Around 30% of people battling with depression don’t respond to antidepressants
Recent studies, published in the New England Journal of Medicine have shed light on the benefits of psychedelics on depression. Around 30% of people battling with depression don’t respond to antidepressants. This may be because of the biological differences and also the long time required responding to the drugs, causing many to give up on medication. In recent years, attention has been drawn to psychedelics as psilocybin found in “magic mushrooms”. Number of clinical trials has shown that psilocybin can be effective in treating depression and cancer related anxiety.
Psilocybin is a hallucinogen which changes the brain's response to a chemical called serotonin. Studies using functional MRI brain scanning have shown that the compound reduces activity in the medial prefrontal cortex, an area in the brain that helps regulate cognitive functions, inhibitory controls, memory and habits. Just the first dose of psilocybin improves connectivity between brain’s various networks, which are typical, reduced in those with severe depression. The success of psychedelics largely depends on the environment in which they are consumed. Self-medication could be highly dangerous. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that psilocybin can alter a person’s perception and awareness of their surroundings and of their thoughts and feelings.