Magic Mushrooms Might Soon Be Prescribed As Antidepressants
Depression is a big problem in the US (especially after that high-intensity election ). According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, depression is the leading cause of disability in the US for people between 15 and 44. It affects more than 15 million adults, (about seven percent of the US population age 18+). It’s also more common in women than men. Yikes!
According to the folks over at Gizmodo , “New research published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology shows that a single dose of mind-altering psilocybin, in conjunction with psychotherapy, reduces depression, anxiety, and other emotional distress in patients with advanced cancer, while increasing feelings of well-being. Importantly, these effects lasted for months.” Psilocybin is the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, the thing that makes you see and hear and feel weird shiz.
The trial participants were blindfolded and listened to music after taking a capsule containing the psilocybin. They were encouraged to focus on inner experiences. Follow-ups showed that a single treatment gave near-immediate results. Patients reported decreased levels of despair, anguish and depression, and more positive opinions on the quality and meaning of life and the acceptance of death. Several patients even said they felt more spiritual and “unusually peaceful.” The patients felt that they’d learned something deeply meaningful and valuable, and many said the experience ranked in their top five most meaningful experiences. After the treatments, they attributed positive changes in their lives to that experience.
It certainly sounds promising, but it’s a classic case of “don’t try this at home.” The researchers say that people shouldn’t try to self-medicate with magic mushrooms, because as with any medication, it’s just not for everyone.
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(h/t Gizmodo , photos via Marianna Armata/Getty + Dan Dalton/Getty)