People used mushrooms for religious rituals and recreation for years. But could you use mushrooms for depression treatment? Recent studies say that using a psychedelic mushroom as a depression treatment may be in our future. Even the FDA looked into it. Read more to discover how this trippy treatment works.
What is Depression?
Depression is more than just feeling sad or experiencing grief. Patients with depression experience a depressed mood along with symptoms like loss of appetite, irritability, decreased energy, thoughts of suicide, and more. To qualify as depression, these symptoms must persist for at least two weeks. Short episodes of extreme sadness don’t count.
What Are Psychedelic Mushrooms?
Psilocybin mushrooms, which people usually refer to as psychedelic mushrooms or shrooms, are a type of fungi that causes hallucinations when ingested. They alter your whole state of consciousness. When you take shrooms, you see and feel things very differently. In very low doses, psilocybin mushrooms can treat conditions such as depression, addiction, and eating disorders.
How Can a Mushroom Treat Depression?
When you take shrooms, your body turns the psilocybin into psilocin. This binds with a specific receptor in your brain that regulates the chemicals that contribute to depression.
Psychedelic mushrooms also make the visual cortex more active and allow you to look deep within your own mind. In 2016, scientists studied shrooms as a treatment for treatment-resistant depression. Participants in the study claimed that ingesting the mushrooms helped them change the harmful thought patterns they formed from their depression.
Is Taking a Mushroom for Depression Treatment Legal?
Currently, the possession of psychedelic mushrooms is only legal in a couple US cities. Some laws in other places are in the works. Oakland, California, and Denver, Colorado, are the only places it’s truly legal now.
Taking Mushrooms Safely
Although you may think of shrooms as a dangerous drug, they are one of the safest illicit substances. If you’re in an area that legalized psychedelic mushrooms for treating depression, here’s how to ingest shrooms safely:
Know What to Expect
This may be the most important step. Mushrooms for depression treatment are not something you should try on a whim. Do plenty of research beforehand. Make sure you aren’t on any medications that could negatively interact with psilocybin. Read about what most people see and feel during a trip on shrooms. You will have a better trip if you have a rough idea of what will happen to you.
Additionally, research how you can safely and legally purchase the shrooms. The last thing you need is to get in trouble with the law.
Take a Low Dose to Start
Especially if it’s your first time ingesting psilocybin mushrooms, take a very low dose. 0.8 grams is usually a good amount to start with.
Make a Schedule
Set aside at least a whole day to experience your trip. Psychedelics affect everyone differently. Most people are out of commission for around eight hours.
Find a Safe Place
Plan to ingest the mushrooms in a comfortable, safe place. Your environment can affect your trip. Get comfy for the best impact on your experience.
Stick with a Chaperone
It’s dangerous to take psychedelics by yourself. If a trip goes bad, you need someone around. This can be a friend or family member. Preferably, find someone with experience guiding people through trips.
Only Start if You Are in a Good Mindset
Your initial mindset has a huge impact on how the mushrooms affect you. Only ingest shrooms if you are in a positive state of mind. Otherwise, you risk having a very negative experience.
Mushrooms for Depression: Still a Last Resort
Since taking psychedelic mushrooms is still illegal in most of the United States, it’s not a viable treatment for many people. It makes for interesting studies. However, it’s an extreme measure that is a last-resort option for depression that resists all other treatment methods.
Before you think about ingesting a mushroom for depression treatment, find a counselor and/or a psychiatrist to discuss your depression. Traditional treatment may be the right fit for you.