Science

Psychedelic research raises new questions for mental health

Indigenous use of psychedelic plants may have played a significant role in developing and maintaining spiritual, animistic, and religious beliefs; during the countercultural movement in the ’60s, the popularity of LSD may have been a significant catalyst in the proposed transformation of society’s norms and values. These examples appear to suggest that psychedelics may profoundly affect one’s beliefs about the nature of reality.

In our recent research, the intake of psychedelics (mostly ayahuasca and magic mushrooms) in retreat settings was associated with a significant shift away from “physicalism,” the belief that the fundamental nature of reality is physical or material. Simultaneously, respondents more strongly endorsed a belief in “dualism,” stating that the essential nature of reality consists of both matter and mind. We corroborated these results in a clinical trial showing that non-physicalist beliefs were more robust in patients receiving psilocybin (the active component in magic mushrooms) rather than escitalopram (an SSRI treatment).

Original Article (Psychology Today):
Psychedelic research raises new questions for mental health
Artwork Fair Use: Lbeaumont

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