Mushroom for Depression – A Promising Remedy

Mushroom for Depression

Mushroom for Depression – Can Magic Mushrooms and Microdosing With Psilocybin Be a Therapeutic Breakthrough for Treating Depression?

DISCLAIMER:  Patients should consult their psychiatrist before altering their antidepressant medication regimens in order to prevent withdrawal syndrome and eventual relapse.

According to World Health Organization, more than 264 million people suffer from depression worldwide. The effects of depression can be seen in many aspects of one’s life. As a result of depression, people’s sleep, appetite, concentration, mood, energy level, physical health, and social lives can be drastically impacted negatively. 

Consulting a therapist and taking antidepressants, is the most common solution for a majority of people suffering from depression.

Even though modern forms of therapy have come a long way to help patients with their mental health syndromes, there are still many drawbacks when it comes to treating depression and anxiety with existing methods.

New-age methods of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy that have been adapted from ancient practices have proven to be an extremely effective way of treatment of mental disorders, without the side effects and complications of other forms of treatment and medicine. One of the most common tools in psychedelic-assisted therapy is the psilocybin mushrooms which can be a natural and effective solution for treating depression. Read on to expand your knowledge of this subject if you are curious about it.

In this article, we will be discussing the potential of microdosing with psilocybin mushrooms for treating depression. Scroll down to find answers to your questions about this fascinating topic.  

What Are Magic Mushrooms? 

More than 50 species of mushrooms contain a chemical compound called Psilocybin. The hallucinogenic effects of psilocybin have been known for a long time, however, it is only recently that the psychedelic research has discovered the therapeutic properties of psilocybin.

Initial clinical studies have indicated that under the influence of mushrooms, people report feeling calm, centered, and more tranquilized. Such demonstrations gave way to more research to be conducted on the possibilities of treating depression with magic mushrooms. 

The Difference between Clinical Experience and Recreational Use

Being treated for depression with psilocybin is drastically different from the recreational use of this substance. In a mental health clinic, a person receives a purified, refined extract of psilocybin in measured doses. It’s administered in a controlled environment under the care of medical professionals to ensure that the treatment will be safe and effective.

On the other hand, while consumed recreationally, the dosage, type of mushrooms, and purity of substance are not taken into the consideration. Moreover, the setting is designed for a fun and engaging experience therefore, the intention of the individual under the influence of the substance is to achieve euphoria and this can lead to a post-depressing state once the effects wear off, known as the “downer effect”, this can result in emotional complications.

Additionally, obtaining psilocybin mushrooms from unreliable sources is a big gamble. Consumption of the wrong type of mushroom or carelessly preserved mushrooms can lead to serious sickness, nausea, psychosis and even be fatal!

mushroom for depression

Is There Any Clinical Evidence for The Effectiveness of Magic Mushrooms therapy?

The reintroduction of research on hallucinogens after decades of suspension due to legal matters marks the beginning of The Psychedelic Renaissance.

It is estimated that in 2005 alone, around 2000 subjects underwent psilocybin-based psychotherapy. Since then, many trials conducted on the potential therapeutic effects of psilocybin on patients with psychiatric disorders.

A study published in April 2021 found that psilocybin was four times more effective and worked four times faster than commonly used antidepressants. 

According to some studies, psychedelic mushrooms seemed to be more effective than a commonly prescribed antidepressant called escitalopram (Lexapro). Patients made much greater progress in their healing process in a shorter span of time. Only 6 weeks after the treatment with psilocybin, the patients reported enhanced feelings of well-being and improved emotional control.

Similar findings were reported by the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research.

How Do Psilocybin Mushrooms Work?

Our brain receives signals via chemical messengers called neurotransmitters, which are complex arrangements of nerve cells. Astrocytes are other brain cells that produce hormones that affect blood flow in the brain. When these two systems work together in harmony, our thinking, behavior, and emotional responses are in alignment. However, when they aren’t functioning optimally, mental health and cognitive complications arise.

The psychoactive ingredient in mushrooms, psilocybin, temporarily interrupts brain activities, which results in better nerve signaling, improved blood flow to underactive brain regions, and enhancement of neurotransmitter levels.

Traditionally, ancient cultures used a combination of psychedelic substances with ceremonial settings to induce a healing state for individuals or a group.

During this psychedelic experience, the participants would have embarked on a spiritual journey that could lead to new perspectives, and help overcome traumas from past experiences that are identified as the root cause of depression.

Recent studies have demonstrated that to benefit from the healing properties of psilocybin mushrooms, a full dose (which could last for hours) may not be necessary, and rather taking small subperceptive doses frequently (microdosing) can be as effective without the demanding aspects of a ceremonial dose.

What is “Microdosing”?

Taking a sub-perceptual dose of a psychedelic substance is known as microdosing. During a microdose experience, one should not feel the hallucinogenic effects of the substance. Here the main goal is to proceed with daily activities without entering an altered state of consciousness. In order to reap the benefits of a substance without experiencing the debilitating effects of hallucinogens, experts usually recommend taking 5 to 10 percent of a full dose.

There are several suggested methods of microdosing psychedelics, however, it is advised to speak to a professional before attempting to microdose on psychedelic substances. To know more about microdosing refer to our article “How to Microdose with Magic Mushrooms”  

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Microdosing for Anxiety and Depression?

There is a substantial amount of scientific literature as well as reports from individuals that suggest magic mushrooms and microdosing psilocybin can be potentially one of the most effective methods in the treatment of depression without undesirable side effects.

 Based on the reliable clinical reports that have been done so far, microdosing has been found to enhance the levels of creativity, mood, sleep, and daily functioning without causing an altered state of consciousness. 

 However, the long-term effects of microdosing need to be examined more precisely. The effects of magic mushrooms have been studied in a wide range of clinical trials to date, but some of the studies have relied on respondents self-reporting their experiences of microdosing. The results of these studies may not be a true reflection of the practice, given that most of the participants already expect to have a positive experience, so their feedback could be biased. On top of these studies is “Adults who microdose psychedelics report health related motivations and lower levels of anxiety and depression compared to non-microdosers” published by Paul Stamets and research team at the University of British Columbia, published in Nature.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Treating Depression with Mushrooms?

Treatments for depression with psilocybin have benefits and drawbacks, just like any health intervention. A comprehensive pros-and-cons analysis hasn’t yet been developed due to the lack of formal, standardized research for more than a decade. The following is the current analysis that we have gathered from available studies:

mushroom for depression



  1. An effective antidepressant for people with treatment-resistant depression. Such patients may have to undergo treatment for weeks or months until positive effects are felt, whereas sometimes a single experience with magic mushrooms produces immediate results within a few hours that can last for weeks.

  2. Magic mushrooms can restore neurotransmitter levels by resetting the brain’s natural chemical balance in a way that is more inclined to our biochemistry.

  3. Mushrooms can provide long-lasting relief for people with moderate depression, eradicating the need for medications that may interfere with day-to-day activities. 

  4.  Magic mushrooms are not considered addictive.

  5. Psilocybin derived from mushrooms can be effective in the treatment of other conditions such as anxiety or even chronic anxiety that typically accompanies depression, reducing the number of medications the patient needs to consume. 

  6. Magic mushrooms grow naturally, these fungi can be grown at home or in laboratories in a short span of time with relatively low costs compared to chemically produced medications. This makes the treatment accessible and affordable for everyone.


  1. Accessibility: Psilocybin is not available in all parts of the world due to legal restrictions. The United States considers these types of mushrooms Schedule I drugs, and as such, they’re illegal, except when they’re used in research approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

  2.  Magic mushrooms are extremely powerful psychedelics, using these substances without proper guidelines and in the wrong settings can have adverse effects. An expert guide can help the patients with the proper doses of psilocybin.

  3.  Consumption of magic mushrooms orally can cause discomfort and nausea for sensitive individuals.

  4.  Understanding the dosage of fresh or dried mushrooms is a difficult task as the potency can vary based on the type, age, and preservation time of the mushrooms. This is the reason most clinical practices incorporate psilocybin using extraction to be able to track the dosage accurately.

  5. Psilocybin mushrooms’ psychedelic effect could lead to psychosis for patients with bipolar disorders.

Will I be able to Involve in Day-to-Day and Physical Activities While Microdosing?

People respond differently to microdoses of magic mushrooms, however, it’s important to understand that microdosing protocols are not meant for recreational purposes. The patient will not feel high and out of reality while microdosing.

In fact, microdosing has been proven to enhance focus and cognitive abilities, improving daily activities. While microdosing there is a general sense of freshness that can even enhance physical activities.

If you are having difficulties beginning a workout routine, or experience emotionally induced fatigue all day, then a microdose journey might be the solution you’re looking for since it compensates for the energies you may be lacking.  

What Are the Risks of Interaction Between Antidepressants and Psychedelic Substances?

It is always recommended to consult a licensed medical professional in this field in order to determine the risks of interaction between antidepressants or other depression-related medications and psychedelic substances.

Due to the properties of these medications, it is not advised to interrupt your treatment course carelessly.

Stopping antidepressants and anxiety medications at once can cause withdrawal effects and sometimes lead to serious complications.

If you are considering starting your microdosing journey, speak to your doctor. There are methods to taper off your medications safely and start microdosing gradually, without experiencing any negative effects.

Your doctor can evaluate your individual needs to help you taper off from your medications or create personal protocols for you to accommodate your microdosing practice.

mushroom for depression


Can You Take Shrooms on an SSRI?

The most common medications to treat depression, OCD, PTSD, etc., are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Some of the most commonly prescribed SSRIs include:

  • Citalopram (Celexa, Cipramil)

  • Escitalopram (Lexapro, Cipralex)

  • Fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem)

  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox, Faverin)

  • Paroxetine (Paxil, Seroxat)

  • Sertraline (Zoloft, Lustral). 

It is difficult to predict how SSRIs might interact with psilocybin in different individuals. There is, however, a chance that some overlap will occur since both substances act on the serotonergic system.

SSRIs work by preventing the clearance of excess serotonin from the brain, resulting in a temporary increase in serotonin levels in the synaptic clefts (space between the pre-synaptic and post-synaptic neurons).

There is a possibility that this can lead to Serotonin Syndrome in rare cases, but it is possible to mitigate such risks with proper guidance and medical supervision. It all depends on medical history, medicine, dosage, and other factors.

 Some studies indicate that a combination of these treatments may be beneficial to eradicating undesirable side effects of the treatment. 

After all, there is a debate going on among researchers whether combining psilocybin and SSRI medications can have a negative effect or as per some studies the combination can be complimenting the treatment.

As always consult your doctor to help you make the right decision. 

Can You Get Addicted to Magic Mushrooms and Microdosing?

Generally, addiction is indicated by the negative effects that occur when an individual stops consuming a substance. These effects can manifest physically or mentally.

In the case of magic mushrooms, after 4-6 weeks of treatment, your body has stored a certain amount of the compound, and you continue to benefit from the compound, therefore, you won’t be craving for more, so it safe to say magic mushroom is not considered addictive.

Moreover, microdosing does not lead to an altered state of mind or what is commonly known as being high, therefore, individuals do not feel dependent on their microdosing protocols to feel high, it is only with careful tracking of day-to-day activities and observations on the mental state in a period of time that positive effects of microdosing are recognized.

The effects of magic mushrooms are long-lasting, the individual does not need to be involved with the protocols for a habit-forming period, this can help the patient to experience the health benefits of magic mushrooms and not experience withdrawal effects once the protocols are completed.

However, it’s been observed that people with environmental stress, genetic risk, untreated mood disorders, and other underlying conditions may be more likely to abuse the substance, which in this case the protocols can be adjusted by a medical professional.  


As more people suffer from mental health concerns and complications, due to the current state of the world and the stressful lifestyles that we have adopted, it is necessary more than ever to be able to provide patients with solutions and treatments for increasing the quality of their lives.

We must use all the tools in our arsenal to be able to find a suitable solution to our modern-day problems.

There are a variety of psychedelic substances in nature that have been used for centuries among ancient civilizations. It is only now that we are discovering the importance of these substances.

It was not long ago that scientists found DMT molecules in almost every creature that produces enzymes, from a blade of grass to mammals. DMT was considered insignificant and a physiological noise in nature. It’s only recently that we have discovered that this precious molecule is one of the key factors in human evolution mentally and physically.

Similarly, there should be more research conducted to understand the potential of other psychedelic plants and substances. This can open ways to bring health and wellness to everyone’s life in a way that we have never imagined before.

As more restrictions are lifted and these compounds are becoming more accessible to everyone, it’s important to not underestimate these powerful substances and approach them with a level of respect and humility.

Our ancestors discovered the healing potential of these plants and substances (still unclear to us how) and utilized them for the benefit of individuals and society. Knowing the harsh conditions that these ancient civilizations had to thrive, it’s not unreasonable for us to assume that if these methods worked for them, then surely, we can benefit from these life-changing substances too.

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