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Psychedelics are transforming the way we understand depression and its treatment | Robin Carhart-Harris

Psychiatry has long failed to explain depression. Our research into psilocybin suggests a new approach could offer answers

Mental illness is the 21st century’s leading cause of disability, affecting an estimated billion people across the world. Depression is the number one contributor: more than 250 million people have this condition globally. The number of people prescribed antidepressant medications, the first-line treatment for depression, increases each year, and the market for them is valued at approximately $15bn (£11bn). Yet depression prevalence rates have not decreased since accurate record-keeping began. One reason for this paradox is the failure of science to adequately explain how and why depression occurs.

Related: ‘The ketamine blew my mind’: can psychedelics cure addiction and depression?

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