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Signs of Psilocybin Mushroom Abuse

Psilocybin mushrooms can cause a wide range of psychological, behavioral, and physical symptoms, such as hallucinations, anxiety, mood swings, cognitive impairment, and a worsening of mental health issues.

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Each person may experience these symptoms differently, so it is important to remember that your individual experience will be unique. However, there are symptoms that are more common than others, as well as some which are more physically and psychologically dangerous. 

What Are the Most Common Signs & Symptoms of Psilocybin Mushroom Abuse?

Some of the common signs and symptoms of psilocybin mushroom abuse include the following:

Various mental and physical effects and dangers can occur with psilocybin mushroom use. 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Dilation of the pupils
  • Muscle weakness 
  • Elevation of heart rate and blood pressure
  • Hallucinations
  • Modified perception
  • Anxiety and paranoia
  • Changes in mood
  • Impairment in judgment
  • Withdrawal from social engagements and activities
  • Cravings for more of the drug

What Are the Dangers of Psilocybin Mushrooms?

Psilocybin mushrooms can be very dangerous if they are consumed in high doses or if the wrong type of mushroom is consumed. Various mental and physical effects and dangers can occur with psilocybin mushroom use. 

Mental Effects

Some of the mental effects and dangerous of psilocybin abuse may include the following:

  • Cognitive impairment: Mushroom consumption can lead to confusion, impairment in memory, and challenges processing information. 
  • Modified sense of space and time: This includes an effect on your perceptions and senses, leading to the feeling that time is passing either very quickly or very slowly. 
  • Hallucinations: Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic, so consumption can lead to hallucinations. 
  • Distortions in thinking: Similarly, psilocybin can change the way in which you think and experience your surroundings. 

Emotional Effects

Some of the most significant emotional effects associated with the consumption of psilocybin mushrooms include the following:

  • Anxiety and paranoia 
  • Mood swings
  • Inability to regulate emotions
  • Bad trips 
  • Exacerbation of mental health issues, such as depression or suicidal ideation
  • Impairment in judgment

Mushrooms can also lead to a disorder known as hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD), which can result in recurring flashbacks of traumatic images or hallucinations that you experienced while you ingested the drug. 

When used long term, psilocybin mushrooms have been associated with memory issues, flashbacks, and psychosis

How to Recognize Psilocybin Mushroom Addiction

Addictions can sometimes be difficult to identify, as people often go to great lengths to mask their substance abuse. As the addiction deepens, however, it can be difficult to hide. 

Some signs to look for include the following:

  • Inability to quit using psilocybin mushrooms despite multiple attempts to stop
  • Social withdrawal 
  • Continued use despite adverse consequences in various areas of life
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Loss of ability to control behaviors and emotions
  • Cravings for the drug
  • Increased level of impulsivity and risk-taking behaviors
  • Greater tolerance, requiring more of the drug to achieve a desired effect

Psilocybin Mushroom Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal refers to the group of symptoms that occurs as the body seeks to achieve balance following the removal of a toxin. Psilocybin mushrooms don’t cause physical dependence in the same way that drugs like opioids do, but if used regularly, the body and brain can grow accustomed to their presence. 

Once use stops, withdrawal symptoms may occur. These are generally psychological in nature rather than physical.

Some of the symptoms that are common after stopping psilocybin mushroom use include the following:

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  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings and irritability 
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Cravings for the drug
  • Cognitive difficulties

It is good to remember that in most cases these symptoms are mild and short-lived, lasting for just a few days. The severity of these symptoms can vary significantly based on a wide range of symptoms, as can their duration. Factors like your mental and physical health and the average dose of mushrooms can also significantly influence the severity and duration of your symptoms. 

How to Deal With Psilocybin Mushroom Overdose

An overdose occurs when so much of a toxin has been consumed that the body cannot eliminate it before it negatively impacts cells and entire body systems, which then begin to respond by ceasing to function properly. 

Psilocybin mushroom overdose is not generally life-threatening, but people in a highly agitated state (as is common with mushroom overdose) can hurt themselves or others. If you or someone you know is overdosing on psilocybin mushrooms, call 911. Medical support and supervision can ensure the person remains safe.

Getting Help for a Mushroom Addiction 

Psilocybin mushrooms can be addictive, but with effective treatment, you can stop abusing them safely. 

There aren’t medications that are approved to specifically treat mushroom addiction, as there are for opioids and alcohol. Instead, certain medications may be prescribed to treat specific symptoms. For example, people who have substance abuse issues commonly have other mental health disorders, so medication may be prescribed to address those issues, such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications. In addition, you may be prescribed medications to help with nausea or insomnia. 

Therapy will make up the core of your treatment for psilocybin mushroom addiction. In therapy sessions, you’ll identify root issues that contribute to your substance abuse, and you’ll begin to build skills to deal with stresses in life so you don’t return to mushroom use. 

While the journey to recovery isn’t always easy, it is well worth it. When you have the right help, you can get there and successfully maintain your sobriety for the long term.

Updated March 21, 2024
  1. Effects of Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy on Major Depressive Disorder. (November 2020). JAMA Psychiatry.
  2. Psilocybin for End-of-Life Anxiety Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. (October 2021). Psychiatry Investigation.
  3. The Experimental Effects of Psilocybin on Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression: A Meta-Analysis. (February 2020). Psychiatry Research.
  4. Psilocybin. (2016). Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health.
  5. Hallucinogen-Persisting Perception Disorder. (October 2012). Therapeutics Advances in Psychopharmacology.
  6. Treatment of Co-Occurring Depression and Substance Dependence. (November 2008). Psychiatric Annals.
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