Can psychedelic drugs such as magic mushroom ‘reconnect’ depressed patients with their emotions?

Imperial research suggests psilocybin can help relieve the symptoms of depression, without the ‘dulling’ of emotions linked with antidepressants. Working out if someone is happy, angry or afraid, from the look on their face, is a skill we may take for granted.
For some people, however, such as those with chronic depression, this innate ability to pick up on and respond to emotional prompts like a facial expression can be disrupted, with the brain becoming oversensitive to negative stimuli.
While antidepressants drugs can help to combat the symptoms of depression for patients, they can dampen how the brain processes strong emotions – effectively turning down the dial on the hypersensitivity to negative emotions but also ‘blunting’ intense positive mood.
Now, findings from a small trial carried out at Imperial College London suggest that psychedelics, like magic mushrooms, may hold the key to sidestepping some of these effects in treating depression, by reviving the brain’s activity and effectively reconnecting patients with their emotions.
Previous research has shown that psilocybin – the active compound in magic mushrooms – may help to alleviate symptoms in patients with persistent depression by ‘resetting’ brain activity.