Recently in the news there have been several stories concerning scientists taking another look at psychedelic drugs for depression treatment. Psychedelics have had a terrible stigma because of their use and abuse in the hippie era of the ’60s. Images of whacked-out teenagers tripping and hallucinating are conjured by the mere mention of LSD or "magic mushrooms." Fast forward to the 21st century — the base chemicals found in these hallucinogens have proven to rapidly relieve depression and bi-polar disorders in a matter of hours as opposed to conventional antidepressants that take weeks or even months -- if they work at all. Unfortunately most of these chemicals are illegal today. The chemical found in "magic mushrooms" is called psilocybin. In controlled trials, patients have reported virtual immediate relief from treatment resistant depression. The positive results don't last forever but scientists are intrigued by its rapid effect.
So am I.
Another drug is called ketamine. A study published by scientists found that an injection of ketamine which is an anaesthetic used legally in both human and veterinary medicine, but also abused by people who use it recreationally -- can lift the mood within minutes in patients with severe bipolar depression.
I doubt I'll have access to any of these drugs in the near future because of prohibitive costs or insurance bureaucracy but I'm going to enquire with my psych doctor about any possibility of looking into this.
Of course, there are always risks with new and experimental treatments. This is all in its infancy but I'd be willing to be a guinea pig in a clinical trial. Am I desperate? Am I foolish? Am I nuts to seek out an instant "cure" via a pill? In a word, yes. But I've been a lab rat for decades so this really wouldn't be any different. I am concerned about having a "bad trip" or doing irreversible damage to my already damaged brain. But to experience even the slightest temporary relief could be priceless. Nothing may come of this but who knows? Stay tuned.
A discussion with my psych doctor resulted in mutual agreement that these drugs are too experimental and risky at this time. Besides, she said using psychedelics is "creepy." I am, however, going to look into a newer treatment via a clinical trial called TNS (trigeminal nerve stimulation). It's basically a devise you wear while you sleep that electrically stimulates nerves in the face. Somehow it relieves depression and has a 70 percent success rate. I'll craft a separate post when I learn more. There will be no tripping on mushrooms apparently.