Magic Mushroom Drug Has an 'Anti-Aging Effect' on Personality
After Taking Psilocybin, Many Become More Open, Creative, and Curious
Psychiatrists say the study means that psychedelic drugs could one day be powerful therapeutic tools.
“What’s so fascinating is that he’s demonstrating that what might be a one-time only experience may reliably induce these very powerful spiritual-level states, and they do appear to have sustained impact on people and personality,” says Charles S. Grob, MD, a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine.
Grob has studied the effects of psilocybin on anxiety in cancer patients, but he was not involved in the current research.
“That’s very, very unusual in psychiatry. We don’t necessarily expect to see changes in these domains with our treatment.”
But other experts who study personality said that while the study was interesting, it wasn’t the first time a drug has been shown to alter how people think, feel, and act.
“The cleanest example was from 2009, in a double-blind placebo-control study, the authors found that SSRIs [a type of antidepressant] decreased neuroticism and that this decrease was the reason for the success of the psychopharmacological therapy,” says Brent W. Roberts, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in an email.
“There are many other studies in the literature much like this one using medications to affect personality trait change,” Roberts says. “Like this study, they tend not to include a control group,” which limits their ability to prove that the drugs are causing the changes, he says.