If you’re someone who has been struggling with treatment-resistant depression, you’ve likely heard of ketamine treatments. But what exactly is ketamine, and what benefits can it offer those with depression? Let’s take a closer look at this powerful medication and how it could help you get your life back on track.
How Does Ketamine Work?
Ketamine is an anesthetic that works by blocking NMDA receptors in the brain. Blocking these receptors creates changes in brain chemistry which can help to reduce symptoms associated with depression. In addition, the effects of a single dose of ketamine may last longer than traditional antidepressants—up to two weeks or more—which means that you don’t need to take as many doses.
In general, ketamine treatments are administered as an intramuscular injection. Following the injection, patients will typically experience a pleasant feeling of relaxation, often accompanied by visual or other sensory experiences. Afterward, patients will usually feel much better almost immediately after the treatment is complete.
What is the definition of treatment resistance?
Treatment resistance refers to the phenomenon when an individual with a mental health disorder, such as depression, does not respond to treatment with traditional medications or therapies. In other words, treatment resistance occurs when a person does not experience significant improvement in their symptoms despite receiving appropriate and adequate treatment.
It’s important to note that treatment resistance is a complex phenomenon and can have many underlying causes, including genetic factors, lack of adherence to treatment, underlying medical conditions, and others. Therefore, it’s important to have a comprehensive assessment to identify the cause of treatment resistance and to determine the best course of action.
Some signs that you may have treatment-resistant depression include:
- Persistent and severe symptoms of depression despite trying multiple antidepressants or other treatments. This may include feelings of hopelessness, sadness, lack of energy, and difficulty with concentration, sleep, and appetite.
- Little to no improvement in symptoms after trying at least two different classes of antidepressants at adequate doses for an adequate duration (at least 6-8 weeks)
- Symptoms that are severe enough to interfere with daily activities, such as work, school, or relationships.
- A worsening of symptoms despite treatment, or a recurrence of symptoms after a period of improvement.
- Difficulty functioning in daily life, such as experiencing difficulties to work or maintain personal relationships.
It’s important to note that treatment-resistant depression is a complex condition and its symptoms may vary from person to person. If you have been experiencing symptoms of depression that have not improved with treatment, it’s important to speak with a mental health professional to determine the best course of action for you.
What Are The Benefits Of Ketamine Treatments For Treatment-Resistant Depression?
The biggest benefit of ketamine treatments for those struggling with treatment-resistant depression is the fact that it works quickly and can provide long-lasting relief from depressive symptoms. Additionally, it has been found to be very effective for those with severe forms of depression or suicidal thoughts. This makes it a great option for those who have not had success with other medications or therapies for their depression. Finally, there are minimal side effects associated with ketamine treatments when compared to other antidepressants, which makes them a safer alternative for many people.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Like any other medication, there are potential risks associated with ketamine use. These may include increased heart rate and blood pressure, agitation or confusion, nausea or vomiting, dizziness or blurred vision, abnormal dreams or nightmares, disorientation and impaired coordination or judgment. It’s important to discuss these side effects with your doctor before starting a ketamine regimen so you can make an informed decision about whether this type of treatment is right for you.
What occurs during a ketamine treatment?
During a ketamine treatment, you will receive the medication in a private and quiet room at Bold Health. You will be seated in a comfortable recliner and will have your vital signs checked and rating scales completed before receiving the ketamine dose through an intramuscular injection, typically in the upper arm.
After receiving the medication, patients typically recline with closed eyes, listening to calming music through headphones or earbuds. It is recommended to bring your own headphones and have appropriate music saved on your device. Some people find that music can enhance the treatment experience and assistance can be provided with music selection.
In just a few short minutes, you can expect to feel the effects of this medication. Get ready for deep relaxation, an uplifted mood and even a psychedelic-like “trip”. So sit back and enjoy your journey!
Considering ketamine treatment?
•Ketamine has shown promise as a treatment for those with difficult-to-treat depression or suicidal thoughts, as it can help to create changes in brain chemistry.
• More research is needed before ketamine becomes widely used, but its potential cannot be denied.
• If you are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, speak to your doctor about whether ketamine could be right for you.
Ketamine treatment is available at Bold Health in San Diego
At BOLD Health, we understand that finding the right treatment for mental health disorders can be a challenging journey. That’s why we are here to help. We are a physician-owned and operated mental health practice in San Diego that specializes in ketamine treatment for conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and OCD, among others.
Our team of experts takes a personalized approach to each patient’s treatment plan, ensuring that you receive the best care tailored to your specific needs. We offer a range of treatment options, including individual therapy sessions, group therapy, ketamine treatment, medication management, and enrollment in our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) in San Diego.
We believe in empowering our patients to take charge of their lives and regain their well-being. If you are interested in learning more about ketamine treatment, IOP, or any of our other services, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
We are here to help and support you on your journey to better mental health.