Personality explains the relationship between psychedelic use and depression; a comparison study with non psychedelic users

This cross-sectional study (n=400 psychedelic users, matched with non-users) explores the mental health and personality characteristics of Swedish individuals with psychedelic experiences. Results indicate that psychedelic users exhibit lower depression levels (PHQ-9) and higher drug use (DUDIT), with openness (Big Five) being notably different (d=1.72), contributing to the observed effects on depression. The findings suggest potential implications for understanding and approaching psychedelic users in the context of mental health and personality traits.

Abstract of Personality explains the relationship between psychedelic use and depression

“Interest in psychedelics is increasing due to potential for improved mental health and quality of life. However, adverse effects on mental health are still a concern. Personality traits have been suggested to both influence the psychedelic experience and mental health, and even be changed by psychedelic use. The present study describes for the first time a national sample of Swedish psychedelic users (n = 400) compared to a sex and age-matched sample of non-users (n = 400) regarding mental health variables (depression, insomnia, problematic alcohol and drug use, and dissociation) and personality (Big Five). Data was collected in an online survey including individuals from 16 years of age who had at least one psychedelic experience. The main results reported psychedelic users as less depressed (Patient Health Questionnaire-9; PHQ-9) (d = -0.29) and having more use of drugs (Drug Use Disorders Identification Test; DUDIT) (d = 1.27). In the Big Five personality traits, openness differed notably (d = 1.72), and the between-group effects in PHQ-9 were explained by lower neuroticism. In summary, psychedelic users report less depression and higher drug use, and this is partly due to personality traits. These results could have implications on how we view psychedelic users and the use of psychedelic drugs.”

Authors: David K Sjöström, Emma Claesdotter-Knutsson & Petri J Kajonius

Summary of Personality explains the relationship between psychedelic use and depression; a comparison study with non psychedelic users

The article begins by highlighting the potential of psychedelics in improving mental health, reducing negative behaviours in substance use disorders, and enhancing well-being. It notes the growing interest in both clinical and recreational use of psychedelics while acknowledging the low but uncertain risks associated with their use. The concern about psychedelic-induced dissociation/depersonalization in vulnerable groups is also discussed.

Research Methodology

Sjöström and colleagues aimed to assess mental health in recreational psychedelic users compared to non-users, focusing on the role of personality traits. They gathered data through an online survey targeting Swedish psychedelic users and a matched control group. The study received ethical approval, and all participants provided informed consent.

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Find this paper

Personality explains the relationship between psychedelic use and depression; a comparison study with non psychedelic users

https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-3714546/v1

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Cite this paper (APA)

Sjöström, D. K., Claesdotter-Knutsson, E., & Kajonius, P. J. (2023). Personality explains the relationship between psychedelic use and depression; a comparison study with non psychedelic users.

Study details

Topics studied
Personality Depression Population Surveys

Study characteristics
Survey

Participants
800 Humans

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