Psilocybin and its effects on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Many diseases are anxiety disorders and one of them is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It appears as a result of a strong, violent experience, which is associated with a threat to health or life. Treatment of PTSD is based on a combination of different psychotherapy methods. In a situation where symptoms worsen and become extremely bothersome, pharmacotherapy is usually instituted. The ideal drug is still being sought, so recently psilocybin has been taken on the wallpaper as a potential PTSD drug. Does psilocybin affect and help treat post-traumatic stress disorder?
What is Psilocybin?
Let’s start by explaining what psilocybin is. It is a psychodysleptic substance of natural origin, it is found in the mushrooms of the genus Psilocybe. Psychodysleptics are psychoactive drugs that have a strong influence on human perception, mood and cognition.
The effects of psilocybin on the body are manifested by changes in behavior – a feeling of lightness, cheerfulness or a state of euphoria is felt after taking a dose. In the medical literature, psilocybin is classified as an intoxicant, a substance with no medical use and with high abuse potential.
The properties of psilocybin make it possible to consider its use in the treatment of psychiatric diseases. Depression is one such disease where treatment with psilocybin produces tangible results. Psilocybin is also used to fight PTSD
Long-term effects of taking psilocybin
There is quite a lot of research into the short-term effects of psilocybin, but less is known about the permanent effects. In 2020, Scientific Reports published the results of a study whose purpose was to analyze the effects of a single high dose of psilocybin on the body up to one month after administration.
As it turned out, psilocybin showed an effect on the affect – emotions, feelings and mood of the subjects. It reduced negative feelings by increasing the positive ones. One week after psilocybin administration, stress, negative feelings, anxiety, tension, and mood disturbances were not as severe as before in those observed. After a month, however, they returned to their original state.
Psilocybin increases brain connectivity
The 2020 study also noted that there was a continual increase in functional connectivity across different brain networks in subjects over the course of a month. Connectivity between the various parts of the brain is essential to keeping the brain functioning properly. Any disruptions or complete lack of communication may be a sign of mental illness or conditions such as schizophrenia.
Effect of psilocybin on PTSD. Are psilocybin and PTSD related?
Many companies conduct numerous studies on the effectiveness and suitability of psilocybin in treating mental illness. Given the above, the question arises, could psilocybin benefit from post-traumatic stress disorder? While there is no evidence of this yet, one may suspect that it is. However, before we get too euphoric that there is a cure for post-traumatic stress disorder that can be released from it, let’s wait for clear confirmation of this in the form of appropriate research in this field.
If psilocybin proved effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder, sufferers would be given a chance to improve their quality of life as well as avoid taking strong medications. The drugs used for this reason have a number of side effects.