Few drugs have been shown to be effective in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Psychotherapy has been categorically designated as a first-line treatment for PTSD in treatment guidelines. PTSD, however, is often a chronic disorder with high rates of psychological and medical comorbidity, often after psychotherapy. Meanwhile, progress on discovering and designing drugs […]Read More ›
Psychedelic therapy to treat depression
Early clinical trials show that psychedelic compounds treat depression up to 4 times more effectively than the usual antidepressants. The data is preliminary, but the research is being done qualitatively and is receiving more and more attention from doctors and scientists. Not to mention, the effectiveness of psychedelics suggests that more than 50 years of depression treatment has been based on false assumptions. LSD, Psilocybin, or DMT do not directly affect serotonin levels in the brain.
Due to their molecular similarity to serotonin, these substances bind to its receptors, causing severely altered states of consciousness, which are sometimes not quite accurately referred to as hallucinations. SSRi antidepressants work differently: they trap serotonin molecules in the synaptic clefts, and thus stimulate neuronal activity. One feature of antidepressant action has always contradicted the hypothesis of chemical imbalance: antidepressants do not reduce the symptoms of depression immediately, improvement is delayed for several months. If depression is really caused only by a lack of serotonin, thanks to SSRi, changes in well-being should be felt immediately. According to clinical trials, psychedelics cause positive changes in psychological parameters immediately after the end of their acute hallucinogenic effects.
What does this say about the origins of depression and the effects of these related but very different compounds? Recent studies suggest that depression is a more neurological disease associated with monoamine neurotransmitters, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, epigenetic factors, neuroplasticity, and inflammation. In other words, the idea that depression is caused by a lack of serotonin was an overly simplistic approach. This also explains the limited efficacy of modern antidepressants, which causes controversy in the scientific community. Changing attitudes to the causes of depression may also offer new, much more effective treatments for depression.
Causes of depression
Current status of psychedelics in the depression treatment
This text is about the last straw and is not a recommendation. Only a fool would recommend walking through a minefield. It is hard to imagine a situation where I would willingly enter a minefield, but I have to admit that it is possible. But what if: A cocktail of different antidepressants didn’t help, 4 […]Read More ›