Sunday, June 17, 2018

Have You Had a Positive Psychological Experience with Psychedelics?

Have you had a psychedelic experience that was psychologically insightful?

Researchers at Johns Hopkins want to know.  30-45 minute survey.

Mindfulness Helps With Rejection

Antidepressant Effect of Ayahuasca


Psychedelics Enhance Neurogenesis

Psychedelic drugs could inspire new medications to treat depression and anxiety.

Psilocybin Psychiatry

Interesting coverage of the history of the history and possibilities of psychedelic therapy, centered around one patient's journey, including a video interview of the patient at the end of the article.

“If in the middle of your trip, a dragon comes at you with huge jaws and teeth, bellowing fire and fumes, right your way, don’t run away. Ask the dragon what it wants. It’s your unconscious making this dragon.”

Raison said that patients often confront their demons—or dragons—in these sessions. It can bring on intense feelings of liberation, he added, because it helps them feel as if they’ve mastered something, or moved beyond a hurdle that was holding them back.

Regarding the prohibition that began under the conservative Nixon administration:

“You have this mountain of studies until about 1970, and then it stops. All human studies stopped, so there were just ongoing animal studies that were trying to understand their abuse liability,” said Charles L. Raison, MD, professor in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “There was a hiatus of 26 or 27 years where research was just killed, and when it started again there were significant difficulties and significant pressure. It was really a challenge.”

Had psychedelics been available to study in the 1980s when modern pharmacology started to take off, people would have studied it, Raison said. Physicians and scientists would have been able to push harder to pursue them for an indication. “I’m almost certain that we’d be in a totally different world,” he said.
Generally, when you read the reviews, the literature was given a very short shrift, and shown to be ineffective,” said Mike Bogenschutz, MD, professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine. “But when you go back and look, [several trials] found that, in fact, there was a robust effect of psilocybin over control treatment at the first follow-up and it persisted for at least 6 months.”
in 2012 ... a meta-analysis ... combed through older trials to determine which had produced results that could be deemed statistically significant and clinically relevant based on the standards of modern trials.
“When the results were pooled in that meta-analysis, they were statistically and clinically significant, with an odds ratio close to 2 in favor of [the therapy],” Bogenschutz said. “That’s more effective than any FDA-approved treatment for alcoholism.”

“You give a talk and there will be some people who have an entrenched belief that these are dangerous and using them therapeutically is crazy,” Bogenschutz said. “Then there are people who are critical of the war on drugs, and maybe are enthusiastic about potential benefits of psychedelics and want to believe they’re magic cures—and they’re not.”

Monday, June 11, 2018

Spirituality aids Stress, Depression

What happens in the brain during a spiritual experience?

Her research has indicated that people with habitual spiritual practices show cortical thickening in the prefrontal cortex. Intriguingly, she says that individuals who live with chronic depression experience cortical thinning in the same brain region.

This has led her to argue that spirituality and depression are likely “two sides of the same coin.”
Maybe more generically, a relaxed, non-attached mind and depression are likely two sides of the same coin.

Anthony Bourdain LSD advice

Basically Anthony Bourdain did a short PSA about doing psychedelics.