Ketamine Therapy for Depression

Ketamine Therapy for Depression

It is common knowledge among mental health professionals that one in ten people suffer from depression at one point or another. The first trial for ketamine therapy for depression carried out in the United Kingdom proved it to be an innovative and effective treatment for depression. A significant number of individuals who suffer from depression remain resistant to pharmaceutical drugs like Prozac and other forms of psychotherapies, whereas ketamine infusion therapy has shown tremendous success. It provides relief for patients who have silently battled depression for decades despite seeking treatment and prescribed medication.

In  a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, all 28 participants showed immediate measurable improvement within 24 hours of receiving ketamine infusion. The positive benefits of ketamine therapy displayed in the candidates of this groundbreaking study have opened up the grounds for more detailed research as to how this dissociative anesthetic provides relief from  depression and chronic pain. Even in patients who suffered with thoughts of suicide, reported feeling better after undergoing ketamine therapy. Unfortunately, depression reaches beyond those suffering from it and also affects the lives of people close to the patient. The family members of the patients in question also reported sighs of relief, glad to have “the old version” of the patient back with them after years, some after a long period of twenty years or more. The duration of relief from symptoms varies depending  upon the condition and individual; however, some patients have reported feeling symptom free for up to four months.  Though it may not immediately replace Prozac or similar medications, ketamine has pointed researchers towards a new direction in the fast-acting and effective treatment of depression, anxiety, and chronic pain conditions.

Ketamine Facts:

  • Patients who suffer from treatment-resistant depression may find relief through ketamine infusion treatments.
  • The National Institute of Health Sciences has studied the effects of ketamine for approximately a decade. Their research also found it to be beneficial for people suffering from bi-polar disorder.
  • Preliminary research on the benefits of ketamine for chronic conditions began twenty years ago. Researchers at Yale University conducted the first study on the effects of ketamine. This study was published in the year 2000.
  • Before beginning ketamine therapy, patients reported that battling depression seemed like a “routine nightmare”. Battling depression for years had left them with suicidal thoughts, and some even attempted suicide. However, low doses of ketamine have provided a new hope for their mental health.
  • Besides treating depression, bi-polar disorder, dementia, anxiety, PTSD and OCD, ketamine has also proven to be an effective analgesic. It has helped individuals suffering from chronic pain, fibromyalgia, TMJ and migraines, overcome years of physical disability and regain control of their life again.
  • When administered in a controlled medical setting, ketamine therapy can truly benefit the individual undergoing treatment.
  • Ketamine is a safe dissociative anesthetic, not a tranquilizer. Misleading terms like “horse tranquilizers” when describing ketamine are what make people feel wary of going forward with ketamine infusions. However, ketamine is now a proven drug of choice for many doctors who believe it could actually help their patients battling depression yet remain unresponsive to their treatment regiments.

Like all treatments, ketamine therapy may not work for everyone. However, if you feel you or a loved one could benefit from ketamine infusions, we encourage you to have a conversation with your physician or licensed mental health professional.

 

References:

  1. http://www.bbc.com/news/health-26647738
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23432384
  3. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/strategic-planning-reports/highlights/highlight-ketamine-a-new-and-faster-path-to-treating-depression.shtml

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