Social Anxiety on the rise, can microdosing be the answer?
Social anxiety sits as the third most common mental disorder in parts of the western world. Therefore, better solutions and understanding are needed in the wake of rising mental epidemics across the globe. There has been a good deal of research over the last decade into alternative treatments. Specifically, into the power of psychoactive compounds like psilocybin contained in magic mushrooms. Decades worth of reports and a growing batch of science data have shown us that microdosing can have great effects on an individual’s life. Furthermore, there have been some studies looking into the effects of microdosing on social anxiety and the results are positive.
What is social anxiety?
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) or social phobia, as it is medically termed is an anxiety-based mental disorder. It is defined as experiencing anxiety, fear, and discomfort in social settings. As with many mental conditions, social anxiety disorder is a spectrum. Many people may experience some level of social anxiety in their lives but individuals with social phobia experience it to a higher degree. Individuals experience a heightened feeling of fear for social interactions with other people, and paranoia that they will be the subject of scrutiny. Individuals will find that these anxieties impair their ability to function on a day to day basis and can significantly inhibit their relationships and lives.
Typical examples and triggers of social anxiety can be found here.
During these bouts of anxiety, there’s a list of physical and mental symptoms an individual can suffer from:
- Rapid heart-beat
- Muscle tension or twitches
- Excessive sweating
- Dry throat and mouth
- Panic attacks
- Stomach problems or nausea
- Difficulty in maintaining or making eye contact
Why is social anxiety an issue and what causes it?
It’s key to understand this issue and what it can lead to. Individuals suffering from social anxiety often rely on the use of alcohol or drugs to help alleviate their fears. Self-medication comes with its own risk-reward structure as it often leads to alcoholism, substance abuse, and dangerous eating disorders if left untreated. Often the individuals with these disorders realize that their anxieties are irrational and non-factual, however, the feelings of anxiety remain and are typically chronic.
Despite a wide-ranging amount of research from multiple disciplines, so far there’s no definitive answer to what is the cause of social anxiety disorder. The data seems to suggest a mix of genetics and environmental factors are to blame. SAD is not caused by drug abuse or different mental disorders. Individuals are 2-3 times more likely to have social anxiety if a parent or sibling also suffers from the condition, as well as this, a cause can be a negative social experience from the past.
How can you treat your social anxiety, what is microdosing?
Up until now, there have been two common treatments for ‘social anxiety disorder’ often used in conjunction with each other. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) a form of psychological treatment used to treat various mental disorders, to varying degrees of success. Certain types of SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) which are a form of antidepressant drug. Many amongst us are not open to the idea of behavioral therapy and even more that are against the use of pharmaceuticals such as SSRIs. For those that fall into either of these brackets, there is an all-natural and alternative solution, microdosing for social anxiety.
How microdosing magic mushrooms/psilocybin can help
The research that has been carried out so far strongly suggests that microdosing itself can be beneficial for an individual. Furthermore, microdosing psilocybin for social anxiety could be a viable treatment. The two main reasons individuals microdose, either to decrease the effects of negative disorders such as depression and addiction or to increase levels of focus, energy, and creativity.
A study has taken place specifically into the effects of microdosing on social anxiety. Carried out by a team of researchers in Switzerland, the team had their twenty-one participants ingest a microdose containing psilocybin. They were subjected to a game called “cyberball” were they went through the experience of being excluded to increasing degrees. During this test, the team observed how the participants felt and acted during the game whilst being under the effects of the microdose. The team found that consequently, the participants felt vastly less ostracised and felt no emotion or hurt feelings to their situation. The psilocybin was blocking the process of social anxiety as well as increasing serotonin levels.
Don’t let your social anxiety escalate
The symptoms of social anxiety disorder can snowball into conditions of a greater danger. If you are currently suffering or fear you may have this condition, diagnose and treat it as soon as possible. Psilocybin microdosing offers itself as the perfect natural alternative or perhaps even prime treatment for social anxiety disorder. Microdosing psilocybin has shown to a degree to cancel out the causes and symptoms of SAD. For those individuals who are on the spectrum of social anxiety but think they might not have it at the level of a disorder, microdosing can still help you out in your day to day life.