Depression after Ayahuasca: Can you be worse after an Ayahuasca retreat

Depression after Ayahuasca

Most people share how Ayahuasca has helped them transform their lives. How it helped them let go of trauma, process the emotional impact that still affects them today, breakthrough their limiting beliefs, and create a vision for their lives

It served as a catalyst for an incredible life. So you went to an Ayahuasca retreat yourself to experience the magic of Ayahuasca. However, after the retreat, you feel worse than before.

You feel agitated, sad, and frustrated, and you even see signs that you are about to fall into depression. This blog post is here to help you if you experience these strong emotional shifts after Ayahuasca, which were not what you were looking for in the first place. 

Key takeaways: 

  • The suppressed problems in your life can become apparent after you drink Ayahuasca which can create challenges in your life. 


  • Differentiate if you are going through a sad / intense phase or you are in a chronically depressed state. 


  • Maintain a level of optimism that you are not alone on this journey. That it is good that these uncomfortable truths come up so you can start addressing them now instead of losing another 5 years of passivity. 


  • Take one step at a time, do things which are good for you, possibly consider an additional Ayahuasca Retreat or working with a therapist / Integration Coach. 

Table of Contents

Depression after Ayahuasca – becoming aware of the suppressed problems of your life

Maybe you used to cruise through life, living one day after the other. Without major problems or major success. A normal life. And after you drank Ayahuasca, you start to see all the things which are wrong in your life. And you start to feel a level of depression after Ayahuasca. 

It’s like Ayahuasca gives you a VIP pass to the movie of your life, but now it’s playing in super high definition, showing details you’ve never noticed before. You’re in the director’s chair, observing the recurring themes and patterns in your life. 

Love and Heartbreak

Take your romantic relationships, for example. After drinking Ayahuasca, it’s like you suddenly have this uncanny ability to see patterns you were oblivious to before. You know, like those ‘why am I always falling for the same kind of person’ moments? Or the gut-punching realization that maybe, just maybe, you’ve been the villain in some of your love stories.

Your relationship with work 

And let’s not forget about work and career choices. Ayahuasca might lead you to ponder, ‘Am I really passionate about what I do, or am I just chasing that paycheck? Am I in the profession that I am in to make my parents proud or did I actually chose it for myself? It’s like suddenly having clarity about your professional trajectory, realizing how much it’s tangled up with your self-worth, ambitions, or maybe even fears.

Your friendships

Then, there are your buddies, your squad. It’s weird how Ayahuasca can make you question these bonds. Are these friendships real and nurturing, or just convenient alliances? Do your friends reflect who you truly are, or who you pretend to be?

Your Social Patterns

And oh boy, the way you interact with others, that’s a whole new Pandora’s box. You might start to see that the social dance you do, whether it’s being the life of the party or the wallflower, is often just a reaction to past traumas or insecurities. Scary, right? That a lot of your patterns are actually trauma responses, isolating yourself so you won’t be rejected or getting hurt.

 Maybe you are always socializing because you cannot be with yourself. That you use other people to your own self-benefit or that other people use you. This can have a serious impact on your mental health.

Must read blog: Ayahuasca Integration – How to maintain the magic of Ayahuasca

You awaken to the hard truth to the way you have been living your life 

With all these patterns exposed – post Ayahuasca depression might start to kick in and you start questioning the life you’ve been leading. It can be a bit unsettling, like you’ve been living a lie or like you’ve wasted a lot of precious time. It can feel like a spiritual hangover, making you wonder if that Ayahuasca trip was worth it after all. 

Remember, Ayahuasca is like a magnifying glass to your soul, so it’s bound to reveal some uncomfortable truths. But hey, acknowledging them is the first step to transforming them, right? So, brace yourself and embrace the journey. It might be bumpy, but it’s your ride to a more authentic life.

Wrestling with Your Inner Demons: Sadness vs. Depression

Before we venture further, let’s clear up one crucial thing—feeling sad, being alone, or feeling isolated isn’t the same as being depressed or having a major depressive disorder. It’s like comparing an afternoon rainfall to a full-blown thunderstorm. Now, I’m not minimizing these emotions—they’re pretty heavy, trust me, I know. But it’s essential to understand that they don’t always mean you’re in the grip of depression after Ayahuasca.

You see, when you take Ayahuasca, it’s like you’ve just uncorked a fizzing bottle of your subconscious. It’s like disturbing a stagnant pond—there’s a lot of old, murky water (or emotions, in this case) that has been sitting unnoticed, and now it’s all stirred up. And you’re seeing it, smelling it, even tasting it. Gross, right? But that’s part of the process and can be one of the effects of Ayahuasca. 

When you’re feeling all these intense emotions, it might be tempting to reach for your usual coping mechanisms—maybe it’s a tub of ice cream, a Netflix binge, or even burying yourself in work. But what if you just sat with the feeling instead? Let it wash over you like a wave. It might be uncomfortable, even painful, but remember, this feeling is part of the healing process. It’s your body’s way of flushing out the emotional toxins. 

However, if what you’re feeling is more profound, if it feels like you’re sinking into the quicksand of depression, then we need to talk. These emotions suggest there are deeper issues that need addressing. This isn’t about just feeling down; it’s about feeling so low that you struggle to find the will to rise. 

Depression after Ayahuasca: Focus on the positive 

When you’re on this unanticipated emotional rollercoaster after your Ayahuasca journey, it’s easy to lose faith and confidence. You might even wonder if you’ve done something terribly wrong. But let’s hit the brakes on those thoughts. 

Better confront it now than later in your life journey

Here’s the deal: Realizing you’ve got stuff to work through is a good thing. It might not feel like it now, but trust me, it’s better to uncover these emotional landmines now than stumble upon them in 5, 10, or even 20 years. Awareness isn’t just the first step towards change—it’s a giant leap.

Pain as a catalyst for change

Pain, as much as we despise it, is often the catalyst for change. I mean, think about it—when was the last time you decided to change something when everything was comfy and cozy? Probably never, right? But when things get rough and the pain becomes unbearable, that’s when we say enough is enough. It’s like a wake-up call that urges us to grow and evolve. 

Depression after Ayahuasca: Use this experience for growth 

So, here’s the takeaway: Use this experience, as tough as it may be, for your growth. Let it be the chisel that shapes you into a more authentic version of yourself. This isn’t the end of the road—it’s a new, promising beginning. 

Find out if Ayahuasca is right for you

  • Will you be safe physically and emotionally?
  • How will you be supported in the ceremony?
  • How do the facilitators handle difficult situations?
  • How will you be able to process the experience?
  • You want change, but will your life be unrecognizable after Ayahuasca?

+ 13 things to consider before drinking Ayahuasca?

So, what’s next? Post-Ayahuasca Depression

Now that we’ve embraced the emotional turmoil for what it is—a catalyst for change—what do we do next? Here are a few things that might just help you get back on your feet.

Consider Another Ayahuasca Retreat

This might sound counterintuitive. After all, you’re wrestling with some pretty challenging emotions post-Ayahuasca (depression after Ayahuasca), and here I am suggesting you dive right back in. But hear me out.

Drinking Ayahuasca again could provide you with the clarity you need. It could help you untangle the knots that have formed in your emotional fabric. Think of it like a spring-cleaning for your soul—wiping the slates clean and providing you with a fresh canvas to paint your life anew.

A follow-up Ayahuasca retreat might also offer you the strength you need to continue this journey. It’s not going to be easy, and finding that inner resolve could make a world of difference.

We recommend checking out our Ayahuasca Retreat Center in Colombia if that resonates with you.

Seek Professional Help

Speaking with a therapist or an Ayahuasca Integration Coach could be incredibly beneficial. These professionals understand the nuances of post-Ayahuasca depression and can offer practical advice and coping strategies.

Just as a personal trainer helps you get the most out of your gym workouts, an integration coach can guide you through your emotional landscape, ensuring you get the maximum benefits from your Ayahuasca experience.

Develop a Spiritual Practice

Cultivating a regular spiritual practice can work wonders for your mental well-being. This could involve meditation, breathwork, yoga, or even working out—whatever resonates with you. It could also include activities like gardening or playing music—essentially anything that helps you connect with your inner self and nature. 

These practices aren’t just good for your mental health—they can provide a platform for self-discovery and personal growth.

Have Those Difficult Conversations

It’s time to have those conversations you’ve been avoiding—be it with your partner, a friend, a family member, or even yourself. These could be about your feelings, your needs, things that happened in the past or the changes you want to make in your life. 

Yes, these conversations will be hard, and yes, they might lead to uncomfortable revelations. But remember, honesty, even when painful, is the first step towards healing.

Understand that it is a blessing in disguise

Even though it is difficult at this time, it is essential that you remain trusting and have confidence in yourself and your process. All of the turmoil that is happening to you is actually a blessing in disguise; you just don’t see it yet. But you can believe that it is here for your growth. 

You will come out of it a better person.

Over the years, I’ve encountered many individuals whose lives seemed to spiral into chaos after an Ayahuasca retreat. Their world turned upside down, their emotions became wild, and their once stable existence became a rocky road that they could hardly recognize. They shared how they wouldn’t wish that experience on their worst enemy. 

But here’s the twist in the tale:. Despite the turmoil, the confusion, and the despair, every single one of these individuals agreed on one thing—that challenging phase was exactly what they needed at that point in their lives. And once they overcame the challenges, they were very grateful for the experience and knew that this needed to happen in their lives. That it was the catalyst for change and that they are so much happier in the place where they are now, then before going on this rollercoaster ride:

Ayahuasca will only give you what you can handle.

A friend of mine has been drinking Ayahuasca for over 5 years now. In year 4 of his Ayahuasca journey, memories of sexual abuse in his childhood started to surface that he didn’t remember. It is definitely something difficult to handle. However, it only came up in year 4 after many, many ceremonies. 

Ayahuasca is a master plant; in a way, it knows you better than yourself. Ayahuasca will not give you more than you can handle. Maybe it seems like a lot to you right now, but remember in your soul that you are also a lot stronger than you think you are. There is a reason the things that came up to you came up. And remember that you have the strength and emotional capacity to handle it, and you will come out better on the other end. 

All the best on your journey

And remember, every challenge you face and overcome is preparing you for the next level of your evolution. You have within you the strength and the emotional capacity to handle whatever comes your way. And once you weather the storm, you’ll find yourself standing stronger and brighter on the other side. Trust the process, embrace the journey, and always know, deep down in your soul, that you are more resilient than you ever imagined.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To wrap things up, let’s tackle some common questions you might have about depression after Ayahuasca. 

It’s important to understand that Ayahuasca is not a magic bullet that cures everything overnight. It can bring up deep-seated issues, traumas, or patterns that need healing. Sometimes, this process can make you feel worse before you feel better because it’s bringing to the surface what was hidden. This is not to say that Ayahuasca is causing more harm. Rather, it is revealing what needs to be healed and can be an integral part of your journey towards greater self-awareness and growth. 

If you’re feeling depressed after Ayahuasca, first and foremost, know that you’re not alone and it’s okay to seek help. Consider reaching out to a mental health professional, a trusted Ayahuasca integration coach, or support groups that understand your journey. It might also be beneficial to maintain a spiritual or mindfulness practice like meditation, breathwork, yoga, or even gardening. Remember, it’s crucial to be patient with yourself, and allow the healing process to unfold naturally.

Feeling depressed after Ayahuasca might be a result of the plant medicine bringing to light unresolved traumas or suppressed emotions. Ayahuasca has a way of opening up parts of ourselves that we’ve consciously or subconsciously kept locked away. This turmoil can sometimes be overwhelming, leading to feelings of depression. However, remember that these feelings are temporary and part of the healing journey. As you confront and work through these surfaced issues, you’ll find your way towards a more fulfilled and self-aware life.

Depression after Ayahuasca is a real and valid experience, but with the right tools, support, and understanding, it can be navigated and transformed into a powerful catalyst for personal growth and healing. Trust in your journey and remember, you are stronger than you think.

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