General Question

Hobbes's avatar

Do you believe that in controlled situations under the guidance of a trained professional, LSD could be useful in mental therapy?

Asked by Hobbes (7257 points ) October 12th, 2010

Many studies were done which suggested that this could be the case, but they were all shut down when LSD became illegal. LSD is still used, by a variety of people in a variety of places for a variety of reasons. It therefore has a variety of effects, some of which result in bad or even terrifying experiences.

However, I believe that if taken in a safe and comfortable environment, by a stable and curious person, under the guidance of a trained and experienced professional, it could be very useful as a psychological tool.

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60 Answers

zen_'s avatar

In the very least, it would be really cool to try it.

toaster's avatar

This is all you will ever need to know on the topic. Also oddly enough, copyrighted by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. wtf? Possibly something to do with Lsd and (unidentified) fly objects? ftw lol.

lapilofu's avatar

Yes. There’s good evidence that this is true. Check out this New York Times story about it from not so long ago. (It seems studies in this field have been resumed.)

Scarlett's avatar

Yes It would, but it depends on the person’s mind itself.

If someone is sad,angry,depressed,stressed out,gloomy LCD = BAD TRIP

If someone is in the right state of mind – happy, healthy(in all ways),content, then they most likely will have a GOOD TRIP.

There have been accounts of people using LSD for spirituality, with great results. They go to Heaven, talk directly to God, etc.

BUT

If you have a bad trip…. Then it’s like a living nightmare.

I would suggest if someone is trying it, to be careful and do research.

You NEED to have other people there you trust, to take care of you in case you have a freak out.

Scarlett's avatar

I think it could be used as a psychological tool. I think they used to call LSD “Truth Serum” back in the day.

It’s very powerful to opening someone’s mind up.

Scarlett's avatar

If you don’t use LSD right, or have a bad trip, you can also get “Stuck” on it, which means you are in the state of hallucinations forever, or atleast for a long time.

My friend knew a guy once who was stuck on it, and he stayed in a mental institution for some years. He came back into society, but obviously not the same.

Kraigmo's avatar

LSD has saved my soul. It gave me 30 years of psychotherapy in 10 hours.
If it did such wonders for me, it can probably do the same for many others.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Without a doubt. I have figured out a lot of problems in my life through the use of LSD

@Scarlett “sad,angry,depressed,stressed out,gloomy LCD = BAD TRIP” I disagree, ive had quite a few trips where I felt these negative feelings but LSD helped me look at them more throughly and work through it.

“If you don’t use LSD right, or have a bad trip, you can also get “Stuck” on it, which means you are in the state of hallucinations forever, or atleast for a long time” extremely unlikely. Cases like this only present themselves when the one using the LSD have a serious mental health history.

ETpro's avatar

Yes, but what fun could you have in a setting like that?

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Trillian's avatar

@Hobbes I don’t know about LSD, but if you want to discuss it, I hear that the efficacy of the Ayahuasca for curing addictions is being looked at in the Netherlands. I had wondered about that myself so was pleased to hear that someone else had the same idea.
I dropped a lot of acid in high school, what do they think LSD could do? What kind of mental therapy, exactly?

Scarlett's avatar

@uberbatman – woops sorry, I was just going on my account of lsd. I tried it when i was depressed and i had a really horrible trip, and other friends also who had not so great trips. So I’m only going with my and my friend’s experiences.

Hobbes's avatar

@TrillianIbogaine also has been shown to be effective at curing addiction.

I don’t think LSD is a magic cure. That is, it doesn’t do any healing in and of itself. It’s a tool, which makes your own mind more clear to you. If you have lots of bat stuff buried in there, it can be unpleasant. So, it has to be combined with a desire to explore one’s own mind in order to be effective, and guidance by someone experienced makes the whole process much easier.

mammal's avatar

no, that is a very silly idea

Hobbes's avatar

A quote from Stanislav Grof

“In one of my early books I suggested that the potential significance of LSD and other psychedelics for psychiatry and psychology was comparable to the value the microscope has for biology or the telescope has for astronomy. My later experience with psychedelics only confirmed this initial impression. These substances function as unspecific amplifiers that increase the cathexis (energetic charge) associated with the deep unconscious contents of the psyche and make them available for conscious processing. This unique property of psychedelics makes it possible to study psychological undercurrents that govern our experiences and behaviours to a depth that cannot be matched by any other method and tool available in modern mainstream psychiatry and psychology. In addition, it offers unique opportunities for healing of emotional and psychosomatic disorders, for positive personality transformation, and consciousness evolution.”

The_Idler's avatar

You don’t have to believe it, it’s proven.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Scarlett sorry if i came off a bit blunt, i didnt mean to imply it doesnt happen to any one, but its really not common if you have the right mind set. i took acid last week and found myself extremely angry. Almost to the point of fighting. A guy at a concert hit me in the head and tried enticing me into a fight. Just the clarity of mind that acid gave me was amazing. anger felt so much different, for me, its normally a blind rage, this was more controlled and calculated. i was able to say no, ya no what, its not worth it to fight him ill just get kicked out of the show. Any other time i woulda probably launched at his neck lol

I personally like to apply my mind to science/math questions when on LSD.

shalom's avatar

Ever since I was a very young child (before elementary) when I heard the term LSD (probably from a TV report) I had felt an attachment to it.

LSD has been a lover I’ve never met and I thought I was the only person in the world who really wanted it to be legal so I can use it. As long as we can produce LSD at GMAP standards and, well, throw in a “organically grown” label on it, it should be all good to use.

Please, please, bring back LSD in this lifetime. I am willing to work very hard and build a quality material life for my familly and do something to leave behind for my society if only I can retire at 55 and just enjoy my LSD trips.

The_Idler's avatar

I’d just like to add that an acid trip snapped me out of a horrifically self-destructive drug binge that had lasted about a year.

It also helped me find my conscience, principles, a hatred of deception & denial and a far more profound appreciation for literally everything, my life, all Life, the elegant grandeur of The Cosmos, from geological formations to the summed potential of Humanity, acid allowed me consider everything I’d ever seen, done or imagined in the incredible clarity of absolute context. It’s like having your blinkers taken off. A year’s worth of personal psychological development in the space of a few hours.

I don’t think it should just be available from the corner-shop, but I think anyone should be allowed to pay and use it in a controlled environment, with the option of accompanying therapy. Sure cures denial and suppression, and that is the key to addiction. Lots of people have bad trips because they are bad people and then they suddenly see it. Or they realise they’d been lying to themselves or their family or everybody for a very long time, and it’s a crime against your consciousness to deceive it, and that’s tough to swallow.

Or they realise they’ve wasted their life on a career that is not personally fulfilling and contributes nothing to the progress of the human race.

Just puts that kind of thing, everything, into perspective, and some people have rather elevated opinions of themselves… that will be crushed.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@The_Idler yeaaa ego death can be a bitch… or it can be the most enlightening experience one can ever wish to have

Hobbes's avatar

@shalom – There are also other psychedelics out there which are far easier to obtain than LSD. Psilocybin mushrooms, for instance.

Aster's avatar

wow; you all make it sound so useful. Maybe if they used half a dose? Is it in those little squares? You could cut one in half. (;
So if u took half and were in a padded room with a shrink maybe it would be ok. feeling like an idiot

Kraigmo's avatar

@Aster , that’s a very good hypothesis, however ½ a dose isn’t good for anyone. LSD dissolves the ego. If a user only dissolves part of her ego, and the other part remains… the part that remains will worry and ruminate about the part that is disappearing.

It is best, even for new users, to take a high dose in order to completely obliterate the ego, and put the user in a beautiful new way. But only when set, setting, and company has been accurately and intelligently arranged ahead of time. If there is any possibility of trouble, then the lower the dose, the better. But if there’s any possibility of trouble, LSD really shouldn’t be taken at that point.

And the padded room wouldn’t work either, unless it was fun looking and had nice music and trampolines. Things need to look pretty, or else they’ll be downright scary and disgusting.

Aster's avatar

^^^^^^^^ sounds very scary to me, Kraig. I think I’ll pass. ^^^^^^^^

The_Idler's avatar

Some things, I think everybody should do once….

Hobbes's avatar

@Aster – What about that sounds scary to you? The idea of losing your ego?

Aster's avatar

^^^^^^ eewwww sounds like losing your mind and hallucinating!!

The_Idler's avatar

You know how they say you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone…?

Don’t worry, you get it back afterwards.

Hobbes's avatar

@Aster – The thing is, humans have this idea that they are separate from the rest of the universe. This illusion of separateness gives rise to what we call the mind. So, when your ego dissolves you do indeed “lose your mind”, but it’s replaced by the light of eternity and all that jazz, so it’s not too bad. Plus, there’s no “you” to be scared or worried or uncertain. Anyway, full-on ego death only comes with extremely high doses. At lower doses, you feel a sense of oneness with your surroundings and a great appreciation for the beauty of the world. At least, that’s my experience.

Also, one of the most common misconceptions about LSD is that it causes “hallucinations” in the sense of seeing things that aren’t there. The visuals are almost entirely distortions of things you’re seeing, and they’re almost always beautiful, not frightening. Even when you’re having a bad trip, the visuals themselves aren’t usually what causes the fear, but rather you start perceiving things as threatening.

Trillian's avatar

My Mimosa Hostilis just came today, now I’m waiting on the B. Caapi and some Syrian Rue seeds. I’ll try again to find the rabbit hole and dive in. I hope to have a life altering experience. Or at least some insights…

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Trillian you shouldnt need the syrian rue if your getting caapi…

Trillian's avatar

@uberbatman I got enough mimosa for a few attempts, so I thught I’d try both ways. Thanks, do yu hae any easier recipes than boiling 4–5 Ph water 2–3 hours two or three times? My last try was a complete catastrophe.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Trillian no, i honestly dont. Due to my current living arrangements I havent been able to attempt brewing myself, just read about it a bit. If anything im just going to try and extract pure from the hostilis

ETpro's avatar

@Trillian Where do you find out about these wondrous herbs?

Trillian's avatar

@uberbatman How would you go about extracting the DMT? @ETpro see your PM.

ETpro's avatar

@Trillian Thanks much. Researching.

The_Idler's avatar

Nice to see some fellow psychonauts =}

@Trillian there are lots of techniques for the different DMT-bearing plants, check on www.erowid.com

Here is some shitty kitchen chemistry tech for M. hostilis

I don’t know much about extracting from M. hostilis, as I have Psychotria viridis.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Trillian PM me later to remind me, I have a tech on another comp that ill send your way
@ETpro erowid.org is the answer to everything my friend :P

Trillian's avatar

@The_Idler and @uberbatman Thanks to you both. The Syrian Rue seeds and the B. Caapi just came today. See ya down the hole!

Hobbes's avatar

Say hello to the self-transforming machine elves for us! =]

Trillian's avatar

Shaddup…

Trillian's avatar

I probably won’t remember to say hello to anyone. I apologize for sidetracking your thread. It just came up at a coincidental time. I assume by your last that you have a different opinion about the Ayahuasca than you do about the LSD. Correct?

PS Benoit Mendlebrot’s Fractals ROCK!

Hobbes's avatar

I was just kidding anyway =]

I think they can both be very useful, and I’m very interested in both of them. Good luck on your journeys!

Fractals are extremely awesome.

Paradox's avatar

No, LSD is too unpredictable for the way it affects each individual.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Trillian an interesting note about DMT, it doesnt mess with your thought process at ALL. So you think exactly the same, you just forgot you took a drug.

Hobbes's avatar

@Paradox – I would argue that the variable effects come almost entirely from the various settings in which it is taken, the mindsets of the people taking it, and their reasons for doing so.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Hobbes couldnt agree more

ETpro's avatar

@uberbatman Thanks, Erowid looks most interesting.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@ETpro erowid should seriously replace the dare program in schools. I love that that site just tells you everything about any drug without any bias at all.

Hobbes's avatar

@uberbatman – I think it does have a bit of a bias. It’s a vastly useful and reliable resource, but it’s leans pretty strongly towards the “pro-drug” opinion.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Hobbes I disagree with you there. There are plenty of articles that say how bad some drugs are as well as all the risks associated with taking them. They dont sugar coat anything. The only thing I see with a bias on erowid is the trip reports, but that is user generated, not erowid.

Hobbes's avatar

Mmm, the trip reports were mainly what I was thinking of. Although, some of them are pretty brutal too, especially the ones involving hard drugs.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Hobbes yeaaaa I mean each drug has its section for difficult experiences, bad trips, health problems, addiction & habituation and of course, train wrecks & trip disasters. So there are plenty of negative views on the drugs too.

klutzaroo's avatar

No matter how controlled the situation is when its taken, there’s a possibility of flashbacks that can be devastating in a person who is already unstable.

Hobbes's avatar

My understanding of “flashbacks” is that they are actually a form of PTSD which can occur when someone has a really nasty trip. Something called HPPD has also been observed, where visual disturbances persist after the mental effects wear off, but only in a tiny fraction of users. People who have used acid in the past will not suddenly start tripping again while driving down the freeway.

ETpro's avatar

@uberbatman In fact, food has all those possibilities as well, so perhaps we should outlaw eating and incarcerate all who do so. At least then the state could feed them.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@ETpro yea honestly, I agree everything in life has that possibility

VS's avatar

I took many LSD trips back in the late 60s. The only one I recall as scary (at a Fiddlers Convention in Union Grove NC in which I thought Medusa was in our campfire) was most likely due to the acid having been cut substantially with speed. The best trip was probably one I took on a Greyhound bus ride from Atlanta GA to Washington DC – it was raining cartoon characters and animated food things. I do vividly recall having been given something I was told was clinical LSD-25 on a beautiful starry Spring night, riding in a convertible Corvette, and I believe that was truly a pivotal point in my life. I can’t say specifically WHY, but I know that after that experience, I was a different person and came to a different understanding about myself, my world and my place in it. Enlightened? I don’t know that I would go that far. I’m now 61 years old and I still don’t think of myself as enlightened, but as still evolving. I do feel that you had best be in a really stable place mentally if you plan to undertake this journey. If you are already in a sad or depressed state of mind, this is not the drug for you to be dabbling with. In a clinical setting, to answer your question, yes, I think it could be extremely useful, but I’m not too sure about from a mental health standpoint. I don’t think it has the ability to correct mental deficits or heal someone with an already troubled psyche. Just my opinion, you understand…

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