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A treatment for Depression and Anxiety in Cancer Patients

Mushrooms.  As in “Magic Mushrooms”.  As in hallucinogenic Mushrooms.

Well, actually, psilocybin.

About 80 percent of cancer patients showed clinically significant reductions in both psychological disorders, a response sustained some seven months after the single dose. Side effects were minimal.

(‘both disorders’ being Depression and Anxiety – cziltang)

As one might expect, researchers don’t really have a clue as to why this works.  One theory is that the effect is a result of the fact that psilocybin quiets activity in the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain in which increased activity is associated with depression.  Another theory is that the positive, mystical experience interrupts the self-absorbed thinking that is usually present in depressed people.  Another idea is that the experience creates a sort of “reverse PTSD”; an experience so positive and mystical that it leaves a lasting impression.

Obviously, this isn’t party animals doing ‘shrooms randomly.  It is done in a controlled setting with an emphasis on introspection.  To me, the interesting part of the results is that the magnitude of the mystical experience correlated with the degree to which the symptoms were reduced.

via Isegoria



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