As often as psilocybin advocates, researchers, and even bona fide psychonauts discuss the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics – like how evidence suggests magic mushrooms might be able to seriously help patients with treatment-resistant depression, addiction, those in palliative care, or even eating disorders, there’s a topic that seems to be discussed far less: ego death, when the ego dies there can be transcendence.
What is ego death, and why is it so intrinsic to the psychedelic experience, including the “trips” patients go on during legal magic mushroom therapy?
What is Ego Death and What Does it Feel Like?
It’s relatively easy to describe what ego death is from an intellectual standpoint, but to describe what it feels like is extremely difficult, given the nature of the experience.
Ego death is generally accepted to be the experience a person under the influence of psychedelics can have in which their sense of self seems to disappear. It has been described as a temporary loss of self-identity. Many have described it as a feeling of (sometimes overwhelming) loss of individuality or “separateness” from the rest of reality. Many psychedelic proponents believe that the ego death experience can be good and worthwhile.
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Is Ego Death Important to Experience for Psilocybin Therapy Patients? What About Psilocybin Microdosing Therapy?
While undergoing ego death isn’t strictly required to benefit from magic mushrooms, as any advocate of microdosing psilocybin will tell you, for some patients it has been a integral part of their individual healing processes.
According to a study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, researchers discovered that one of the driving forces behind the dissolution of the ego might be linked to elevated levels of the neurotransmitter glutamate.
From a therapeutic point of view, ego death can have the effect of making a person feel more empathetic—the loss of a sense of self often results in increased empathy for others and a greater sense of oneness. For some, the experience can be overwhelming, which is why professionally administered and led psychedelic experiences are so important from a mental health standpoint.
A professional can help the patient “integrate” the experience into their regular lives, taking the lessons offered by the experience and utilizing them in a positive way.
Learn More About When The Ego Dies and About Psilocybin Mushroom Spores
Magic mushrooms are by far some of the most interesting fungi on the planet—and if you’re an amateur microscopist with an interest in fungal taxonomy, studying their spores can be an incredibly rewarding and entirely legal hobby!