Depression treatment includes various medication and therapy options. Psychiatrists may prescribe medications such as mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and anticonvulsants to treat depression. They may also recommend therapy, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).Let us take a look at some of the alternatives to antidepressants a psychiatrist might recommend:Depression is a mental illness that…
Are Ketamine Infusions the Right Choice for You?
Major depression is a very common psychiatric illness that many people suffer at least once in their lifetime, and some patients seek alternative treatments, such as ketamine infusions. One-third of individuals in treatment for major depression do not find relief with traditional first-line treatments such as medication. If you suffer from major depression and have not found relief in conventional treatments, ketamine infusions may be an option for you.
What are ketamine infusions?
Ketamine infusions are a type of therapy used to treat nonpsychotic unipolar and bipolar major depression in which ketamine is injected intravenously. Ketamine’s antidepressant effects work quickly, usually within hours, and typically last between three and 14 days.
The drug works on different brain receptors than traditional medications. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a common type of medication for depression, work primarily on serotonin receptors. Other first-line medications may affect dopamine or norepinephrine. However, ketamine works on the NMDA/glutamate and GABA receptors. By blocking these receptors, patients may feel rapid relief from their depressive symptoms.
During ketamine infusions, you may experience a pleasant and relaxing sensation. Your body may feel as if it is floating. You may be able to view traumatic memories in a different light, allowing you to reframe and cope with them.
Ketamine can be prescribed as a nasal spray. Two ketamine drugs are available for prescription: Esketamine and Rapastinel. These drugs have been “fast-tracked” by the FDA as of 2016 as a potential breakthrough treatment for depression. Ketamine is sometimes used in tandem with other antidepressant drugs.
Ketamine has shown promise as an alternative treatment for major depression. Unlike more conventional treatments, ketamine works far more quickly to treat acute symptoms. Ketamine is also used as a general anesthetic, pain reliever, and relaxant. It is sometimes used to treat certain types of seizures.
Are ketamine infusions the right choice for you?
Ketamine is an alternative treatment that can be tried if conventional treatments, as well as electroconvulsive therapy, have failed and your interdisciplinary team has decided that the potential benefits outweigh the risks. It can also be used if fast-acting treatment is warranted, such as if you are experiencing suicidal depression.
While ketamine is a relatively new treatment for depression, its advantages have placed it in high demand, and it is possible to receive ketamine infusions at special clinics. Very little is known about the long-term effects and safety of ketamine treatment past the acute stage.
Ketamine is sometimes used as a recreational drug, so its use is controversial. In high doses, it can alter the sight and sound senses as well as produce a strong feeling of relaxation. The user may experience hallucinations or delusions while under the effects of the drug. Ketamine is generally only used for short-term relief of depression and is not typically used as a maintenance medication.
Ketamine infusions FAQs
Here are some common questions and answers about ketamine infusions to help you make informed decisions about whether or not treatment is appropriate for you.
Can I use ketamine as a replacement for antidepressants?
Ketamine is not recommended as a replacement for antidepressant medications. Instead, it is used to assist patients who are not seeing desirable results from their antidepressants alone. However, patients should still continue to visit with their psychiatrist or mental health therapist and continue taking all prescribed medications (including antidepressants) unless they are directed or provided permission to stop taking certain medications.
What can I expect before, during, and after treatment?
The process is non-invasive. It is recommended to eat lightly before your visit as nausea is a possible side effect. It is also helpful to try and remain in a positive state before your visit (e.g. avoid arguments with family members and friends). The session takes approximately 45 minutes, although it can take some time to set up the IV, and a recovery period after the session is necessary.
What will it feel like during my session?
Many patients report feelings of dissociation. This dissociated feeling can be rather intense after the first session or two, and it makes some feel like they are in a dream-like state. Subsequently, it can help to schedule an appointment with your therapist within a week or two of your first scheduled ketamine infusions.
Consider ketamine infusions
Ketamine infusions are a generally safe treatment that can be highly effective against treatment-resistant unipolar or bipolar major depression. If you want to explore your options for ketamine infusions to treat major depression, contact our office today, and we can help you explore what options are available.
Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Ketamine Infusions in Myrtle Beach, SC.
Prescription medicine may be life-saving for many individuals with depression. For depression treatment, a psychiatrist often gives prescription antidepressants like SSRIs. These drugs are helpful but can come with side effects and a high price tag, depending on the patient's health insurance plan.Prescription drugs are not the only option for treating depression symptoms. A natural…
Depression affects approximately 19.4 million adults in the United States alone (according to the National Institute of Mental Health). This equates to nearly 8 percent of the U.S. adult population. Unfortunately, many cases of depression are left untreated. Therefore, a psychiatric assessment from a licensed psychiatrist is an integral first step to a depression diagnosis…
The term "talk therapy" refers to psychotherapy that takes place in a room between the patient and psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are trained in depression treatment procedures to help patients recover from mental illness, address personal concerns, and make suitable changes in their life. Psychotherapy involves verbal and psychological strategies to address mental health issues. Different options…