Health - Mushrooms/truffles for treating moderate to severe depression

Discussion in 'Magic Mushrooms (Psilocybe & Amanita)' started by C.D.rose, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. C.D.rose

    C.D.rose Palladium Member Donating Member

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    Hi there,

    this is the first time I'm posting in this subforum, but at least the older members probably remember me from other boards.

    Like the title says, I'm considering trying mushrooms as a treatment for depression. I have responded somewhat to some pharmaceutical antidepressants, and also to cannabis, but there is still fairly huge room for improvement. Since mushrooms, or essentially psilocybin, has been in the news as a treatment option for depression -- most significantly, as far as I have seen, in Nature --, I thought I should give it a go.

    I have never done mushrooms or any "real" psychedelic so far. I did use ketamine for a while to check whether I respond to it, but at sub-trip doses.

    There are a couple of threads here on the board that I will go through, but now I'm mainly posting to see if anyone else here is currently using mushrooms for treating depression, or any other psychiatric condition. Or if anyone has experience that he/she wants to share?
     
  2. Josh Carlton

    Josh Carlton Titanium Member

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    I think you could go two ways with this - you could try regular microdoses, or less frequent full trips.

    People typically use something like .2 grams every 3 days or so for microdosing. Small, regular doses of psilocybin lead to a consistent yet mild reduction in activity of the Default Mode Network (DMN). Having a highly active DMN is associated with rumination, over-analysis of ourselves, and stepping out of the present moment to constantly question the past and the future, and is also linked to depression. The idea with microdosing is that a regular, sub-tripping dose helps maintain lower activity in the DMN, reducing your depression.

    Taking a full trip dose as needed, though optimally no more often than once every two weeks, is the other way you could go. Full trips kind of break the cycle of depression, by acting on the DMN in the same way as microdosing, and by reducing the activity of the amygdala. According to some studies that have been done on mushrooms and depression, a trip helps for symptoms of depression for up to around 5 weeks, but only works for some people, and for others it works, but for not as long.

    Usually, I don't think self-prescribing street drugs for mental health issues is a great idea, even if there are potential benefits. Psychedelics can be pretty unpredictable, and have the potential to have some pretty negative effects on people with pre-existing mental health issues. However, you seem well-educated about psilocybin and drugs in general, responsible, and you have tried addressing the issue through traditional channels. So if psilocybin for depression is a safe and helpful thing for anyone to try, you seem like a good candidate.

    I personally don't struggle with depression, but mushrooms do tend to put me in a good mood, often lasting for days after a trip. Even if I have some anxiety or other negative emotions during the come-up and peak, mushrooms always make me euphoric on the come-down, and some of that euphoria lasts for the net few days. Not like a drug-induced euphoria feeling, but a general positive outlook and good mood. As well as motivation - I feel motivated to spend more time than usual on my relationships with friends, family, and significant other; I feel motivated to do well at work; and I feel motivated to work on cleaning up negative aspects of my life.

    My close friend who suffers from depression in the past really enjoys mushrooms, in relatively low doses (usually takes 1-2.5 grams). He likes to be in control mentally, so he dislikes high doses, but he loves the mood lift he experiences from mushrooms, and it helps his mental state for a while after the trip, as well. He uses mushrooms less as a psychedelic, and more as something to buoy up his mood, make him more social, and general relieve any symptoms of depression he experiences. However, his depression symptoms of are not very bad, as they were about a year and a half or two years ago, at which point he had never tried mushrooms. His depression is mild and inconsistent now, but mushrooms really help him. (Unfortunately, he is having a rough patch with his girlfriend right now, and I fear a break up may put him back in a worse state of depression... hopefully mushrooms can help if that happens).
     
  3. C.D.rose

    C.D.rose Palladium Member Donating Member

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    Thanks @Josh Carlton for the detailed response.

    I agree that self-medicating is not generally a good strategy for most people, and the jury is still out on whether it'll ultimately turn out to have been a good one for me. There have indeed been specific reasons for why I have avoided psychedelics, which mainly concern potentially lasting negative consequences for my already somewhat shaky mental health. But since scientific evidence for its effectiveness in treatment-resistant depression appears to be accumulating, I can't ignore it. I would even prefer the clinical setting with precisely dosed synthetic psilocybin, but that just isn't realistically feasible.

    You have already raised and discussed one of the practical questions I am currently pondering, namely whether to go for microdosing or taking a full dose. Personally, microdosing seems a bit more "sympathetic" to me, as it's also a bit less risky. But since the study in Nature that I linked to worked with moderate doses, that's what I would like to go for. I will certainly take a single small dose at the beginning though, even if only to check for allergic or otherwise negative reactions. If that works out ok, I would wait some time and then try a moderate-ish dose.

    The actual dosing is another question though. There seems to be variation in active ingredient content in different parts of actual mushrooms, and I suppose this would be the case with truffles as well. Apparently there are people who dry and then grind down the material, which sounds reasonable but involves a bit of work in the drying process. I'm not sure if or how this applies to truffles as well.

    I also read elsewhere that it is not recommended to use mushrooms while taking a range of psychiatric medications, including tricyclic antidepressants. Since I am on two of those (amitriptyline and nortriptyline), this seems relevant. Do you happen to know whether there are specific interactions with these two drugs?
     
  4. Josh Carlton

    Josh Carlton Titanium Member

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    It's difficult to be exact with dosing, but I believe I've read studies that say that the best size therapeutical dose of psilocybin with low risk of negative effect is equivalent potency to about 1.75 grams of Psilocybe cubensis. Psilocybe cubensis is the most common, standard recreational psychedelic mushroom in most places (at least in North America, not sure about Belgium). I'm not sure what this dosage would translate into for truffles, but I'm sure some quick searches could find it out.

    Interestingly, I've also heard of interactions with tricyclic antidepressants and serotonergic psychedelics. However, I don't think its anything dangerous, but rather that it may affect the potency of the trip. I've heard both that they can decrease and increase the effects of psilocybin, and that they have no effect. But nothing dangerous.
    In the chance that the medications do increase the effects of psilocybin, I think it would be smart to, as you suggest, try a small tester dose first and then work up from there.

    Anyway you seem to have a very safe and responsible approach to doing this, so it seems like you will be one of the people that really benefit from it. The people that have lasting negative effects from psychedelics tend to have a less safe, healthy approach to them than you do.
     
  5. C.D.rose

    C.D.rose Palladium Member Donating Member

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    Ah sorry, I should have cleared that up in the opening post. I'm located in the Netherlands right now, and while actual magic mushrooms are banned here, truffles are commercially available. As far as I understand, these are nutrient reserves that Psilocybe mushrooms build up under certain conditions. They also contain psilocin and psilocybin and are said to have effects similar to mushrooms.

    For dosing, I actually want to end up at doses comparable to those in the study I linked to (i.e. 10mg and 25mg of psilocybin), but I think for now I'm not going to bother with conversions. There are too many variables (mushrooms vs. truffles, dry vs. fresh, plus natural variation) to end up with a meaningful number I think. I'll just start with a low dose and see where I go from there. And it was my impression also that tricyclic antidepressants, as well as other antidepressants, mainly seem have an effect on potency. I'll keep that in mind when dosing.

    Thanks for your help so far, I'll surely come back and post here at a later point.
     
  6. C.D.rose

    C.D.rose Palladium Member Donating Member

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    Hmmm ok, I can now report with a fairly high degree of certainty that, in my case, the antidepressants appear to stall any kind of meaningful psilocybin experience.

    I tried a tiny dose first (2.5 grams of low potency truffles, this should probably be like half a gram of mushrooms if that), and experienced only a very mild body high. Interestingly, I felt a mild antidepressant effect around hours 24 to 72 after taking it, so at a point where the acute effects had long disappeared. This made me somewhat optimistic, but basically, with doses increased beyond that, the actual experience has been mostly identical. Higher doses made me a bit "dizzier", kind of like after alcohol consumption, but nothing else. And the antidepressant effect did not return either.

    I took 15 grams of Psilocybe Atlantis truffles a few hours ago, which under normal circumstances should produce an intense trip. But, like the previous times, nothing really happened. I mean, of course I'm experiencing a somewhat altered state of mind, but nothing beyond what two or three beers would do. (I don't drink, just as a comparison that probably everyone here is familiar with.)

    Now I'm wondering whether there is reason to believe that the antidepressant effect observed in clinical studies with psilocybin may require the psychedelic experience (be it as a key to some kind of insight, or simply as a side effect of a neurobiological process that is now abridged by the presence of amitriptyline and nortriptyline molecules).
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
  7. Josh Carlton

    Josh Carlton Titanium Member

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    I don't understand enough about pharmacology, nor do I know enough about tricyclic antidepressants, to understand the interactions that might be happening there.

    However, I do notice that you say you have taken mushrooms several times (at least twice, but I interpret your writing as meaning more than that - I may be wrong) between March 8th and March 22nd, a two week span. Given the rapidly-building nature of tolerance to mushrooms, and psychedelics in general, I suggest that you space out your usages a little bit more. Now, if you did only use it twice (the first 2.5 gram dose, and the recent 15 gram dose), then that is enough time between doses.
    But for optimal effects from a full trip dosage, I suggest waiting two weeks between uses.

    Other than that, I guess the interaction between your tricyclic antidepressants and mushrooms seems to be reducing potency. You could try increasing the dosage of mushrooms, I suppose.

    I'm sorry mushrooms aren't working as well as you had hoped. Perhaps if you continue to experiment with dosage and frequency of usage, you will find a sweet spot which will give you what you want. However, it does seem promising that the first small dosage worked well. Clearly, the mushrooms can be effective for you, but it may be difficult to find the right frequency/dosage.
    Perhaps, since the small dosage was effective, you could try micro-dosing twice a week or so?
    Otherwise, I'd try taking 15+ grams and waiting a full two weeks between trips.
     
  8. torn2bits

    torn2bits Titanium Member

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    I used to take 100mg Zoloft, I'm unsure if it's a tricyclic antidepressants.
    I had to wean off Zoloft to trip at all on mushrooms, I've no idea why but it worked.
    I did 8 grams of African Transki mushrooms, with no effect.
    Same mushrooms 2 months later,after being off any psyc meds, I tripped on 4 grams.
    So yeah there's something to this I can verify.

    Someone mentioned potency is certain parts of a mushroom and compair mushrooms to truffles.
    Truffles are Sclerocia, which never develop to a mushroom, so I'd bet the potency is the same in Sclerocia/truffle mushrooms.
    Concider weaning off psych drugs, if that's safe for you& take 5grams,I bet you'll feel it~ToRn
     
  9. C.D.rose

    C.D.rose Palladium Member Donating Member

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    Yes, you are correct in pinpointing this. I opted for a timespan of one week between my first dose of 2.5g and the second dose of 7.5g, taken from the same box of truffles. I did this because one week is also the timespan that was used in the clinical studies that I have seen, between the safety dose of 10mg of psilocybin and the full dose of 25mg. Also, "the internet" seems to say that tolerance to mushrooms tends to dissipate within a week, with only few people reporting tolerance beyond one week of abstinence.

    When the second dose produced no additional effects, I researched a bit and found that it is recommended to use the content of a box of truffles within three days of opening. So I figured that the active ingredient may have degraded in the meantime, which would explain why the second experience was pretty dull. I opted for a fresh dose of 7.5g two days later, and when that failed to bring produce a meaningful experience, I tried the full dose of 15g yesterday.

    I have thought about whether the narrow spaces between doses may play a role here, but I would think that the fairly rapid dose escalation would offset that. I also thought about increasing the dose beyond 15g, but the thought of it makes me skittish. This is already a very high dose that's recommended only for experienced users, and who knows what kind of adverse effects a "super-trip" dose might bring.

    I do agree that the antidepressant effect after my first dose is somewhat significant though. The big question now, like torn2bits said, is whether I want to (temporarily) discontinue meds to see what effects psilocybin might have in the absence of my meds. I could do that, I have done it before, like the washout period ahead of starting an irreveersible MAOI. But it would certainly be a bit of an undertaking.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018
  10. HyperXHyperX

    HyperXHyperX Silver Member

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    I don't know about others, but I find truffles to not be as strong as promoted. Specifically, the 'Valhalla' variant is rated 6 out of 5 stars in regards to strength and the description mentions 15g being only for experienced psychonauts. The actual experience wasn't overwhelming at all, however. I actually found it to be a bit weak, considering what was promised...

    Either way, I personally experimented only a very few times with microdosing (I prefer macrodosing ;). It's a rather unsettling feeling for me to constantly question my state of mind: 'Is it working? Am I tripping? I don't know nothing!' And it just doesn't seem beneficial for me so far.

    I guess I simply find very low, over-the-threshold doses to be much better.