Psilocybin represents a paradigm shift in the treatment approach to OCD as well as other mental health conditions including depression and anxiety. Individuals with OCD often describe comorbid symptoms of depression and may be at an increased risk of suicide. The International OCD Foundation estimates around 1 in 100 adults, or 2 to 3 million US adults, have OCD. Conventional treatment approaches rarely get to the root of the problem.
It’s interesting to see psychiatrists now turning to nature’s solutions in light of the revelations about how anti-depressants are usually useless for many mental health issues. (this goes all the way back to 2008, but has been highlighted again more recently- Most People On Anti-depressants Don’t Need Them’ Oct2022)
Lets dig in and see what various people and studies have shown in regards to this area.
Psilocybin may alleviate concerns with excessive doubt and rumination, these are key elements underlying obsessions which may be measured through assessment of a specific brainwave pattern—measured as error related negativity (ERN)—that increased in individuals with symptomatic OCD. This is according the Department of Psychiatry in Arizona, now endorsing psilocybin openly in this article. They state, “It is not often in the field of psychiatry that we find a treatment that may immediately and significantly change an individual’s symptoms that have been present for years. Treatment with psilocybin, when done in an interpersonally supportive setting with a well-prepared individual, is not only safe but may result in rapid and significant reductions in overall OCD symptoms and a general improvement in overall quality of life.”
“One particular network of brain structures known as the Default Mode Network (DMN) is highly involved in self-referential thinking and has been shown to have increased connectivity and activity in individuals with OCD. Treatment with psilocybin may dramatically change and reset functional connectivity with DMN structures leading to reduced OCD symptoms”
A 2001-2004 study of 9 patients published in 2006 stated ‘In a controlled clinical environment, psilocybin was safely used in subjects with OCD and was associated with acute reductions in core OCD symptoms in several subjects.
More trials and research are ongoing which will likely continue the trend of showing benefits. Some of these trials take years to go from start to finish and so many are choosing not to wait and instead experimenting to see if mushroom products will help them with their issues.
Currently, the best-explored indication for psilocybin has been in the treatment of anxiety and depression secondary to cancer, or terminal diagnoses.
– A small trial of patients with advanced-stage cancer with a co-morbid anxiety disorder (Grob et al., 2011) found that a single modest dose (14 mg/70 kg) of psilocybin was sufficient to reduce trait-anxiety at 1 and 3 months after treatment, as well as a significant reduction in depressive symptoms, as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), at 6 months.
In another study of 51 patients published 2016 , it states “When administered under psychologically supportive, double-blind conditions, a single dose of psilocybin produced substantial and enduring decreases in depressed mood and anxiety along with increases in quality of life and decreases in death anxiety in patients with a life-threatening cancer diagnosis. Ratings by patients themselves, clinicians, and community observers suggested these effects endured at least 6 months. The overall rate of clinical response at 6 months on clinician-rated depression and anxiety was 78% and 83%, respectively.” (1)
A meta-analysis of studies published 2021 also found clear benefits for end-of-life anxiety. (2)
There are numerous other examples, and so it has been established now that people are finding help with anxiety from the use of psilocybin.
The possibility of transformative & mystical experiences also contributes to the longer term benefits and resolution of OCD tendencies. Amazingly, psilocybin demonstrates a sophisticated ability to reduce brain overactivity, simultaneously diminishing the overly-scrutinizing tendencies of our OCD scripts. Increased neural plasticity is also heavily associated with these benefits. Users have reported that they become more grounded and are able to turn off their compulsions with more ease. The key may be in the ego dissolution property of the mushroom and how people are able to more easily grasp acceptance as an appropriate response to minor issues. They start to be able to detach from the emotional involvement in trivial matters, or sometimes have their eyes opened to a bigger perspective that lessens the anxiety of the ‘small stuff’. Heroic dosing has it’s place for sure, but microdosing also provides an effective means of maintaining these transformations to enable a longer lasting shift in how we make our way in the world.
Holistic Bigger Picture
None of this is to suggest that psilocybin will be the “cure” for all that ails you. You may still need exercise, a better diet, talk therapy sessions, or more community support. It’s comforting to know however that people are finding psilocybin to be an effective tool in our toolbox to tackle the tendencies that hold us back from being our best. As Edward Jacobs notes in his 2020 paper (2) A potential role for psilocybin in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder, psilocybin has very low dependence potential. For those who want to avoid the side effects of the traditional pharmaceutical route, psilocybin offers a compelling path towards healing and health for both OCD and anxiety.
Osmosis carries both microdose blends like Brain Boost and a number of varieties of raw mushroom for your explorations.