According to new research, psilocybin, a hallucinogenic component found in “magic mushroom,” can help people with significant depression for up to a year and possibly longer. Two doses of psilocybin, along with supportive “talk” therapy, resulted in substantial, stable, and long-lasting antidepressant effects after a year of follow-up in a study of persons with a lengthy history of depression.
According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, three-quarters of participants in the study showed an antidepressant response after 12 months, and 50% of the participants were healed from their depression.
In a statement, Roland Griffiths, PhD, a study investigator and founding head of the institute, said, “Magic mushroom’s psilocybin not only causes strong and immediate effects, but it also has a lengthy duration, suggesting that it could be a potentially beneficial new treatment for depression.” In contrast to the common medicine of antidepressants that needs to be taken for a long period of time, magic mushrooms have the ability or even permanent healing from symptoms of depression with just one to two use of psilocybin,” he said.
Magic Mushroom as an alternative
Psilocybin, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), can alter a person’s perception and awareness of their environment, as well as their thoughts and feelings.
Therefore, people who take psilocybin help heal them from various mental issues and addictions as study showed. “The results of the test that we notice from research conditions, there is also a planning and structured assistance involved from professional clinicians and therapists. In this case an individual should not do it by themselves alone, an expert said.
Under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, psilocybin and related substances are still not available for clinical use.
The new study comprised 19 women and five men with moderate to severe depression, according to the Journal of Psychopharmacology. The vast majority had previously been treated with antidepressant drugs, and more than half said they were still taking them during their current depressive episodes.
All trial participants had 6 to 8 hours of “preparatory” meetings with two people who were trained in psilocybin therapy prior to receiving psilocybin treatment. They were then given two doses of psilocybin, spaced around two weeks apart, in a safe and controlled environment.
Follow up treatment
They came back for follow-ups one day and one week after each session, as well as one, three, six, and twelve months following the second session. Psilocybin treatment resulted in significant reductions in depression, which lasted for up to 12 months after treatment.
During the long-term follow-up phase, there were no significant psilocybin adverse effects. “Our team has not yet gathered any formal data after one year in our trial,” Gukasyan said, “but several individuals in our study have stayed in touch and reported sustained improvements in mood.”
Another test of magic mushroom this time with a cancer patient who has depression and anxiety resulted in a boost in mood and well-being which can last for up to four and a half years.” Gukasyan explains.
According to the researchers, more research is needed to see if magic mushrooms have longer relief for depression that can continue for more than twelve months.