With the number of cases of anxiety and depression being reported increasing on a daily basis, scientists are trying hard to look for treatment modalities that would cure these mental disorders. While some of them are studying traditional medicines and its effectiveness, others have been looking at new technology like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). However, there are still others who are trying to assess the success of unconventional methods, like using psychedelics, to treat anxiety and depression.
A study, funded by grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), revealed that the synthetic psychedelic, 5-methocy-N, -N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) seems to improve cases of anxiety and depression when rendered in a traditional group setting. Psychedelic 5-MeO-DMT, which is naturally found in the venom of Bufo alvarius toads and in a number of plant species, can also be produced artificially.
Participants reported positive effects
The survey involved 362 participants, of which 80 percent shared that after using the synthetic psychedelic they experienced positive improvements in their anxiety or depression. Most of these enhancements were experienced as severe mystical effects, which received an increased rating by the respondents in terms of spiritual and personal significance.
The researchers chose 5-MeO-DMT as one of the exclusive properties of this psychedelic as it acted very fast in comparison to other psychedelics. Past research revealed that when psychedelics are prescribed along with psychotherapy, it helps people suffering from anxiety and depression, though traditional treatment modalities do not suggest it.
5-MeO-DMT can be used as an aide to therapy
According to Dr. Alan K. Davis, a post-doctoral fellow at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, a usual psychedelic session requires 7 to 8 hours, as the effects of these take time to manifest. Since 5-MeO-DMT acts very fast and its effects last for around 30 to 90 minutes, it is more practical to use as an aide to psychotherapy as therapy sessions take around 60 to 90 minutes.
In 2018, Dr. Davis published a study in the journal Frontiers in Psychology that revealed when given in a psycho-spiritual environment, 5-MeO-DMT produced mystical experience ratings comparable to the experience of administering a high dose of psilocybin in a laboratory environment. Another study by Dr. Davis, also published in 2018, in the Journal of Psychopharmacology revealed that 5-MeO-DMT has a safe profile usage and a low risk factor in terms of legal and health consequences.
Dr. Davis further added that it is essential to analyze the overall effects of using this psychedelic in order to determine if it helps in mood elevation in all or does it work only in the case of individuals suffering from anxiety or depression. He further said that this research is still in its nascent stage and advanced research is needed to determine its affects authoritatively.
Seeking treatment for mental health
Mental health illnesses, if left untreated, can get overwhelming. These can lead to problems like facing challenges at work or school, relationship issues, and an overall compromised quality of life. People with undiagnosed mental illnesses are also at an increased risk of committing suicide. Timely treatment at a professional mental health treatment center in Florida could greatly improve quality of life.
If you or a loved one is dealing with anxiety or depression or any other mental disorders, reach out to the Florida Mental Health Helpline. Call our 24/7 mental health helpline in Florida at 866-846-5588 for more information about our research-backed mental health treatment programs. You can also chat online with an admission counselor for further assistance.