Ketamine Infusion for Depression
Depression is a serious medical condition that is associated with symptoms such as melancholy, loss of pleasure, loss of energy, difficulty in concentrating, and suicidal thoughts. The World Health Organization estimates that depression will be the world’s second most common health problem by 2020. Affecting nearly 350 million people, roughly 5% of the global population, many suffer in silence or have tried and failed at conservative treatment methods. Oftentimes, in these cases, people turn to alcohol or other drugs to find relief. For so many, the pain and public miss-judgment become so severe that they ultimately see death as their only alternative. According to the CDC, depression is the primary reason why someone dies of suicide about every 13 minutes– over 41,000 people a year.
Current antidepressant medications usually take a few weeks to work – and half of the patients fail to fully respond. The urgent need for improved, faster acting antidepressant treatments is underscored by the fact that severe depression can be life-threatening, due to the heightened risk of suicide. Recent data suggest that ketamine, given intravenously, might be the most important breakthrough in antidepressant treatment in decades by lifting depressions symptoms within hours.
This promises a new option for people with some of the most disabling and
chronic forms of depression, whether classified as a major depressive disorder or bipolar depression. One of the earliest effects of Ketamine infusion is a profound reduction in suicidal thoughts. It is important to note that ketamine is not labeled an anti-suicide medication. However, the reduction in suicidal thoughts, especially given the risk of suicide in people with severe, treatment-resistant depression is critical.
At Michigan Pain Management Consultants, we provide low dose ketamine infusions in a safe, professional setting for patients who may have experienced resistance to alternative treatment methods for depression. Ketamine is a safe FDA approved anesthetic used in hospitals around the world since the 1960s. The antidepressant indication was first identified in the 1990s and has shown tremendous results in helping to relieve depression symptoms. Ketamine is not a cure for depression and does require ongoing maintenance treatments once stabilized. However, because of this physiologic change, many patients sense an improvement in as little as 1 – 2 treatments. It is certainly possible for ketamine patients, in conjunction with psychological support and other integrated wellness programs, to experience life with little to no depression symptoms.