Research has found that the coronavirus lockdowns affected the psychological stress of individuals, which in turn caused increases in depression and anxiety across the globe. Figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show that last December, more than 40% of individuals reported symptoms of depression or anxiety. This figure is almost four times the percentage reported in December 2019.
Given the potential of psychedelics to treat anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, researchers sought to find out whether the use of these substances had impacted mental health in the period between April and July 2020.
For their study, the researchers gathered survey responses submitted online from more than 2,900 individuals, Most of the participants were from the United States, Brazil and Spain. Of the 2,974 participants, more than 1,900 individuals hadn’t used psychedelic substances before. The remaining were regular users and others who occasionally used the substances.
Every respondent was required to complete questionnaires on measures of personality, psychological status, symptoms of PTSD, perceived social support and psychological distress. This is in addition to answering questions on the psychedelics they used during and before the lockdown as well as the settings they were consumed in. Additional questions asked about the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the individual’s lives as well as how the lockdown had impacted their diets and lifestyles.
The researchers found that one-half of those who admitted to using psychedelics saw a significantly positive influence on their ability to cope with the lockdown. However, another 35% of those who used psychedelics stated that their past use of psychedelics had no impact on their ability to cope.
The researchers note that in comparison to those who used psychedelics occasionally, those who used the substances regularly saw greater impacts. They also found that while individuals who used psychedelics were less stressed during the lockdown, they were also unlikely to adhere to public health guidance advising that individuals wear masks.
Individuals who used psychedelics also scored lower on cooperativeness and higher on self-transcendence and novelty seeking with regard to personality tests.
The study’s authors note that there are a few things to consider before making the assumption that psychedelics are responsible for lower levels of stress during the lockdown, including healthy habits and better mental health measures in individuals who use psychedelics. Furthermore, it should be noted that respondents in Brazil weren’t under strict lockdown as were respondents in the United States and Spain.
This study adds to the growing body of research available regarding the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. It shouldn’t be surprising that companies such as Cybin Inc. (NYSE American: CYBN) (NEO: CYBN) are already working on commercializing psychedelic formulations targeting various medical indications.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (NYSE American: CYBN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CYBN
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