Could “Magic” Mushrooms Be the Best Drug for Fighting My Depression?
Yoga Journal|November - December 2021
May I be grounded. May I be curious. This was my daily mantra from last November through February. Every morning I’d step outside in my bare feet, feel the earth under my toes— even in the snow—and repeat those words internally.
By Tasha Eichenseher

Then most days I’d go inside and make myself a matcha, enjoying the sweet, earthy taste before swallowing a piece of the earth itself in the form of 50 milligrams of psychedelic mushrooms.

For about a year prior to taking the ‘shrooms, I felt listless, exhausted, and, eventually, depressed. I considered going on an antidepressant, but hadn’t had a great experience with them in the past. Then, a few friends told me how they’d reclaimed their energy and joy by microdosing magic mushrooms. After reading some studies on the promising potential of psilocybin—the active ingredient in these forest fungi—for easing symptoms of depression, I decided to give it a try.

The Science Behind Psilocybin and Depression

Psilocybin, along with other psychedelics such as LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly referred to as acid) and MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, often called Ecstasy or Molly), has been studied for its ability to rewire your brain for positive thinking.

According to some of the latest research on mushrooms as a drug-assisted therapy, published in a November 2020 report in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, large doses of psilocybin work better than pharmaceutical antidepressants in treating depression. Further, a meta-analysis published last August in the journal Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology suggests that low-dose psilocybin can turn around negative thoughts. Researcher Kim Kuypers, an associate professor in psychology and neuroscience at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, found that microdosing magic mushrooms for weeks—and sometimes months—can help people stay in the present moment, diminish rumination, increase self-compassion, and decrease depressive symptoms.

Still, the results aren’t conclusive. “We don’t know how large-dose, drug-assisted therapy compares to microdosing for treating depression,” says Alan Davis, an assistant professor in social work at Ohio State University and at the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins University, and a member of the study‘s research team.

Dialing in the Dosage

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