Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was once known as “combat fatigue” and was only associated with war veterans. Today PTSD is a disease that affects people of all ages, nationalities, cultures, and ethnicity. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental illness that affects those who have experienced severe traumatic events such as rape, terrorist acts, death, war, sexual abuse, or a fatal accident.
PTSD treatment varies from pharmaceutical intervention to spiritual care that uses plant-based medication such as ayahuasca or psilocybin during the healing ceremony. Shamanism healing deals with inclusive methods that transcend the resistance of the body and mind to offer its users a personal transcendental journey toward recovery.
PTSD and Shamanic Healing
Psilocybin is consistent with shamanic healing, whose spiritual and psychological effects alter and rewire patients’ thoughts and emotional patterns. Shamanism allows participants to bask in the spirit of safe recovery while empowering them to make a lifetime of lasting change.
Rick Doblin founded the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in 1986 and blazed the trail that led to the official acceptance of psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs. Doblin believes that “psilocybin is an ambitious intervention that can be incorporated into American society and culture.”
PTSD takes away rationality from its victims by inducing despondent feelings, anger, sadness, or fear long after the event. Patients with PTSD have an uncontrollable need to replay the trauma whose primary sources of indulgence are flashbacks and nightmares. People with PTSD live a secluded life because they avoid situations, places, or people that remind them of the traumatic experience. The furious nature and response of PTSD patients toward uncomfortable situations make them ticking bombs, and a proper diagnosis requires exposure to these events.
Suppose an individual was a victim or witnessed a terrorist attack. Exposure to loud noise can trigger deep emotional and mental discomfort. PTSD can cause an individual deep mental anguish which robs them of living in the now. Whenever a person cannot control the dictates of the mind, the body falters in various ways. When rattled, some people display insane, violent streaks, and others withdraw inwards and become a pale shadow of their former selves.
According to the U.S Veteran Affairs, five out of ten women are exposed to a traumatic situation, and women suffer PTSD more than men. Women and men share similar symptoms, but some are more common in women, such as child abuse or sexual violence. With about 8million people with PTSD in the United States, most people still have no access to clinical or alternative care. June is PTSD awareness month, and bringing to the fore the ramifications of the disease while advocating for less intrusive care such as shamanic healing can tremendously erode the stigma around the disorder.
Seattle has a staggering 1.5million people suffering from mental problems, a figure that shows how much awareness and care is required to restore sanity to the masses. The U.S Supreme court in 2006 made a landmark ruling that allowed the importation of ayahuasca by UDV – a tiny religious sect. This unanimous decision led to the birth of religious communities and treatment centers that incorporated psychedelic drugs as part of their healing regimes.
- Flashbacks or distressing dreams
- Avoiding people, places, activities, and memories
- Hyperarousal, reckless or destructive behavior
- Self-blame, fear, anger, guilt, negative thoughts
- Withdrawal from previously enjoyed activities
Since PTSD is a mental disorder that interrupts the brain’s normal functioning, psilocybin is an intervention that ensures the stability of thought. Psilocybin is also known as magic mushroom, and it rescinds the negative cognitive patterns, improves mood, and normalizes physical reactivity.
Charles Schuster, who served as director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), stated that “psychedelic implies a mind-expanding experience and these fascinating class of drugs, and the spiritual experience they occasion might prove useful in treating addiction.” Psilocybin provides rigorous results during healing sessions, and the spiritual effects create realities that fall outside the realm of scientific explanations.
Patients go through psilocybin therapy which offers psychological and pharmacological support. Psilocybin, an effective antidepressant, is also a great treatment solution for addiction, PTSD, anxiety, and other mental health illnesses. A psilocybin ceremony involves preparation, application, and integration.
During preparation, the healer familiarizes with the patient, builds a trusting relationship, and provides a safe space that is respectful and free of judgment. When an individual with PTSD walks into a shamanic treatment center, they are welcome with hospitality and then prepared for an experience of mindfulness and spiritual awakening.
For example, when a person with PTSD whose causes stem from sexual assault, the healing ceremony will involve digging up the traumatic event and interrogating the occurrence without holding back. A safe space allows the patient freedom to validate and justify their feelings and simultaneously let go of the baggage. A shamanic experience is void of religious, sexual orientation, racial, and gender discrimination, enabling participants to feel included.
At the application stage, the person suffering bouts of PTSD receives oral assimilation of psilocybin in a serene environment and under the guidance of a shaman to monitor reactions. Through phenomenology- the subjective experience of consciousness, the devotees open themselves up for a mystical experience. The healing journey is meant to revamp the powerful ancient techniques that arrest malicious thought processes which stifle physical and spiritual expression.
Integration then allows the individual to share their experience with psilocybin and generate critical analysis regarding self-defeating practices and thoughts. The PTSD patient finds valuable insights that transcend current emotional and mental reactions. For example, after using magic mushrooms, a patient involved in a tragic accident learns to view the gore images with a bird’s eye view, detach emotionally, treat the traumatic experience like a passing cloud, weightless, harmless, and suspends the ego.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is treatable, and psychedelic like psilocybin provides a roadmap for reconnecting with nature and enlightenment. Magic mushrooms offer a therapeutic and spiritual cocktail that is important in rehabilitating people with PTSD. Psilocybin has staggering healing properties leaving users with a “heaven on earth” afterthought and is an excellent alternative for conventional clinical interventions.