LSD is a fascinating study in chemistry, psychology and sociology. But the answer to the depression question is a little more complicated than a binary response, and stretches back to a Swiss chemist's bench in 1938.
How was LSD Invented (Discovered)?
Albert Hofmann discovered LSD, L
As part of an experiment to obtain a respiratory and circulatory stimulant, Hofmann found the lysergic acid derivative. Yet it wasn't until five years later when he accidentally ingested the acid that he realised it's psychedelic properties.
A book will be written on inadvertent scientific discoveries, and Hofmann will be up there with the best of them. His revelation ushered in a cultural revolution, played a hand in the creation of the most influential company in modern times and currently stumbles on the precipice of controlling major depressive episodes. But how?
How Does LSD Treat Depression?
Its important to note that LSD is considered a Class A drug in the UK. Our article is based on the limited scientific study of the drug in controlled environments.
Such studies have shown that LSD can have an impact on conditions like depression, but they also carry an inherent risk and can be dangerous and potentially psychologically destructive to the user.
When asked about the spiritual relevance of LSD, the father of Psychoanalysis, Carl Jung, responded that “I am profoundly mistrustful of the ‘pure gifts of the Gods.’ You pay very dearly for them.”
Beware unearned wisdom is the follow-up quote. Jung was absolutely aware of the dangers of a drug like LSD and what it could create in the patients psyche.
With this warning in mind, let's explore how LSD could be used to treat depression.
LSD can effect the brain in several ways. To explain it in simple terms, LSD interacts with a specific receptor in the brain called the serotonin 2A receptor.
LSD is very similar to the structure of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in regulating mood, emotions, and other brain functions.
When LSD latches to the serotonin 2A receptor, it leads to a flow of chemical reactions in the brain, specifically in areas related to perception, mood, and cognition.
Most importantly, LSD increases the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which are involved in mood regulation. This increase in neurotransmitter activity can result in a profound alteration of perception, leading to hallucinatory experiences.
In the context of depression, LSD may work by disrupting negative thought patterns and promoting new perspectives and mental points of attention.
It can enhance emotional insight and introspection, allowing individuals to explore their feelings and experiences in a different way. This can potentially help break free from negative thinking patterns and provide a sense of relief from depressive symptoms.
This does not explain the spiritual dimension many people feel they experience during a trip. They go to another place that makes their life a little bit more bearable on return. This is both in controlled and uncontrolled environments.
In the clinical trials that treated severe depression doses of LSD, participants talked about experiencing another place where they could address and resolve trauma. A place where science and spirituality cross paths, intersect a create a new system, like an aquarian conspiracy.
Steve Jobs talked about seeing another side of the coin, in a world that asks more and more of our sanity, a little reality-check is maybe what some of us need.
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