There has been burgeoning scientific interest in the neurobiology of altered states of consciousness induced by psychedelic drugs in recent years. There has also been growing evidence of the beneficial clinical effects of psychedelics including, LSD, psilocybin and DMT in some psychiatric disorders.
Moreover, the core of psychedelic experience revolves around the dissolution of the ego or phenomenological self, along with the feeling of oneness and unity with everything that exists. The temporary lack of ego and altered state of consciousness that results from using psychedelic drugs could help some mental health patients recover from their symptoms. In addition, there is a body of evidence that supports the use of psychedelic drugs, LSD and magic mushrooms to alter one’s sense of self.
The psychedelic experience can be truly transformative and includes helping some people with addiction, depression and anxiety.
According to author, Professor Philip Gerrans, who has been researching self-representation in psychiatric disorders, “We know quite a lot about the neurochemistry of psychedelic drugs and how they work on the brain. What’s poorly understood is the more complex relationship between the brain, our sense of self, and how we perceive the world”.
The dissolution of ego results in expanded awareness, putting the mind more directly and intensely in touch with the world. “Through this experience it may be possible to re-engineer the mechanisms of self, which in turn could change people’s outlook or world view. The profound sense of connection produced by this experience has the potential to be beneficial for people suffering from anxiety, depression, and some forms of addiction,” Professor Gerrans says.
One of the reasons why psychiatric disorders are so difficult to overcome is because it is almost impossible for sufferers to view things differently. Psychedelics enlightens people about the processes behind their subjectivity. Ego dissolution allows them to see things more vividly and that there is an opportunity to seek change.
The unsupervised recreational use of psychedelic drugs, however, is not advocated by researchers.