Psychedelics vs Traditional Antidepressants

Ketamine vs Traditional Antidepressants - A Comparative Analysis

In recent years, the search for alternative medications and therapeutic treatments for depression has grown exponentially. One particular option that has drawn significant attention are psychedelics, a dissociative anesthetic agent, now being used in therapeutic settings for its rapid antidepressant effects. Equanimity, a provider of psychedelic-assisted therapy, offers a comprehensive look at the benefits of psychedelics compared to traditional antidepressants.

Rapid Onset of Action

Traditional antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), typically require several weeks to show noticeable effects. Psychedelics, on the other hand, often produce rapid antidepressant effects, sometimes within hours after a single infusion. This swift action can be vital for those in dire need of immediate relief. Recent research indicates that suicidal ideation can be temporarily alleviated within a few hours through the use of psychedelics. Ongoing therapy, however, is crucial to maintain and deepen its therapeutic effects.

Mechanism of Action

Psychedelics operate differently from traditional antidepressants. While SSRIs and SNRIs focus on the serotonin and norepinephrine neurotransmitter pathways, psychedelics interact with the glutamate system. They modulate the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, which play a crucial role in mood regulation. This unique mechanism provides an alternative route of intervention for those unresponsive to conventional treatments. While antidepressants suppress emotion, psychedelics allow for deep emotional release and understanding which can be a more potent remedy for many.

Treatment-Resistant Depression

For individuals who haven’t found relief with standard antidepressants, psychedelics can be a beacon of hope. Studies have demonstrated their efficacy in treating treatment-resistant depression, offering a solution where other medications have failed. In South Africa, psychiatrists are increasingly relying on this option for many patients.

Multifaceted Therapeutic Approach

Psychedelics’ versatility as a treatment is clear when integrated into a holistic therapeutic approach. Institutions like Equanimity leverage psychedelics’ profound effects by pairing them with complementary treatments such as yoga, breathwork, and psychotherapy. This combination enhances the overall healing and recovery process, encouraging personal growth and emotional breakthroughs that are lasting.

Enhanced Patient Experience

At world-class centers like Equanimity, the experience goes beyond the mere administration of psychedelics. With state-of-the-art facilities, including private infusion booths, therapy rooms, and an on-site yoga studio, the therapeutic journey becomes a transformative, holistic experience. These settings, coupled with the compassionate care of experienced healthcare professionals, create a nurturing environment for optimal mental well-being. Our value add is the inclusion of a structured science-based therapy program tailored to the unique needs of the individual.


In the ever-evolving landscape of mental health treatments, psychedelics are emerging as a promising alternative to traditional antidepressants. Their rapid onset, unique mechanism of action, and efficacy in treating resistant forms of depression make them a standout choice for many seeking relief. When paired with a comprehensive therapeutic approach, as seen at institutions like Equanimity, the potential for healing, recovery, and personal growth is profound.
For those exploring the frontiers of mental health solutions, psychedelic-assisted therapy offers an innovative, scientifically backed option worth considering.

About Equanimity:

Equanimity provides a safe, legal, and professionally curated psychedelic-assisted therapy program, setting the gold standard in holistic healing and personal growth. With world-class mental health facilities and dedicated professionals, the path to emotional breakthroughs and spiritual development has never been more exciting.

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Email: | Phone: (+27) 10 594 5850 OR (+27) 82 723 5723 | Visit: Upper Grayston Office Park, Block B, 150 Linden Street, Sandown

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Welcome to the Equanimity Wellness Centre

Equanimity is a next generation, evidence-based wellness centre – located in Sandton, South Africa – that offers a scientific approach to psychedelic assisted therapy.

Our holistic psychedelic-assisted therapy program is underpinned by international best-practice and safely administered and monitored by suitably qualified medical professionals.

The benefit of the psychedelic experience lies in the therapeutic system within which it is grounded. Only with thorough preparation, careful attention to set and setting, a trusting therapeutic relationship and ongoing integration can we begin to tap the truly wondrous potential of these compounds.

We’ve drawn on decades of clinical experience to craft the journey of a lifetime, tailor-made to your personal biography, intentions and long-term vision.

Monday to Friday 08:30 – 17:30
Saturday 09:00 – 13:00
Sunday Closed
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