Though mushrooms are quite popular, not many people may be aware of something known as magic mushroom. As per a study conducted by the John Hopkins scientists, just 1 high dose of an important constituent of magic mushrooms seemed to bring about an overall personality change that stayed for a minimum of 1 year in almost 60% of 51 subjects.
The ingredient namely hallucinogen psilocybin supposedly had a lasting impression in the sector of openness that is linked to imaginative thinking, aesthetics, feelings, abstract thoughts and a broadminded approach. These alterations in personality were measured using records. The changes were apparently greater in magnitude than influences normally seen in adults over years of experience. The team believes that after the age of 30, substantial personality changes are generally not observed.
“Normally, if anything, openness tends to decrease as people get older,” remarked study leader Roland R. Griffiths, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
The participants of the analysis were exposed to 5 to 8 hour drug sessions, with successive sessions having a gap of a minimum of 3 weeks. The subjects were told that they will receive a moderate to high dose of psilocybin in one of the drug administration phases. However, both the session monitors and participants did not know when they will get it.
The group was also told to lie down on a couch, cover the eyes to avoid visual disturbances, sport headphones and focus on their inner feelings while the session goes on. Their personality was then evaluated after 1 to 2 months break from every session and nearly 14 months following the last episode.
The outcomes showed that almost all of the participants thought themselves to be spiritually active like praying or meditating. More than half of them carried postgraduate degrees. Furthermore, the role of hallucinogen was also gauged where the volunteers were found to be mentally healthy.
Griffiths believes that the personality effects were probably permanent since they were maintained for almost a year by many. Some of the study participants seemingly experienced anxiety and fear, however, it didn’t remain for long. The investigators are unsure if the findings can be implicated in larger populations.
The study is published in The Journal of Psychopharmacology.