How Psychedelic Therapy Overcomes Depression and PTSD

Mushrooms — photo by Zhen Hu on Unsplash

Starting this week, I’ll be publishing a newsletter on Substack devoted to psychedelic science and psychedelic medicine where I will post news, commentary and analysis about psychedelic science and how it will affect mental health, medicine and psychotherapeutic practice. I will also cover government policy, safety, and what happens when big business gets involved.

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My newsletter explores psychedelic drugs, the scientific basis for their clinical use and their benefits to psychotherapy. I report on their potential impact on the fields of medicine, mental health and spirituality. As of this writing, dozens of clinical trials have shown the efficacy of psilocybin, MDMA and LSD in treating depression, PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorders, smoking cessation and alcohol abuse. Clinical studies with members of the clergy yielded across-the-board increases in openness, and self-described spiritual awareness.

Psychedelic therapy replaces years- or decades- long psychiatric treatment and pharmaceutical drugs like SSRIs with a short sequence of two to eight guided psychedelic sessions.

I myself was a subject in one of the first evidence-based studies using psilocybin to treat cancer-related depression in the modern era at Johns Hopkins University in 2012. I’ve written extensively about the experience, and how it has changed me, and my outlook on mental health and medicine. I am working on a book, Brave New World: the case for psychedelic therapy.

I explore how the mental health field will evolve toward evidence-based therapy rooted in neuroscience, and away from the hegemony of Freudianism and behavioral psychology. Most importantly, the new field of psychedelic medicine responds to the need to move mental and emotional health back to where they belong, as part of a universe of humanistic care, provided within a context of cultural and spiritual well-being.

The information I present in these newsletters is based on science, data driven evidence, and interviews and conversations with experts in psychopharmacology, neuroscience, psychiatry, as well civil servants from within the FDA, NIH, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

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Writer for NYT, Sci Am Nat‘l Mag Award. Climate, mental health, wild things. erica.rex@gmail.com. Newsletter https://psychedelicrenaissance.substack.com/

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