The evolution of the mental health treatment world has been massive. From centuries ago that we were doing electric shock therapy and severing the frontal cortex from the rest of the brain, to today where medication and talk therapy is regarded as the best treatment in both situations. Did you know that nearly fifty percent of Americans will suffer from some type of depression at some point. The current popular option for dealing with this is talk therapy and medication. But ketamine therapy for people with major depression is becoming more and more of a popular option.
Who is it for?
Ketamine is not a great option for someone suffering from mild depression. Ketamine is currently reserved for people who are experiencing extreme suicidal or homicidal thought. Ketamine makes a massive change to receptors in the brain so it is the best option for extreme cases of depression. Ketamine treatment is also a commitment. It is unhealthy to start and stop ketamine. When a person decides to try it as a treatment, it is a long term commitment. Ketamine is for extreme cases of depression.
In the healthcare industry, ketamine is also used to put people to sleep for surgery. Basically, in large doses it is an anesthetic. Along with that, ketamine is used to put people to sleep in prisons. Ketamine can be a very dangerous and powerful drug if not used correctly.
How does it Work?
Ketamine works on receptors in the brain. It is a fairly complicated process to explain. Basically, ketamine binds to NMDA receptors in the brain. Which forces the brain to produce glutamate. Glutamate then binds to AMPA receptors which forces the neurons of the brain to communicate through new pathways. This process is very common in the brain, it's called regenesis. However, ketamine helps regenerate new pathways which seems to improve depression. The reason that it improves depression is still somewhat unknown.
Just like with most medications that we are still learning about, there may be a few side effects to ketamine. The ones that we are aware of right now are high blood pressure, stomach problems like nausea, and dissociation. Disassociation is the most alarming of them all. In some people, they have scary out of body experiences. These can create or spark other mental health problems. This is why it is so important to only use ketamine under the watchful eye of a doctor. Ketamine treatment can be dangerous if not done correctly.
Basically, there are two ways that ketamine can be introduced into the body. Via IV and via a nasal spray. Both options are effective at getting the drug into the body, however the nasal spray is missing an R molecule. The nasal spray is typically tried as the first options because it is less anesthetic than the IV option. It also has less impact on the body. Most doctors will tell you that they try the least invasive option first. The nasal spray is the least invasive option and the first option for extreme depression cases.
Ketamine has been shown to be very effective in treating depression. Typically, people with a positive response to three sessions, will get even further relief with continued sessions.
Ketamine is being used for depression with great results. Ketamine works by binding to certain receptors in the brain and recreating pathways in a persons brain. By recreating these pathways a person can hopefully reduce there depression and suffering. If you are suffering from extreme depression then ketamine might be an option for you to get relief.