Reduce Negative Moods and Depression in Healthy Individuals and Patients with Mood Disorders with Psychedelic Drugs

Reduce Negative Moods and Depression in Healthy Individuals and Patients with Mood Disorders with Psychedelic Drugs

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs in psychotherapeutic settings represents a promising and integrative treatment with enduring effects for mental health patients.” – Genis Oña

 

Psychedelic substances such as peyote, mescaline, LSD, Bufotoxin, ayahuasca and psilocybin have been used almost since the beginning of recorded history to alter consciousness and produce spiritually meaningful experiences. People find these experiences extremely pleasant. eye opening, and even transformative. They often report that the experiences changed them forever. Psychedelics have also been found to be clinically useful as they markedly improve mood, increase energy and enthusiasm and greatly improve clinical depression.

 

The research on the effectiveness of psychedelic drugs on mood and clinical depression is accumulating. So, it makes sense to step back and summarize what has been learned. In today’s Research News article “Classic serotonergic psychedelics for mood and depressive symptoms: a meta-analysis of mood disorder patients and healthy participants.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7826317/ )  Galvão-Coelho and colleagues review, summarize, and perform a meta-analysis of the published research studies of the effectiveness of psychedelic drugs in improving mood and reducing depression with healthy individuals and patients with mood disorders.

 

They identified 12 published randomized controlled trials; 8 used psilocybin, 3 LSD, and 1 ayahuasca. They report that the research found that psychedelic treatment produced significant reductions in negative moods and depression in both healthy participants and in patients with mood disorders. In mood disorder patients the improvements were still significant 2 months after treatment. It should be recognized that the application of the psychedelics in these studies occur in highly structured controlled environments. This produces few if any troubling side effects with the exception of occasional slight anxiety. The safety of these drugs in uncontrolled non-clinical settings are not known.

 

The published research is clear that psychedelic drugs are effective in improving mood and reducing depression in both healthy individuals and those with mood disorders. Mood disorders including depression are by far the most common psychological problems in humans. The research is suggesting that controlled administration of psychedelic drugs is a safe and effective treatment relieving the suffering.

 

So, reduce negative moods and depression in healthy individuals and patients with mood disorders with psychedelic drugs.

 

People who had recently used psychedelics such as psilocybin report a sustained improvement in mood and feeling closer to others after the high has worn off.” – Bill Hathaway

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Galvão-Coelho, N. L., Marx, W., Gonzalez, M., Sinclair, J., de Manincor, M., Perkins, D., & Sarris, J. (2021). Classic serotonergic psychedelics for mood and depressive symptoms: a meta-analysis of mood disorder patients and healthy participants. Psychopharmacology, 238(2), 341–354. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-020-05719-1

 

Abstract

Rationale

Major depressive disorder is one of the leading global causes of disability, for which the classic serotonergic psychedelics have recently reemerged as a potential therapeutic treatment option.

Objective

We present the first meta-analytic review evaluating the clinical effects of classic serotonergic psychedelics vs placebo for mood state and symptoms of depression in both healthy and clinical populations (separately).

Results

Our search revealed 12 eligible studies (n = 257; 124 healthy participants, and 133 patients with mood disorders), with data from randomized controlled trials involving psilocybin (n = 8), lysergic acid diethylamide ([LSD]; n = 3), and ayahuasca (n = 1). The meta-analyses of acute mood outcomes (3 h to 1 day after treatment) for healthy volunteers and patients revealed improvements with moderate significant effect sizes in favor of psychedelics, as well as for the longer-term (16 to 60 days after treatments) mood state of patients. For patients with mood disorder, significant effect sizes were detected on the acute, medium (2–7 days after treatment), and longer-term outcomes favoring psychedelics on the reduction of depressive symptoms.

Conclusion

Despite the concerns over unblinding and expectancy, the strength of the effect sizes, fast onset, and enduring therapeutic effects of these psychotherapeutic agents encourage further double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials assessing them for management of negative mood and depressive symptoms.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7826317/

 

Yoga Practice Improves the Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome

Yoga Practice Improves the Symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“regular yoga poses and stretches can help ease those restless legs syndrome symptoms and help you sleep better, feel less stressed, and even lower blood pressure.” – Everyday Health

 

Restless legs syndrome, also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is characterized by an urge to move the legs after rest. This occurs particularly at night but also after extended sitting such as in a car, airplane, or movie theatre. It produces unpleasant sensations in the legs or feet including crawling, creeping, pulling, throbbing, aching, itching, and electric sensations. It can involve twitching and kicking, possibly throughout the night, while you sleep. It is estimated that about 7% of the population experiences restless legs syndrome.

 

There is no known cause or cures for restless leg syndrome. The only treatments that seem to help are movements such as stretching, jiggling the legs, walking, or pacing. Yoga is a mindfulness practice and an exercise that involves stretching and movement. Hence, it would make sense to explore the ability of yoga practice to improve the symptoms of restless leg syndrome.

 

In today’s Research News article “Effects of a 12-week yoga versus a 12-week educational film intervention on symptoms of restless legs syndrome and related outcomes: an exploratory randomized controlled trial.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7053002/ ) Innes and colleagues recruited adult patients with restless legs syndrome and randomly assigned them to receive a 12-week program of either yoga training or to watch educational films on restless legs syndrome. Yoga training occurred for 75 minutes, 2 times per week for 4 weeks and then once a week for four more weeks. Participants were asked to practice at home for 30 minutes daily. The education class met once a week. The participants were measured before and after training for frequency, intensity, and impact of restless legs syndrome symptoms, sleep quality, health-related quality of life, mood, perceived stress, blood pressure, heart rate, social support, and physical activity.

 

They found that both the yoga and education groups had significant improvements in restless legs syndrome symptoms, and most secondary outcomes. The yoga group, however, had significantly greater reductions in restless legs syndrome symptoms, perceived stress, sleep quality, and mood. Additionally, the more yoga sessions attended and the greater the amount of home practice the greater the improvement in restless legs syndrome symptoms. This was not true for the education group.

 

The results suggest that yoga practice produced symptom relief for restless legs syndrome patients to a significantly greater extent than education about restless legs syndrome. Yoga provides exercise and stretching and it is not clear whether the benefits for restless legs syndrome are a result of the exercise or are specific to yoga practice. Future research should compare the effective of yoga practice relative to other exercises for restless legs syndrome. Regardless, it is clear from this study that practicing yoga is a safe, effective, and relatively inexpensive treatment for restless legs syndrome. It should be routinely recommended to relieve the suffering of these patients.

 

So, yoga practice improves the symptoms of restless legs syndrome.

 

When restless legs syndrome keeps you up all night, yoga is a treatment option that helps both your mind and body relax.” – Diana Rodriguez

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Innes, K. E., Selfe, T. K., Montgomery, C., Hollingshead, N., Huysmans, Z., Srinivasan, R., Wen, S., Hausmann, M. J., Sherman, K., & Klatt, M. (2020). Effects of a 12-week yoga versus a 12-week educational film intervention on symptoms of restless legs syndrome and related outcomes: an exploratory randomized controlled trial. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 16(1), 107–119. https://doi.org/10.5664/jcsm.8134

 

Abstract

Study Objectives:

To assess the effects of a yoga versus educational film (EF) program on restless legs syndrome (RLS) symptoms and related outcomes in adults with RLS.

Methods:

Forty-one community-dwelling, ambulatory nonpregnant adults with moderate to severe RLS were randomized to a 12-week yoga (n = 19) or EF program (n = 22). In addition to attending classes, all participants completed practice/treatment logs. Yoga group participants were asked to practice at home 30 minutes per day on nonclass days; EF participants were instructed to record any RLS treatments used on their daily logs. Core outcomes assessed pretreatment and posttreatment were RLS symptoms and symptom severity (International RLS Study Group Scale (IRLS) and RLS ordinal scale), sleep quality, mood, perceived stress, and quality of life (QOL).

Results:

Thirty adults (13 yoga, 17 EF), aged 24 to 73 (mean = 50.4 ± 2.4 years), completed the 12-week study (78% female, 80.5% white). Post-intervention, both groups showed significant improvement in RLS symptoms and severity, perceived stress, mood, and QOL-mental health (P ≤ .04). Relative to the EF group, yoga participants demonstrated significantly greater reductions in RLS symptoms and symptom severity (P ≤ .01), and greater improvements in perceived stress and mood (P ≤ .04), as well as sleep quality (P = .09); RLS symptoms decreased to minimal/mild in 77% of yoga group participants, with none scoring in the severe range by week 12, versus 24% and 12%, respectively, in EF participants. In the yoga group, IRLS and RLS severity scores declined with increasing minutes of homework practice (r = .7, P = .009 and r = .6, P = .03, respectively), suggesting a possible dose-response relationship.

Conclusions:

Findings of this exploratory RCT suggest that yoga may be effective in reducing RLS symptoms and symptom severity, decreasing perceived stress, and improving mood and sleep in adults with RLS.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7053002/

 

Mindfulness is Related to Better Sleep

Mindfulness is Related to Better Sleep

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

“By taking this mindful attitude, sleep is facilitated by simply being aware of the moment-to-moment experience of relaxing into the bed, without judging or being critical of that experience, so that the mind can gently slip into sleep.” – John Cline

 

Modern society has become more around-the-clock and more complex producing considerable pressure and stress on the individual. The advent of the internet and smart phones has exacerbated the problem. The resultant stress can impair sleep. Indeed, it is estimated that over half of Americans sleep too little due to stress. As a result, people today sleep 20% less than they did 100 years ago. Not having a good night’s sleep has adverse effects upon the individual’s health, well-being, and happiness. This is heightened in college students who are generally highly stressed. Mindfulness-based practices have been reported to improve sleep amount and quality and help with insomnia. But the mechanisms by which mindfulness improves sleep have not been well explored.

 

In today’s Research News article “Relationship Between Trait Mindfulness and Sleep Quality in College Students: A Conditional Process Model.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.576319/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1456740_69_Psycho_20201013_arts_A ) Ding and colleagues recruited college students and had them complete measures of mindfulness, sleep quality, mood states, and personality. They then subjected the data to regression analysis.

 

They found that the higher the levels of mindfulness of the students the lower the levels of neuroticism and negative mood states, and the better the sleep quality. In addition, the greater the negative mood states the poorer the sleep quality and the higher the levels of neuroticism. So, mindfulness was associated with lower negative mood states which were in turn associated with better sleep. They also found that neuroticism significantly affected the relationship of mindfulness with the quality of sleep. Mindfulness was only significantly related to better sleep quality when neuroticism was low but not when it was high.

 

It has been well documented in previous research that mindfulness is related to better sleep quality and improved mood. The present study contributes to our understanding of the mindfulness – sleep relationship by demonstrating that the personality characteristic of neuroticism disrupts the relationship; when neuroticism is high the relationship between mindfulness and sleep disappears.

 

Neuroticism is a personality trait that indicates a tendency toward negative emotions and self-doubt. Neurotic people generally have high negative mood states. It is possible that neuroticism disrupts the mindfulness – sleep relationship by preventing mindfulness from improving mood and thereby improving sleep. This interpretation must be tempered with the understanding that these relationships are correlational. So, definitive conclusions about causation cannot be reached. Nevertheless, previous research has demonstrated that mindfulness causes improved sleep. So, it is likely that the present results represent causal connections.

 

So, mindfulness is related to better sleep.

 

We cannot make ourselves sleep, but perhaps, by aiming to stay settled and getting less caught up in our thoughts, we fall asleep anyway.” – Mark Bertin

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Ding X, Wang X, Yang Z, Tang R and Tang Y-Y (2020) Relationship Between Trait Mindfulness and Sleep Quality in College Students: A Conditional Process Model. Front. Psychol. 11:576319. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.576319

 

Sleep quality can affect the physical and mental health, as well as the personal development of college students. Mindfulness practices are known to ameliorate sleep disorder and improve sleep quality. Trait mindfulness, an innate capacity often enhanced by mindfulness training, has been shown to relate to better sleep quality and different aspects of psychological well-being. However, how individual difference factors such as trait mindfulness relate to sleep quality remains largely unclear, which limits the optimization and further application of mindfulness-based intervention schemes targeting the improvement of sleep quality. In this study, we aimed to investigate how negative emotions and neuroticism may influence the relationship between trait mindfulness and sleep quality. A conditional process model was built to examine these relationships in 1,423 Chinese young adults. Specifically, the conditional process model was constructed with trait mindfulness as the independent variable, sleep quality as the dependent variable, negative emotions as the mediating variable, and neuroticism as the moderating variable. Our results showed that negative emotions mediated the link between mindfulness and sleep quality and that neuroticism had a moderating effect on the relationship between mindfulness and sleep quality. Together, these findings suggested a potential mechanism of how trait mindfulness influences sleep quality, provided a therapeutic target for which mindfulness-based interventions may act upon to improve sleep quality, and offered a basis for prediction of different intervention effects among individuals.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.576319/full?utm_source=F-AAE&utm_medium=EMLF&utm_campaign=MRK_1456740_69_Psycho_20201013_arts_A

 

Reduce Sedentariness with Mindfulness

Reduce Sedentariness with Mindfulness

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

mindfulness- and acceptance-based practices can help exercisers establish the consistent, high-quality exercise practices required to experience the health benefits of exercise and physical activity.” – R. Shangraw

 

We tend to think that illness is produced by physical causes, disease, injury, viruses, bacteria, etc. But many health problems are behavioral problems such as sedentary lifestyle. Promoting exercise and reducing sedentariness has the potential to markedly improve health. Mindfulness training also has been shown to promote health and improve illness. Mindfulness and exercise, though, are not entirely independent. Research has been accumulating on the relationship between mindfulness and exercise. It makes sense, then, to summarize what has been learned.

 

In today’s Research News article “Exploring the Use of Meditation as a Valuable Tool to Counteract Sedentariness.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00299/full), Bigliassi and colleagues review and summarize the published research literature on the relationship of mindfulness with physical exercise,

 

They report that the published research has found that mindfulness increases physical activity in both normal, overweight and obese individuals. They also report that mindfulness increases self-compassion and it, in turn, increases the likelihood of engagement or reengagement in exercise. Mindfulness appears to facilitate exercise in active individuals by increasing sensory awareness of interoceptive and exteroceptive stimuli, making exercise more enjoyable. It can also improve mood and decrease anxiety which in turn reduces some emotional impediments to engaging in exercise. In addition, mindfulness reduces pain sensitivity which can improve engagement in high intensity exercises.

 

Both mindfulness and exercise are known to promote mental and physical health. The review suggests that they act synergistically with mindfulness making engaging in exercise more likely, increasing the sensory awareness of the exercise, reducing negative emotional impediments to exercise, increasing self-compassion, reducing the pain during exercise, and increasing the likelihood of reengagement in exercise after a lapse. Hence, mindfulness has beneficial effects to promote exercise, reducing sedentariness, and promoting health and well-being.

 

So, reduce sedentariness with Mindfulness.

 

Practicing mindfulness exercises and daily physical activity has been shown repeatedly to help manage stress and depression, and promote mental balance and happiness.” – Defeat Diabetes Foundation

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Bigliassi M and Bertuzzi R (2020) Exploring the Use of Meditation as a Valuable Tool to Counteract Sedentariness. Front. Psychol. 11:299. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00299

 

Some forms of meditation have been recently proposed as effective tools to facilitate the handling of undesired thoughts and reappraisal of negative emotions that commonly arise during exercise-related situations. The effects of meditation-based interventions on psychological responses could also be used as a means by which to increase exercise adherence and counteract the detrimental consequences of sedentariness. In the present article, we briefly describe the effects of meditation on physical activity and related factors. We also propose a theoretical model as a means by which to further understanding of the effects of meditation on psychological, psychophysical, and psychophysiological responses during exercise. The results of very recent studies in the realms of cognitive and affective psychology are promising. The putative psychological mechanisms underlying the effects of meditation on exercise appear to be associated with the interpretation of interoceptive and exteroceptive sensory signals. This is primarily due to the fact that meditation influences the cerebral processing of physical sensations, emotions, and thoughts. In such instances, the bodily and perceptual responses that are commonly reported during exercise might be assuaged during the practice of meditation. It also appears that conscious presence and self-compassion function as an emotional backdrop against which more complex behaviors can be forged. In such instances, re-engagement to physical activity programs can be more effectively achieved through the implementation of holistic methods to treat the body and mind. The comments provided in the present paper might have very important implications for exercise adherence and the treatment of hypokinetic diseases.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00299/full

 

Improve Mood with Brief Meditation

Improve Mood with Brief Meditation

 

By John M. de Castro, Ph.D.

 

‘Meditation is thought to work via its effects on the sympathetic nervous system, which increases heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure during times of stress. Yet meditating has a spiritual purpose, too. “True, it will help you lower your blood pressure, but so much more: it can help your creativity, your intuition, your connection with your inner self,” – Burke Lennihan

 

Mindfulness practice has been shown to improve emotion regulation. Practitioners demonstrate the ability to fully sense and experience emotions, but respond to them in more appropriate and adaptive ways. In other words, mindful people are better able to experience yet control their responses to emotions. Exercise is also known to improve mood. It is not known how much exercise or meditation is necessary to produce a mood improvement.

 

In today’s Research News article “Experimental effects of brief, single bouts of walking and meditation on mood profile in young adults.” (See summary below or view the full text of the study at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6064756/ ), Edwards and Loprinzi recruited young adults and randomly assigned them to either perform a guided breath following meditation, a brisk walk, or a quiet sit for 10 minutes. Before and after the 10-minute intervention the participants were measured for mood states.

 

They found that after the meditation there was a significant improvement in the participants’ overall mood state and after both the meditation and the walk but not the quiet sit, the participants had a significant reduction in fatigue/inertia. It appears that meditation produced a more global mood enhancement while walking produced an activation that overcame feelings of fatigue.

 

It is surprising that only 10 minutes of guided meditation was sufficient to improve mood. This suggests that meditation has great power to affect emotions. It also suggests that simple brief periods of meditation might be used to assist the individual when there’s a need to control their emotions.

 

So. improve mood with brief meditation.

 

“Me, I can’t meditate for shit. Sitting that long, paying attention to my breath or an imaginary white light, chafes my natural impatience. In contrast, hiking easily brings me to that sought-after state of being “in the moment.” – Karin Klein

 

CMCS – Center for Mindfulness and Contemplative Studies

 

This and other Contemplative Studies posts are also available on Google+ https://plus.google.com/106784388191201299496/posts and on Twitter @MindfulResearch

 

Study Summary

 

Edwards, M. K., & Loprinzi, P. D. (2018). Experimental effects of brief, single bouts of walking and meditation on mood profile in young adults. Health Promotion Perspectives, 8(3), 171–178. http://doi.org/10.15171/hpp.2018.23

 

Abstract

Background: To examine the effects of an acute bout of aerobic exercise and meditation on mood state among young adults.

Methods: Participants (N= 66, mean age = 21.3 years) were randomly assigned to walk,meditate, or sit (control) for 10 minutes. Participants’ mood state was monitored before and after the intervention using the Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire.

Results: Significant group x time interaction effects were observed for the POMS composite scores (P=0.05). When evaluating three POMS sub scales separately (depression/dejection,anger/hostility, and fatigue/inertia), only fatigue/inertia was found to have a significant group x time effect (P=0.04). Post hoc paired t tests revealed that fatigue/inertia sub scale scores significantly decreased from baseline to post-intervention in both the exercise (P=0.03) and meditation (P<0.001) groups. However, POMS composite scores decreased significantly in the meditation group (P<0.001) but not in the exercise group (P=0.10).

Conclusion: A 10-minute bout of brisk walking and meditation both improved mood state,when compared to an inactive control group. A single bout of brisk walking or meditation may offer suitable strategies to improve mood state among young adults.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6064756/