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Magic mushrooms might help depression by resetting the brain


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Scientists at Imperial College London gave psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, to 20 patients who had depression that hadn’t been helped by other treatments. Patients first took a 10mg dose of psilocybin, then a 25mg dose the week after.

 

All the patients said they still felt better a week after treatment, and about half of them felt better five weeks later, too. These self-reports were confirmed by before-and-after brain scans. After the treatment, there was less blood flow in the part of the brain that is involved in emotion processing, called the amygdala.

 

Interestingly, scans of the brain while on drugs show a type of “disintegration” where there’s less connectivity between different parts. Researchers have suggested that this disintegration is responsible for why people report losing their sense of self or ego while on drugs. But the scans of the brain afterward found that there’s more connectivity and integration, suggesting that maybe psychedelics work by breaking down the old pattern and kickstarting the brain into a new one.

 

Magic mushrooms might help depression by resetting the brain (The Verge)

Psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression: fMRI-measured brain mechanisms (Nature)

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I did do magic mushrooms a few times before I was a Witness and I can safely say that though they can be a huge benefit to your mental health they can also be detrimental and cause permanent damage depending on the type of grooves you pick up.

 

I was once at a party where we were like 6 guys who did shrooms and we had a huge blast at first, laughing about how when you went to the toilet it seemed like the walls were shifting tone of colour. I don't know what caused it but for some reason, a negative vibe later hit the room and every body started lapsing into a depression until one guy was starting to say he couldn't deal with it anymore (which made everything worse) Realizing we are a room of dudes slipping into a severe bad trip, I tried to fight the negativity by changing the subject to some nice things but to no avail. When I realized how dire the situation was (this was affecting me, too) I yelled out that we are spiralling into a really, really bad trip and we all had to get out and take a walk NOW! After some guys protested mournfully a few others tried to pull out of the dynamic with me and forced the others to get up off the floor and the couch. After we got outside into the fresh air and sunshine, everybody was suddenly excruciatingly happy and couldn't believe how down they just were.

 

I remember how my best friend told me then how sharp I had reacted since he wasn't in control of the situation anymore himself, and was glad that I was there to pull everybody out.

 

I read somewhere that microdosages of psychotropic substances like LSD are currently being examined for beneficial effects, so probably it also has a LOT to do with the dosage and medical observation.

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10 minutes ago, ChocoBro said:

I did do magic mushrooms a few times before I was a Witness and I can safely say that though they can be a huge benefit to your mental health they can also be detrimental and cause permanent damage depending on the type of grooves you pick up.

 

I was once at a party where we were like 6 guys who did shrooms and we had a huge blast at first, laughing about how when you went to the toilet it seemed like the walls were shifting tone of colour. I don't know what caused it but for some reason, a negative vibe later hit the room and every body started lapsing into a depression until one guy was starting to say he couldn't deal with it anymore (which made everything worse) Realizing we are a room of dudes slipping into a severe bad trip, I tried to fight the negativity by changing the subject to some nice things but to no avail. When I realized how dire the situation was (this was affecting me, too) I yelled out that we are spiralling into a really, really bad trip and we all had to get out and take a walk NOW! After some guys protested mournfully a few others tried to pull out of the dynamic with me and forced the others to get up off the floor and the couch. After we got outside into the fresh air and sunshine, everybody was suddenly excruciatingly happy and couldn't believe how down they just were.

 

I remember how my best friend told me then how sharp I had reacted since he wasn't in control of the situation anymore himself, and was glad that I was there to pull everybody out.

 

I read somewhere that microdosages of psychotropic substances like LSD are currently being examined for beneficial effects, so probably it also has a LOT to do with the dosage and medical observation.

It may be added that you should NEVER self medicate with these substances, and that what has been studied is an active component of said mushrooms.

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Just now, Thesauron said:

It may be added that you should NEVER self medicate with these substances, and that what has been studied is an active component of said mushrooms.

 

That's actually what I meant when I said

 

Quote

so probably it also has a LOT to do with the dosage and medical observation.

 

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A very interesting finding. 

 

Putting my critical thinking in the practice:

 

The sample size was quite small here, only 19 people. Based on the number of people with depression in the UK, the study would need to be replicated on a much, much bigger scale

It noted that appropriate psychological support is still needed in addition to the compound - could there be a placebo effect here? Someone thinking they're taking magic mushrooms may well be more receptive to therapies. Similar to how people may end up feeling tipsy despite only unknowingly drinking alcohol-free booze.

There was no control group, so no accurate comparison could be made between those who were administered the compound and other patients receiving standard psychotherapies. 

 

I would be much more willing to look at the report if it was replicated as a randomised control trial, but it's promising nevertheless. Not sure it's something I would personally consider, but then I do accept opiate-based painkillers for a long-standing pain issue so it's a difficult one!


Edited by ellejayzee
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While I’ve never done mushrooms, I did do 3 hits of some powerful LSD once which is also a hallucinogen. The experience started off great but then ended up being the worst drug experience I’ve ever had. I had scary hallucinations and visions for over 10 hours. I was scared and thought I would never snap out of it. I wouldn’t recommend doing any drug for any said benefits. Any temporary “benefits” are not worth the permanent brain damage. Plus, drugs are a good way to loose your relationship with Jehovah.


Edited by Brother Jack
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Well, this is scary. My thought. They gently mainstream this type of, well, stuff. I suppose most things at one level have good in them. ( Jehovah created the stuff, for goodness sakes!) However, in this imperfect system, anything unknown, and with the power to effect, (affect?) our minds, I avoid like the plague. 

And thanks for your unique insight brother. 

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Having done 1000s of magic mushrooms and being known in my home town when I wasn't in the truth as the person to buy LSD and shrooms from I can with confidence say I am not surprised they are finding Psilocybin useful in helping depression. I am glad they are doing their tests carefully and in a controlled way. The feeling of being "rebooted" or "reset" at the beginning of mushroom season I remember quite vividly and was something I never really experienced with lysergic acid diethylamid. It would only take a small amount (25 of the small liberty caps here in the uk) to feel like you were starting everything over and with a fresh outlook. I have often wondered if this could be used for those who are in the depths of a deep and horrible depression that causes repeated hospitalisation. This I think would be a last resort drug due to the possible extremes of this kind of treatment.

 

Mushrooms are so powerful and should be treated with the utmost care. The chemicals that cause the psychotropic properties are a powerful poison and you can actually feel the poison running through your whole body. I would be interested to see how they managed to control the environment and the desire to go outside and explore the world in a completely new light and frame of mind. Did they just let them loose on the outside world to help with the reset process? The uncontrollable feelings of euphoria, excitedness and the investigation of new colours and textures are heightened when you are outside in the natural world. I used to remember coming up inside and having this mad desire to go outside and then when outside feeling like I had been liberated.

 

Mushrooms are obviously not the perfect solution to chronic depression, the kingdom is, and there are many conscience issues and possibly dilemmas for a Christian if this treatment became a prescribed treatment. Just how much out of control of our normal thinking abilities should we go to try and fix our illness? (Prov2:11) I completely agree that a controlled environment should be the only place for this treatment but the thing is something that someone on mushrooms can't do is control what their environment is doing or their perception of the environment. Sometimes you feel like you can't control your urges like feeling like you want to jump into a bush or do a random role poly in some autumn leaves. How far could these uncontrollable urges go, that could pose a real problem for Christians.

 

I believe the test will come up that it works for depression, what I am less confident about is the controllability of the person undergoing treatment and the environment the person is in and that is where there may be possible issues, both for us as witnesses (Prov3:21) but also for the professionals and doctors seeing this treatment through. 


Edited by MentalProject
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4 hours ago, Brother Jack said:

While I’ve never done mushrooms, I did do 3 hits of some powerful LSD once which is also a hallucinogen. The experience started off great but then ended up being the worst drug experience I’ve ever had. I had scary hallucinations and visions for over 10 hours. I was scared and thought I would never snap out of it. I wouldn’t recommend doing any drug for any said benefits. Any temporary “benefits” are not worth the permanent brain damage. Plus, drugs are a good way to loose your relationship with Jehovah.


 

We are talking medical use of certain components, not recreational abuse.

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1 hour ago, MentalProject said:

I believe the test will come up that it works for depression, what I am less confident about is the controllability of the person undergoing treatment and the environment the person is in and that is where there may be possible issues, both for us as witnesses (Prov3:21) but also for the professionals and doctors seeing this treatment through. 

Almost any medication can be either dangerous or useless if you do not suffer from the affliction it is supposed to help. Any side effects will have to be examined and weighed against the benefits, just like with any medical treatment.

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2 hours ago, Miss Bea said:

Well, this is scary. My thought. They gently mainstream this type of, well, stuff. I suppose most things at one level have good in them. ( Jehovah created the stuff, for goodness sakes!) However, in this imperfect system, anything unknown, and with the power to effect, (affect?) our minds, I avoid like the plague. 

And thanks for your unique insight brother. 

When you go to the hospital, you might find that they will give you morphine for pain relief or to calm you before surgery. This is extremely common, even though morphine is a very potent drug. Also, if your problem is with your mind, maybe a mind-altering drug is what you need to live a normal life...

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6 hours ago, ellejayzee said:

A very interesting finding. 

 

Putting my critical thinking in the practice:

 

The sample size was quite small here, only 19 people. Based on the number of people with depression in the UK, the study would need to be replicated on a much, much bigger scale

It noted that appropriate psychological support is still needed in addition to the compound - could there be a placebo effect here? Someone thinking they're taking magic mushrooms may well be more receptive to therapies. Similar to how people may end up feeling tipsy despite only unknowingly drinking alcohol-free booze.

There was no control group, so no accurate comparison could be made between those who were administered the compound and other patients receiving standard psychotherapies. 

 

I would be much more willing to look at the report if it was replicated as a randomised control trial, but it's promising nevertheless. Not sure it's something I would personally consider, but then I do accept opiate-based painkillers for a long-standing pain issue so it's a difficult one!


 

Yes. The fact that the study is small and will have to be repeated with larger control groups, including a placebo group, is noted and accepted. In fact, a lot more studying is necessary, but this study points in an interesting direction. Perhaps it will result in something, or nothing.

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13 minutes ago, Thesauron said:

When you go to the hospital, you might find that they will give you morphine for pain relief or to calm you before surgery. This is extremely common, even though morphine is a very potent drug. Also, if your problem is with your mind, maybe a mind-altering drug is what you need to live a normal life...

Want to share my Prozac? No, I know. But, I’m as sick as a lot, and if I can’t find something natural, I will use pharmaceuticals. I’m just so leery. Like there is this thing that you vap your vitamins.  

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Another thing to consider is also the spiritual aspects of taking mushrooms. In the test a large portion of the candidates reported that it was in their top 5 spiritual enlightening experiences with some saying it was their most profound.

 

Here is an interesting video that seems to be a representative talking about the study:- 

 

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3 minutes ago, MentalProject said:

Another thing to consider is also the spiritual aspects of taking mushrooms. In the test a large portion of the candidates reported that it was in their top 5 spiritual enlightening experiences with some saying it was their most profound.

 

Here is an interesting video that seems to be a representative talking about the study:- 

 

 

Which is where I see the dangers. Spiritual may mean spiritism. At least that's my experience. It can be good, but it can also open up your mind for bad things. It's not a given that the thoughts and inspirations are only of a good nature. I had some profoundly "spiritual" moments during my bible study phase on marijuana, but I also had some weird and creepy notions.. say of the New World or eternal life. Who is to say these kind of mental "enlightenments" can also not come from the one who keeps transforming himself into "an angel of light"?

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8 minutes ago, ChocoBro said:

 

Which is where I see the dangers. Spiritual may mean spiritism. At least that's my experience. It can be good, but it can also open up your mind for bad things. It's not a given that the thoughts and inspirations are only of a good nature. I had some profoundly "spiritual" moments during my bible study phase on marijuana, but I also had some weird and creepy notions.. say of the New World or eternal life. Who is to say these kind of mental "enlightenments" can also not come from the one who keeps transforming himself into "an angel of light"?

Some people if they take too much have reported entities, transcendental experiences, and feeling connected to the earth, people, or some kind of religious being. Psychadelics are used in religious ceremonies specifically to connect with the spirits because of their ability to open up the mind to different psychological states. I can't help thinking of hypnotism when thinking about mushrooms and also from my experience how I felt like I got closer to a higher, spirit type of world when on them. To be honest the more I talk about it the more my mind is not thinking it is a great idea. 

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19 minutes ago, ChocoBro said:

 

Which is where I see the dangers. Spiritual may mean spiritism. At least that's my experience. It can be good, but it can also open up your mind for bad things. It's not a given that the thoughts and inspirations are only of a good nature. I had some profoundly "spiritual" moments during my bible study phase on marijuana, but I also had some weird and creepy notions.. say of the New World or eternal life. Who is to say these kind of mental "enlightenments" can also not come from the one who keeps transforming himself into "an angel of light"?

I have to say, I’ve never felt as good as I’ve done prior to surgery when on morphine. I can see why these drugs are sold on the streets for people wishing to escape reality a bit, but their use should not be confused with the reason why and circumstances under which I got it.

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1 hour ago, Thesauron said:

We are talking medical use of certain components, not recreational abuse.

I know. I’m just saying because I’ve done psychedelics for recreational use, I wouldn’t recommend doing them for medicinal purposes. It would be different if we were talking about taking hemp oil extracted from cannabis that doesn’t contain THC, which causes you to get high... but the article is talking about taking psilocybin which is the main compound that gets you high in mushrooms. Doing drugs is doing drugs. Taking anything that can cause you to get high, no matter the purpose, is wrong in Jehovah’s eyes. That’s the point I was trying to get across.


Edited by Brother Jack
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1 minute ago, Brother Jack said:

I know. I’m just saying because I’ve done psychedelics for recreational use, I wouldn’t recommend doing them for medicinal purposes. It would be different if we were talking about taking hemp oil extracted from cannabis that doesn’t contain THC, which causes you to get high... but the article is talking about taking psilocybin which is the main compound that gets you high in mushrooms. Doing drugs is doing drugs. 

Not really, though. You can not compare recreational and medical use. There is an ocean wide difference between using them medically and recreationally. Both might, however, carry grave side effects. Imagine taking lithium without depression, or what might happen to your brain if you undergo electric chock therapy, which is done for deep depression. Both carry heavy possible side effects, but sometimes they are the only way out. Lithium is even a very blunt tool, and it’s not exactly known how it works. If studies show that the pros using this chemical under controlled circumstances might outweigh the cons and solve very difficult issues... If your depression so changes your personality that you might want to commit suicide or do harm in other ways, and a potent drug such as psilocybin might help bring you back to a normal life, isn’t that a good thing?

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7 minutes ago, Thesauron said:

Not really, though. You can not compare recreational and medical use. There is an ocean wide difference between using them medically and recreationally. Both might, however, carry grave side effects. Imagine taking lithium without depression, or what might happen to your brain if you undergo electric chock therapy, which is done for deep depression. Both carry heavy possible side effects, but sometimes they are the only way out. Lithium is even a very blunt tool, and it’s not exactly known how it works. If studies show that the pros using this chemical under controlled circumstances might outweigh the cons and solve very difficult issues... If your depression so changes your personality that you might want to commit suicide or do harm in other ways, and a potent drug such as psilocybin might help bring you back to a normal life, isn’t that a good thing?

I agree that the intent may be different but what I’m saying that to Jehovah it’s spiritism. Our publications have warned about taking drugs or “potions” to heal oneself. If you’ve ever done any psychedelics then you would get what I’m saying. I experienced very demonic things on them. If I took a drug that gave me a heart attack and then had a friend who said he wanted to take that same drug to cure his depression I would say “NO! That’s a bad idea. I had a bad experience on that and it causes damage.” That’s all I’m saying. And no I don’t think it’s a good thing that doing a drug can cure depresssion. Some people feel that having a wild sex life helps them psychologically but I wouldn’t say that that’s a good thing. When I used to smoke marijuana, it would cure any depression I may have had and left me feeling happy for days but I wouldn’t say that that’s a good thing. Doing it, no matter the reason, is a form of spiritism. That’s a bad thing.

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6 minutes ago, Brother Jack said:

I agree that the intent may be different but what I’m saying that to Jehovah it’s spiritism. Our publications have warned about taking drugs or “potions” to heal oneself. If you’ve ever done any psychedelics then you would get what I’m saying. I experienced very demonic things on them. If I took a drug that gave me a heart attack and then had a friend who said he wanted to take that same drug to cure his depression I would say “NO! That’s a bad idea. I had a bad experience on that and it causes damage.” That’s all I’m saying. And no I don’t think it’s a good thing that doing a drug can cure depresssion. Some people feel that having a wild sex life helps them psychologically but I wouldn’t say that that’s a good thing. When I used to smoke marijuana, it would cure any depression I may have had and left me feeling happy for days but I wouldn’t say that that’s a good thing. Doing it, no matter the reason, is a form of spiritism. That’s a bad thing.

It is spiritism if you use it to invoke spirits or sorcery, hence the word pharmakia, “druggery”, can also be translated “spiritism”. This included both simple and potent drugs. It does not mean we should avoid medical treatment.


Edited by Thesauron
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1 minute ago, Thesauron said:

It is spiritism if you use it to invoke spirits or sorcery, hence the word pharmakia, “druggery”, can also be translated “spiritism”. This included both simple and potent drugs.it does not mean we should avoid medical treatment.


 

I’m not saying we should avoid medical treatment. But are you saying it’s ok to do a drug that will cause you to get high for medicinal reasons? I hate to ask such a person question but have you ever even done any psychedelics? The demons don’t care what you intent is. If you put something in your body that opens your mind to their influence they can harass you. Think about the many stories from our brothers and sisters who brought things into their homes that they didn’t know where connected to spiritism. You think the demons cared what their intent was? The demons made their presence known and the brothers and sisters had to get rid of the object. One time while I was staying with my brother and his girlfriend, he had his friend take me home. On the way home the guy stopped and smoked some crystal meth while I was in the car with him. I got high off of it and when I got home the demons harassed me all night long. They obviously didn’t care what my intent was. They saw my mind was “open” and they took advantage.

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12 minutes ago, Brother Jack said:

 And no I don’t think it’s a good thing that doing a drug can cure depresssion.[...] When I used to smoke marijuana, it would cure any depression I may have had and left me feeling happy for days but I wouldn’t say that that’s a good thing. Doing it, no matter the reason, is a form of spiritism. That’s a bad thing.

 

Again, this brings us around in circles. Where do you draw the line?

 

Further up, Johan mentioned taking morphine which is like doing heroine. Xanax is highly addictive and very efficient for blocking panic and anxiety attacks because it just makes you feel great.

 

Though you are right that it's not "a good thing that doing a drug can cure depression", we are still stuck in this broken system where taking drugs may be a necessity to maintain a certain level of risk.

 

Just now, Brother Jack said:

On the way home the guy stopped and smoked some crystal meth while I was in the car with him. I got high off of it and when I got home the demons harassed me all night long.

 

Excuse me for butting in, but quoting crystal meth is like the worst example imaginable. Crystal meth has no known mental or physical health benefits no matter what the dose.

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Just now, Brother Jack said:

I’m not saying we should avoid medical treatment. But are you saying it’s ok to do a drug that will cause you to get high for medicinal reasons? I hate to ask such a person question but have you ever even done any psychedelics? The demons don’t care what you intent is. If you put something in your body that opens your mind to their influence they can harass you. Think about the many stories from our brothers and sisters who brought things into their homes that they didn’t know where connected to spiritism. You think the demons cared what their intent was? The demons made their presence known and the brothers and sisters had to get rid of the object. One time while I was staying with my brother and his girlfriend, he had his friend take me home. On the way home the guy stopped and smoked some crystal meth while I was in the car with him. I got high off of it and when I got home the demons harassed me all night long. They obviously didn’t care what my intent was. They saw my mind was “open” and they took advantage.

I got high when being injected with  morphine before my surgery. Morphine was the best option at the time. However, it wasn’t recreational and it was under strict medical surveillance. I would not take morphine for myself or just for fun.

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4 minutes ago, ChocoBro said:

 

Again, this brings us around in circles. Where do you draw the line?

 

Further up, Johan mentioned taking morphine which is like doing heroine. Xanax is highly addictive and very efficient for blocking panic and anxiety attacks because it just makes you feel great.

 

Though you are right that it's not "a good thing that doing a drug can cure depression", we are still stuck in this broken system where taking drugs may be a necessity to maintain a certain level of risk.

 

 

Excuse me for butting in, but quoting crystal meth is like the worst example imaginable. Crystal meth has no known mental or physical health benefits no matter what the dose.

Let me say first off that I’ve never done crystal meth on my own will. I just used that experience as an example of how the demons can attack you if your mind is “open” to their influence no matter what your intent was. 

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