Do Magic Mushrooms Help With Depression? The Pros and Cons.

Single upside down mushroom on a black background

Psilocybin magic mushrooms also known as shrooms are currently illegal in both Canada and the United States. Shrooms contain the Schedule controlled substances psilocybin and psilocin. 

However, scientific data shows that magic mushrooms can potentially treat depression. The FDA approved the psilocybin drug trial for treatment-resistant depression. 

So what are the pros and cons of using psilocybin magic mushrooms for depression? And is this treatment better than others? 

The Pros of Using Psilocybin Magic Mushrooms

Lasting Results

Research shows that relief lasted up to 5 full weeks after dosing on psilocybin twice. Other studies suggest that a single dose of psilocybin can lift depression and anxiety in cancer patients. 

In contrast to the lasting results, depressed patients need to take antidepressants daily to get similar benefits. Treatments like antidepressants and attending therapy can continue for years. 

Fast Acting

As per Professor David Nutt, “Our study has shown psilocybin is safe and fast-acting so may, if administered carefully, have value for these patients.” In one study all depressed patients showed improvements after only one week. 

The fast-acting nature of psilocybin magic mushrooms is much more attractive than antidepressants and therapy due to the many weeks it could take before patients feel benefits. 

Emotional Connection

Magic mushroom researchers state psilocybin can help patients reconnect with emotions. A contrast to antidepressants, which dull emotions. Patients who use antidepressants say they leave you feeling numb or flat. 

Psilocybin however offers patients benefits by increasing emotional processing.  After a psilocybin experiment, patients said they were more willing to accept their emotions. 

Psilocybin magic mushroom also offers effects that have significantly lower side effects compared to antidepressants. 

The Cons of Using Psilocybin Magic Mushrooms

Limited options 

As mushrooms are still illegal in North America, it can be difficult for patients to access psilocybin unless they sign up for a clinical study/experiment. 

Bad Trips

Magic Mushrooms can cause adverse effects such as: 

  • Paranoia
  • Confusion
  • Frightening hallucinations, both auditory or visual in nature
  • Derealization (the feeling that your surroundings aren’t real)
  • Depersonalization (a state in which your thoughts and feelings seem unreal)
  • Distressing thoughts

Legal Risks

If you decide to use magic mushrooms recreationally in North America you are committing a crime. Patients don’t want to break the law to treat their health conditions. Knowing the substance you are taking is illegal can heighten the chances of a bad trip. 

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