LSD May Actually Help Harmonize the Brain and Fight Depression

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The use of LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) in therapeutic settings remains a somewhat divisive topic. It can produce experiences similar to psychosis, but it also helps reorganize neural networks in the brain and help people experience the world from a new perspective. It remains a Schedule I substance, which means that most physicians and clinicians won’t even consider recommending or administering it.

Despite a generally cool approach by the average medical professional, those involved with research into the topic feel strongly that it has great potential for helping people with mental illness. Studies on the biological process by which LSD affect the human brain show that it help reorganize or “harmonize” the brain.  Clinicians have suggested that this particular mechanism could benefit patients with mental disorders related to connections within the brain itself.

Other researchers have looked into how the “ego dissolution”  people experience while taking LSD can benefit people in counseling, as well as the potential its powerful effects can create for positive behavior and personality changes. Because LSD remains a Schedule I drug, research into its potential mental health benefits is extremely limited. It’s continued inclusion on that list is unnecessary.

LSD poses no real medical threat. According to MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, there has never been a recorded fatal overdose, though there have been people who needed to seek medical treatment after taking incredibly high doses. They recovered without any long-term ill effects. There is some potential for abuse, but LSD is not physically addictive. Beyond that, the potential medical benefits are clear.

Some people report great success using LSD in small doses every few days, a practice called microdosing. There is much anecdotal support for LSD’s ability to improve mood, mental clarity, and even job performance. In low doses, it does not produce any psychedelic effects. Microdosing has become a trend that people are quite fascinated by, including research scientists. There will soon be clinical studies looking at how low doses of LSD and other psychedelic substances impact the human mind and individual performance.

As more people consider the potential benefits of LSD, whether in low doses to improve mood and focus or high doses to experience a profound psychedelic experience, pressure on policymakers to reconsider the Schedule I status of this low-risk, high-potential substance. It’s inclusion as a Schedule I substance is a relic of  a drug war long lost. People no longer think of LSD as a dangerous drug that hippies could use to spike the local water supply. Instead, more of them are seeing it as a potential option for people struggling.

Countless people have experienced beneficial and even life-changing experiences through LSD, and it clearly has the potential for great benefit for people with a wide variety of conditions and concerns.


For previous Ladybud articles about psychedelics, click here.



Photo Credit: Simba tango via Flickr under CC BY-SA2.0