Ketamine – Treatment For Depression

Updated on June 1, 2020

There are 300 million people worldwide that suffer from depression. Depression is common in patients in childhood to senior citizens. In day to day life, we experience anxiety and depression. Some people can get past it and keep going. But when the feelings of sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness interfere with a person’s ability to work, eat, and sleep, they are depressed. 

Some medications will calm anxiety and lift the moods of people. But, for the past several years, there have been few advancements in the treatment of depression. Doctors are prescribing the ketamine treatment for depression and the results are positive and experts in the mental health field are paying attention.

Most of the time, if you ask someone what causes depression, they will say “a chemical imbalance in the brain.” That is a generic answer that does not really explain. Browse of the articles on West Pennsylvania Health Care News and you find many triggers, reactions, and information on depression. This gives you a clearer vision of the problem. There is much more than throwing chemicals into the system until over a period of 1 to 2 weeks, until the brain signals “enough” and then the medications are balanced. A study conducted by Harvard Health News explains how complex depression is.  

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a drug created in the 1950s. It is an anesthetic used in medical procedures and surgeries. It is used for starting and maintaining sedation. In the 1960s, Ketamine was used to help men who were injured on the battlefield. Ketamine worked fast, killing pain and putting them in a state of calm. 

Ketamine is also used to sedate animals. This is a highly effective way to calm animals or put them to sleep for surgery. It can be administered in several ways and depending on the dosage you administer, Ketamine can be used on a small animal like a dog or a big animal like an elephant.

Special K

Ketamine is known as Special K on the street. Users chase it for the high it gives them. They claim it feels like being very drunk or very high, sometimes to the point of being unable to move. This has been called a date rape drug. Your senses are altered, and one of the side effects is memory loss. Ketamine that is meant to inject into a patient is a clear liquid. It also comes in a white powder which is often snorted through the nose. It also comes in a grainy white powder. It can be put inside the lip for slow absorption. However, most people do not find the taste welcoming.   

Ketamine for depression

Experts agree Ketamine works differently than current antidepressants on the market. Prozac, Zoloft, and Effexor are antidepressants that affect the serotonin levels of the brain. Effexor affects serotonin levels and neurotransmitters. But, these medications do not help everyone. For those people, finding a combination of drugs is difficult. Using Ketamine for depression is a game-changer. 

How does it work?

The FDA has approved Ketamine for anesthesia. But doctors are writing the prescriptions off-label. When Ketamine is used for depression, it is injected or taken orally. The first thing patients and doctors notice is Ketamine begin to curb anxiety and lifts the mood in 12-24 hours. Standard antidepressants take 10 days to 2 weeks before patients report feeling any relief, and even then, the treatment will continue at a slow pace.

There is more to learn about Ketamine for depression. Right now, doctors are working to discover the proper dose to maintain the effects of the medication. While drug therapy is taking place and the mood is controlled, doctors encourage patients to seek therapy. They should seek counseling to address factors that depress the patient. They also encourage the patient to take advantage of standard practice. Get out in the sun, or open your drapes to let the sunlight in. Eat a balanced diet, with lots of protein and limited amounts of sugar. Get some exercise. Take a walk, or go for a swim. Get up and get moving.    

To date, there is no cure for depression. But, it doesn’t have to control your life. Ketamine has brought a ray of hope to the depressed. Maybe 2020 will be the year we progress in this field. 

This year, maybe we can stop teenage suicide, help the elderly, and find happiness in our world. Maybe this year will be the year that we can find a cure for depression. 

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