Treating Seasonal Affective Disorder with Psilocybin
- What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
- What Causes SAD?
- Psilocybin and Serotonin
- Taking a Dose of Psilocybin
- Psilocybin and Serotonin
- Microdosing and SAD
It’s almost winter. If you feel groggy, unfocused and irritable because of the long stretch of dark, cold days, you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). You’re not the only one. 4-6% of people in the U.S. feel the symptoms of SAD and 10-20% experience some mild form of it.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Don’t brush off that winter sadness as just a seasonal funk. If this pervasive feeling of sadness has been persisting for many years, you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression which comes and goes depending on the seasons. Most people with SAD experience the symptoms at the start of fall. These symptoms gradually become more pronounced during winter, sapping them of energy and causing their mood to become less stable.
However, some people may have the opposite effects and experience SAD during spring or early summer. No matter which pattern a person fits in, a person with SAD has symptoms which start out mild but become more severe as the season progresses.
SAD is a type of major depression whose symptoms appear depending on the seasons. These are:
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Low energy
- Loss of interest in activities which used to be enjoying (anhedonia)
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
What Causes SAD?
There is not one singular cause of SAD. However, some factors which come into play include:
- The body’s internal or biological clock. Winter and fall’s reduced sunlight levels disrupts the body’s internal clock and lead to depression.
- Melatonin levels. Because of seasonal changes, melatonin levels fluctuate. This is a hormone which is responsible for regulating sleep patterns and mood.
- Serotonin levels. Reduced sunlight causes a drop in serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical found in the brain, a neurotransmitter, and it plays a role in mood regulation.
Psilocybin and Serotonin
Psychedelics affect the body’s serotonin levels. There is evidence which points to psilocybin’s effectiveness in treating depression. This chemical from magic mushrooms controls 5-H2TA serotonin receptors. High amounts of active 5-H2TA receptors are found in people who are suicidal or suffer from depression.
By controlling these serotonin receptors, psilocybin is able to reduce over-activity in the brain, prevent a person from having obsessive focus on oneself, and relieve the “downward spiraling” sensation experienced by depressed people.
Psilocybin is also known to reduce the amygdala’s response to negative stimuli while increasing its responsiveness to positive stimuli. Because of these two effects, psilocybin can help individuals control the symptoms of depression.
This compound present in shrooms also depresses brain activities associated with the fear and anxiety response. It also dissolves the ego and one’s boxed-in preconceptions about the world. These result in a person who is more open and receptive to therapy. When combined with psychotherapy, psilocybin is said to become more effective in combatting even the most stubborn types of depression. Psilocybin-enhanced psychotherapy makes it easier to remember and resolve experiences which contribute to one’s depression. Entering the psychedelic state also makes it easier to learn lasting techniques to cope with depressive episodes.
Psilocybin’s effectiveness in treating stubborn depression holds the secret to its effectivity in treating SAD. This compound can be ingested two ways to treat SAD: a single large dose when symptoms start to flare up or by ingesting a continuous low dose throughout the winter season.
Taking a Dose of Psilocybin
One of the downsides to taking traditional prescribed antidepressants is that they can take a long time to work. For example, a patient will only start feeling the effects of Tofranil or Prozac after two to four weeks of taking the drug religiously. Sometimes, patients find out too late that the drug doesn’t work for.
The frustration from an ineffective antidepressant compounds their pre-existing depression. The overall experience would take a toll on the already depressed person. This is even more exasperating for a person who only experiences depression for a few months each year because it might be years before an effective type of treatment for their condition could be developed.
This is where psilocybin has the advantage.
In recent trials involving psilocybin, participants report feeling relief after two doses of psilocybin – a trial dose of 10mg and a higher therapeutic dose of 25mg. Despite never taking these drugs again, the research subjects claim they continue to enjoy the positive effects up to three months after the experiment.
Why is this significant for SAD patients?
The long-lasting effect after a single treatment is an attractive selling point for SAD patients. Since SAD only takes place for a few months each year, sufferers will be able to better control their mood by taking a large dose of psilocybin as soon as they experience their symptoms starting to get their clutches on them as opposed to being medicated for longer periods throughout the year.
Psilocybin also doesn’t negatively affect the body like some antidepressants do. Traditional antidepressants have the following unpleasant side effects:
- Weight gain
- Dry mouth
- Visual impairment
Microdosing and SAD
An alternative for treating SAD is through microdosing with magic mushrooms throughout the winter season. Microdosing means taking a dose of psilocybin at a dose low enough not to cause any psychedelic effects.
This is a great method for people who don’t want to experience intense distortions in their perceptions but still want to benefit from the positive effects of psilocybin. Although studies about microdosing are still underway, anecdotal reports reveal that a microdose of psilocybin taken every 4 days helps control depression and even increase overall levels of productivity, creativity, and critical thinking.
Despite the significantly smaller dose, the effects of microdosing psilocybin are almost immediate. It has a leg up over traditional antidepressants because it can be halted anytime without any ill effects. People who are taking SSRIs need to be weaned off the drug through gradually smaller doses otherwise they’d experience withdrawal or recurrence of their depressive symptoms.
Microdosing allows people to treat their SAD as soon as it appears and discontinue when the season ends instead of unnecessarily continuing treatment months after the depression is lifted,
It’s almost winter. Don’t let SAD get the better of you. Psilocybin is one of the safest drugs on earth. Try psilocybin and watch your well-being improve.
You can order magic truffles containing psilocybin from Truffle Magic.
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