Hyderabad: The use of psychedelic drugs like Ecstasy can help to decrease suicidal thoughts, according to a Canadian study, but doctors in the city state that the risk-benefit analysis shows that there is more risk involved in taking the drug.
Those suffering from extreme depression or who are prone to suicide are prescribed anti-depressants and lithium carbonate. Dr I. Bharat Kumar Reddy, consultant psychiatrist at Apollo Hospitals, explained, “Ecstasy is a psychoactive drug which gives an individual a sense of euphoria and heightened sensation. Many studies have spoken about its negative effects like memory problems and depression on long-term use. As such, it has not been accepted as yet for authorised medicinal usage. Doctors feel that even if it reduces anxiety symptoms it is only on a transient basis. Looking at the drug’s risk-benefit ratio, using the drug is definitely more risky than beneficial.”
Anti-depressants and other narcotic drugs are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration after extensive research. Dr Preeti Swaroop said, “The existing line of drugs elevates the mood and helps people come off depression. It helps them to think less about suicide. But these drugs can be given only for a certain time period. It has to be followed up with therapy and other supportive programmes where the person finds himself of value to the family and society. A sense of belonging has to be felt by them and the family has to express the person’s importance in their lives in many different ways.”
The side effects of these drugs are nausea, dryness of the mouth, constipation and also drowsiness. Doctors state that they are self-limiting and the family has to supervise as there are chances that they can get addicted to these drugs.
Those suffering from mood swings in the working class benefit from medicines immediately. But those who have retired or are senior citizens require not just medicines but also a strong support therapy. Senior citizens, single adults and teenagers require a good combination of medication and therapy to move them out from their low mood swings.
Experts dealing with these cases in counselling centres across the city, state that those who contemplate suicide succumb to the mental trauma which they are no longer able to deal with themselves.
Dr G. Padmaja, a counsellor, said, “They require to be handled very carefully by family members as even the slightest demonstration of anger or even a wayward comment makes them feel unwanted. We follow up on patients, sometimes for over two years. It takes a lot of time for them to unburden themselves. For this reason, therapy has to continue for a longer period of time and even after the medicines have stopped.”
Often, therapy is not given importance by the patient’s relatives who find that they are absolutely normal after medical treatment. Mr Narendra P. Rao, counsellor at a helpline centre, said, “When therapy is followed properly the chances of a relapse are minimised. Even if there are episodes of depression the family is aware about whom to reach out to. The close family members living with them are taught to look out for particular signs and symptoms of depression. They are also aware of the points of contact where immediate help can be provided.”
Drugs used for therapy
- LSD — Lysergic acid diethylamide/Acid — that causes hallucinogen
- DMT and Ayahuasca
- Magic mushrooms called psilocybin
- PCP or Angel Dust
Nausea, dryness of the mouth, constipation and drowsiness.
Doctors state that these drugs are self-limiting and the family has to supervise as there are chances that they can get addicted to these drugs...