Here’s a new study about how different chemicals alter brain chemistry as it relates to depression, but I pretty much just summed it up in the headline if you want to cut through the bullshit. Psilocybin seems to activate emotional centers while SSRI’s often seem to deaden emotions.
The study is of course just looking at brain chemistry and not the ommi-dimensional art entities that seem to manifest themselves in the midst of a good psilocybin trip to remind you you’re dreaming, but of course it is. Amazingly though, scientists are in fact starting to look at that sort of thing. I participated in some study not too long ago talking about my experiences. I should probably follow up on what happened with that actually. (from Science Alert):
“Psilocybin, the active compound in magic mushrooms, has long been known to deliver therapeutic effects to people with depression, and researchers think this is because the drug helps to revive emotional responsiveness in the brain.
What’s so remarkable is this kind of mechanism is actually the opposite effect of a major class of antidepressants used to treat the condition, called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
“Psilocybin-assisted therapy might mitigate depression by increasing emotional connection,” neuroscientist Leor Roseman from Imperial College London explained to PsyPost.
“[T]his is unlike SSRI antidepressants which are criticised for creating in many people a general emotional blunting.”
The new study examined 20 patients diagnosed with moderate-to-severe treatment-resistant depression, to investigate what kinds of effects psilocybin would have on their brain activity and depressive symptoms.
A previous study by some of the same researchers had shown that the drug seems to ‘reset’ brain circuits in depressed people, with patient-reported benefits lasting up to five weeks after treatment.
This time around, the team wanted to examine what impact psilocybin might have on the amygdala – the part of our brain that helps process emotional reactions, including fear – in addition to its effects on participants’ depression.”