And here’s an article about how psychedelics can treat depression in ways that conventional anti-depressants don’t in, uhhh, Business Insider. Okay then:
“The whole ‘you’ thing just kinda drops out into a more timeless, more formless presence,” Martin told Business Insider in January.
That shrinking of the sense of self has been linked with long-lasting shifts in perspective — changes that appear to be related to a reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety. That’s according to clinical trials of magic mushrooms’ active ingredient, psilocybin, in cancer patients at Johns Hopkins and New York University. Martin was one of those patients.
David Nutt, the director of the neuropsychopharmacology unit in the division of brain sciences at Imperial College London, told Business Insider in January that a key characteristic of mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, and addiction is overly strengthened connections in some brain circuits — specifically those involved in the sense of self.
“In the depressed brain, in the addicted brain, in the obsessed brain, it gets locked into a pattern of thinking or processing that’s driven by the frontal, the control center,” Nutt said.
Brain scan studies and several clinical trials suggest that psychedelic drugs tamp down on the activity in these circuits, potentially providing relief that may last a few weeks, several months, or even years. For this reason, preliminary research on psychedelics suggests they could one day be used to help treat mental illnesses.
“Psychedelics disrupt that process so people can escape,” Nutt said. “At least for the duration of the trip, they can escape about the ruminations about depression or alcohol or obsessions. And then they do not necessarily go back.”
And hey, why not another article about the British aristocrat funding the new wave of research in England (from Broadly/Vice):
“Tanned from a recent work trip abroad, Feilding has the sensible long cardigan and kindly eyes you associate with a favorite aunt. We walk through the manicured gardens of the Beckley Park, her 400-acre family estate, tailed by a friendly white Japanese spitz called Luna. The estate doubles as the Beckley Foundation headquarters and is home to the remains of an ancient Saxon hunting lodge, three separate moats, and a family of very aggressive swans. Luna’s nickname, Feilding informs me, is E—as in ecstasy—”because all she wants to do is make people happy!”
Now 74 years old, Feilding—whose full title is the Countess of Wemyss and March—is perhaps the only drug policy reformer who can trace her lineage to the Habsburgs and the illegitimate heirs of Charles II. She is also the unlikely invisible hand behind many of the headline-grabbing studies about how recreational drugs like cannabis, LSD, and MDMA may hold the key to treating everything from depression to post-traumatic stress disorder and nicotine addiction. In fact, Feilding’s drugs think tank and NGO, the Beckley Foundation, sponsored and supported the research from Johns Hopkins.
“I think Amanda’s contribution had been enormous,” says Professor Celia Morgan, a University of Exeter scientist who has worked with Feilding on studies exploring the side effects of medicinal cannabis and the effects of cannabis on creativity. “She has—with her cadre of scientist collaborators—been instrumental in driving the psychedelic renaissance, which is gaining increasing credibility in psychopharmacology.”
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