“Leon” is a young Brazilian man who has long struggled with depression. He keeps an anonymous blog, in Portuguese, where he describes the challenge of living with a mental illness that affects some 300 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

Leon is among the roughly 30 percent of those patients with treatment-resistant depression. Available antidepressant drugs like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors do not alleviate his depressed mood, fatigue, anxiety, low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.
A new study may offer hope for Leon and others like him.
Our team of Brazilian scientists has conducted the first randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of ayahuasca — a psychedelic drink made of Amazonian plants. The results, recently published in the journal Psychological Medicine, suggest that ayahuasca can work for hard-to-treat depression.

Psychedelic ayahuasca works against severe depression, study finds

Psychedelic ayahuasca works against severe depression, study finds