Ketamine – The Game Changer For Depression
Depressed? Anxious? Does the change of seasons make this worse for you? Have you been unable to feel motivated about work or your favorite hobbies? Has the pandemic affected your family with loss or closed your usual outlets for stress relief such as the gym or travel?
Over four percent of the population suffers from depression every year, and along with it comes low energy, sadness, fatigue, and even a predisposition to general illnesses such as strokes and heart attacks. Loss of sleep or excess sleep as well as significant appetite changes are a part of this. This year will probably be worse for mental health due to the current world situation.
Many people have anxiety that runs hand-in-hand with the gloomy despair of worsening depression. Traditional antidepressants are frequently used, but many times they take a long time to work or don’t work at all. In the meantime, your job, family life, and personal life suffer as various medications are tried sequentially. Depression has been shown to alter the ability of connections within the brain to form or maintain appropriately, a process called neuroplasticity. A depressed person can have areas of the brain that shrink due to loss of neural connections, such as the memory centers and the front part of the brain that is involved in decision making, motivation, and reward. This results in brain fog and poor decision-making.
Ketamine therapy offers a rapid solution to treat mood disorders within days in over 70% of treatment resistant patients. Ketamine has been used safely for over 50 years. Numerous studies have consistently shown its rapid, beneficial effects in depression and suicidality. It has also been effective in OCD, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar depression, post-partum depression, addictions, and pain. This is due to the neuroplasticity that ketamine produces and improvement of the reward mechanisms of the brain. Anyone with depression or anxiety may be a candidate for this therapy, and especially when waiting six weeks or more to see if your new medication will work isn’t an option, the possibility of receiving ketamine therapy should be considered. Schizophrenia, personality disorders, and active heart diseases are among the disqualifiers for this treatment.
Ketamine is given through a series of six or more infusions scattered over 2-3 weeks in a monitored office setting. Periodic follow-up infusions may be needed for some. This medication has been a game changer for many patients who have suffered for years. Frequently vitamins or NAD+ can be added to the infusion process to improve energy levels and dissolve fatigue. In the meantime, other traditional and integrative treatments should be incorporated, such as exercise, intermittent fasting, low carbohydrate diets, supplements, and sleep hygiene.
If you are looking for more information for this treatment, look to webmd.com for a local provider.