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Using Psychedelics To Treat Depression

by Richard Bailey about a month ago in treatments
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Psychedelics Are Being Recognized As A Beneficial Treatment Option

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Medical Fields Are Seeing Advantages Of Psychedelics

The use of psychedelics in treatments for mental illnesses is starting to become more common.

Currently, legally, a new treatment called Spravato, which is an Esketamine nasal spray, has been approved for use with depression. Esketamine is similar to Ketamine, but the way it was explained to me is that Esketamine is a purer form of Ketamine.

Although Ketamine is often used as a tranquilizer and an anesthetic, in low doses it is a psychedelic. The Spravato Esketamine nasal spray is done in low doses.

Spravato EsKetamine Nasal Spray Treatment

Nasal Spray

As mentioned above the Spravato treatment uses low doses of Esketamine for the treatment. There are three different dose levels and your doctor will help to determine what dose you should be taking.

Currently, here in Canada, you go into your doctor's office or clinic where the treatment is being provided and will stay there for 2 hours.

They will take your blood pressure (BP) before they administer the first dose, and then re-take your BP after each dose is given. The doctor will then come back in about fifty minutes after your last dose to re-check your BP.

At the end of the two hours, you are free to go home. You will need to have a ride set up though as you won't be able to drive afterward. 

Some people can experience some nausea from the treatment. Usually taking an anti-nausea before the treatment will take care of that. 

I experienced nausea and even ended up vomiting. This seemed to be a very rare thing to actually vomit. Out of the 20 patients the clinic was treating with Spravato at that time, only three people reported any type of nausea and I was the only one to vomit.

I was given a prescription for an anti-nausea medication as the over-the-counter ones were not working and that solved the problem.

Using Psilocybin To Treat Depression

Psilocybin Mushroom

Another psychedelic that is often being used, depending on where you live could be illegal, is psilocybin. There are two different ways that this is being used.

In a treatment setting with a trained psychologist or therapist, mushrooms are being taken at a dose that will give the patient a high.

During the high, the patient is able to explore memories that may be difficult to deal with under normal circumstances and explore them safely. This can also help to identify emotional triggers that the patient may not be aware of.

There is also the microdosing of psilocybin. This is done at a very low dose, and the person doesn't feel any type of high.

Psilocybin Microdose Schedule

Psilocybn Schedule

Taking the microdose of psilocybin isn't done every day. There are many different schedules out there, a lot will depend on personal preference and what works best for the person.

The three most common schedules are:

  1. Two days dosing, then two days non-dosing, and this is repeated.
  2. There is also a weekday dosing schedule which is just what it sounds like, the person microdoses on the weekdays, and then doesn't take any doses on the weekend.
  3. The third schedule is microdosing for four days and then taking three off and repeating.

My Experience So Far Microdosing With Psilocybin

Psilocybin Experience

I started microdosing with psilocybin about three weeks ago and decided to try the four days on, three days off schedule.

I found that the days I took the microdose, once it kicked in, I felt highly motivated to get things done. I would find myself easily doing chores that took a lot of energy just to get started on.

I was also more focused and concentrated on the tasks I was working on. It felt really good to be motivated, energized, and focused.

By the afternoon I could feel it losing its effectiveness but I still had some motivation and focus, just not as strong as in the morning.

In a lot of what I had read, people often said that the benefits didn't carry over into the days that you don't microdose. For me, I found that it did carry over.

My mood has also increased slightly. I don't expect there to be huge differences as this is more of a long term to see the benefits.

Do Your Research

Research

If you are thinking about microdosing with psilocybin, make sure that you do your research. Don't look on just Reddit or Quora, do some google searches and look at actual medical studies.

You will also want to find out what the laws are pertaining to microdosing. Some countries may have different laws in effect over how much you can have, if any at all, at home.

In some places, it is even legal for a cannabis store to sell psilocybin mushrooms, legal for a person to buy them from the store, but illegal to possess them. Go make sense of that one.

Also, read what others have found from their experiences with the different schedules of microdosing. You can always change the schedule if you feel the need to. It's about what works best for you.

Final Thoughts

There is a lot of mixed information out there. Most will say that there are benefits to microdosing with psilocybin, but what the benefits are seems to vary. There are a lot that agree on certain benefits, like focus, concentration, and creativity, but not everyone agrees on other benefits like improving mood and memory.

The variations seem to come from a lack of quantity of long-term trials of following people/patients using this method. So there is a huge lack of data to be able to properly confirm what the benefits are and what percentage of people are seeing those benefits.

For someone like me who has tried everything under the sun and everything failed, with the exception of the Spravato Esketamine nasal spray treatment, I am more than willing to give this a try.

Last year I did eight months of the Spravato treatment and benefits stopped covering it. The reason for this is that I no longer met the number scale for depression to have the treatments covered. However, the reason I didn't meet those numbers is because the treatment was working.

It took two months of appeals to get it covered again and during those two months without the treatment, I lost everything I had gained in the eight months I had been doing the treatments. I had to start over again.

It appears that psychedelics do help me and I need some kind of backup plan in case my benefits plan decides to stop covering the treatment again.

I know this is still experimental, but I don't want to go back to where I was and I'm not sure I can handle being back there again.

I am not a medical expert, so I am not recommending that you go out and give psilocybin microdosing a try. I am simply trying to put the information out there that there are options and some evidence that psychedelics, used properly, can have benefits for depression.

If you can get the Spravato Esketamine nasal spray treatment, that is definitely something worth bringing up with your doctor. 

There is a lot of clinical evidence that it works, I know from personal experience that it works, and it works well. I have also heard so many stories of success with other people taking the treatment.

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About the author

Richard Bailey

I enjoy writing about many different topics but my main focus is mental health, mental illness, and specifically depression. I have a long personal experience with Severe Treatment-Resistant Depression and Anxiety.

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