Depression is one of the most debilitating public health problems we currently face. Depression affects men, women, adults and adolescents and children and the estimated annual cost of depression is over $2 Billion per year!
People who suffer from depression endure persistent feelings of hopelessness, fatigue, lack of the ability to enjoy life, poor concentration and often times suicidal thoughts. Chronic depression causes major disruptions in many areas of life functioning including work, relationships and basic self-care. Many patients who seek treatment for depression either do not respond well to treatment, or experience side effects to the medications, and continue to suffer.
Until recently, the main approach to treating depression has been with conventional antidepressants. While antidepressants can be effective for many people, there are often a number of drawbacks including:
- Lack of response
- Side effects
- Needing to wait up to six weeks for the medication to start working.
Over the past decade, Ketamine has emerged as a highly-effective medication in the treatment of depression that works fast and is effective at treating both treatment-resistant depression, as well as suicidal depression – with little or no side effects.
Delivered via IV infusion, Ketamine has been shown in multiple studies to alleviate depression in as quickly as a few hours post-infusion in some patients. Many patients report cessation of suicidal thoughts after receiving just one infusion of Ketamine! Most people require 8-12 infusions for a full antidepressant effect.
Ketamine has been shown to alleviate depression via a different mechanism of action than conventional antidepressants. In fact, studies have shown that Ketamine “re-balances” certain neurotransmitters in the brain that have been found to be out of balance in patients who suffer with depression, obsessive thoughts, anxiety and suicidal thinking.
It has been known for years that people who suffer from long-standing depression show slowing in the frontal part of the brain that is associated with loss and atrophy of neurons. Ketamine has been shown to regenerate atrophied neurons and also starts a process called “Neurogenesis” or the re-growth of neurons in the brain. Ketamine also causes re-vascularization of neurons that have atrophied in the brain. These findings are believed to be how Ketamine treats depression so effectively.
Ketamine is a safe medication when administered in a certified surgicenter under the care of both a psychiatrist and an anesthesiologist or licensed infusion nurse as patients need to be monitored both during and following the infusion.