Reflections On The Headspace Of Mental Health, Magic Mushrooms And Blockchain

This article was originally published on Gokhshtein Media and appears here with permission.

Anyone who has dealt with mental health challenges knows they’re no laughing matter. Depression is one mental health condition that gets a lot of press, probably because it’s so prevalent in the United States. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) states that major depression is actually a pretty common condition in this country. And there are treatments emerging that could help those with major, or severe, depression. 

What is Major Depression?

Those unfamiliar with a diagnosis of depression, know that there can be varying levels. Depression can be situational, caused by a certain circumstance. Or it could be part of a mental health diagnosis such as manic-depression. 

A major depressive episode, according to NIH, means that someone feels depressed or loses interest in things they typically enjoy for two weeks or more. Major depression could include a variety of symptoms, from insomnia to oversleeping, trouble concentrating, low self-esteem and much more. Some people experience depression symptoms to the point of being unable to function in their daily lives, commonly referred to as severe impairment.

How Many People Experience Depression?

Information from 2019 on the NIH website shows that nearly 20 million people living in the U.S. went through one or more episodes of major depression that year. That number works out to be nearly eight percent of all the adults in the country. 

Women experienced major depression more than men. And people between the ages of 18 and 25 experienced more of these major depressive episodes, with just over 15 percent of this group experiencing major depression.

Treating Major Depression

In that same year, slightly more than 66 percent of the adults who had gone through a major depressive episode obtained some type of treatment. And a little over 72 percent of the people who were severely impaired because of their major depression obtained treatment. 

Types of Depression Treatments

When it comes to depression, several types of treatments exist. Therapy is a helpful tool and, in some cases, medication may play a role in alleviating or lessening depression. Each person is different, so the treatment will depend on their specific symptoms and lifestyle. And unfortunately, some people with more severe depression don’t always respond well to traditionally available treatments. 

Psilocybin’s Potential

Fortunately, research has been underway on an alternative option for treating depression. Compass Pathways produced the results of their psilocybin trial, which shows some promise. 

Psilocybin is actually classified as a psychedelic and comes from “magic” mushrooms. The study appears to have found that participants who took 25 milligrams of psilocybin experienced fewer symptoms of depression in relation to participants taking just 1 milligram.

More promising is that a bit more than 29 percent of the participants taking those higher doses experienced remission, even three weeks after stopping their dosage. About 25 percent of that group still experienced remission three months after stopping their dosage. 

Could Blockchain Help with Depression?

FiveBalanceUSA is another company taking a more novel approach to treating depression. They created an app that is designed to reward those experiencing depression with cryptocurrency. Blockchain technology is harnessed to send FBNcoin to people who reached their goals.

The app is offered at no cost and targets five areas: fit, financial, family, flair, and faith (hence the company name). They also got Ed (Self) Hinson, record producer, and artist, on board. He’s worked with rap and hip hop greats like DMX, Nas, and others. The company plans to bring in ties to hip hop as a way to start a dialogue about mental health. 

In addition, they plan to create FiveBalanceTV. The plan is for it to be a 24/7 source of crypto and mental health news and programs. 

Innovative Help for Depression

It’s promising to see new and innovative methods being deployed against depression. Since everyone responds differently to various treatments, hopefully, new options like psilocybin and using crypto to motivate improved mental wellbeing will help many more experiencing depression.

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