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According to Prof. Pim Cuijpers  “Four decades of outcome research on psychotherapies for depression: an overview of meta-analyses”: “The prevalence of depression is at 4.4% worldwide and depression is a mental health disorder affecting primarily the adult age group” .

In 2014, 7 % of the European Union (EU) population reported having chronic depression. One in eight Irish people have experienced chronic depression recently, according to a health study by Eurostat, the EU central statistics office.

Ireland now has the highest rate (12%) of chronic depression in Europe.

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Clinical Studies on Depression:

High-dose psilocybin produced large decreases in clinician- and self-rated measures of depressed mood and anxiety, along with increases in quality of life, life meaning, and optimism, and decreases in death anxiety.

At 6-month follow-up, these changes were sustained, with about 80% of participants continuing to show clinically significant decreases in depressed mood and anxiety.

Johns Hopkins Study, Journal of Psychopharmacology  (Griffiths, et al, 2016)

Relative to baseline, depressive symptoms were markedly reduced 1 week and 3 months after high-dose [psilocybin] treatment. Marked and sustained improvements in anxiety and anhedonia were also noted.

Imperial College London (Carhart-Harris, et al. 2016)

Long-term Relief

The study showed that one-time treatment with the hallucinogenic drug psilocybin quickly brought relief from distress that then lasted for more than 6 months in 80 percent of the 29 study subjects monitored, based on clinical evaluation scores for anxiety and depression.

One of the key findings was that improvements in clinical evaluation scores for anxiety and depression lasted for the remainder of the study’s extended monitoring period—specifically, eight months for those who took psilocybin first.

“Our study showed that psilocybin facilitated experiences that drove reductions in psychological distress”

NYU Study, Journal of Psychopharmacology (Ross, et al, 2016)

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Media Coverage

Psychedelic compound psilocybin decreased symptoms in treatment-resistant patients

“Psilocybin may be giving these individuals the temporary ‘kick start’ they need to break out of their depressive states and these imaging results do tentatively support a ‘reset’ analogy. Similar brain effects to these have been seen with electroconvulsive therapy.”

A hallucinogen found in magic mushrooms can “reset” the brains of people with untreatable depression, raising hopes of a future treatment, scans suggest.


The evidence supporting the use of psychedelic drugs to treat treatment-resistant depression continues to build. In the latest volley, a study finds that psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, may open an entirely new door to treating depression – by allowing deeply entrenched beliefs to become changeable.

Two new studies confirm the hypothesis that the psychoactive compound found in “magic mushrooms” may be a useful new treatment for depression, avoiding some of the side effects of conventional antidepressants.

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