Can ‘magic mushrooms’ help treat stutter?

Credit: Unsplash+

Exploring the effects of psychedelic substances on people who stutter has revealed some intriguing preliminary findings.

Classic psychedelics like psilocybin, found in magic mushrooms, and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) are known for their profound impacts on perception and consciousness.

These substances have been shown to affect a wide range of psychological conditions, and now, new research suggests they might also benefit individuals with stuttering issues.

Eric S. Jackson, an associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, led a study published in the Journal of Fluency Disorders that delved into the potential effects of psychedelics on stuttering.

The team chose to study this because stuttering shares some symptomatic overlaps with conditions like anxiety and PTSD, where psychedelics have shown positive effects.

The researchers gathered data from the social media platform Reddit, analyzing 114 posts from 104 users over a decade (2012-2022).

These posts were related to experiences with psychedelics and stuttering, specifically focusing on substances like psilocybin and LSD, excluding others like ecstasy and DMT.

The effects reported were categorized into positive, negative, and neutral impacts, with further analysis on changes in behavior, emotions, cognition, beliefs, and social connections.

The findings revealed that a significant majority of the users—74%—reported overall positive effects from using psychedelics.

These benefits were mostly in terms of behavioral and emotional changes, including reduced anxiety and noticeable improvement in speech fluency.

About half of the participants explicitly noted a reduction in stuttering. One user expressed that psilocybin profoundly improved their speaking fluency and broadly impacted their personal outlook and self-perception.

Despite these positive accounts, the study also recognized the limitations inherent in using self-reported data from an uncontrolled environment like Reddit.

Some users did report negative or mixed experiences, and the informal setting of the data collection makes it difficult to conclusively confirm the benefits described.

Jackson emphasized the need for caution in interpreting these results due to the potential adverse effects of psychedelics and the uncontrolled nature of the study.

However, he also suggested that the preliminary data could serve as a basis for more rigorous future research, such as randomized controlled clinical trials, to better understand the potential of psychedelics in treating stuttering.

While the study does not advocate for the use of psychedelics among people who stutter, it opens up a new and potentially fruitful area of research that could lead to innovative treatments in the future.

The connection between psychedelic use and stuttering reduction, as reported by users, highlights a complex interplay of neurological, psychological, and emotional factors that warrants further investigation.

If you care about mental health, please read studies about 6 foods you can eat to improve mental health, and B vitamins could help prevent depression and anxiety.

For more information about mental health, please see recent studies about how dairy foods may influence depression risk, and results showing Omega-3 fats may help reduce depression.

The research findings can be found in the Journal of Fluency Disorders.

Copyright © 2024 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.