"From Shock to Awe" follows the lives of military veterans undergoing different psychedelic therapies in order to heal from PTSD.

Around 20% of recent Unites States war veterans suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to research produced by RAND. Nearly half of these individuals won’t seek any treatment whatsoever. Recently, the emerging field of psychedelic therapy is becoming an attractive option for some.

“From Shock to Awe” shows veterans healing PTSD with ayahuasca and other psychedelics.

The first time I drank the potent psychedelic brew ayahuasca was in Australia in a ceremony conducted by a military vet. He was once a helicopter pilot, but left the military in the early 2000s, diagnosed with PTSD. After trying different mainstream medications and healthcare treatments and gaining no substantial results, he tried ayahuasca. He explained:

I experienced the most tremendous healing in my first ayahuasca ceremony. It changed my life.

Veterans healing PTSD with ayahuasca
A scene from “From Shock to Awe” showing military veterans suffering from PTSD at an ayahuasca ceremony.

It actually took months of “deep healing work to begin to feel truly normal again. I supplemented my ayahuasca sessions with psychotherapy and chi gong meditation”, he explained. Similar to some shamans of the Amazon rainforest, he learnt how to heal himself with ayahuasca and this became his foundation for helping others.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’d know that psychedelic medicine research is experiencing something of a renaissance. Ayahuasca, psilocybin, LSD and other similar substances, are showing promise in helping to ease suffering and promote wellbeing. A recent study showed positive results using the drug MDMA with psychotherapy to treat traumatized war veterans. Other research is demonstrating that psychedelic therapies can help against different types of psychological distress, mood disorders and addictions.

The new documentary, From Shock to Awe follows the lives of military veterans undergoing different psychedelic therapies. It premiered across the United States on November 12 and is now available for streaming here. Director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, Rick Doblin described the film as:

Deeply moving and inspiring. It will help educate many people about the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.

Check out the trailer here:

Jared Michaelson