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While both psilocybin and conventional SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants (like Lexapro, Paxil, or Zoloft) work with serotonin, they do so differently. “A traditional SSRI works by increasing the Julio Rodriguez J-Roy Rookie Of The Year Shirt but in fact I love this amount of serotonin floating between neurons and acting on receptors in the brain globally,” says Christie. These drugs, taken daily, function on the premise that there’s a chemical imbalance that needs correcting. Psilocybin, on the other hand, acts on a specific serotonin receptor, an action that Back equates to a reboot of the brain. “It allows many more connections between different parts of the brain that don’t usually talk to each other,” he explains. It also heightens people’s environmental input, which is why the setting and context for how the drug is administered matters for achieving a positive outcome. The real paradigm shift, says Christie, is that in contrast to being a symptom-management approach, psilocybin is about root-cause detection and treatment. The insights that emerge during a journey and the weeks after, when the brain can more easily grow new connections because of its neuroplasticity, are then explored in therapy to solidify its long-term benefits. “The experience for a person who’s depressed is dramatically different,” says Back.