If you have ever taken LSD then you may have felt the sense of completeness as if you’d had an amazing “eureka” moment. You feel as though you’ve taken a life-changing journey and came out of it with a new outlook on life, well, at least for a while.
I’m not saying that taking LSD will cure depression, but that it has possibly found the source of it.
LSD is a long lasting and extremely psychoactive drug which leads to intense visuals for several hours and is often paired with music. People have reported that listening to music creates somewhat of a storyline for their trip, creating an adventure through one’s own mind. That’s what people point to when they have a sense of meaning after they trip, they believe that the journey is what made them feel complete.
A research conducted by Katrine Preller in Switzerland on LSD has only recently released. The research paper called “The Fabric of Meaning and Subjective Effects in LSD-Induced States Depend on Serotonin 2A Receptor Activation.” Before this study, it has always been assumed that LSD mostly affected the Dopamine receptors which is what led to Trips. Dopamine is mostly what attributes to happiness.
During the research, they made the subjects listen to a series while tripping and while sober. Subjects were to rate the amount of meaning and relevance the music had to them. Not surprising to anyone, when the subjects were under the influence of LSD, they felt a significant increase of meaning coming from the same set of music.
The researchers gave them 3 different treatment conditions (1)Placebo+Placebo (2)Placebo+LSD and (3) Ketanserin + Placebo. Ketanserin is what they call a “5-HT2A and α-adreno antagonist.” 5-HT is more commonly referred to as serotonin, 2A being the receptor. Ketanserin inhibits this particular receptor. When taking the third treatment, the subjects didn’t feel the “meaningful” effects of the LSD much, if at all. These findings show that the trip from LSD and the “fabric of meaning” originate from this certain serotonin 2A receptor.
An important part of being human is the feeling that life has meaning. This research paper shows us how one perceives meaning, and how to help those who lack such meaning in life. With these new findings, treating psychiatric disorders could become easier. Now that doctors may know exactly where to look, the serotonin 2A receptor. Doctors will be able to look into the receptor to check for any abnormalities, and medicines can be developed to stimulate the serotonin 2A receptor to treat things like schizophrenia, depression and other mental disorders. Who would’ve thought that the cure to depression would have been discovered because of LSD.