Depression is one of the most challenging long-term condition which can be difficult to treat. Clinical studies have shown that psychedelics can have a long-term positive effect on moods, even with just a single session.
A lot of people who suffered from depression and were able to recover find that they have to combine different approaches to stay healthy. Exercise, good nutrition, lower stress, more time with friends, and personal introspection through the use of psychedelics, therapy, or meditation, can be used as a powerful combination.
For thousands of years, psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin mushrooms have been used in private therapy, clinical studies, and at home to treat people who suffer from depression. The medication ketamine has also shown outstanding results to treat depression.
The Potential Magic in Mushrooms
Researchers from Imperial College London revealed that patients who suffer from depression had seen great improvements for up to four to five weeks after using psilocybin.
In this study, 19 patients have been observed and were given two doses of psilocybin and were provided with psychological support. Results shown from brain scans revealed that there is reduced blood flow to some parts of the brain that is responsible for emotional processing including fear and stress. It also showed that there is more stability in some areas of the brain associated with depression.
Psilocybin is not the first drug to be known for its potential to be studied for its therapeutic claims. The FDA also approved Epidiolex, which is derived from cannabis, as a medication for epilepsy. Esketamine, a type of depression drug which is based on the sedative ketamine, is also being sought to be approved by the FDA.
Why they are called “Magic Mushrooms”?
Back from prehistory, a lot of shamanistic cultures are already using psychedelic drugs. For these cultures, these drugs are not taken recreationally. Instead, they use it to communicate with spirits and ancestors who transcend the corporeal world in which we associate on a day-to-day basis. This reveals to be true around the world. It is also true that different kinds of mushrooms, like the Amanita or genera Psilocybe, are usually the source of psychedelics.
The Effects of Psilocybin
Mushrooms which contain psilocybin are most likely to induce changes in thoughts, perception, and mood by binding as an agonist to the receptors of the human brain, specifically the 5-hydroxytryptamine (HT) 2A receptors. The actual experience which is also referred to as a “trip” can be influenced by a person’s mindset and environment (also called “set and setting”). The effects of psilocybin can be usually felt approximately 30 to 45 minutes after consuming it and the effects usually last for up to four to six hours, depending on the amount of dosage. The peak effect of this drug can usually be felt between two to three hours after intake.
Besides the effects of visual and auditory hallucinations, users also reported having deeply spiritual epiphanies which can be hard to recall once the effect of the drug wears off. Users who were part of studies of psilocybin reported that they had a life-changing experience and allowed them to be more reflective and insightful. They also had euphoria including a sense of connection with others and to the world.
Some researches show that psilocybin can be less potent compared to drugs such as LSD and has a lesser risk of overdose toxicity, but it can still have negative effects. This drug can have side effects such as tachycardia, hypertension, vomiting, nausea, vertigo, confusion, anxiety, and increased in light sensitivity due to the dilation of pupils. Depending on the dosage, hallucinations can also become intense and some users also suffer from a “bad trip”. This is associated with unpleasant and disturbing hallucinations or thoughts that can lead to confusion, anxiety, delirium, and in some cases, temporary psychosis.
Why not everyone can benefit from psilocybin treatments?
There are a lot of researches that suggest that psilocybin can be a future depression treatment but it is still not the best choice for everyone.
Some people cannot take psychedelics like those with a family history of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. This is also a bad candidate for people with high blood pressure because psilocybin may increase the blood pressure of a person.
Those people who have used psilocybin can benefit from the drug which current depression drugs cannot give. A lot of researchers think that the treatment potential of psilocybin for depression is promising but it still needs to have more large-scale research on its uses and effects.
Should you take Psilocybin to treat depression?
This question is quite hard and it is still impossible to answer.
Magic mushrooms are not yet approved by mainstream medicine and there is a possibility that there are other treatments available that may work better. One cannot simply rely on the magic mushroom to treat anxiety and depression.
You can always ask advice to your primary healthcare provider and try other alternatives. Regardless, people who have depression should not eliminate their other treatments and rely their hopes on psilocybin.
The ideal magic mushroom remedy for depression would require substantial support of caregivers, therapists, and psychologists. Ending your SSRI treatment, leaving behind your treatment behind, and getting a single huge dosage of mushrooms without help might not help you.
Make sure you also keep in mind that mushrooms aren’t suitable for everybody, and there might be other natural medications that may be much more suitable for your demands. Many people may do much better with toad medicine (Bufo), frog medicine (Kambo), vine medicine (Ayahuasca), cactus medicine (Peyote/San Pedro), flower medicine (Cannabis) or any other master crops.
It’s usually better to inform yourself before making any choices relating to your overall health. If you’re using prescription drugs, be sure to find out about any contraindications that plant medications might have with all your present prescribed medications. Never stop your prescription drugs all at once. Always have well-informed and supporting people surrounding you, regardless of what treatment method you choose.