Psychedelic Theodicy: The Tendency to Deny and Downplay the Harms of Psychedelics

A theodicy is an attempt to justify or defend the Omni-God (an all-powerful, all-loving, all-knowing god), given the fact of evil in the world. The evil in the world is of two kinds: human-caused evil and natural evil. These refer, respectively, to the sometimes atrocious and abhorrent suffering that people cause to other people or…

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The Backlash Against Overdiagnosis and Self-Diagnosis Has Fed Into Mental Health Stigma

It might be assumed that the problems of mental health overdiagnosis and self-diagnosis culture would only serve to promote more openness around mental health (despite the fact they sometimes pathologise normal and understandable distress). However, the backlash against these intertwined phenomena has resulted in increased cynicism and scepticism towards a general culture of emotional openness.…

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Neophilia and Neologisms: The Psychology Behind Inventing New Words

The human species has often been referred to as neophilic, or novelty-loving. For evolutionary reasons (i.e. being incentivised to be nomadic, or to search for – and explore –  new surroundings), we tend to respond to new stimuli in a positive way – with intrigue, interest, curiosity, and satisfaction. Our species has been deemed so…

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Neoliberalism is Partly to Blame for Competitive Psychedelic Use

Competitiveness amongst psychonauts exists and can take many forms. James Nolan, in a piece for Vice, reported that competitive psychedelic users are chasing the experience of ‘ego death’ – the dissolution of one’s sense of personal identity – because this is seen as the apex of tripping. Indeed, certain hierarchies of tripping may be constructed,…

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Finding a Psychedelic Community

There are many reasons why psychonauts may want to seek out a psychedelic community. Some people may not have friends who are interested in psychedelics, and they would prefer to trip with others, or at least have that as an option (see my post on the upsides and downsides of tripping alone). In addition, some…

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