As of 2019, the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that at least 17 million American adults suffer from major depressive disorder. Learn about Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors versus Psilocybin.

That’s a staggering 7% of the population in the United States, which means that nearly 1 in 10 people have suffered from clinical depression.

One would have to imagine that the number is likely even higher now after the past couple of years and everything that’s happened concerning the coronavirus pandemic.

Treat Depression By Increasing Serotonin

Many depression sufferers turn to pharmaceutical solutions—antidepressant medications like escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine, trazodone, bupropion, or mirtazapine, among a host of others. One way to solve the problem is to treat depression by increasing serotonin.

As you’ve no doubt heard or perhaps experienced for yourself these pharmaceuticals often claim to cause a host of side effects including fatigue, insomnia, low libido, weight gain, and more. They are also well known to cause dependency for some patients.

Psilocybin Spores Grow Kit

Needless to say, it would be a welcome relief for many if there was a nonaddictive alternative. Researchers believe there might be, and that may be from psilocybin coming from psilocybin spores and that means learning more about how to get a psilocybin grow kit.

Study Suggests Psilocybin Assisted Therapy As or More Effective Than Traditional Antidepressants

In April of last year, published in the New England Journal of Medicine was a study comparing the efficacy of psilocybin compared to escitalopram in an article entitled “Trial of Psilocybin versus Escitalopram for Depression”.

Two doses of psilocybin, accompanied by psychotherapy, was found to be as or more effective than the SSRI.

Amazingly—or perhaps “predictably” if you’ve been following along with modern psilocybin research—none of the research participants reported suffering from any side effects.

After six weeks, 57% of participants were found to be in “remission” from depression. The group that was taking the SSRI had only 28% percent success in remission. The results psilocybin enjoyed were, to say the least, promising.

A Key Takeaway From the Study: Psychological Support Was Required For Success

psilocybin assisted therapy studies

Something easily glossed over by an enthusiastic psilocybin advocate is actually a key component to the success of psilocybin in the study we’re discussing: it was accompanied by therapy.

Psilocybin itself can, as many will attest, work wonders—but for it to truly be effective and have a chance at further legalization (as we saw last year in Oregon, where psilocybin is legal if prescribed by a licensed medical professional who also provides therapeutic services) it must be used with psychotherapy.

Why Do Researchers Believe Psilocybin Can Help With Depression and Anxiety – Perhaps Even Better Than Traditional Antidepressants?

psilocybin research studies

While the neurological processes of how psilocybin works, and why researchers believe it’s so effective at treating depression (and other afflictions discussed elsewhere on the blog, including anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, addiction, and more) is thanks to its neuroregenerative properties.

Psilocybin and Anxiety and The Brain for Neutral Pathways

Psilocybin has the effect of causing the brain to create new neural pathways. Habits which have been formed, or repetitive thought-patterns (such as the precursors to depression), are using the old, ingrained neural pathways. Psilocybin forces the brain to create new neural pathways, and thus the patient has new ways of thinking—a fresh perspective, if you will.

While this is an oversimplification of the neurological processes undergone by a psilocybin assisted therapy patient, it’s an easy way to understand why this compound might be more effective than traditional SSRIs and other antidepressant medications, especially without the drawbacks of side effects or dependency.

What Psilocybin May Do For Treatment Resistant Depression and Complications From Antidepressant Medication

psilocybin compared to antidepressants

Anxiety Treatment Resistant Depression To Resolve The Condition

Psilocybin has shown to be a remarkable treatment in clinical trials for persons with treatment resistant depression. This means that the patient has suffered from depression, but traditional treatments like medication and therapy haven’t been able to resolve the condition. If psilocybin assisted therapy becomes more common, these people may finally find the relief they’ve been looking for—some for many years.

Furthermore, a significant number of major depressive disorder patients who do go on medications like SSRIs eventually form a dependency on these drugs; despite the sometimes debilitating side effects, they can’t stop taking the medication. This, of course, can lead to a compounding effect where the original problem—feelings of depression or anxiety—are redoubled because the patient has developed a new and serious problem.

Since essentially all clinical trials involving psilocybin show that participants have limited or no side effects, switching from traditional antidepressants to psilocybin assisted therapy could be a solution to this all-too-common problem.

It’s worth noting that the research here is still very young; there’s a lot more work to do before psilocybin and psychedelic therapy becomes commonplace, but it’s very likely that the medical fields may be turning in that direction.

Treatment Resistant Depression

Certainly the stigma is less than it was even a decade ago, as a staggering survey recently conducted by Compass Pathways found that two-thirds of physicians believe that psilocybin assisted therapy has a “potential therapeutic benefit for patients with treatment resistant depression”.