Researchers have shown that a single dose of psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms,” combined with psychotherapy can reduce depression and anxiety and increase well-being in cancer patients. What’s more, for most people, these effects appear to last more than 6 months.
Cancer patients often suffer from chronic depression and anxiety syndromes, and antidepressants don’t seem to help much. Some small studies suggest magic mushrooms may be an alternative therapy.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University and NYU Langone Medical Center conducted two trials involving 80 patients with cancer and depression and anxiety disorders.
Results from two trials showed that magic mushrooms produced direct and significant reductions in measures of depression, anxiety, and mood disorders, as well as increases in measures of quality of life, meaning in life, acceptance of death, and optimism. After 6 months, these effects were still present in 80% of participants. Relevant results were recently published in the journal Psychopathology.