In 2016 the Beckley/Imperial Research Programme published data giving preliminary indication that psilocybin, when administered in safe and supportive conditions, can alleviate treatment-resistant depression. In this pilot study, 12 patients who had been suffering for an average of 18 years from moderate to severe treatment-resistant depression were given only two oral doses of psilocybin, 7 days apart. Strikingly, one week following treatment 67% patients remained depression-free. After 3 months, 42% of patients were still in remission.
We now have plans to expand this research into a larger-scale placebo-controlled trial that could lead to the development of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy as a novel psychiatric treatment approach.
A note on treating depression with psilocybin
In our studies of psilocybin for depression, patients have taken pharmaceutical grade compounds of known strength and purity, under the supervision of trained therapists. The Beckley Foundation cannot advise on the procurement of illegal psychoactive substances, nor can we recommend self-medication. While we and other advocacy groups are working for psychedelics to become accepted into medical practice, we also acknowledge that – especially outside of the context of a controlled environment under the supervision of trained professionals – they can have serious and traumatic consequences. A growing community of psychiatrists and therapists can offer support for those seeking help in making sense of psychedelic experiences. These include those listed at Psychedelic.Support and the MAPS Integration List.
Psilocybin for Depression
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