Effective for Treatment-Resistant Depression
Studies show that patients with treatment-resistant depression respond well to psilocybin. Results suggest psilocybin ‘reset’ the brains of these patients. Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris led one of the psilocybin studies and says “similar brain effects” occur “with electroconvulsive therapy.”
“Psilocybin may be giving these individuals the temporary ‘kick start’ they need to break out of their depressive states…”
Treatment-resistant depression is when depressive symptoms aren’t relieved by any tried therapies, including:
- – Various medications
- – Various talk therapies
- – Lifestyle changes
- – Alternative therapies
Research demonstrates that relief lasted up to five weeks after two doses of psilocybin. Separate studies show that a single dose of psilocybin can lift anxiety and depression in cancer patients.
In contrast, many depressed patients need to take antidepressants every day and/or attend therapy every week to get similar benefits. These forms of treatment can also continue for years.
According to Professor David Nutt of Imperial College London, “Our study has shown psilocybin is safe and fast acting so may, if administered carefully, have value for these patients.”. In one study on magic mushrooms, all the depressed patients showed improvements after one week.
The fast-acting nature of psilocybin mushrooms for depression is attractive since antidepressant medication and/or therapy can take weeks before patients feel benefits. This can prove problematic if your depressive symptoms are severe. Self-harming behavior or suicidal thoughts call for immediate treatment.
Researchers state that magic mushrooms help depressed patients reconnect with their emotions. They contrast this effect with antidepressants, which relieve depression by dulling your emotions. Many patients who use antidepressants say they help reduce low mood, but they blunt positive mood as well. This can leave you feeling numb or flat.
Psilocybin seems to offer patients benefits by increasing emotional processing. After the psilocybin experiment, patients said they were more willing to accept emotions. They felt that previous treatments encouraged them to “reinforce emotional avoidance and disconnection.”
The nature of psilocybin’s effects and its short-term use means there are few side effects. Magic mushrooms lack the side effects of various antidepressant medications, which often include:
- – Increased appetite and weight gain
- – Loss of sexual desire or other sexual problems (erectile dysfunction, decreased orgasm, etc.)
- – Fatigue and drowsiness
- – Dry mouth
- – Blurred vision
- – Insomnia
- – Dizziness
- – Indigestion and stomach aches
- – Diarrhea or constipation