Effective mental health treatment looks different for everyone. For people whose anxiety and depression is not well-managed by medication and other treatment options, ketamine therapy can be a life changing solution.
Mental health is often referred to as a journey, and it’s no wonder why. Conditions like depression and anxiety affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide – an estimated 280 million people are affected by depression worldwide, and 40 million adults live with anxiety in America alone. With so many individual cases, depression and anxiety can look very different and require very different treatment from person to person. That means for anyone attempting to overcome the disruptive symptoms of these and other mental health disorders, finding the exact treatment or combination of treatments that truly provides relief can take time.
Although ketamine has been used safely as an anesthetic in hospital settings for decades, Ketamine Therapy for anxiety and depression is a comparatively new option. This cutting-edge therapy provides hope to those individuals who have tried medication but not whose depression and anxiety are not well-managed by medication alone.
If you are struggling to find a treatment that adequately addresses your mental health concerns, you are not alone. Keep reading to learn more about:
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact emergency services or reach out to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s free, confidential, 24/7 national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for immediate assistance.
Ketamine is a substance that has been administered as an anesthetic in hospitals for decades. Recent research suggests that when administered in small doses by a mental health professional, ketamine shows promise as a powerful treatment for people suffering from depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.
Ketamine therapy can be administered in a few different ways, but the most common are intravenous (IV) ketamine infusions or by nasal spray. Both methods have been shown to produce a calming effect and impact the regions of the brain associated with mood and behavior.
Typically, ketamine therapy patients will receive a series of treatment sessions spaced out over a few weeks. After this acute phase of treatment, periodic maintenance treatments may be recommended to help the patient sustain long-lasting results.
Patients receiving ketamine therapy often experience relief within hours of treatment. Compared with traditional antidepressant medications – which may take weeks to build up in the body before the effects of the treatment can be observed and assessed – ketamine is a fast-acting treatment. For this reason, ketamine therapy can be helpful in addressing periods of acute mental health symptoms, including suicidal ideation.
Ketamine can impact a patient’s alertness and cognitive state, so patients are not able to drive themselves home after treatment.
Ketamine therapy has been used to treat a variety of physical and mental health conditions. Some candidates for ketamine therapy may be those experiencing:
Due to the fast-acting nature of ketamine therapy, it can also be helpful in addressing acute suicidality in patients with these and other conditions.
The side effects of ketamine therapy vary in severity from mild headaches to more serious dissociative and addictive side effects. Before beginning ketamine therapy or any treatment, it’s important to talk to your doctor about what to expect during and after treatment.
Common side effects of ketamine therapy include:
The efficacy of sub-anesthetic doses of ketamine as a treatment for mental health conditions is still being studied, but existing research suggests that ketamine therapy can be a powerful tool in combating certain mental illnesses, such as treatment-resistant depression.
A study conducted by the National Library of Medicine determined that ketamine may provide “rapid, robust, but transient” antidepressant effects in people suffering from Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Depression, making it particularly effective in relieving suicidal ideation.
An independent 2019 study also concluded that ketamine is an effective treatment for depressive symptoms, drawing from a quarter-century of clinical experience and reports. This study included both children and adults, and examined the efficacy of ketamine used alone as well as in combination with other depression treatments such as antidepressant medication.
Studies from Yale and other institutions have suggested that over half of patients experience relief after one ketamine treatment, and many more find relief after a course of multiple treatment sessions.
At Transformations Care Network, our goal is to give the people in our communities improved access to traditional mental health treatments as well as cutting-edge therapies like ketamine therapy. Ketamine therapy can have a life changing impact on people struggling with conditions like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more.
If you believe that you or someone that you care about could benefit from ketamine therapy or another one of the mental health services we provide at TCN, contact us today to connect with one of our compassionate care providers. We will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan designed to help you take control of your mental health.