Borderline Personality Disorder

Feeling rejected? Mushrooms could help

In the uninitiated, that experience of ostracism typically evokes powerful hurt feelings.

Feeling rejected? Mushrooms could help

by Melissa Healy

magic mushrooms
magic mushrooms

Psilocybin, the mind-altering chemical that gives some mushrooms magical properties, can do more than induce trippy states. A new study finds that it reduces the sting of social rejection.

By tracking how, exactly, psilocybin affects the brain’s chemistry and activity levels, the research suggests new ways to treat the faulty social processing that comes with many mental illnesses.

Psychiatric disorders such as depression, borderline personality disorder and social anxiety disorder are often perpetuated by a nasty mind trick: sufferers are inclined to perceive rejection, criticism and negative judgments from people with whom they interact.

That negative bias not only drives those with these conditions to withdraw. By making them testy, thin-skinned and defensive, it prompts even the kindest and most patient of others to reject them, validating and perpetuating their sense of social rejection. It can be a hard cycle to break.

For centuries and the world over, mushroom species containing psilocybin have been ingested during religious rituals. They are regularly credited with giving users an expanded sense of togetherness, and a sense of meaning and purpose in the universe.


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