Five Things to Know About Psilocybin “Magic” Mushrooms and Mental Health

It is both not surprising and perfectly understandable that people currently have many misconceptions surrounding the use of psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient found in magic mushrooms. This is because there has long been a campaign, particularly heightened since the 1970s, decrying magic mushrooms as natural and, therefore, safe. Also, more recently, there has been a lot of discussion about the potential medical benefits of psilocybin. While there may be benefits, it is important to understand that these discussions are not about recreational psilocybin use. What both of these lines of communication are overshadowing is that there are very real dangers regarding mental health and magic mushrooms.

Understanding Mental Health and Magic Mushrooms

As with any other illicit substance, the misuse and abuse of that substance can have serious consequences, ranging from physical to mental and emotional effects. This is also true with issues of mental health and magic mushrooms.

The following are five truths about mental health and magic mushrooms that are often overlooked in today’s conversations. They range from the dangers of magic mushroom abuse to the emergence of effective treatments and the potential for long-term recovery.

#1. Magic Mushrooms Can Be Addictive

Are Mushrooms Good for Weight Loss?

Because magic mushrooms are natural (though there are synthetic versions as well), many people are unaware that they can be addictive. While it is true that magic mushrooms are rarely physically addictive, they can be very psychologically addictive. Psychological addiction is a large component of any substance use disorder (SUD), but for magic mushroom addiction, it is the primary concern.

The psychological part of addiction is what causes individuals to engage in repeated substance use even though they have experienced or know they are going to continue to experience negative consequences. Psychological addiction is also what causes very real emotional withdrawal symptoms like anxiety and depression.

#2. There Are Warning Signs for Magic Mushroom Addiction

As with any other addiction, being able to spot some of the warning signs of substance abuse early can be the difference between experiencing short-term side effects and struggling with long-term consequences. A person may be struggling with the early signs of magic mushroom abuse or an existing magic mushroom addiction if they:

  • Often exhibit dilated pupils, dry mouth, and/or poor coordination
  • Frequently seem detached from reality
  • Are secretive and begin isolating themself from friends and family
  • Exhibit signs of withdrawal if they are not using or cannot acquire magic mushrooms

#3. Magic Mushrooms Can Have Detrimental Symptoms and Dangerous Consequences

The reason it is important to spot the warning signs of magic mushroom abuse early is that it can help a loved one avoid the more serious symptoms and consequences that often accompany magic mushroom addiction. Some potential symptoms and consequences of magic mushroom addiction include:

  • Struggling with continued gastrointestinal problems
  • Having serious troubles with sleep patterns, especially noting insomnia
  • Engaging in risky behavior that can cause serious physical – not to mention legal – harm

#4. Issues of Mental Health and Magic Mushrooms Are Common Comorbidities

According to a recent report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Around 1 in 4 individuals with [serious mental illness] also have an SUD.” This includes individuals struggling with magic mushroom addiction.

Whether it is a preexisting mental illness or a mental health disorder that arises from substance abuse, comorbidities of addiction and mental illness are much more common than many people may think. These comorbidities create another level of struggle that an individual is going to have to overcome to recover. The good news is that there are many effective treatments for issues of mental health and magic mushroom addiction.

#5. Issues of Mental Health and Magic Mushroom Addiction Can Be Treated

Can Someone Be More Prone to Addiction?

There is one “positive aspect” regarding magic mushroom addiction. Because a magic mushroom addiction is rarely physical, there is often little need for a detox.

This means that the therapeutic recovery process for magic mushroom addiction can begin right away. Both individual psychotherapy and group therapy are highly effective treatments for magic mushroom addiction because they can get to the underlying emotional issues that are the causes of substance abuse. These are also effective if comorbidities exist.