics do, in fact, help to cope with the pandemic.

Researchers are studying post-psychedelic reductions in experiential avoidance, associating them with decreases in depression severity and suicidal ideation. The study is a collaboration of researchers from three different institutions: The Centre for Psychedelic Research, Department of Brain Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London; The Remedy in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and the Department of Molecular Neuroimaging, Central Institute of Mental Health (CIMH), Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg in Mannheim, Germany. These groundbreaking findings imply that reduced experiential avoidance may be a transdiagnostic mechanism for mediating treatment success within psychedelic therapy.

Promising treatment

Richard Zeifman is a PhD student at Ryerson University and research intern at the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College. As an author of the study he explained in an article published by PsyPost that “psychedelic therapy has shown promises as a novel treatment for a range of mental health concerns, including major depressive disorder, distress associated with a life-threatening illness, and substance use disorders.”

Zeifman when on to explain to PsyPost one of the reasons that psychedelic therapy has positive therapeutic effects. The study suggests that it helps individuals to be less avoidant and more accepting of their emotions, thoughts, and memories. This is effective, even though such experiences may be distressing in the short-term. An example of such stressful condition is the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

More Psychedelics During Lockdown

This groundbreaking study emphasises the recent observed rise in psychedelics consumptions during the lockdown. It explains this increased use as a result of the drug making people more tolerant of distressing situations. One can only conclude that such substances have a promising future in the research into people’s mental health.

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