Treatment of a Complex Personality Disorder Using Repeated Doses of LSD-A Case Report on Significant Improvements in the Absence of Acute Drug Effects

This case study of a patient with mental health problems found no acute effects of LSD (50 to 200 µg) and persistent (7 days) positive effects (dose-dependent) on depression (TRD) and suicidal ideation scores.


A 39-year-old female patient suffering from severe, treatment-resistant depression and other symptoms associated with a complex personality disorder was admitted to our open psychiatric ward for an experimental treatment with lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). The substance was administered in repeated weekly and ascending doses. Curiously, there were no substantial acute subjective effects of the drug despite adequate dosing, which was also confirmed by plasma drug concentration monitoring. However, the patient showed rapid and significant improvement with most notable changes in depressed mood, emotional instability, loss of energy, and suicidal ideations. Additionally, the SCL-90 questionnaire indicated significant decreases in global severity and in various psychopathological subscales. Improvements persisted for ~7 days after each administration. Due to the severe course of the illness and the resistance to previous treatment it was decided to continue this experimental approach with weekly repeated doses of LSD. The patient will be observed closely with regard to somatic and mental side effects. Two features of this case are remarkable: Firstly, administration of LSD was associated with significant improvements in various symptoms of a condition usually difficult to treat. Secondly, symptom reductions occurred in the absence of acute drug effects. Therefore, the mechanism of action seemed to deviate from the concept that improvements after administration of drugs like LSD are due to experiences during the acute drug effects. This case might indicate that LSD can induce rapid but transient beneficial effects on several psychopathological symptoms. The time course of these improvements resembled antidepressant effects seen after administration of ketamine.

Authors: Felix Müller, Markus Mühlhauser, Friederike Holze, Undine E. Lang, Marc Walter, Matthias E. Liechti & Stefan Borgwardt

Study details

Compounds studied

Topics studied
Depression Treatment-Resistant Depression Suicidality

Study characteristics
Case Study



Authors associated with this publication with profiles on Blossom

Felix Müller
Felix Müller is a researcher at the University of Basel. He is leading the research project on psychedelics at the Department of Psychiatry.

Matthias Liechti
Matthias Emanuel Liechti is the research group leader at the Liechti Lab at the University of Basel.

Compound Details

The psychedelics given at which dose and how many times

LSD 50 - 200
μg | 7x

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