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How Psilocybin Can Change Your Life

Psilocybin changes everything. For those not familiar with psilocybin, it is the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms” that induces a hallucinogenic state and has a powerful and lasting impact on the human brain.

Recent research shows it could be helpful in the treatment of depression, PTSD, addiction, and other conditions and a tool to help terminal patients come to terms with death.

All well and significant, but how does this impact the average person who doesn’t struggle with any of the above conditions? That is what I have set out to discuss today. First, however, I want to talk about a few common misconceptions about psilocybin.

The History of Psilocybin

Despite its classification as a Schedule 1 narcotic, psilocybin is one of the safest psychoactive substances. Historians have traced its use back to some of the earliest known societies, and it has remained a key component of shamanistic rituals across the globe even to this day.

There is even pretty convincing evidence of cave paintings depicting the consumption of psilocybin mushrooms dating back tens of thousands of years.

The only non-theologian researcher on the initial team dedicated to studying the famous Dead Sea Scrolls concluded that early Christians ritualistically consumed psilocybin. He wrote a book about it called “The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross.”

Psilocybin is Far Safer Than Any Other Substance

You can argue that past societies may not have been aware of any potential harm elicited from the substance, but modern statistics lean in the mushroom’s favor as well. You can scour the internet and find maybe one or two fatalities EVER recorded, and those individuals had a pre-existing condition that made consumption of psilocybin dangerous.

Considering the estimate that millions of people use psilocybin each year in America alone, we are looking at a substance far safer than alcohol, tobacco, and the large majority of prescription medications. And no, it is not food poisoning. A small percentage of people who ingest psilocybin experience stomach discomfort, but the neurotoxicity rates for psilocybin are almost negligible.

An Eye-Opening Experience Like No Other

Of course, there is always the possibility of a “bad trip.” For those of you not familiar with this term, it is when the psychedelic experience becomes unpleasant or overly intense. It can happen when people take too large of a dose without proper mental preparation or enter with negative emotional baggage. A person’s setting or surroundings can even trigger it, so adequate preparation is so necessary.

However, all bad trips end, and although the experience may be unpleasant during its duration, many experienced psychedelic users have stated that bad trips can be seen as positive events as they often force people to confront their demons or negative thoughts.

Bad trips can happen, but most people who ingest psilocybin enjoy a pleasurable and reflective experience.

The Growth of New Brain Cells

Enough with the grim and gritty. Why should anyone even bother with psilocybin? The most profound benefit of psilocybin is neurogenesis. Neurogenesis is the growth of new brain cells.

In adults, this can only occur in a few select areas, the hippocampus being the most prominent and essential. What is critical is that neurogenesis in the hippocampus plays a significant role in learning and memory.

This is one reason why psilocybin is being researched to combat depression and PTSD. Suppose new neural pathways can be developed in patients struggling with particular traumatic memories or stagnant learning loops. In that case, we may fight the problem by bypassing the old connections in favor of new ones.

The best part about this type of therapy is that it could be achieved over just a few sessions instead of being on prescription drugs for the bulk of your remaining life. It could be a fix, as opposed to a Band-Aid.

What does this mean for you? Ever been in a tough mental rut? We all have. We suffer from the same external stimuli as everyone else.

Traumatic or unpleasant events can happen to us, and we often allow negative people or thoughts into our lives. This invariably affects us, decreases our focus, and can cause us to plateau or even regress.

Neurogenesis could be the solution. New neurons in the hippocampus mean new neural pathways and ultimately new ways of learning and analyzing past and future memories.

Why are depressed people encouraged to go out and try new things? For this exact reason. If you can develop a new pattern and a new mental pattern, you can bypass all kinds of negative thoughts, emotions, and habits.

This is why psilocybin has also shown to be wildly successful for those individuals trying to break stubborn habits like smokers trying to quit.

Benefits of Psilocybin

Neurogenesis alone is convincing evidence in favor of psilocybin use. However, it does not stop there. Low doses of psilocybin (doses too low to invoke hallucinations) increase visual acuity. Some theories maintain that early hominids took advantage of this to improve their hunting and survival skills.

In addition, psilocybin increases the stretch reflex of muscle tissue, unlike other substances like alcohol that harm your muscular system.

Other benefits of psilocybin:

  • Invokes natural curiosity and creativity,
  • Induces mystical experiences and
  • It has been known to diminish or destroy the ego temporarily.

All of these components help you experience the world in a brand new way, provide perspective and foster deep introspection. It is no surprise that many people who have tried psilocybin consider the experience the single most profound and spiritual experience of their lifetime.

Despite the benefits, many people are not able to distinguish the difference between illegal and immoral. Just because a substance is a Schedule 1 narcotic does not mean that its use is immoral and that those who partake in it are looked down upon. Instead, it is time to take a more critical eye to a select few of the substances on the Schedule 1 list and determine if the benefits of their use outweigh any potential physical or mental harm.

Psilocybin seems to be a clear-cut case to me, and fortunately, there is a growing movement in favor of its legalization. With marijuana blazing the way, the state of Washington has a large support base that is pushing for psilocybin to be the next state-legalized drug currently listed by the federal government as Schedule 1.

A New Era

Only time will tell if psilocybin will follow in the footsteps of marijuana. In the meantime, researchers at John Hopkins University and other renowned establishments will continue to study the substance and determine what long-term medical benefits exist.

So far, the results are promising. I know many of you will look at this information in a skeptical light as it probably runs counter to many of your ingrained belief systems. But I urge you to give this fungus a chance. Open up your mind to just the possibility that psilocybin might have a lasting and positive impact on select individuals and society as a whole.

Be cautious, be skeptical. But go and do your homework. Check out the excellent research that is being performed, and once educated, make your own decision.

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MDMA (Ecstasy) For Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is surprisingly widespread, affecting eight million adults within the US yearly―of 10 % of all girls and 4 % of all males.

The popular present remedies for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are psychotherapy, mainly Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and EMDR. As well as, consultants counsel that SSRI antidepressants could assist in some circumstances. However, these therapies don‘t work for an estimated 30 to 40 % of people living with PTSD.

For sufferers who don’t benefit from psychotherapy and SSRIs, MDMA has been proven to have as much as an 80-percent remedy relief.

Prevalence of PTSD

At one time, most of us dismissed PTSD as one thing that occurred solely in notable veterans, making it an uncommon situation. Although, the research presents that even among the many armies, PTSD is more widespread than we thought.

In line with research carried out by the Nationwide Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), the Division of Veteran Affairs, and the Sidran Institute:

  • About eight percent of individuals within the US, or 24 million, have PTSD at any given time.
  • About 48 million adults have struggled with PTSD at some unspecified time in the future of their lives.
  • Amongst army veterans, over 17 % develop PTSD.
  • Those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan died from suicide ensuing from PTSD.
  • Amongst first responders, 32 % develop PTSD.

Who Develops PTSD?

The research presents that no less than 70 % of individuals have had extremely traumatic experiences. Nevertheless, most individuals recover from trauma. Solely 10 to 20 % of trauma exposures lead to PTSD.

Curiously, most circumstances of PTSD usually are not a result of combat or organized violence. Thirty-three percent of reported circumstances come from sexual violence reminiscent of rape or violence from a spouse. Moreover, 30 % developed PTSD from personal trauma from relationships, 12 % from interpersonal violence reminiscent of childhood bodily abuse or bodily assault, and 12 % from things like severe automotive accidents.

The prevalence of PTSD is more prominent within the US than in other countries. Girls are more prone to develop PTSD when faced with a traumatic experience than males. And trauma ensuing from intentional experiences is more likely to exacerbate PTSD than trauma ensuing from accidents or unintentional occasions.

Present Remedies For PTSD

The principal remedy for PTSD is a few forms of psychotherapy, and physicians could prescribe antidepressants for PTSD, notably SSRIs like Zoloft, Effexor, Prozac, or Paxil. The research presents that about 60% of sufferers get some aid from this medication, however solely 20 to 30% obtain complete remission of signs. Anti-anxiety medicines reminiscent of Benzodiazepines haven’t been confirmed valid.

Sure, psychotherapeutic methods have been confirmed helpful in PTSD remedies, most notably Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This short-term form of therapy helps victims determine negative ideas and substitute them with positive ideas. A subtype of CBT, referred to as publicity therapy, directs victims to visualize traumatic experiences in therapeutic surroundings until the reminiscences do not respond. About 60 % of people with PTSD effectively recover from CBT.

One other helpful method is eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). The method has successful recovery rates (as much as 90 %) with single-trauma victims, though research differs in evaluating success in those affected by many traumas.

Prognosis For PTSD

It can be difficult to find an all-in-one cure for PTSD. Even with conventional psychotherapies, solely one-third of people living with PTSD recover within a year, and after ten years, one-third of people develop PTSD again. And whereas, as we’ve already talked about, psychotherapy and treatment have been confirmed considerably efficient with many sufferers (60 to 70 %), a significant group of trauma survivors doesn’t respond well to therapy due to remedy. That’s where MDMA comes into play.

What’s MDMA?

MDMA is a synthetic drug, the principal ingredient on the street known as“Ecstasy.” In line with the Nationwide Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH),

It produces an energizing impact, distortions in time and notion, and enhanced enjoyment from sensory experiences.

It has additionally been described as an entactogen—a drug that may enhance self-awareness and empathy.

MDMA impacts the mind in many methods. First, it considerably will increase the discharge of oxytocin, in any other case generally known as the “love hormone” and prolactin, which triggers leisure akin to a post-orgasmic state.

It additionally will increase the manufacturing of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which creates emotions of well-being. MDMA decreases exercise within the amygdala, which is the part of the mind related to concern, and the hippocampus, which controls reminiscence. With situation dampened and reminiscences fuzzy, sufferers can face previous traumas and face them.

Why MDMA?

As mentioned above, counseling and prescription drugs don’t work for all people living with PTSD. Due to its impact on the mind and nervous system, MDMA can ease a person’s traumas and process them.

In scientific research, MDMA has been confirmed efficient for 68 to 83% of sufferers who failed to recover from different therapies.

MDMA Therapeutic Protocol

If MDMA were legalized, it would solely be for psychotherapists skilled to provide sufferers with PTSD remedies. Sufferers couldn’t purchase the drug themselves. The scientific research thus far requires the sufferers to bear 12 weeks of structured psychotherapy. Throughout that point, they run several eight-hour days in which they take a dose of MDMA supervised by psychotherapists.

MDMA at the moment is taken into account as a Schedule 1 drug, which signifies that no one is authorized to prescribe it and is thought of as a harmful and dangerous drug. Nonetheless, dozen scientific trials have shown promising therapeutic results. Researchers hope that the outcomes will persuade legislators to legalize MDMA for medical use.

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MDMA-Assisted Therapy For PTSD: The Miracle Cure

The Iraq and Afghanistan wars brought the concept of PTSD to the forefront of America’s cultural consciousness. Seeing so many soldiers come back seemingly unable to process or cope with what they saw or did during their tours of duty shed light on our severe inability to help heal those suffering.

We also realized that it could affect far more than just combat veterans, and in the search to help heal those who have PTSD, many believe MDMA holds the key.

What Is PTSD?

While all of the hype around MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD often centers around MDMA, it is critical to remember what this treatment aims to resolve.

PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) happens to those who have witnessed a traumatic event like a natural disaster, serious accident, combat, or those who have been personally assaulted.

They often relieve their experiences through nightmares or flashbacks and grow sad, angry, and detached from others. It can be difficult for patients to live everyday lives as seemingly benign events can “triggermemories of their traumatic experience, leading them to avoid everyday activities and places altogether.

We’re also learning PTSD doesn’t just affect someone with firsthand experience of an event. Those with secondary experience in an event such as police officers handling child abuse cases, emergency medical staff in a refugee camp, or even those working at inpatient drug rehab facilities can all experience PTSD.

It is estimated that 1 in 11 people will meet the criteria for a PTSD diagnosis in their lifetimes. That is a lot of people who need to heal.

Current PTSD Treatment Options

Pharmaceutical

Utilizing drugs like SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and SNRIs (selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor)

Therapy

Therapy such as Cognitive Processing Therapy, which focuses on patients’ reactions to traumatic events and helps them work through their “stuck points.”

EMDR

Short for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, EMDR utilizes eye movement to help patients reprocess their trauma and negative self-perceptions.

However, we all know that antidepressants can be risky, and many patients are treatment-resistant to things like therapy and EMDR. This is where MDMA comes in.

MDMA Treatment Therapy For PTSD

What Is MDMA?

MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is an amphetamine.

In 1985 MDMA was classified as a Schedule 1 drug in the US, meaning it had no accepted medical value and a high potential for abuse.

MDMA, also called Ecstasy, is known for inducing euphoria, closeness, and empathy amongst users and is commonly used at dance raves and music festivals.

Unwanted Impurities That Cause Harm

To assess the therapeutic value of MDMA accurately, you must first test the drug for its pureness since it often contains amphetamines, PCP, cleaning supplies, and other harmful compounds.

Very rarely is Ecstasy pure MDMA, and thus Ecstasy containing unwanted impurities has adverse side effects.

Why Is Traditional Therapy Failing PTSD Patients?

Patients are often unable to process painful emotions because, understandably so, they cannot view the events from an objective perspective.

Their memory of the event is so inexorably tied with the feelings they felt during their experience that it is nearly impossible for patients to bypass these painful emotions to get to the actual event.

Many experts ascribe to the Emotional Processing Theory (EPT), which states that emotional processing begins only when patients can separate their emotions from the traumatic experience.

MDMA enables this separation more effectively than any other compound or therapy discovered thus far, which is why so many therapists believe it has the power to heal.

Why Does MDMA Improve Therapy?

MDMA increases the release of serotonin, prolactin, cortisol, and oxytocin in the brain.

An increase in oxytocin decreases our brain’s amygdala (the brain’s fear center) activation enabling patients to view their experience away from a place of fear.

Increased oxytocin also increases social bonding and improves patients’ ability to trust others, both of which PTSD patients struggle with.

MDMA Therapy For PTSD

MDMA is a tool used in therapy, but it is not the focal point. It is also important to remember that relatively few studies have been conducted using MDMA to treat PTSD, so there is no valid “standard” procedure yet.

With that said, the typical MDMA treatment consists of 15 total therapy sessions, only three of which involve MDMA.

The first three 90 minute therapy sessions do not include any MDMA and act to help therapists bond with patients.
Following the first three sessions, patients undergo their first MDMA session.

The MDMA Session

The actual MDMA session involves one male and one female therapist sitting with the patient, which has been shown to facilitate parental transference.

The therapists then engage in non-directive conversation with the patient, meaning they do not drive them toward any predetermined conclusions. Instead, therapists engage in the therapeutic alliance, anxiety management training, cognitive restructuring, and various other tactics to help patients effectively decouple their emotions from the traumatic incident.

What Is The Success Rate Of MDMA Therapy For PTSD?

While there are still relatively few studies done on MDMA-assisted PTSD treatment, they all show tremendous promise.

Patients had an improved mood, increased feelings of well-being, happiness, physical and mental relaxation, increased emotional sensitivity, and sociability.

Patients also feel more open and allow themselves to embrace intimacy in their relationships, something those struggling with PTSD have difficulty doing.

Combat veterans, in particular, cite MDMA as giving them an “ability to forgive themselves” for the atrocities they saw and were potentially part of throughout their time in combat.

The Numbers

CAPS (Clinical Administered PTSD Scale) is a system clinical physicians use to categorize a patient’s PTSD severity.

In one study, MDMA-assisted therapy reduced patients’ CAPS scores by 83%, compared to 25% in the control group that did not receive MDMA.

Several months after the study concluded, 14 of 16 patients stayed in remission (did not exhibit any PTSD symptoms) and reported long-lasting positive impacts from their participation in the study.

Of the three official Phase II trials of MDMA-assisted therapy to treat PTSD, 66% went into remission and saw their overall CAPS scores fall by 47%.

These numbers point to MDMA-assisted therapy as a far superior treatment option than traditional treatment options.

Is MDMA-Assisted Therapy For PTSD Safe?

As we mentioned before, it is imperative not to conflate MDMA with the street drug Ecstasy.

Administered in clinical settings, pure pharmaceutical MDMA is relatively safe.

No patients in the Phase II trials reported any long-term negative side-effects from their participation in the studies.

When Will MDMA-Assisted Therapy Be Legal?

The driving organization behind the legalization of MDMA for therapeutic use has been the Multidisciplinary Association For Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).

Thanks to MAPS, the FDA officially approved the first Phase III trial involving MDMA-assisted therapy.

MDMA has also recently achieved “breakthrough” status from the FDA, fast-tracking it to legalization in clinical settings.

If there are no further significant obstacles, MAPS foresees 2021 as the year MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD is finally a mainstream clinical practice.

MDMA-assisted PTSD treatment has the potential to help millions cope with and heal from their traumatic experiences.

We look forward to the day when patients can safely, effectively, and legally pursue this avenue of treatment.

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What Causes Some People to Feel Depressed After Ingesting MDMA?

The profound effects of ecstasy on the brain occur when you take the “love drug.” MDMA, ecstasy, or molly has been known to stimulate the activity of a minimum of three neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters work to transport messages through brain cells that help you perform functions.

By increasing the activity of neurotransmitters, ecstasy makes you feel euphoric and full of energy. The three neurotransmitters known to be affected by MDMA are serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Ecstasy works like amphetamines, so ecstasy’s effects on the brain stimulate brain activity.

Neurotransmitters are stored inside the brain and are released when ecstasy is consumed. The effects of ecstasy on the brain result in a massive release of serotonin, while dopamine and norepinephrine are released in somewhat lesser quantities.

Serotonin, The Most Significant Neurotransmitter

Among these three neurotransmitters, serotonin is the most significant. Most of the studies based on the effects of molly on the brain focus on the impact of serotonin release. Serotonin is important because it directs essential body functions such as:

  • Emotion
  • Appetite
  • Sleep
  • Pain
  • Mood

An increase in serotonin activity inside the body distorts standard behavior patterns. The brain needs a large amount of serotonin to function correctly. When serotonin is released, the brain loses one of its crucial neurotransmitters.

MDMA Use Associated With Depression

Many people report feeling depressed after coming down from MDMA. This depression is most often mild and lasts for a day or two.

However, some regular users that take higher doses or use it more frequently report feeling depressed for more extended periods after coming down from MDMA.

Most people, however, do not experience any depression while ingesting MDMA. So what is all the fuss about?

What Causes Some Users to Feel Depressed After Ingesting MDMA?

The Depletion of Serotonin

MDMA releases large amounts of serotonin into the brain. The release of serotonin causes people to experience an elevation of mood, feelings of empathy, and emotional closeness with those around them.

Escasty depletes the brain by releasing large amounts of serotonin, which takes the brain time to replenish the serotonin that was released.

So how long does it take for the serotonin levels to be fully restored after someone ingests molly?

It depends on your general health, the amount you took, your genetic makeup, diet, and other random factors.

So there is absolutely no way to tell; however, based on animal studies, scientists conclude that it could take 48 hours to an entire week.

So the mild depression some people experience could be due to the depletion of serotonin.

Too Much Serotonin in The Brain

The release of serotonin also causes the receptors to turn themselves off for a while. The brain tries to achieve balance through the up and downregulation of receptors. These receptors work in conjunction with serotonin and the regulation of mood.

The brain will maintain a balanced mood by responding to the amount of serotonin by turning itself on and off. Many of those receptors will turn off when the brain is flooded with serotonin from ingesting ecstasy.

The majority of receptors will turn on again as soon as the excess amount of serotonin is metabolized. Nevertheless, some receptors may stay off longer, perhaps for days, weeks, or months.

So the depression some users feel may result from serotonin receptors turning off for too long. How often this happens may essentially be due to a genetic factor unique to each individual.

Some people may be genetically predisposed to experience depression after ingesting MDMA.

Preexisting Depression

Some individuals who were previously depressed before ingesting molly might become depressed after consuming molly. Depression is a common mental illness that is usually untreated and undiagnosed. This is true for many teenagers and young adults who experience mild to moderate depression.

Many MDMA users may try to self-medicate their depression by ingesting MDMA. Ecstasy has been proven to be effective in treating patients with severe depression. However, it is not safe to self-medicate yourself without a medical professional.

Are There Ways to Reduce The Risk of Depression While Ingesting MDMA?

Absolutely. Below are a few suggestions that can make a difference.

Moderation

Frequent use of MDMA increases the likelihood of individuals experiencing depression.

Moreover, you should take the recommended dose according to your body weight. You should also wait a couple of months before you ingest MDMA again.

Eat Well

Your body produces serotonin by combining various amino acids. Maintaining a well-balanced diet that includes enough protein and proper vitamins and minerals will help you stay healthy and avoid serotonin depletion.

Sleep

Your brain’s restorative processes mainly take place while you sleep. Not sleeping well may significantly lengthen the time your brain takes to replenish serotonin.

Take Lower Doses

Do not take “booster doses” or take more when you come down. When you come down from MDMA, your brain has already depleted a lot of serotonin. So taking booster doses will lengthen the time your brain takes to replenish the lost serotonin.

Advantages of 5HTP in Ecstasy Comedown

Many molly users report that 5-Hydroxy-Tryptophan (5-htp) helps reduce depression caused by ingesting MDMA. The amino acid supplement (5-htp) is a direct precursor to serotonin in the brain.

5-Hydroxy-Tryptophan is found in most health food stores as an herbal supplement and is extracted from Griffonia seeds.

Clinical studies have shown that 5-htp has successfully relieved symptoms of depression in many people. The supplement relieves these symptoms by increasing the amount of 5-htp in the brain, allowing the brain to produce serotonin.

Supplementing with 5-htp may lessen post-E depression by quickly restoring your body’s serotonin levels.

The advantages of taking 5-htp are:

  • Improving your mood
  • Appetite
  • Sexual function
  • Body temperature
  • Reduce post-E depression
  • It helps restore your body’s serotonin levels

Clinicians widely prescribe 5-htp to help prevent depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. Furthermore, 5-htp can also be used to treat drug addiction and rehabilitation, especially for ecstasy users.