Magic mushrooms are illegal in the U.S., including for clinical use, so patients with depression can’t receive the treatment outlined in the studies above unless they enroll in new experiments.
Magic mushrooms are legal in some countries, and you can even find ‘magic mushroom retreats’ in the Netherlands and Jamaica. These retreats don’t cater to people with depression, even though some people attend them for that reason. They’re also not controlled or structured in the same way psilocybin studies are. And there may not be psychotherapists guiding the sessions.
Researchers warn against people using magic mushrooms as a form of self-medication. This is because it involves some risks that you may not be able to cope with on your own. These include:
- – Paranoia
- – Confusion
- – Frightening hallucinations, both auditory or visual in nature
- – Derealization (the feeling that your surroundings aren’t real)
- – Depersonalization (a state in which your thoughts and feelings seem unreal)
- – Distressing thoughts
When you don’t have a trained mental health professional to guide you through a difficult experience or process it after, it could be unsettling in the long-term.
If you decide to use magic mushrooms for depression in the U.S., you are committing a crime. Most patients don’t want to have to break the law to treat their mental health condition. Also, knowing you have a controlled substance may increase your unpleasant emotions, like paranoia, during an experience with magic mushrooms.