Self-treatment of psychosis and complex post-traumatic stress disorder with LSD and DMT—A retrospective case study

This case study (n=1) describes how a teenager self-treated their psychosis (accompanied by complex PTSD and suicidal ideations) through high-dose LSD and low-dose DMT sessions. The hypothesis argues that psychedelics were able to break down the defensive system and allow for the integration of traumatic memories.


“This article describes a case of a teenager with early complex trauma due to chronic domestic violence. Cannabis use triggered auditory hallucinations, after which the teenager was diagnosed with an acute schizophrenia-like psychotic disorder. Antipsychotic medication did not fully resolve symptoms. Eventually the teenager chose to self-medicate with LSD in order to resolve a suicidal condition. The teenager carried out six unsupervised LSD sessions, followed by an extended period of almost daily use of inhaled low-dose DMT. Psychotic symptoms were mostly resolved after approximately one year. Subsequent cannabis use caused a transient relapse. While his psychosis may have been due to cannabis use in the presence of a genetic predisposition, LSD and DMT did not promote psychotic symptoms in this case, and resolved the suicidal condition in one session. Additional high-dose LSD sessions and low-dose DMT sessions appeared to resolve the symptoms related to the early complex trauma. Alternatively, if psychosis is understood as a massive defense system resulting from early complex trauma, and if his psychotic symptoms were partially due to such trauma, psychedelics appeared to transcend this defense system, providing access to traumatic memories in order to allow for an integrative treatment effect. Information was acquired from medical record excerpts provided by the patient, a semi-structured retrospective video interview, and follow-up interviews a year later. The present case suggests a need for further studies on the relationship between psychedelics and psychotic disorders, the feasibility of supervised vs unsupervised settings for various situations, and alternative therapeutic models for utilizing the hyperaware-hypersensitive state induced by psychedelics. With regard to self-treatment, a harm reduction approach should be adopted. Low-risk psycholytic self-treatment protocols could be developed for future use in public health care systems.”

Author: Mika Turkia

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Case Study

1 Humans

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