Psychedelic therapy for PTSD

Psychedelic therapy with psilocybin and MDMA is effective in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), according to several studies. Psilocybin is the psychoactive substance in magic mushrooms and has a mind-altering effect on the brain. MDMA is a substance that activates the release of oxytocin and serotonin, which evokes positive emotions and feelings of safety and connection. Both substances can help reduce the anxiety and pain reactions associated with PTSD. During the session, the participant can often go into a deep state of awareness, which enables them to "detach" from the traumatic experience. The counseling present can then help process the trauma and guide to a state of emotional healing and growth.

Psilocybin or MDMA in PTSD

Most psychologists choose MDMA rather than psilocybin when treating PTSD because it is easier to supervise. MDMA acts on the reward system and mainly creates feelings of well-being, euphoria and connection. The person using the MDMA remains positive and emotionally stable during the session and is easier for the therapist to deal with.

Supervising a psilocybin therapy to treat PTSD is more difficult for the novice practitioner because it is less predictable. Also, a psilocybin session requires a bit more preparation such as balancing neurotransmitters and informative preparation.

Because of the different effects of MDMA and psilocybin, they can also be used as needed. Some individuals with PTSD might benefit more from psilocybin and others again from MDMA.

When do you choose MDMA or psilocybin?

Psilocybin therapy

Psilocybin therapy may be beneficial in treating PTSD. Especially if depression is also a factor, psilocybin may be more effective. Psilocybin therapy can help reinterpret the patient's emotions and thoughts and can facilitate the processing of traumatic experiences.

Psilocybin can help release emotional blockages so that the session becomes an outlet of strong emotions where a state of contentment and connection provides a sense of security.

In psilocybin therapy, the peak of the session also creates space for an experience that cannot be put into words. This is especially helpful for people whose thoughts and conversations do not help them process the trauma.

Another benefit of psilocybin is the hallucinations. During some sessions, insights can be triggered by the visual effects shown.

MDMA therapy

You may choose MDMA therapy if it is felt that there is a blockage to talking and/or thinking about the trauma. Normally, people with PTSD have difficulty talking about traumatic experiences because they experience anxiety, stress and feelings of fear. MDMA can reduce these symptoms, making them more emotionally open to discussing their experiences. It also makes the limbic system work better with the frontal part (responsible for language and logic). This makes it easier for patients to gain new insights and integrate emotional scarring into their usual daily experiences. All this can lead to more successful therapy and fewer psychological problems in people suffering from PTSD.

Another reason for choosing an MDMA session is that people with PTSD are relatively more likely to be afraid of the visual effects of psilocybin. In some psilocybin sessions, there may be images of the trauma that are perceived as okay or unpleasant.