PTSD and depression can be treated with (psychedelic) therapy and lifestyle changes. Often anxiety symptoms are deeply connected to depression since stress indirectly lowers the amount of serotonin. Low serotonin is an indicator of anxiety and depression and can worsen the situation through a negative spiral. Psilocybin, which forms psilocin after conversion, is a psychedelic that is perhaps most similar to serotonin and can therefore directly remove depressive feelings. Furthermore, during the psilocybin sessions, insights can arise, new brain connections, connection with the divine, empathy, sympathy and self-love can be experienced. All these properties of psilocybin can help people with PTSD.
Tripping and PTSD?
Let us tell you right away that psychedelics and PTSD can also cause a bad-trip in which all fears can surface in a negative way. For people with PTSD, this can cause a worsening of the situation. It is therefore very important to make the right preparations, to create the right situation during the trip and to have an experienced trip therapist/coach around. If all these things are in order, you minimize the chance of a bad trip considerably.
Preparation of the treatment
Certain medications that are usually prescribed for suppressing the symptoms of PTSD are definitely not compatible with most psychedelics.
Antidepressants (SSRI, MAO inhibitors, TCA) or other psychoactive drugs can not be combined with psilocybin for health reasons.
Persons with serious heart problems and / or medication for the cardiovascular function (Tramadol! etc.) can unfortunately also not undergo psilocybin treatment.
Disclaimer: Always consult with the doctor who prescribes the medication whether and how this medication can be safely phased out. Never just stop taking medication straight away!
Based on the intake and the neurotransmitter test that is filled out during the registration, we will make an advice regarding the neurochemistry. This means that we will recommend supplements, nutrition and activities to get the neurotransmitters in balance before we start the psychedelic session. It happens quite often to almost always that the levels of the neurotransmitters GABA and serotonin are low in PTSD. With PTSD, a low level of GABA should always be restored first in order to achieve the best possible psychedelic session.
Read more about GABA/glutamate and bad trips here.
Map out the triggers
In a psilocybin treatment against PTSD it is useful to make an overview of the triggers that cause stress. These can be sounds, situations, persons or other things. It is also handy to write down the primary response. With the primary response we mean the automatic reaction of the body/thoughts, which often has something to do with the fight/flight/freeze reaction. You can also write down what the secondary response is, by which we mean the conscious choice you make after the trigger and the primary response. For convenience, make a table that looks something like this:
|Triggers||Primary response||Secondary response|
In case you’re not sure what your triggers are or the repsonses, fill in as much as you can and leave the unknowns blank.
The psilocybin session at PTSD
The psilocybin session in a PTSD treatment is slightly different than other sessions. The pre-treatment of the session itself, the coming down and the peak of the psilocybin session has nothing directly to do with the treatment of PTSD but with the anti-depressive properties of a psilocybin trip. It is the coming down where we will have an eye for the anxiety symptoms, triggers and responses. During the coming down we use the insights, the satisfaction and all other positivity to talk about the PTSD related issues so that the brain stores these concepts in a different way. With a very strong feeling of satisfaction and acceptance, the subconscious processes can be changed because the associations change while the brain is in a state where it makes new connections more easily.
Read more about the psychedelic therapy by clicking the link below