You had anxiety, but symptoms mostly disappeared on their own. But now, they’re back with a vengeance, keeping you awake at night, ruining your eating habits, and slowly chipping away at your quality of life. You need something that works because nothing else has. Maybe psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is the answer.

What Is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a general term for treating mental health problems by talking with a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health provider.”

During counseling, you learn about your moods and your condition, emotions, thoughts, and behavior related to your symptoms. Psychotherapy can help build the skills needed to retake control of your life and react to challenges, often through healthy coping strategies.

Choosing the right therapy depends on your situation, with many different approaches available.

What Are Psychedelics?

According to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, psychedelics (sometimes called hallucinogens) belong to the class of psychoactive substances which trigger changes in your perception and mood and how you process information and obtain knowledge.

Psychedelics can affect all your senses, changing how you think, your sense of time, and how you perceive emotions. They can also make you hallucinate — which is when you see or hear something that doesn’t exist or is perceived as distorted.

Which Conditions Are Treatable With Psychotherapy?

Many conditions can be treated with psychotherapy, including:

  • Anxiety disorders. While occasional anxiety is normal and mostly goes away on its own, anxiety symptoms that last for months and begin affecting your quality of life could be a sign you’re developing an anxiety disorder.
  • Depression. Depression is a widespread and significant medical illness that badly affects your feelings, how you think, and your actions. Thankfully, it’s also treatable. It triggers feelings of sadness, and you become disinterested in things you enjoyed doing before. Depression can trigger a range of emotional and physical difficulties and reduce your daily functioning means.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder “is a common, chronic, and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) or behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over.” 
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder is a condition that happens in some people who’ve experienced a disturbing, scary, or threatening event.
  • Bipolar disorder.
  • Seasonal affective disorder may happen when there are fewer daylight hours.
  • Postpartum depression

And many others.

A Burgeoning Industry

Certain psychedelic drugs are getting close to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval as psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy begins achieving critical mass across the country. Ketamine, an anesthetic medicine approved by the FDA to treat depression-resistant depression, is at the forefront of a new psychedelics industry because of its widespread use for a range of medicinal purposes. Readily available and with few adverse side effects in small, controlled doses, ketamine may help many people.

What Is Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy?

Mental disorders are increasing while creating novel psychiatric medicines is showing signs of decline. Or is it? This downturn in innovation has also been associated with solid debates on mental disorders’ existing diagnostics and justifications, creating a paradigmatic crisis. But in some respects, this landscape of possibility has also given rise to a classic “light bulb” moment.

Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is a revolutionary innovation that presents curative opportunities for people suffering from treatment-resistant depression, chronic pain, and other conditions not responsive to regular treatment. This is, essentially, the professionally supervised use of ketamine and other psychedelics as one component of well-thought-out psychotherapy programs. 

Clinical results so far have shown safety and efficacy, even for “treatment-resistant” conditions, and thus deserve increasing attention from medical, psychological and psychiatric professionals. But more than novel treatments, the PAP model also has important consequences for the diagnostics and explanation axis of the psychiatric crisis, challenging the discrete nosological entities and advancing novel explanations for mental disorders and their treatment, in a model considerate of social and cultural factors, including adversities, trauma, and the therapeutic potential of some non-ordinary states of consciousness.”

What’s ketamine’s position in this? Very promising. Research into the effectiveness of this and other psychedelics is called “preliminary, although promising. Overall, the database is insufficient for FDA approval of any psychedelic compound for routine clinical use in psychiatric disorders at this time. Still, continued research on the efficacy of psychedelics for the treatment of psychiatric disorders is warranted.”

Final Thoughts

If you experience symptoms from many different mood disorders, chronic pain conditions, or other illnesses not responsive to conventional treatment, see your medical professional about diagnosis and newer strategies to help improve your quality of life. One such option is ketamine, a superstar in the psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy industry.

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