Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy for Major Depression and Its Therapeutic Efficacy for Long-Term Relief

Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy for Major Depression and Its Therapeutic Efficacy for Long-Term Relief
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Psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy is on the verge of being approved to clinically treat Major Depressive Disorder and other mental health conditions, such as cancer-related anxiety and depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

  • Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic prodrug compound that is currently a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, which means it has no accepted medical use in the United States.
  • The Psychedelic Research Group's clinical trials of psilocybin-assisted therapy has shown statistically significant improvement in depressive symptoms after 2 sessions and minimal serious adverse events were observed among the participants.
  • The FDA has designated psilocybin-assisted therapy for Major Depression a potential Breakthrough Therapy.

The Psychedelic Research Group's clinical study has demonstrated a new profound hope for patients with depression and other various health conditions, such as, migraines, cluster headaches, and treatment-resistant depression, and pure psilocybin is on the cusp of federal approval for safe and therapeutic use.

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The purpose of this article is to promote awareness, education, and support for individuals of all ages dealing with various mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and cancer-related depression.

This article provides an opportunity to destigmatize seeking help for mental health conditions and develop a culture that values the importance of mental health, ultimately contributing to overall wellness and improved quality of life for everyone everywhere.

Before the article starts, I must emphasize that psilocybin is still considered federally illegal and the safety and efficacy of psilocybin-assisted therapy is currently under investigation. No psilocybin-assisted therapy has been approved by the FDA or other regulatory authorities yet.

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Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy for Major Depression

With millions of individuals worldwide affected by major depression, there is a pressing need to develop effective and lasting treatments. A promising frontier in the fight against this debilitating mental health condition is psilocybin-assisted therapy.

This novel treatment combines the therapeutic potential of psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychedelic substance, with the established benefits of psychotherapy. Recent research suggests that this integrated approach not only mitigates depressive symptoms, but could also provide long-lasting effects.

Key Mental Health Statistics

  • Depression affects 16 million Americans per year.
  • 1 in 6 adults experience depressive symptoms at least once in their lifetime.
  • 246 million individuals worldwide experience depression.
  • As of 2020, suicide is the second leading cause of death for U.S. children ages 10 to 14, preceded only by accidents.
  • Depression affects more women than men.
  • 31% of college students experience depression. It is more prevalent around late teenage years and early adulthood.
  • Young adults ages 18 to 25 in the U.S have the highest rate of experiencing any mental health concerns and the highest rate of serious mental illness.
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Psilocybin Explained

Psilocybin, also referred to as "Magic Mushrooms or "Shrooms" is the naturally occurring prodrug compound produced by over 200 species of fungi and classified as a classic psychedelic entheogen, a spirituality-enhancing agent.

Once ingested, psilocybin is converted into psilocin in the gut to be able to cross the blood-brain-barrier and produce its mind altering affects. Psilocybin has the ability to induce profound changes in perception, cognition, and mood.

Historically, various cultures have used psilocybin in spiritual or ritualistic contexts; however, its application in modern psychiatry has gained significant interest due to its potential therapeutic effects, especially when used in combination with psychological support.

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Potent psychopharmacological effects of Psilocybin:

  • Feelings of euphoria, giddiness, and joy.
  • Visual and mental hallucinations.
  • Distorted sense of time and changes in perception.
  • Perceived spiritual experiences.
  • Ego dissolution and letting go of fear.
  • Oceanic boundlessness: experiencing something unusual and mystical beyond this world and one's normal experience.
  • Regression to primitive and childlike thinking.
  • Enhanced ability for introspection.
  • A strong sense of connection to others, nature, and the universe.
  • Synesthesia: blending of visual and auditory stimuli; hearing colors and seeing sounds.

It is important to point out that psilocybin also has side effects and should be used with caution, especially if ingested in high amounts or consumed with alcohol.

Adverse Effects of Psilocybin:

  • Transient paranoia.
  • Lethargy, nausea, and disorientation.
  • Confusion and agitation.
  • Anxiety and panic attacks.
  • Fear and unpleasant emotions.
  • Violent behavior and suicidal thoughts.
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How Psilocybin Reduces Signs + Symptoms of Depression

The potential long-term effects of psilocybin-assisted therapy for major depression could be attributed to its unique impact on the brain. Psilocybin is known to interact with the brain's serotonin receptors, which play a crucial role in mood regulation.

Psilocybin is thought to temporarily disrupt default-mode patterns of thoughts, beliefs, and emotions, potentially allowing the brain to 'reset' itself. In essence, it provides an opportunity for the brain to escape depressive patterns and create new, healthier ones.

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How Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy Works

Psilocybin-assisted therapy is performed in a clinical laboratory setting with pure psilocybin under the supervision of a therapist or clinician. Psilocybin-assisted therapy typically involves two supervised sessions in which patients consume a controlled dose of synthetic psilocybin, in conjunction with ongoing psychotherapy.

Patients are guided through their sessions by trained professionals who can help guide these individuals through their anxiety and fear during the peak of the psilocybin journey, and also integrate these experiences into their everyday lives, leading to potential shifts in perspective and behavior.

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Results of Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy

Clinical trials investigating the efficacy of psilocybin-assisted therapy for major depression have yielded promising results. A notable study published in JAMA Psychiatry in 2020 showed that psilocybin, combined with supportive psychotherapy, was associated with significant reductions in depressive symptoms and substantial improvements several months after the treatment.

As research progresses, it becomes increasingly clear that psilocybin-assisted therapy may hold substantial promise for long-term treatment of major depression. By leveraging the potential of psilocybin to 'reset' the brain and promote healthier thought patterns through neuroplasticity, individuals are able to experience lasting relief from their depression.

Psilocybin has the potential to promote neuralplasticity, which could contribute to the long-term benefits seen in patients undergoing this form of therapy. Furthermore, many individuals describe their psilocybin experiences as deeply meaningful, often leading to substantial changes in their outlook on life, their relationships, and their sense of self, which could further contribute to long-term improvements in mental health.

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How Psilocybin Stimulates Neuroplasticity to Provide Long-Term Relief for Depression

  • Promotes abilities to learn new relationships between different sensory and emotional states.
  • Rewires emotion centers in the brain.
  • Breaks negative habitual thought patterns.
  • Evokes new patterns of learning and possibilities.
  • Increased feelings of unity and belonging.

Final Thoughts

Psilocybin-assisted therapy represents a novel approach to treating major depression, providing both immediate symptom relief and potential long-term benefits. The therapy's evident potential makes it an exciting area of study. With careful and rigorous investigation, psilocybin-assisted therapy could soon transform the way we understand and treat major depressive disorder.

It's crucial to remember that psilocybin-assisted therapy is not for everyone. Individuals with a history or family history of psychosis or other mental health conditions are often excluded from this type of treatment due to the risk of adverse reactions. Also, even under supervised conditions, some individuals may experience challenging psychological reactions during a psilocybin session.

Thank you for reading this article.

Bel0w is The Psychedelic Research Group's study in PDF format.


This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.