With the progression of the psychedelic revival, the benefits of psychedelic therapy continue to grow in different settings. Research institutions like The Imperial College of London, NYU, and Johns Hopkins, have performed clinical trials to understand psilocybin. In non-clinical settings, people also use psychedelics for different reasons. Among these includes psilocybin and postpartum depression.
Today, there are no treatments for postpartum depression. This also applies to resources to facilitate its treatment. Only a few countries today now make maternity leave mandatory, despite the global rise in maternal depression. However, today, psychedelic therapy shows promise in helping mothers overcome the condition.
This article will take you through the intersection of psilocybin and postpartum depression. We’ll go through what research says and other key things to know. Continue reading to learn more.
Psilocybin Therapy for Postpartum Depression
There’s yet to be formal documentation on the use of psilocybin in treating postpartum depression. However, we can draw some conclusions since postpartum depression is a type of depression.
Firstly, there are different neurological components that are linked to depression. These components are positively affected by psilocybin, which can be applied to postpartum depression. Dr. Robin Carharrt Haris highlight that the breakdown of brain networks is the mechanism that psilocybin uses in lifting depressive states.
Secondly, there are anecdotal reports from mothers with postpartum depression stating that psilocybin improved their symptoms. In the 2019 Vice article, you’ll find stories about mothers who experienced positive changes after using psilocybin. Another account is in ABC7 reporting. Both cases highlight that mothers benefitted from the antidepressant properties of psilocybin.
Ketamine-assisted Therapy for Postpartum Depression
The use of ketamine for the management of postpartum depression is also being studied. A 2021 study in the Journal of Medicine and Life highlighted the use of intravenous ketamine. The scores of depression four weeks after ketamine administration were lower than in the control groups.
A very recent study completed in August 2022 also highlights the effectiveness of low-dose ketamine for postpartum depression. However, this research is yet to be published.
Basically, the idea of using psychedelics to treat postpartum depression is because of their effectiveness in handling depressive disorders. Postpartum depression is a type of depression that occurs in up to 20% of people after childbirth. It’s worth noting that most of these people previously had mental health conditions.
More work is still needed to fully understand how to apply psychedelics in medical settings and even for traditional practices. We already understand from currently available studies that psychedelics can improve mood, openness, and self-compassion, increasing connectedness. All of this eventually enhances maternal sensitivity and parent-infant gratification.
MDMA for Postpartum Depression
MDMA is a common option that researchers are exploring for possible treatment of postpartum depression. However, this research is still in its early stages. A MAPS paper shows that MDMA-assisted therapy can help patients with postpartum depression due to its effect on pro-sociality, affiliation, compassion, and openness.
The idea is that MDMA-assisted therapy makes it easier for parents to confront unpleasant memories and feelings.
GABA and Postpartum Depression
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is another area that requires consideration. It’s an amino acid that mediates the primary inhibitory neurotransmitters for the CNS. This tends to fluctuate during pregnancy and might be extremely low. If the level does not go back to normal after childbirth, the mother is likely to have postpartum depression.
With that said, a promising option is to regulate GABA levels in pregnant women. There are many evidence showing that LSD and Ketamine affect GABA levels.
Cannabis for Postpartum Depression
Cannabis is a substance that is gaining interest in different parts of the world. It is used in many ways, including treating postpartum depression. A study examined the involvement of endocannabinoids in depressive disorders. Their findings highlight that there’s a great level of inseparability between the endocannabinoid system and the circuit mediating major depressive disorders.
The study also highlights the importance of endocannabinoids in people that are vulnerable to stress, which is a risk factor for postpartum depression.
Final Thoughts from Microdose Bros
As mentioned earlier, psilocybin holds great potential for the management of postpartum depression. However, it’s important to acknowledge the importance of having a good mindset. Basically, after childbirth, it’s important to ensure that you maintain a healthy mindset before you resume your daily activities. This is a great way to fight the risks of developing anxiety, depression, and other similar conditions.
Psilocybin offers many health benefits, especially to new mothers. Another thing worth noting is the benefits that the baby would enjoy. Parenting isn’t as easy as we all fantasized, and mothers usually take on social, emotional, and financial obstacles while raising a child. Having an innate sense of fatigue and hopelessness only makes things complicated.
Postpartum depression is an area with only a few treatment options. That is why it’s interesting to find that psychedelics are giving promising results for the management of postpartum depression. With the increase in research in this field, postpartum depression will soon be a thing of the past.
Like every other psychedelic-assisted therapy, there’s also a need to combine psychotherapy with psilocybin and other psychedelics for the treatment of postpartum depression. This offers the best results and supports people with different mental health conditions.
While these are interesting findings, the best thing for anyone who wants to treat postpartum depression with psychedelics is to talk to a health professional.