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PTSD Treatment

ibogaine treatment centre uk PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a severe psychological condition, often triggered by a distressing event, and characterized by symptoms of hyperarousal, avoidance, intrusive thoughts, and mood disturbances.


Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD), on the other hand, is an variation of PTSD, and describes the enduring psychological harm incurred from prolonged, repeated trauma. C-PTSD involves additional symptoms like emotional regulation difficulties, dissociative symptoms, and distorted self-perception.


Renowned trauma researchers Bessel Van Der Kolk and Gabor Maté introduced novel interpretations of trauma, emphasizing its profound imprint on the mind and body.


Van Der Kolk posits that trauma impacts the entire organism, ‘rewiring’ the brain and body’s responses to perceived threats.


Maté, in turn, underscores the traumatic basis of addiction and chronic illness, further implicating trauma in a spectrum of physical and psychological conditions.

Ibogaine Treatment for PTSD

In exploring alternative treatments for PTSD and C-PTSD, the powerful psychoactive alkaloid ibogaine has shown remarkable potential in the last few years.

Ibogaine is extracted from the root-bark of the West African shrub Tabernanthe Iboga, and has a long history of use in spiritual and healing practices among the Bwiti tribes of Gabon.

Recently, it has been scientifically investigated for its therapeutic effects in treating substance use disorders and, as of recently, PTSD.

Ibogaine works by interacting with several neurotransmitter systems simultaneously. Its primary action involves the modulation of opioid receptors, but it also affects serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate circuits.

This multi-pronged approach is what allows ibogaine to potentially help ‘reset’ brain functioning impacted by trauma.

In a process analogous to Van Der Kolk’s ‘rewiring’ concept, ibogaine can promote neuroplasticity, enhancing the brain’s ability to form new connections and pathways. This could help a traumatized brain recover and establish healthier patterns of thought and response.

Additionally, ibogaine induces a profound psychoactive experience, often characterized by introspection and revisitation of past events. This characteristic may allow individuals to confront and reprocess traumatic experiences in a therapeutic context, reinforcing the narrative reconstruction often employed in trauma therapy.

Maté’s perspective on the link between trauma and substance use further complements the potential use of ibogaine.

Given its recognized efficacy in treating substance use disorders, an ibogaine treatment for PTSD could simultaneously address the trauma underlying addiction and the addiction itself, providing a comprehensive treatment approach for individuals with C-PTSD and comorbid substance use disorders.

Early studies and anecdotal reports are promising, but they are just the first steps toward comprehensive understanding. Equally important is the proper administration of ibogaine, which should be conducted under medical supervision, such as we have here at Iboga Root Sanctuary (Ibogaine Treatment UK.)

The Medical Profession’s “Fear” of Trauma

Leading author and physician Gabor Maté has stated time and again in many lectures and public talks, that the medical profession has not been structured to take into account the complexities and subtleties needed for a comprehensive approach to trauma treatment.

 Stigma and Social Factors

Trauma, especially that which is derived from childhood experiences, is often stigmatized and associated with shame or guilt. The social stigma associated with mental health issues makes it difficult for individuals to discuss trauma openly. This social barrier has contributed to the reluctance in mainstream medicine to tackle trauma head-on.

Lack of Training and Understanding

Medical professionals are not always trained in understanding the complexities of psychological trauma and its manifestation in physical health. Gabor Maté suggests that this lack of training and understanding among healthcare professionals has resulted in a slow adoption of trauma-informed approaches.


Medical Reductionism

Traditional medical practice often takes a reductionist approach, focusing on specific symptoms and categorizing them into distinct diagnoses. While helpful in managing symptoms, this approach tends to miss the interconnectedness of physical and psychological health, and the role of trauma in both. Maté argues that this narrow focus on physical symptoms without considering the emotional and psychological aspects of health, including trauma, limits the scope of medical treatment.

Pharmaceutical Influence

There is also a perspective that the pharmaceutical industry influences the medical field to focus on treatments that can be administered in the form of medications. Since trauma often requires a multifaceted approach including psychotherapy, social support, and sometimes lifestyle changes, it doesn’t fit into the pharmaceutical model as neatly as other conditions.

Fear of Opening Pandora’s Box

Dr. Maté also posits that there is a reluctance in facing trauma because it is often deeply intertwined with societal issues. Acknowledging the pervasive impact of trauma on health would demand a reevaluation of various societal structures, including family, educational systems, and social services.

If you or anyone you know has experienced isolated or sustained trauma, and has PTSD or C-PTSD, know that there are other alternative treatments available, such as ibogaine, that will help process their trauma from the inside out, and re-connect with their authentic self.