LSD Blurs Boundaries of Self and Others, Alleviates Depression
Yet another study has emerged demonstrating the benefit of LSD in treating various mental health issues.
LSD reduces the borders between the experience of one’s own self and others. For that reason, it affects social interactions.
Researchers at University of Zurich have found that a serotonin receptor in the brain is crucially involved in the psychological mechanisms that involve experiencing both the self and others.
Virtually all mental health disorders come with difficulties in interpersonal relations that in the long run negatively affect the progression of the disease. The associated health and social restrictions can only be marginally improved by current forms of therapy. One of the reasons for this is that there has been very little research into the basic neurobiological principles and in particular the neurochemical mechanisms of these kinds of disorders. A further symptom of various psychiatric disorders is distortions of self-experience. People suffering from mental disorders often show either an inflated or weakened sense of self.
The researchers investigated the links between changes in the sense of self and that of social interaction as well as the pharmacological mechanisms that are active and play a role in the process.
Katrin Preller led the research team of the Neuropsychology and Brain Imaging Group along with Professor Franz Vollenweider and worked with the Max Plank Institute of Psychiatry in Munich.
Study participants would lie in an MRI scanner and communicate with a virtual avatar via eye movements after being administered LSD and ketanserin or a placebo.
“This allowed us to show that brain regions which are important for distinguishing between self and others were less active under the influence of LSD,” says Preller. “And this also changed social interactions.” The researchers were also able to show that the LSD-induced changes were blocked by ketanserin indicating that the serotonin 2A receptor (5-HT2A receptor) plays a critical role in this mechanism.
The findings of the study demonstrate that social interaction and self experience are closely linked.
University of Zurich states that,
Varying impairments of these intertwined processes could be the result of an impaired transfer of information mediated by the 5-HT2A receptor system. This could be important for the development of new pharmacological therapies. For example, blocking this receptor in patients suffering from an incoherent sense of self such as schizophrenia could improve their symptoms as well as their social abilities. On the other hand, stimulating this receptor could help patients who suffer from an increased self-focus, as is the case with depression, for example.
LSD and psilocybin have long been known to alleviate the symptoms and even cure depression. While studies such as these are important at exploring the potential benefits of such substances, it would first be wise to stop placing vast numbers of peaceful people in cages for their decisions to consume them.
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies,Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria,and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 1,000 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.