Psychedelic Substances May Decrease Shame Among Individuals Who Suffered Mistreatment as Children

October 8, 2021 10:22:47

A new study, reported in the “Chronic Stress” journal, has found that the use of psychedelic substances is linked to decreased levels of internalized shame and PTSD symptoms in adults who underwent maltreatment as children.

The author of the study, CJ Healy, who is a PhD student at the New School for Social Research, stated that while there existed various studies on the therapeutic effects of psychedelics, very few looked into the substances’ potential use in nonclinical settings. Healy explained that most individuals across the globe who were using psychedelics to heal themselves were taking the them in nonclinical settings, either at a rave, at home or with friends, which is why it made sense to conduct research on whether the nonclinical therapeutic use of the substances would be beneficial with regard to symptom reduction, especially among individuals who suffered complex trauma in childhood.

For their study, the researchers conducted a survey of more than 150 English-speaking adults; the study focused on internalized shame, PTSD symptoms and childhood maltreatment. The survey also asked the participants whether they had consumed a hallucinogenic/entheogenic/psychedelic substance such as ketamine, MDMA, DMT, mescaline, ayahuasca, LSD or psilocybin mushrooms with the intention of healing or even processing childhood trauma.

About 30% of the participants reported a history of the intentional therapeutic use of psychedelic substances with more than 90% of them scoring in the severe range on at least one of the subscale types of childhood maltreatment, which include emotional neglect, physical neglect, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and physical abuse.

The researchers discovered that childhood maltreatment was linked to higher levels of internalized shame as well as PTSD symptoms, noting that the participants who had used psychedelics with the intention of healing reported fewer symptoms linked to complex trauma and disturbances in self-organization. In addition to this, the researchers also discovered that reporting more than five occasions of the intentional therapeutic use of psychedelics weakened the association between disturbances in self-organization and emotional neglect/abuse.

In an interview, Healy explained that this suggested that the use of psychedelics with the intent to heal, even in naturalistic settings, could help decrease symptoms of complex trauma and internalized shame in individuals with histories of childhood trauma.

It should be noted though that, as with most studies on psychedelics, this study is still in its preliminary stage. Healy notes that studies conducted in the future will need to have a longitudinal design in order to more causally and strongly show the effectiveness of the therapeutic use of psychedelic substances in nonclinical settings.

These studies show that companies such as Cybin Inc. (NYSE American: CYBN) (NEO: CYBN), which are intent on developing psychedelic medicines for psychiatric disorders, are likely to register significant success in their efforts.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (NYSE American: CYBN) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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