Psychedelic Found To 'Improve Psychological Wellbeing'
What's the first thing that springs to mind when you think about LSD? More than likely the walls around you slowly melting whilst you transcend normal consciousness and become one of the characters in “Fantasia”. While all of those may be true, it turns out that the use of LSD also improves psychological well-being in the mid to long term, helping to “loosen cognitive thinking”.
LSD has had a reputation through the years as being a counter-culture drug. Popularized in the 60's, the substance became a tool for individuals to break free of the rigid cages of society, and as such inspired a generation to explore new ways. Many popular musicians and artists at the time released work influenced by the use of the drug, as users aimed to dive deeper into the states of mind LSD opens up. While a true cultural revolution was brewing up during the summer of love, a whole different group took interest in LSD - psychotherapists. LSD was quickly gaining popularity in therapy for its unique ability to reveal the inner clockwork, thereby allowing for an astonishing healing progress in individuals. This simultaneous academic scrutiny revealed already back then that LSD holds more than what was unlocked by the recreational users - it was potentially revolutionizing our mental health.
A test conducted by the Imperial College of London took 20 healthy participants and administered them with 75µg of LSD. This dose is enough to make the candidates feel the effects without going too deep. Whilst in this state they were subjected to a number of personality and optimism tests to gauge their responses. The test results, published in the Cambridge University Journals, found increased optimism and openness without any changes in delusional thinking.
Delusional thinking is what the media has made synonymous with LSD - those states in which you think you're hunted by an alien and jump out of the window. The fact that this study not only suggests there is no delusional thinking, but goes further to say it improves psychological wellbeing, is finally clearing up this persistent misconception about the drug.
Interestingly, the test found that not only was positivity and openness experienced while high, those traits remained residually, benefiting the participants well past the initial experience. They possessed a “loosened cognition” which is conducive to improved psychological well-being. Similar findings were published in earlier studies, which found that psychedelics tend to lead to a long-term improvement in mental health.
With LSD in the media still being regularly portrayed as a drug that melts the mind, it is refreshing to see more evidence to the contrary. As psychedelic research moves forward, we can expect to see a lot more of old myths dispelled. One thing is certain: LSD is no longer is a tool waiting to be harnessed.
Written by: Lucas
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