Although originally developed as an anaesthetic, ketamine is increasingly finding a place in the treatment of mood disorders.
However, if you suffer from depression, your doctor will not prescribe ketamine infusion therapy until they confirm that it is a severe case and your depression hasn’t responded to more conventional treatments.
How it is usually administered
Ketamine therapy is conducted only under the supervision of an experienced medical professional. A trained nurse or a doctor will inject you with the drug in a medical facility. The medicine is injected into your muscle or vein.
The doctor then closely watches your progress while receiving the first shot to confirm if it’s effective. Then, depending on how it reacts with your body, they may prescribe a second dose.
How it can help those suffering from depression
For most patients that are battling depression, ketamine proves to be effective in giving long-lasting relief. In some patients, with just the first dose, ketamine eases the symptoms of depression. The doctors usually work hard enough to establish a dose large enough to relieve depression.
Depression is a serious mental health disorder and a leading cause of disability and suicidal tendencies in the world today. Those victims of severe depression who seek help are normally put on antidepressants, giving them long-lasting relief. However, conventional medication isn’t effective for everyone. Ketamine is an alternative that has the following advantages.
1. Fast-acting Symptom Relief
Ketamine stimulates the production of the main neurotransmitter known as glutamate. This neurotransmitter is responsible for the growth of synapses, strengthening and restoring key neural connections in the brain that are affected by depression. So when one suffering from a severe case of depression takes ketamine, it induces changes in the brain function circuit.
Ketamine infusion is known to work fast and relieve the symptoms of depression. It would be best if you did not worry, thinking that your pain cannot go away. In a matter of hours, ketamine will work magic and make you feel better than you initially were.
2. Relatively high rate of success
Even though several research and studies are underway, ketamine has been shown to be quite effective. Research is yet to be complete, but medical practitioners are already using it in the field. In most cases, patients have reported receiving relief after only a single infusion of ketamine. For some, they eventually feel better after two or three infusions. That only confirms how effective the drug is.
3. Long-lasting Relief from Symptoms
Unlike most antidepressants that one takes daily for many years, ketamine does not work that way. For an individual battling severe depression, ketamine is the go-to drug.
Just like any drug, ketamine has its fair share of disadvantages. They include the following:
1. Potentially Addictive Qualities
For anyone with a history of substance abuse, ketamine therapy may not be ideal. This is because the drug has potentially addictive qualities that may be a trigger to such individuals.
2. Mild Dissociative Effects
These include symptoms such as hallucinations and dizziness. Therefore, if you start experiencing these symptoms or other dissociative effects, it means that you need someone to be by your side that will drive to and from every treatment session. However, these symptoms typically last only a short while.
3. An experienced provider must always administer it
Ketamine has the potential of causing addiction when abused. When used outside the approved limits, it can severely damage an individual’s mental and physical health. If a person prolongs the use of ketamine, it can cause tolerance and psychological addiction.
It is possible to get addicted or require higher doses for you to feel its effects. Remember that ketamine infusion therapy is only suitable for those suffering from treatment-resistant depression and must be administered by a medical professional.
Image Credits: Karolina Grabowska
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