Magic mushrooms may ease anxiety and depression in cancer patients,
The psychedelic drug in “magic mushrooms” will quickly and effectively facilitate treat anxiety and depression in cancer patients, an impact that will last for months, two little studies show.
It worked for Dinah Bazer, who endured a alarming hallucination that rid of her of the fear that her ovarian cancer would come back. And for Estalyn Walcoff, who says the drug experience led her to start a comforting spiritual journey.
The work released on Thursday is preliminary and specialists say additional definitive analysis should be done on the effects of the substance, known as hallucinogen.
But the record so far shows “very spectacular results,” said Dr. Craig Blinderman, who directs the adult palliative care service at the Columbia University Medical Center/New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He did not participate within the work.
Psilocybin, also known as shrooms, purple passion and small smoke, comes from certain kinds of mushrooms. it’s illegal within the United States, and if the federal government approves the treatment, it’d be administered in clinics by specially trained workers, specialists say.
Nobody should try it on their own, which might be risky, said the leaders of the two studies, Dr. Sir Leslie Stephen Ross of new york University and Roland Griffiths of Johns Hopkins University in baltimore.
Psychedelic drugs have looked promising within the past for treating distress in cancer patients. however studies of medical use of psychedelics stopped within the early 1970s after a regulatory crackdown on the medication, following their widespread recreational use. it’s slowly resumed in recent years.
Griffiths said it is not clear whether or not psilocybin would work outside of cancer patients, although he suspects it would work in individuals facing alternative terminal conditions. Plans are underway to study it in depression that resists standard treatment, he said.
The new studies, revealed within the Journal of Psychotherapy, are small. The NYU project, that also included psychotherapy, covered just twenty nine patients. The Hopkins study had fifty one.
Bazer, who lives in new york, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2010, once she was sixty three. Treatment was successful , then again she became anxious about it returning.
“I simply began to be filled with a terrible dread,” she said in an interview. “You’re awaiting the other shoe to drop… (The anxiety) was ruination my life.”
She swallowed a capsule of psilocybin in 2012 in the company of 2 staff members trained to guide her through the many hours that the drug would have an effect on her brain. As she listened to music through headphones, her eyes covered with a sleep mask, the drug went to work.
“Suddenly i was in a very dark, terrifying place, lost in space, lost in time,” she recalled. “I had no bearings and that i was extremely, extremely panicked.”
Then she saw her dread of a cancer repeat as a black mass in her abdomen, and she furiously loud at it to leave.
“As soon as that happened, the fear was gone,” she said. “I was simply floating within the music… like being carried in a river.”
Then she felt deep love for her family and friends, and perceived their love for her. “It felt like i used to be bathed in God’s love… i am still an atheist, by the way, however that really gave the impression to be the only thanks to describe it.”
Researchers said such mystical experiences seemed to play a role within the drug’s therapeutic result.
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