Board-certified psychiatrist Emily Willow, MD, asserted that “psychedelic medicine-assisted therapy” can help those fearful and depressed over climate change feel better in a Washington Post advice column on Friday.
In the piece, Willow claimed this kind of treatment, applied using either psilocybin (derived from psychedelic mushrooms), MDMA, or FDA-approved oral ketamine – coupled with psychotherapy sessions – can help people deal with their grief over climate change.
“Psychedelic medicine-assisted therapy also can support a patient in exploring the enormous and complex feelings associated with eco-anxiety and climate grief,” she wrote.
Willow began her column with a description of just how prevalent eco-anxiety has been among her patients.
She wrote, “Many of us are feeling a sense of powerlessness and despair over climate change and its harmful effects. As a psychiatrist, I have noticed a growing trend among patients in my private practice suffering from what mental health professionals are calling eco-anxiety and climate grief.”
According to the psychiatrist, this anxiety is so widespread that “climate mental health” is considered a new field in her profession, which she added, “covers a broad spectrum of emotional and psychological responses.”
She stated, “Many people, including some of my patients, feel anxious and powerless from a displaced emphasis on personal responsibility and action, rather than the larger responsibility of corporations and governmental policymaking. This field also looks to address the mental health consequences of displacement from extreme weather events such as hurricanes and wildfire, especially for vulnerable populations,”