Magic Mushroom Drug Shows Promise For Lifting Depression

A hallucinogenic drug derived from the psychedelic plant, ‘The Magic Mushroom’, has shown promise for successfully lifting depression.

Over the last 12 months a west London hospital room set up in a relaxing but psychedelic way, for researchers from the Imperial College to run a trial with the illegal ‘Class A’ hallucinogenic drug, psilocybin – the active ingredient in Magic Mushrooms, on patients that no other treatment has worked for.

Dr Robin Carhart-Harris from the Imperial College has said, the psychedelic room is set up to make the patient feel, safe, supported and able to open up.  Anything a patient is not comfortable with in the room, can be changed.

Drug Trial Patient Explains How It Is

One of the 20 drug trial patients, Andrew Thayer has had depression for over two decades, and was on the verge of just ‘Giving up’, in late 2015.  This is when he came across the psychedelic Magic Mushroom drug trial online, applied to be on it, and was accepted.

Three months later he was in the west London hospital room being given the Class ‘A’ psychedelic drug, under the supervision of clinical psychologist, Ros Watts.

Ros  was surprised at the level of Andrews suffering as on the outside he was charming, sensitive to other peoples needs,  caring,  and great at conversation, that it was hard to see what was underneath.

She said that often with psychedelic drugs, painful and difficult experiences that have been repressed, come to the surface.

For Andrew this started to happen about half an hour after he was given the psychedelic drug.  At first it was pleasant, but it soon got pretty dark and he described it as, ‘Being like a black tide coming in’, as his painful emotions came to the surface, a place he didn’t want to go back to again.

Dr Watts said this can actually be quite healthy, as avoidance of difficult emotions is at the heart of many mental health problems.  She see’s this process as a way for a positive change.

Three months after the trial, Andrew was still coming to terms with what he calls after shocks of what eventuated from the trial.  He has good days and bad days, but on a positive note, the good days are starting to out number the bad days, and he is now off antidepressants.

 The Research Results

  • All 20 patients showed a decrease in their depressive symptoms during the first week of treatment.
  • Within the 3 month period some patients went through stages of their depressive symptoms going up and down.
  • Over all the results showed that all patients had a decrease of the depressive symptoms they started with at the beginning of the trial.

Researchers believe the psychedelic drug psilocybin increases connectivity of parts of the brain.  It’s speculated that in depression, the brain gets stuck into negative repetitive patterns of thinking, but time will tell how accurate this theory is.

WARNING: Researchers strongly advise anyone with depression, NOT TO go off their medication and start taking Magic Mushrooms they find in a field, for their depression.  Doing so is extremely dangerous.   Anyone contemplating going off their depression medication should seek advice from a healthcare professional first.

The patents in the trial were under strict monitoring during and after the trial, for safety reasons.


Article written by Wen Dee (May 2016)

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