Friday, March 22, 2019

Frogs, princes, and depression


I'm sure many readers are familiar with fairy tales in which a princess has to get up the nerve to kiss a frog, which then turns into a prince.  They usually end up getting married and living happily ever after.  That, in turn, gave rise to the rather more cynical and jaded advice that "You have to kiss a lot of frogs in order to find your prince!"

Be that as it may, I was taken aback by an article a couple of days ago.

A new study finds that a psychedelic found in toad venom may help people struggling with depression or anxiety.

Research conducted at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine shows the fast-acting psychedelic ... helped relieve symptoms in about 80 percent of the 362 study participants who tried it in a group setting. The authors believe the short duration of psychedelic effects make it a more favorable therapy for patients.

There's more at the link.

One presumes the psychedelic substance was chemically isolated, and administered to the participants in a rather more palatable way than having to actually kiss or lick the frog (or toad) concerned - at least, one hopes so . . .  On the other hand, that might make great aversion therapy.

Researcher:  "If you're still depressed, we're going to make you lick a toad."

Patient (shuddering in disgust):  "I'm happy!  I'm cured!  See my big smile?"

One wonders . . .




Peter

5 comments:

C. S. P. Schofield said...

So, slightly edit the say to "Lick a live toad for breakfast and nothing worse will happen to either of you for the rest of the day"?

sysadmn said...

The use of psychedelic drugs to treat depression is a promising research area. In October 2018, the FDA designated psilocybin therapy a "breakthrough therapy" to speed the development and research process. MDMA and Ayahuasca are also being studied.

stencil said...

Then there's the old t-shirt design displaying a grinning frog and the legend, "Kiss me and you'll live forever!" then, in smaller type, "You'll be a frog, but you'll live forever."

Rob said...

I read that Psilocybin mushrooms have been used successfully to treat depression too.

St Louis Arch said...

Natural psychedelic (DMT) that is highly present in those toads, but present in humans as well. Death or near death situations appear to spike production. The toads produce it via the skin when threatened. Purposeful ingestion seems to stimulate experiences remarkably similar to people's reported near death experiences. My thoughts are that it's G-d's way of easing us through the transition. My Dad, during his last couple of weeks, had conversations with my deceased Mom. He didn't have any dementia, just the usual decline of the elderly. Was she actually there, he in his state able to perceive her where we couldn't? I wouldn't be surprised.