How much does microdosing affect your personality?
Microdosing can affect your personality. The idea then is not to change drastically, to become a completely different person. But it can have subtle effects on your outlook on life and on how you deal with what comes your way. You may gain more energy or become a little less shy. So it doesn’t have to be a big impact. In fact, microdosing can help you feel more like yourself.
Taking microdoses of psychedelic drugs gives you the opportunity to address certain symptoms that can harm your mental health. These may have to do with your personality. Someone who is shy may suffer from anxiety. Microdosing can also help with depression, stress, or just feeling like you can’t handle life well.
Research on microdosing is not yet being done on a large scale. And the studies that are available are often focused on specific complaints (for example, pain or depression). It is not yet known what influence microdosing has on personality. It is clear that normal doses of psychedelic drugs can have a considerable impact on this. A trip with LSD or psilocybin can lead to strong visualizations, almost religious experiences and intense emotions, which can cause a change in someone’s personality afterwards.
A microdose does not cause that kind of intense experience (nor is it intended to). You will not trip or have World Disturbing Perceptions. But if a normal dose can affect personality, it is not surprising to assume that a microdose will also affect cognitive functions in some way.
The effects of microdosing
When people are asked about the effects of microdosing, they indicate that they mainly notice an improvement in their mood and well-being. They are more creative and feel better about themselves. They feel more connected to life, are more open-minded and their spiritual awareness is greater. You could see this as changes in their personality.
Microdosing is therefore suitable for anyone who could use some improvement in their life. Because most of the time it’s not because of the circumstances, but how you deal with the events in your life. If you suffer from gloomy moods, feel stressed or unhappy, microdosing can transform your outlook on life.
Microdosing could also help break bad habits. Often you choose such a bad habit (eating too much, smoking, shopping too much) because you don’t feel good about yourself. On your own, it’s very hard to stop. Microdosing can be a helping hand. It seems that a normal amount of psychedelics also has this effect, stimulating greater flexibility or creativity in thinking and behavior. It is not clear whether the effect of microdosing is the same.
Studies on microdosing and the personality
One neuroscientist working on the impact of microdosing on the brain is David Olsen (University of California). He repeatedly gave rats a microdose of DMT (dimethyltryptamine, the psychedelic substance in, for example, Ayahuasca). It seemed to have a positive influence on depressive symptoms. The rats were placed in a tank of water from which they could not escape. The rats that had been given DMT kept trying to find a way out and kept swimming. Rats that were not treated gave up and stayed afloat.
Olsen thinks that the effect of DMT and other psychedelics on depressive symptoms comes from the fact that they stimulate the neuroplasticity. So that means the brain becomes more flexible. Indeed, his studies show that psychedelic drugs promote the formation of new neural connections.
Microdosing for anxiety
The use of microdoses for anxiety is a case in point. Anxiety is often mentioned as a side effect of microdosing. It would be nice if you could microdose for anxiety. Fears have an inhibiting effect and can limit you in your activities. However, it appears that microdosing is not always a good idea in case of anxiety.
James Fadiman did a lot of research into the experiences of microdosers. Many users took LSD to treat anxiety. But it did turn out that users who took microdoses precisely in order to reduce their anxiety had the most problems. For some people, their anxiety actually increased.
A study has been done on the influence of microdoses of DMT to treat anxiety and depression. Lindsey Cameron of the University of California Davis published the results of her research in 2019. Again, this study was done on rats. The rats were put in situations that would cause them anxiety and induce depressive behavior. They were given microdoses of DMT for several months. The study found that DMT reduced anxious and depressive behaviors during stress inducing events.