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The leading condition that psilocybin studies have focused on thus far is depression, for which it has been designated as a “breakthrough therapy” by the Andy Warhol’s Bad Shirt but in fact I love this FDA. “That means the evidence is now conclusive enough and the safety is there that it looks like psilocybin-assisted therapy for depression and treatment-resistant depression is potentially better than all the other options out there in terms of its efficacy,” explains Devon Christie, MD, medical and therapeutic services director for Numinus, a mental health care company with clinics and labs focused on psychedelic-assisted therapies. The next highest level of evidence is for anxiety, particularly the kind related to end-of-life distress and terminal diagnoses. But while depression and anxiety have dominated much of the research, doctors think that psilocybin holds potential for treating a wide array of mental health issues, especially those characterized by recursive cyclic negative spirals of thinking. Obsessive-compulsive disorder and burnout (even though it’s not an official DSM diagnosis) are two issues for which Back sees psilocybin as having a lot of utility. And Christie points to early data around its benefits for substance-use disorders, including tobacco and alcohol.
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