Researchers are studying psychoactive drugs in treating mental illness in what has been referred to as the psychedelic renaissance. According to a leading psychiatrist, psilocybin, a chemical found in magic mushrooms, could potentially treat depression in unresponsive individuals to prescription drugs.

Psilocybin can ease mental illness

Psilocybin causes hallucinations in individuals when they consume mushrooms. Studies show that the compound has the potential of easing mental illness since it can trigger a serotonin sub-type receptor in the brain. There have been increasing studies in the effects of banned substances with the psychoactive impact such as magic mushrooms, LSD, and MDMA in what is termed as the psychedelic renaissance.

Honorary research associate at UCL and clinical psychiatrist, Dr. Mark Bolstridge stated that presently used antidepressants are not effective for all patients. Bolstridge, in collaboration with British Neuroscience Association president, David Nutt conducted a trial on the potential use of psilocybin in treating depression. The study participants were volunteers who were unresponsive to currently approved antidepressants whose mental condition was debilitating their wellbeing.

The small study recruited individuals with moderate to severe depression, with patients receiving two psilocybin doses a week apart. One patient that took part in the study, Kirk Rutter, indicated that he doesn’t feel depressed anymore, and following the treatment, he felt very positive.

More studies support the potential of psilocybin as an antidepressant

Interestingly there is a need for more extensive studies to try and understand how the psychedelic is helping depressed patients and how it can be vital in treating patients on a mass scale. There have also been separate studies in the US by NYU and Johns Hopkins University showing that psilocybin effectively reduces depression in patients. According to the study, 80% of cancer patients that received psilocybin dose experienced a considerable drop in psychological disorders lasting up to seven months.

Another study by the Imperial Research program in London and Beckley Foundation established that psilocybin had the potential of helping patients with treatment-resistant depression. Amanda Fielding, Beckley Foundation’s Executive Director, stated that 2016 was a great period for psychedelic studies when they conducted the study.

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