Study Suggests LSD Dissolves The Ego - Could Be Used To Treat Mental Illness

in psychology •  last year


Photo: Pixabay

 The psychedelic drug LSD is still considered a schedule 1 substance by the government, which is a classification reserved for drugs that are addictive, dangerous and have no medical value. All of these substances tend to carry very extreme prison sentences. 

However, despite what the propaganda campaigns against it say, LSD is one of the safest drugs in existence. As more scientific studies are allowed to take place, it is being revealed that this substance can have a wide variety of applications for mental health.

In one recent study, researchers at the University of Zurich dosed 24 people with 100 micrograms of LSD and essentially found that these test subjects experienced a diminishing of their ego and reported that they felt more connected to the people around them.

Katrin Preller, a psychologist who worked on the study explained that “Our interpretation is that LSD reduces your sense of integrated self. In this particular case, the drug blurs the boundary between what is you and what is another person. It gets rid of this blurring between self and other, and the basic deficits in social interaction go away."

Volunteers in the study were hooked up to brain scanners and engaged in simulated social interactions, some of them were given LSD, while others were given a placebo. Researchers noticed that the group given the LSD had different parts of their brains activated, and the portion of the brain typically thought to be associated with the ego was less active.Preller pointed out that LSD could be used to treat mental disorders.

“We don’t currently have any medications that work to improve the social deficits in psychiatric disorders and one of the reasons for that is we have no real understanding of how social interaction works in the brain,” she said.

According to the study: 

Distortions of self-representation and, potentially related to this, dysfunctional social cognition are central hallmarks of various psychiatric disorders and critically impact disease development, progression, treatment, as well as real-world functioning. However, these deficits are insufficiently targeted by current treatment approaches. The administration of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in combination with functional magnetic resonance imaging and real-time eye-tracking offers the unique opportunity to study alterations in self-experience, their relation to social cognition, and the underlying neuropharmacology. Results demonstrate that LSD alters self-experience as well as basic social cognition processing in areas of the ‘social brain'. Furthermore, these alterations are attributable to 5-HT2A receptor stimulation, thereby pinpointing towards this receptor system in the development of pharmacotherapies for sociocognitive deficits in psychiatric disorders.

Photo:Pixabay

These possibilities have also been explored by a team of researchers from The University of North Carolina, Stanford University and the University of California, who determined that LSD could, in fact, be used to treat schizophrenia and depression.

The researchers used a process known as crystallography, in which atomic and molecular structure of certain interactions are studied. 

Specifically, the researchers were able to discover how LSD molecules interact with the serotonin receptors in our brain. Researchers plan on using this knowledge to develop an LSD based treatment for people with schizophrenia.

Psychonauts have long reported that their trips made them feel more in touch with nature, humanity and the world around them. 

The dissolution of the ego has been a common theme among in the counter-culture since the very early days. Terance McKenna, a pioneer of modern shamanism once said, "Life lived in the absence of the psychedelic experience that primordial shamanism is based on is life trivialized, life denied, life enslaved to the ego."

Bill Wilson, the co-founder of the alcoholics anonymous program, actually considered promoting LSD as a tool for alcoholics to shake their addiction, and he specifically mentioned its ego dissolving properties. 

Wilson was a close associate with many early adopters of LSD and took numerous trips in controlled, scientific settings while he was involved with the AA program.

“I don’t believe [LSD] has any miraculous property of transforming spiritually and emotionally sick people into healthy ones overnight. It can set up a shining goal on the positive side, after all, it is only a temporary ego-reducer. The vision and insights given by LSD could create a large incentive – at least in a considerable number of people,” Wilson reportedly said after his first LSD trip in 1956.

Another recent study from the University of Cardiff showed that LSD actually unlocks portions of the brain that are not typically used.

Image:Guardian

Recent reports have pointed out that professionals in intellectually driven industries are taking psychedelic drugs to enhance their productivity and creativity. 

This may sound surprising to some, but this is nothing new – inventors, intellectuals, and scientists were actually taking LSD before hippies, and they continue to use the drug to this day.Francis Crick, the scientist credited with discovering DNA, was taking psychedelics when he made his groundbreaking revelation.

Another scientist and LSD user by the name of Kary Mullis advanced our knowledge of DNA even further with the development of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique, a process that made it possible for scientists to better study how DNA works.Steve Jobs has also stated on numerous occasions that taking LSD was one of the most important experiences of his life, and helped him think about things differently. 

Steve Jobs wasn’t the only technological pioneer who used psychedelics to boost creativity. Douglas Englebart, the inventor of the computer mouse, was also a psychedelic user.

Even the world of sports has seen extraordinary performances by athletes under the influence of LSD. The most popular case is that of Doc Ellis, the Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher who threw a no-hitter while he was high on LSD.

In the 1960’s, it was actually so common for professionals to use LSD that a study was conducted to see how the drug would affect their ability to solve problems relating to their work. In the study, which took place at the International Foundation for Advanced Study (IFAS) in Menlo Park, California, over 20 professionals from different fields were put in a room under the influence of LSD and told to reapproach problems that they had been unable to figure out previously. 

Not only did the participants find that the drug enhanced their creativity and problem-solving skills, but soon after the experiment, many of them went on to make incredible accomplishments in their sectors.There are many different approaches to taking LSD to solving creative problems, with some people preferring to take small doses on a regular basis, while others prefer much larger doses. There is no right or wrong way, and each individual must choose their own path according to their own personality. 


I wrote this on my blog @ https://themindunleashed.com/2018/03/study-suggests-lsd-dissolves-the-ego-could-be-used-to-treat-mental-illness.html
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY:

My name is John Vibes and I am an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. I write for numerous alternative media websites, including The Free Thought Project @tftproject and The Mind Unleashed. In addition to my first book, Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance, I have also co-authored three books with Derrick Broze @dbroze : The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality, Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion and Manifesto of the Free Humans

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Thank you very interesting and informative write up. I had always known they used to experiment with LSD on mental patients but I never knew it's full potential. That's really interesting that it allows you to use more of your brain, since we normally only use about 10% of our brain.

A lot of mental illness today is caused by discordant social conditioning. Those who hold power in our social environment no longer have our best interests at heart and our education and religious systems are not just teaching but are forcing unnatural and contrived ethics on us. The ego is constructed from our social conditioning but the inner forces (call it God, the Spirit, the other side) are increasingly at odds with the social conditioning. Because the social conditioning no longer benefits us, we don't really know what to do. In order to get guidance from the Spirit, the ego does, indeed, need to be cracked but that is too painful and costly for many individuals to do.

LSD might be a temporary way or a doorway into a more sane existence. It should not be seen as a long-term solution.

I don't think LSD is a cure for true schizophrenia because it would probably make those problems worse. As far as I can make out, true schizophrenics lack the appropriate filters in their rational/logical/egoic minds to discern between the positive (creative) and negative (demonic) forces that naturally arise from the "other side". Everything within manifests without and it can be too physically destructive for society to deal with.

A person who hears voices in their head or who has other types of visual or auditory or sensory hallucinations might be diagnosed with schizophrenia by the psychiactric "professionals" but many people live with voices in their heads and they are not mentally ill - many consider it to be the way that their inner selves communicate with their egoic selves.

I don't find the psychiatric/psychological studies that you mentioned to be particularly ethical. People are made into guinea pigs and the knowledge gained is often used to manipulate people rather than help them.

Good luck with your health!

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Very good points, thank you!

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I agree that those in a position of power have been abusing the trust they have been given by their position in a supposedly professional setting.
Consider the abuses that have been and are arguably still being carried out by the MK Ultra program/s, the people subjected to these programs have reported the same symptoms of the schizophrenic patients.
LSD was used in conjunction with other methods like electroshock therapy etc. to try and bring about a total mind wipe and reprogramming of people who were considered to have a history of mental health issues.
LSD has been a positive in my experience, but when placed in the hands of unethical practicioners, it can be used to control people for ends that are never going to be positive for the person who is receiving the "treatment".
https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/document/cia-rdp91-00901r000500150005-5

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1979 ABC special on CIA mind control is very disturbing. They tortured people for no good reasons. It is very sick.

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I like the smugness of these interviewees and how they think that somehow the were not at fault, but were interested in how they could manipulate people.
This was back when the media was doing Real Investigative Reporting! You just can't see this type of reporting now, for the most part!

What a brilliant post dear @johnvibes! There are so many points that speak for a psychedelic revolution! Regarding all the medical, spiritual and other various benefits LSD can have to us, it is more than a shame that it is still classified a schedule 1 drug!
Experienced LSD users, studies and posts like yours obviously show how ridiculous this is! And even the Study by Dr. David Nutt showed that LSD is a non-addictive and one of the most harmless drugs of all!

I guess there are some people afraid that people could benefit a bit too much from LSD, huh?
As Terence McKenna said: “Psychedelics are illegal not because a loving government is concerned that you may jump out of a third story window. Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behaviour and information processing. They open you up to the possibility that everything you know is wrong.”

Love your post!! :)

Lots of love and light and some warm and happy psychonaut greetings and hugs :)

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You make a good point here. I do think that psychedelics are banned because they are feared by the authorities. If people learn to think differently they may see past the lies that we are fed and the half truths that we are led to believe.

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They can't have us not rely on established medical community now can they. The rich must make profit! They have it all worked out for us, we do as they say so they can keep their lavish lifestyle at the expense of our lives. They get people hooked, sell them drugs then when they're good and hooked, cut them off and offer "help" to get off, sell them more drugs to get them off which are as dangerous as the original shit they were taking, send them to rehab centers which make more money, round and round with money flying into the hands of our keepers.

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Very good points guys!!

An amazing tool! Will be sharing to my groups and pages.

Great article, thank you for writing it and highlighting this topic. I sincerely believe LSD can have an immense effect in curing our society and it's people like yourself that help make it happen.

I feel so ego-sick! I even think I have ego cancer 😞 please prescribe me some of that sh1t! I will swallow that bitterness to be cured 😏😉

Reading your writings teaches a lot

Psychedelics are cyclical... there was a time they were changing the world on many levels and then they went underground... then they resurfaced just to be killed for another decade when they raised another wave of interest... and in the end all the recent studies on psilocybin and LSD just confirm what we kind of already knew, the brain starts working in a totally different mode and your ego dissolves :D

easy_rider_quarter_this.png

I think I would have to pass on that treatment, there is enough going on in the world around me that I do not understand as it is.................

very good points...thank you..
upvote reateem done.

This was interesting. I have always said that psychedelics have a lot of untapped potential.

This is a bit off topic but I have always wondered if psychedelics can provide the sensation of sight for the blind. Myabe someone has already looked into that but it is an interesting thought.

Anyway good post.

Interesting article. Thank you!

Hello, congratulations article really interesting! I recently read about a journalist who did an experiment using LSD for a week, to show that it increases productivity. I congratulate you and I regret not being able to read your post in my language I hope I have not missed anything I'm not very good with English ..... indeed I apologize for my bad way of writing.
Thank you very much and congratulations again, I will go to reread past posts and I will follow you in the future!

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your language is great, thank you for stopping by :-)

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Your English is fine. Plus, many native English speakers never learn to write it very well. I looked at your page and forgive me if I misidentified your language but is that Italian that you speak? I studied Latin so I could recognize some of the words.

Anyway, do you happen to know the title of the story that you reference? I would like to read it.

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Hello, yes my mother tongue is Italian. What I was talking about is an article written in a magazine in Italian, but also comes with editions in other languages, I do a search and if I find it in English I'll have it. Otherwise if you want I can try to translate it and send it to you; do you use discord? or I can also send it to you by e-mail once I have finished translating it ... it will not be written in perfect English, but I can try it, for me it would be a pleasure and I would also need to train in English ;-)

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Oh its ok you don't need to go to that trouble. I know translation can take a lot of time. I just got on discord but I haven't started using it yet.

I only ask about the language because I have considered learning Italian. My family imigrated from there to the U.S two generations ago so it is a part of my cultural heritage that I never learned.

Great article! Most disease is spiritual, and LSD is the best of the spiritual medicines.

VERY good article! i think LSD is one of the most devilished substances ever...but i can´t see the reason why. it has LOTS of power , especilly when it comes to awareness Enhancements

on the other hand LSD can make people susceptible to psychological bullies fucking with their heads.

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Set and setting are very important when using any psychedelic especially one as potent as LSD. Raves and parties are, in my humblest opinion, not the right setting for this for the reason you stated above. LSD transforms the brain and all transformations are tough and require real work. Some of the toughest work one can undertake in a lifetime. The ego is a hard thing to dissolve and it fights and claws to keep the status quo. Anyway,​ just my thoughts, ​not the truth, just true for me! Enjoying this​ post and all​ the​e thoughtful​l​l comments on all sides

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i know that first hand lol, these things can be taken advantage of, which is why it is important to be aware of setting and only do this around people you trust

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that's why I would not classify it as one of the safest drugs on earth. I don't know that it is for everyone. I had a professor in college who dosed all manner of mental patients and others with LSD back in 40s, they didn't really have great results in most cases. I think there are some people who it can be beneficial for. There is a therapeutic version of LSD now for cluster headaches that is very effective for an otherwise debilitating condition.

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While it is powerful and should be handled with care, It has almost zero impact on the body and is much easier on the body than something like caffeine or aspirin

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your brain is a body part. I think what you mean is that you are unlikely to die as a direct result of an overdose , but you know as well as I do people have hopped out of windows and crashed cars and done other things as a result of LSD, or become depressed or anxious for long periods after bad trips. People can and do die from overdoses of caffeine and especially aspirin, but it does not make people think they can fly. those are all legitimate dangers.

I love what you write. that is very correct

Hi @johnvibes, Interesting findings!

I'm no scientist (or psychiatrist), but I would think that LSD could probably help people with well functioning brain. People with mental illnesses, however, would be worse off.

I'm saying this because I've experienced it first hand with one of my best friends. He's bipolar, and he always reacted much more strongly to marijuana than the rest of us. One day he decided to try LSD (he probably took it a few times). Thereafter, his mental state rapidly declined. He became paranoid, and fell into a deep psychosis. He thought the government and military were spying on him, and that his house was bugged. He stopped showering, and became a total recluse, until his family finally got him sectioned. Now he has to take meds for life, and isn't his true self anymore. The docs blame it on the drug use, and say that it caused permanent damage...I'm therefore a bit weary about even trying it, as I have seen the damage it did to my friend and how it destroyed an entire family.

Great article, thanks for sharing and congrats for beating cancer!!!! Best of luck with everything!

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yeah it is very interesting, since I am a retired rave promoter, I have had a ton of experience with this stuff, and I have seen quite a few situations like the ones you describe. One friend of mine went off the deep end and tried to fake his death, and still believes that there is some cult after him. And there were others I came across like him as well.

However, on the other side, I have seen people mend relationships, give up on addictions and radically improve their lives with the same drug, and some of these people were not exactly mentally stable. I can say for myself in my younger years it helped me with alcoholism, depression and other things.

I am not sure what the variable was, because in some cases people were taken in a bad direction, and other times a positive one.

It could be a brain chemistry thing, but I personally think it goes deeper than that.

These drugs will make you face your demons, and if you dont go into the experience prepared for that being a possibility, it could end up shaking your view of reality...sometimes this is a bad thing and sometimes this is a good thing

When things go bad though, it is usually due to the setting, or the state of mind that the person goes into the experience with

With all that being said, in a controled environment with a controlled dose, I do believe psychedlics can help people with mental illness, but it needs to go along with intense therapy, and handled by professionals who monitor the trip

I dont recomend that someone just go out to a concert or rave and try to work through their problems on drugs like this, that isnt the proper set and setting for true theraputic use

I am also in favor of recreational use, but I think that needs to be discussed seperately, and obviously it is not as safe as a theraputic setting

thanks for the comment :-)

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The brain is such a mystery =). It's so hard to predict how it would be affected.

Wow you must have seen some crazy weird stuff as a rave promoter lol

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It is wild story lol, I just finished writing a book about it actually. I am in the editing process now.

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@evecab. I like this, I pollow you, regards @launglilawangsa di Steemit.com

Wuoo! interesting, although I do not finish accepting this study, I lean more to apply meditation therapies (something natural)

Proof that all realities in all universes take place at the same time maybe..the manna of the gods!

I think it could be useful. There is a safer alternative to LSD though. Salvia, unfortunately it's now illegal in most states.
I'm not into that kind of thing, but a few years ago I tried it, it only lasts a couple of minutes so no biggie I thought. I did acid once and it scared the hell outta me, never again! Whew, LSD is Salvias little cousin! Talk about losing your ego, every little shread of it is gone as you melt into your surroundings and experience what it feels like to be an inanimate object! A plant perhaps.
My point though, this could be safer and not mess up your next 24 hours. May even work better. I know I was somehow a changed person, can't explain it in words, but I now understand.

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