Are Psychedelics the Key to the Future of Mental Health Treatment?

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In the final episode of our video series on the future of mental health care, SELF examines the therapeutic potential of psychedelics and what it could mean for the future of communal healing and treating mental health disorders.

Though psychedelics like psilocybin and ibogaine were first researched in the 1950s for alcohol abuse and opiate addiction treatment, today, drugs like MDMA, ketamine, and LSD have been added to a growing body of research. And while some researchers are interested in MDMA, for instance, as a way to help people heal from traumatic experiences, others are invested in reviving more traditional uses of drugs with psychedelic properties. 

Jeeshan Chowdhury, MD, PhD, CEO and founder of Journey Colab, a psychological drug company, hopes to reduce the stigmatization of these substances. Traditionally, psychedelics were used for healing and rights of passage by native communities. Dr. Chowdhury is working to reintegrate this tradition into modern medical practices, as he says his experience with psychedelics helped treat his long-term depression and experiences with intergenerational trauma.

In the video below, Dr. Chowdhury compares psychedelic-assisted therapy to surgery for the mind: In surgery, he says, you have a highly trained operative in a regulated setting, just as during psychedelic-assisted therapy there is a highly trained therapist operating on your mind, leading it to a more healed state.

Learn more about how Dr. Chowdhury and other experts are working to push for greater access to drugs they see as being truly beneficial to mental health treatment below. Plus watch the rest of this video series on social media and trauma and read more about the future of mental health care right here.

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