This article will explain how the use of mushrooms, a psychedelic drug, can help treat a person with depression. For that, the article will explain how the use of mushrooms affects a person’s brain, what depression is, what happens to a person’s brain chemistry when they are depressed, and how mushrooms can impact that.
What is depression?
Depression is a mental illness that causes a person to experience an intense sense of sadness. Not only that, depression can make a person lose interest in things they used to love, as well as it causes them to experience a loss of hope in life and the future, with an intense sense of worthlessness and low self-esteem.
People are diagnosed as depressed when they intensely experience its symptoms for more than two weeks. There are many symptoms of depression, and people can feel them in different intensities, and not everyone will experience all of them. The most common symptoms of depression are:
- Change in sleep pattern
- Change In eating pattern
- Lack of ability to focus
- Excessive crying or inability to cry even when they feel like it
- Thoughts of death or suicidal thoughts
Anyone can experience depression, some situations can make a person more susceptible to it. A person that has experienced previous episodes of depression has a higher chance to go through it again, as well as people that have a family history of depression.
Along with those, people that are going through trauma situations, such as the loss of a loved one, or financial or legal problems have a higher chance to develop the illness.
Another aspect that seems to cause people to get depressed is an imbalance in the person’s brain chemistry. Each day more studies show how depression is linked to how your brain is. It is not accurate to affirm that depression is only caused by lower levels of serotonin and dopamine, two remarkably important neurotransmitters.
But it has been observed that increasing the levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that is responsible for a feel-good feeling can improve the condition of a person with depression. The same goes for dopamine, this neurotransmitter that plays a role in motivation and reward-driven behavior can impact a person to get depression.
Not only that, there have been studies that show how the brain of a person with depression can shrink, and also has less gray matter volume in important areas, such as the Hippocampus, that is important for learning and memory. It also affects the Prefrontal cortex, which impacts the person’s ability to do high-level thinking and planning.
Along with those discoveries, people have learned that depression and brain inflammation are related, they don’t know which comes first, but they observe that inflation causes the death of brain cells, and prevent new ones from growing, which can cause the brain to age faster bringing thinking problems.
What does the use of mushrooms do to a person’s brain?
When a person uses mushrooms, Psilocybin, the hallucinogenic chemical in it, can cause some of the person’s brain cells to reshape. It seems that the use of mushrooms creates a new configuration of brain connection, it also mimics the serotonin effect on the brain, causing the person to experience the happiness that comes from it.
How mushrooms can affect the brain of a depressed person?
As shown, there seems to be an intense relationship between the person’s brain chemistry and the episode of depression, and when a person consumes mushrooms, and their brain chemistry is altered, there might be a benefit for those people coping with depression.
Studies, including one that evaluated 59 patients with moderate or severe levels of depression, over 6 weeks, showed how the intake of mushrooms can differ from the intake of depression drugs, such as escitalopram.
Through it, it was possible to notice that people that had taken the mushroom tended to respond faster than the people that took the medication, but through time, it seems that both of the methods improved the patient’s conditions.
But another benefit of mushrooms seems to be that taking them can cause a person to feel more connected to their emotions. It seems that the mushroom can help with the feeling of numbness caused by depression, and doesn’t have as many side effects as antidepressants often have.
With that said, it is possible to affirm that mushrooms may have a positive effect on the life of a person dealing with depression, but so does other prescribed drugs, what is the main thing here is that there are people that usually don’t respond well to medication, so being able to have this other possibility of treatment is important.
Although mushrooms are not legal in many countries, though those new scientific discoveries, it might be possible for governments to start a discussion of how using this new resource can improve the healthcare system, the same way as the use of marijuana was discussed a few years back, which brought benefits to the population.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Can mushrooms cure depression?
What are the benefits a person can get from ingesting Lions Mane mushrooms?
The Lion’s Mane mushroom, a type that is white, large, and shaggy can be used for cooking and medical purposes. It is said that they have a flavor similar to seafood, and their consumption can bring many benefits to a person’s life.
They are good protectors from dementia, being that they stimulate the growth of brain cells. They are good at protecting the brain from Alzheimer’s, and show, through mice studies, that they help prevent memory loss.
This type of mushroom is also great at relieving the person’s symptoms of anxiety and depression. This can happen because they have great anti-inflammatory effects, and since people with those conditions usually have brain inflammation, taking them could improve their condition.
Aside from that, they can help speed the recovery from nervous system injuries, since they help with the repair and growth of the nerve cells. They can also be beneficial to the heart’s health, protect against ulcers in the digestive tract, and help with diabetes symptoms, by improving blood sugar control.
What are the cons to using mushrooms for depression?
The first thing that is a negative aspect about taking mushrooms when dealing with depression is that they are not necessarily legal in all countries, so for a person to use it, a person might need to enter a trial, meaning an experiment, and some people might not feel safe in doing that.
Aside from that, using it in a country that is illegal, can cause legal problems for the person consuming it. Another downside to using mushrooms is that some people might have an unsettling experience.
People that use it for self-medication can cause a person to experience paranoia, confusion, it can also cause them to have frightening hallucinations, that can be auditory or visual. It can also cause them to break from reality, which is called derealization.
It can also cause depersonalization, which means the person feels that their thoughts and feelings are not real, it can also cause a person to have distressing thoughts, and if the person has a poor emotional condition, or don’t have a mental health professional to guide them to their improvement, the person might experience this through a long-term feeling of unsettlement.
Are mushroom supplements good for a person’s health?
There are many forms of mushroom supplements in the markets nowadays, these are not made with mushrooms that have psychedelic properties, but they are a compound of mushrooms that is thought to have many benefits to a person’s health.
When deciding what type of mushroom supplement to take, the person should look for the properties each of them has, and find one that suits their needs. But it is important to understand that its efficiency is not yet scientifically proven, and the prices of it tend to be high, so one should think before buying.
What is known so far is that adding mushrooms to your life, especially by making them part of your meal plan, can help improve the production of antibodies by the immune system. So if that is something you are interested in, bringing mushrooms to your life can be a good idea.
Can mushrooms that are not psychedelic cause a person to become paranoid?
No, other types of mushrooms, unless it might poison a person, don’t tend to cause people to have strong symptoms of it. They can influence the person’s body, but most likely the person won’t feel paranoid taking them. Paranoia is sometimes experienced by people that take mushrooms with psychedelic tendencies.
What are ways to prevent yourself from getting paranoid when taking mushrooms?
There are some things a person can do to have a safe psychedelic experience. One Is to be thoughtful about the way your mind is before consuming it. Be sure that you are in a good emotional place, that dark and negative thoughts are not coring your mind constantly.
Because if that is the case, it can happen that while you are under the mushroom effect, you can be flushed by those negative thoughts and emotions that can cause you to feel paranoid.
Along with that, it is important to think about the place and environment where you are taking the mushrooms. Think of the people that are around you at that moment, and if this experience with those people, in that environment brings you positive feelings.
Another matter that should be considered is not mixing the mushroom with other substances, it can be alcohol or marijuana, but try to avoid it, because the mix of effects can have a bad turnout. Also, avoid doing things that might put you at risk, like driving a car, for the period you are under influence.
And finally, it is important to take it slow. Don’t start with a high dosage of it, start with less, and give it time to act in your organism, and then, if you think some more is necessary, take it, but always go by the slow and steady rule.
This article discussed what depression is and how it affects the chemistry of a person’s brain. Through that, the article explained how the use of mushrooms, a famous psychedelic drug, can improve the condition of a person with depression.
This happens because the mushrooms alter the person’s brain chemistry, giving them increased neurotransmitter activities, causing a rush of serotonin, which can cause the person to feel better.
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