Many current methods of treating psychological depression — particularly those involving highly-expensive ‘designer' molecules and laboratory-constructed pharmaceuticals — have been shown to be ‘treatment-resistant,' according to reports.
The controlled use of plant materials that are without the well-known side-effects of many prescription drugs is seen as a major step forward in the emotional well-being of post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) victims and other sufferers of depression, according to Psypost.org.
By carefully administering psilocybin, the consciousness-altering material found in certain mushrooms, the new treatment has been shown to profoundly alter personal experience by, among other effects, allowing shifts in mood, sensory and time perception, and — perhaps most importantly — how patients view themselves.
Researchers are optimistic about the controlled implementation of the psychoactive properties of certain mushroom strains.
"I believe that psychedelics hold a potential to cure deep psychological wounds," asserted study author Leor Roseman, an Imperial College London PhD student, cited by Psypost.org.
"I believe that by investigating the neuropsychopharmacological mechanism [of psilocybin], we can learn to understand this potential," Roseman added.
During a successful course of treatment using the psychoactive properties of certain mushrooms, study results noted that patients could receive a carefully-controlled dose of psilocybin in a hospital setting with medical professionals standing by to provide psychological support, if needed.
Unlike common drug prescription tactics, patients — as part of psilocybin therapy — would receive counseling both before and after sessions as a means to integrate the ‘psychedelic' experience, according to the study.
"It is important to emphasize that psilocybin-assisted therapy is a model in which the patient is undergoing a deep psychological process in one or few psychedelic sessions," Roseman detailed, adding that a patient "might have an intense cathartic experience, or peak experience."
"This is unlike antidepressants which are given as chronic pharmacological intervention with less psychological insight," he noted.