Can psychedelics treat PTSD and climate change anxiety?
Previous research has already shown that psilocybin and MDMA (ecstasy) found in mushrooms are safe and effective for treating PTSD, depression and alcoholism. However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved them. And can psychedelic therapy help with fear of climate change, i.e. ecological anxiety and climate sadness? They differ from other psychiatry topics because they extend to phenomena larger than the individual and their narrative. According to psychiatrist Emily Willow, thanks to therapy sessions with psychedelics, anxiety symptoms decreased in some of her patients, and acceptance and awareness of their emotions increased, as well as energy and motivation to protect the environment.
You will hear about the use of psychedelics in psychiatric treatment and Australia legalising them in the Outriders podcast.
In Ukraine, as the number of mental disorders increases during the war with Russia, there are growing calls to allow the use of ecstasy and hallucinogenic mushrooms in psychotherapy. Psychotherapists are increasingly using banned substances to, for example, help soldiers who have PTSD. However, Ksenia Voznitsyna, director of the Center for Mental Health and Rehabilitation of Veterans at the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, emphasises that “therapy cures, not psychedelics.” During conversational psychotherapy, the patient is under the influence of drugs, including psilocybin, MDMA or ketamine. Such therapy must occur in a clinical setting, lasts up to eight hours, and requires monitoring and supervision by professional psychotherapists.