Q & A: Narcissism and Ayahuasca

Q: Hi I am from Bolivia, I recently gone under a treatment with psychedelic drugs such as ayahuasca, it really helped. I wish to know your points of view on psychedelic drugs to treat depression and other diseases. (might be difficult, just let me know if you want to try this one?)

A: Ayahuasca is known for its ability to help enhance spiritual enlightenment. This website is dedicated to the understanding of Narcissism and how to respond to narcissistic behavior. It is my belief that an individual needs all their faculties intact- as clear as possible- in order to cope with, understand, or leave a narcissist. Mind-altering drugs would not fit into that category nor do I believe that mind-altering drugs would help a narcissist become enlightened and “find” empathy. I’m glad you felt it was helpful to you and that you are feeling better. According to what I have researched on it, it is generally advisable to only use it when accompanied by a shaman. That is not a possibility for most people around the world.

  • Ayahausca? Definitely those associated or recently disassociated with a narcissist could benefit!!!
    Moving to Colorado is another option.

  • I am Native American so I can see why this could help,but I also can consider the Bad trip a lot of pple might go on….one would need a shaman or medicine man. Interesting read!

  • Ayahuasca will definitely be helpful.

    Narcissism is an emotional disorder formed as a result of a trauma or traumas that dissociate a person from their feelings, creating a lack of empathy. Ayahuasca helps a person reconnect with their feelings, and heal emotional traumas.

    When an episode of narcissistic rage occurs the brain is flooded with stress hormones sending rapid distress signals throughout the body. The brain becomes hyper alert for words or actions (triggers) that might signal a perceived slight and each time it reacts the neural pathways formed during the originating trauma are strengthened.

    Ayahuasca heals emotional disorders by allowing a practitioner to re-experience painful memories in a safe and loving way. It floods the brain with calming hormones inactivating the impulse to fly into a rage, though the feelings might still be there the impulse to react is lessened.

    In this way the medicine retrains the brain to handle the same triggers in a calm and empathic manner.

    It is important to be under the care of a shaman during this process. Some experiences can be challenging but the benefit is healing and emotional reconnection, the very thing that I believe creates empathy and heals narcissism.

    • Winterberry, I was glad to read your commentary on how Ayahuasca could heal narcissism or emotional disorders. This is the first commentary I’ve read that has some compassion for those who suffer with this disorder and want to change. Would love to be able to correspond with you. Thank you for writing.

      • I have also heard about Ayahuasca, and it’s healing properties. Please keep me up on any information you recieve.
        Thank you!

    • I searched for this answer of yours for a friend I’d like to help, hoping that my experience of aya would be indicative of it enabling the kind of healing I’d hoped it would be able to provide to someone with narcissism. Your comment is very well put. Do you have direct experience of assisting those with narcissism? I wonder however if the problem is less as to whether aya can help, but rather how to have a narcissist get to take it?

  • As a psychologist who has not tried it, I can only offer my own observation that ayahuasca is a tool like any other: results will only go as far as the pre-existing limitations of the individual, and will only integrate with that person’s life as far as they are prepared to accept and work towards change. There is no quick fix for NPD. A revelatory experience such as ayahuasca creates may open the way for commitment to healing, and that may be the turning point some need. However I have also seen ayahuasca enhance narcissism, in that people perceive themselves to possess greater enlightenment than those who pursue wisdom, spiritual insight and self-control in more conventional ways. The euphoria produced can lead to grandiose beliefs. Regardless of the potential positive effects of ayahuasca, it (and other psychotropic drugs) will always remain an external influence. Real change and healing occur on the inside.

    • Agreed that aya is not a cure-all, but further consideration must be given to the context within which it was taken, how much was taken, how often, and so on. If the journeying is mild and infrequent, then a reversal of expected outcomes for someone deeply narcissistic is a likely outcome.

  • I must absolutely agree with L Merton. As a scholar of culture who has observed the phenomenon of ayahuasca tourism in the past ten years (and experienced it from the inside) I can say that ayahuasca has powerful potential to heal through catharsis but it can in fact make some disorders worse or catalyze latent disorders. It can also trigger psychosis which can result in grandiose or fearful ideas, paranoia, etc, depending on the individual. It is not to be taken lightly and is only the beginning of the healing process, requiring a great deal of attention and self reflection as one integrates into everyday life.

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