Jacob Adkison, MSN, DNP & Charity Keplinger, DHSc, MPAS, PA-C
Depression and anxiety are debilitating mental health conditions that affect a large portion of the United States. Current pharmacological treatments for these disorders require daily administration, are associated with a number of side effects, and can be ineffective for some. Emerging evidence in novel treatment options may necessitate a shift toward how we treat these psychiatric disorders.
Studies involving the psychedelic serotonin agonist, psilocybin, are currently experiencing a resurgence as an alternative for patients who are unresponsive to traditional treatments. Clinical trials using psilocybin in combination with psychotherapy have demonstrated sustained reductions in depression and/or anxiety symptoms. When used in medical settings, it has shown to be safe, with few side effects and no risk of dependence. However, this psychedelic compound faces many stigmas and these results have yet to be compared to current treatments or in larger populations. Psilocybin represents a promising field of research that warrants more robust studies in order to gain societal approval and establish a role in treating common psychiatric diagnoses.
Beck, Sofia, "Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy: Treating Depression and Anxiety with Mushrooms" (2020). Physician Assistant Studies | Student Articles. 7.