Magic mushrooms are a natural type of psychedelic drug that people use for recreational or spiritual purposes.
In the U.S., magic mushrooms are illegal. They contain the Schedule controlled substances psilocybin and psilocin. This drug classification means magic mushrooms have no accepted medical value and a high potential for abuse.
But scientific reports show that magic mushrooms can treat depression. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the ingredient psilocybin for use in a drug trial for treatment-resistant depression.
What are the pros and cons of using mushrooms for depression? And how does this treatment compare to other options?
The Pros of Using Magic Mushrooms for Depression
Effective for Treatment-Resistant Depression
Studies show that patients with treatment-resistant depression respond well to psilocybin. Results suggest psilocybin ‘reset’ the brains of these patients. Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris led one of the psilocybin studies and says “similar brain effects” occur “with electroconvulsive therapy.”
“Psilocybin may be giving these individuals the temporary ‘kick start’ they need to break out of their depressive states…”
Treatment-resistant depression is when depressive symptoms aren’t relieved by any tried therapies, including:
- – Various medications
- – Various talk therapies
- – Lifestyle changes
- – Alternative therapies
Research demonstrates that relief lasted up to five weeks after two doses of psilocybin. Separate studies show that a single dose of psilocybin can lift anxiety and depression in cancer patients.
In contrast, many depressed patients need to take antidepressants every day and/or attend therapy every week to get similar benefits. These forms of treatment can also continue for years.
According to Professor David Nutt of Imperial College London, “Our study has shown psilocybin is safe and fast acting so may, if administered carefully, have value for these patients.”. In one study on magic mushrooms, all the depressed patients showed improvements after one week.
The fast-acting nature of psilocybin mushrooms for depression is attractive since antidepressant medication and/or therapy can take weeks before patients feel benefits. This can prove problematic if your depressive symptoms are severe. Self-harming behavior or suicidal thoughts call for immediate treatment.
Researchers state that magic mushrooms help depressed patients reconnect with their emotions. They contrast this effect with antidepressants, which relieve depression by dulling your emotions. Many patients who use antidepressants say they help reduce low mood, but they blunt positive mood as well. This can leave you feeling numb or flat.
Psilocybin seems to offer patients benefits by increasing emotional processing. After the psilocybin experiment, patients said they were more willing to accept emotions. They felt that previous treatments encouraged them to “reinforce emotional avoidance and disconnection.”
The nature of psilocybin’s effects and its short-term use means there are few side effects. Magic mushrooms lack the side effects of various antidepressant medications, which often include:
- – Increased appetite and weight gain
- – Loss of sexual desire or other sexual problems (erectile dysfunction, decreased orgasm, etc.)
- – Fatigue and drowsiness
- – Dry mouth
- – Blurred vision
- – Insomnia
- – Dizziness
- – Indigestion and stomach aches
- – Diarrhea or constipation
The Cons of Using Magic Mushrooms for Depression
Magic mushrooms are illegal in the U.S., including for clinical use, so patients with depression can’t receive the treatment outlined in the studies above unless they enroll in new experiments.
Magic mushrooms are legal in some countries, and you can even find ‘magic mushroom retreats’ in the Netherlands and Jamaica. These retreats don’t cater to people with depression, even though some people attend them for that reason. They’re also not controlled or structured in the same way psilocybin studies are. And there may not be psychotherapists guiding the sessions.
Researchers warn against people using magic mushrooms as a form of self-medication. This is because it involves some risks that you may not be able to cope with on your own. These include:
- – 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
When you don’t have a trained mental health professional to guide you through a difficult experience or process it after, it could be unsettling in the long-term.
If you decide to use magic mushrooms for depression in the U.S., you are committing a crime. Most patients don’t want to have to break the law to treat their mental health condition. Also, knowing you have a controlled substance may increase your unpleasant emotions, like paranoia, during an experience with magic mushrooms.
TMS Therapy As an Alternative Option
While many people are hopeful that using magic mushrooms for depression will be a legal therapy in the future, it’s hard to say if that will ever be a reality.
But you don’t have to hold your breath for fast-acting, med-free treatment!
Evidence shows that transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is an effective treatment for depression.
In fact, TMS therapy is more effective than meds and it’s covered by insurance and Medicare.
The sessions are quick and provide long-lasting relief even from treatment-resistant depression. When combined with a healthy lifestyle for maintenance.
TMS can help lift your fog of depression when nothing else seems to work.
Need Help for Your Depression?
We are experts at treating depression without medication.
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Over 300 million Americans are covered by their insurance providers for TMS.
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Got some magic chocolate for my birthday January 18th 2020 from a good friend and I noticed that my depression had subsided . It had been in full effect in the days and weeks leading up as I struggle with sever depression. Noticed that I was eager to wake up every day after and everything seemed to feel lighter and not as distressing . So I started to research my findings . I for one can say from my own personal experience this works . I had never heard about the link between psychedelics and depression treatment but it’s real. It’s now February 10th 2020 and I feel so good and like my depression has been recalibrated. Amazing
What dose and for how long? Do you take daily micro doses or does a single dose last for an extended period of time? Thank you !
I am very interested in trying this for my depression and anxiety… how can I get my hands on this
You will not find them by posting on a message board, no one will risk getting in trouble.
They are decriminalized in Oakland and Santacruz California, and also in Denver Colorado. They are available in about every city but people won’t advertise.
There are “magic truffles” you can order online from Europe, or you can look online on meetup groups to see if there is a local mushroom club or any groups you can find.
Also if you are willing to do some work and spend some time you can grow your own.
In Australia it is the season right now you will find them growing in chipped wood areas in a lot of front yards
Where did your friend get the magic chocolate. I have severe treatment resistant depression.
I’ve taken Zoloft and Wellbutrin. I felt ok for maybe the first month or two with both and then when right back to feeling the same. I gained weight with Zoloft. Recently I’ve quit the Wellbutrin and started eating a healthy diet and exercise. I lost 15lbs. I still felt anxiety and depression even though I made positive healthy changes to my life. I recently took mushrooms and today I woke up and felt amazing. I take them about once a year. I’d like to more.
Hello Kim. I’m sorry to hear about your situation. I am a 34 year old male who can relate to you. I’ve been diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression, bipolar and Asperger’s. It sucks that magic mushrooms are illegal still but they can be rather hard to find if you don’t know the right people. You can find them at festivals, concerts, raves ECT. If you actually want treatment for depression with magic mushrooms you can look at M.A.P. S. Multidisciplinary association for psychedelic studies. There are places around the United States or you can go and they will give you mushroom therapy legally over a 7-Day period. The thing that helped save my life is ketamine but I am looking to find more. Look up ketamine hydrochloride infusions for treatment-resistant depression. Just know you’re not alone and trust me I still feel like I’m losing myself everyday. I have been using mushrooms since I was 16 years old and the only real way to get the best benefits is to find a therapist that can guide your trip. Ayahuasca it’s another treatment for depression that works great. My depression makes it almost impossible for me to travel so if you have the same thing it can be hard to make it long distances. Magic mushrooms are decriminalized in several places in California and all of Colorado. If you lived near I would give you my magic mushrooms. Remember that just being alive is doing yourself and the world a favor. I just wish there were more people that understood people like us. Peace,love,empathy
you’re so lucky ketamine helped you, it did not do anything for my MDD and I am trying to find a clinical trial for psylocibin but due to pandemic, all has stopped.
MAPS is a great resource and every major city has support groups for this purpose. They obviously can go around selling illegal substances but they will be compassionate and educate you. Once you are in the right setting, the medication will find you. People who treat with mushrooms in particular tend to be incredibly kind and welcoming on the whole. Seems that it’s a positive “side effect” of that treatment.
What is MAPS?
I have tried everything there is for depression. Sometimes I feel like I’m losing my mind. I’ve been hearing about mushrooms and I want to try them. Where do I buy it
Grow your own. It’s legal to buy spores online and special grow bags. You inject the bags and wait 4 weeks. Minimal effort and just requires watering and fanning a few times a day
They’re legal in Amsterdam and the kits to grow them are also legal for “research” purposes. Another option is to research about them and got to a forest.
Strong caution here – don’t poison yourself.
Where to get the mushrooms is my question
Why do ppl think everything can be cured by taking a pill? It’s the root of drug addiction.
A pill might not cure you, but having a psychedelic experience to look forward to might make you happy, thats just my opinion
John Hopkins Center for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research has been studying the use of Psilocybin to treat depression, anxiety, and various addictions. There was a 60 Minutes segment on this and the outcomes are very promising. The trials have been suspended right now due to COVID, but you can see about being part of the study here: https://hopkinspsychedelic.org/
As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, I am very interested in trying this. However, I would only do it in a controlled environment with a professional with me every step of the way. There are simply too many risks otherwise.
I took mushrooms with my friend in Oakland two weeks ago and I have to say that I had an incredible experience. I have been struggling with depression for 3 years now due to tragic incidents and bad life circumstances. I am naturally a cheerful and upbeat person, so it’s hard to tell that I have depression, but inside, I have been crying for the past 3 years. Tbh, i’m going to give most of the credit to Jesus because ever since I grew my relationship with him, he led me to better places. He also led me to taking magic mushrooms, and my depression feels uplifted. For the first time in a long time I feel alive again and I stronly reccommend that you try it. However, make sure that your set and setting is good. Comment below if you have anymore questions.
My son has been suffering from severe depression, asperger’s and psychosis for over 15 years. He no longer has the strength to go on. He has tried everything available but nothing worked. Mushrooms are our last hope.
Has the mushrooms helped?
Hope your son found mushrooms and things have taken a positive turn. Im going through this with my daughter and going to tey mushrooms as well.
The Medical industry is afraid of anything that people can access without paying lots of money for therapists and synthetics they hope to market when this therapy is legal. They want you to think that psilocybin is dangerous when, at low dosages, IT IS ABSOLUTELY NOT! Also, you may want to grow your own. Grow kits designed for general mushroom cultivation are available for under 100 dollars. They are entirely legal. Spores, which you need for specific mushrooms are also legal and available. This is because until the plant is mature, there is no psychedelic content. Once they are mature, if you are using them privately and not selling them for profit it is very unlikely that you will be hassled.
Microdosing mushrooms and LSD has proven very effective for me in treating depression, anxiety and addiction to other substances, much more effective than the slew of anti-depressants/anti-anxiety over the years. The biggest issue I have is that you really shouldn’t be taking these every day for a variety of reasons, so I stuck to 2-4 times a week. The days off the depression especially would return but I think if you work on exercising, eating healthy, and building relationships during this time you could be in a much better spot than traditional drugs would can really numb you to anything. I found the opposite to be true, empathy, alertness, self-awareness increased significantly along with a solid burst of energy. To me it was like combining adderall with an anti-depressant except much more effective. These substances are illegal which is a drawback and if you have any heart conditions you should also steer clear from what I’ve read. Good luck to everyone trying to manage their symptoms, I know how difficult it can be.
I have recently been taking small amounts at night and my anxiety and depression is gone ! I feel energized and in total control. I don’t like taking meds so this is a great and instant solution. Don’t over do it or you will trip but this is also fun if you are comfortable with surroundings. I also haven’t been drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes. In my opinion they are great but everyone is different. The one thing I feel safe about is they cannot harm you like drugs or alcohol. Good luck ! Depression sucks.