For years, people have suffered from hard-to-treat depression. Despite the numerous medications on the market to aid in symptoms of depression, no single medication is universally effective at treating every single person. The hallucinogen found in “magic mushrooms”, called psilocybin, has now been shown to relieve symptoms in people who suffer hard-to-treat depression.
A 2021 study published in the Irish Journal of Medicine suggests that psilocybin might be as effective as the most common antidepressant medication (Lexapro) at relieving moderate to severe depression symptoms.
While this is still a new trial and not peer-reviewed or published at this time, it is still the largest trial of psilocybin to date and shows without a doubt that psilocybin is an effective treatment for depression.
This trial is simply one piece in the giant puzzle treating depression with mushrooms. For over 10,000 years, mushrooms have been used in various ceremonies worldwide to treat the human mind, and this study is just one modern example proving historical records.
What Was The Study?
Compass Pathways, a U.K. based clinical-stage company, is working to patent a form of psilocybin to be used as a therapy to help patients with depressive symptoms.
The aforementioned 2021 study found that patients who had a 25mg dose of psilocybin in conjunction with therapy had a near-instant and significant reduction in symptoms of depression. These symptom reductions lasted for nearly one whole month.
Almost 25% of people who took the 25mg dose showed a 50% or more reduction in symptoms three months out of their dose. These results are, without a doubt, groundbreaking for patients who’ve found themselves at a sort of roadblock.
The patients that participated in the study had treatment-resistant depression or TRD. Patients with TRD have tried multiple medications to manage their symptoms of depression and, with each out, found their symptoms of suicidal behaviour and suicidal ideation never went away.
When traditional medication doesn’t work, psilocybin does.
What Are The Side Effects?
One of the significant advantages of psilocybin as a treatment for depression is that the serious adverse events are so minuscule. Those given the 25mg dose experienced a significant reduction in their depressive symptoms, and very few had any significant adverse severe depression symptoms.
Compass Pathways found that those in the study who experienced these adverse effects were so small that they weren’t even statistically significant to show the incidence of the effects in the populations of people studied.
Five participants in the group that took the highest dose of psilocybin experienced these severe effects of depression; However, researchers noted that those who still had these symptoms were non-responsive to treatment.
While many patients experienced mild to moderate side effects, like fatigue, headaches and nausea, these side effects dissipated quickly and were not long-lasting.
What Else Does It Do?
During this study, the team at Compass Pathways found that psilocybin was vastly effective at improving some of the common side effects of depression, such as feelings of well-being, the ability to express emotion, and function in social settings.
These effects aren’t just common in people with depression but are symptoms of various mental health conditions. It’s very well a possibility that psilocybin could effectively treat a myriad of conditions with these ancillary symptoms, and that can be proven with more time and research.
There’s soon to be a new trial that uses psilocybin to treat anorexia, showing just how far psilocybin can go in treating severe mental health conditions.
The Importance of Well Being
Most of the participants began to find a more profound sense of knowledge about themselves during the trial. For the first time, many of these patients recognised why they had depression and were able to begin tackling the root of their mental health condition.
Psilocybin allows the brain to form new ways of thinking that it was unable to form before due to the natural limits of the human brain. In doing so, the person taking psilocybin can find things out about themselves and their inner mind than they ever knew before.
This could mean that psilocybin allows a doctor to treat mental illness such as depression and anxiety at the core, rather than simply managing the symptoms around the illness, such as suicidal thoughts and suicidal ideation.
Is It Worth It?
The exciting part of this specific study on psilocybin is that the person only takes one dose of the psilocybin. Instead of a drug regime, which requires the affected person to take medication daily, researchers gave psilocybin one time. A combination of therapy proved to be a long-term positive for patients.
Start Your Self-Discovery and Healing Journey Today
At Avalon, we offer several retreats and ceremonies, including a therapeutic magic mushroom ceremony in Barcelona, Spain, at varying times throughout the year.
In all our ceremonies, we hope to guide you on your path to self-discovery and onto a deeper level of healing. Our ceremony experiences include a workshop featuring sharing circles, writing, art therapy, and ecstatic dance, as well as a meal and a one-to-one preparation video call.
If you would like to book one of our magic mushroom ceremonies, or you would like to experience one of our other healing retreats, please visit our official website and click on the Book Now link at the top of our site.
You can also contact us with any questions and concerns you may have. If a ceremony or a retreat is fully booked, please join our waiting list to be notified when newly added dates become available. Visit today to explore our upcoming events!