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Psilocybin for depression and anxiety associated with life-threatening illnesses

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Abstract

Life-threatening and terminal illnesses are accompanied by substantial stressors that encumber both patients and their families. Faced with a life-threatening diagnosis such as late-stage cancer, these factors can compound the existential crisis of impending mortality and produce or exacerbate major depressive and anxiety symptoms (Silverstone, 1990; Vergo et al., 2016). Addressing depression and anxiety in the unique context of life-threatening illnesses has been a significant problem for palliative psychiatric care. In this regard, two recent studies suggest that the one-time use of the naturally derived psychoactive compound psilocybin could have the potential to alleviate these symptoms for up to six months.

McCorvy, J. D., Olsen, R. H., & Roth, B. L. (2016). Psilocybin for depression and anxiety associated with life-threatening illnesses. Journal of psychopharmacology (Oxford, England), 30(12), 1209. 10.1177/0269881116675771
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