Ketamine, introduced as a battlefield anesthetic during the Vietnam war and known as the party drug “special K,” has come a long way, revitalizing its reputation as a legitimized—and highly effective—treatment for depression. While ketamine’s reputation is still cause for concern for some people, many experts are intrigued by its effectiveness and ability to deliver rapid relief amongst those with chronic depression and pain conditions. There is undoubtedly a buzz around the topic of microdosing and psychedelics, but, what are the experts saying about ketamine, specifically?
Going Beyond Traditional Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
Experts are pushing beyond the serotonin hypothesis that has typically led physicians to treat depression with SSRIs, and are realizing it is not just low levels of serotonin that cause depression. Expert and chief psychiatrist John Krystal, MD, at Yale Medicine claims that, while most medications only last as long as they are in your system, ketamine triggers glutamate production which causes a series of complex chemical reactions in your brain, encouraging the growth of new neural connections. Most people who use ketamine as a treatment know within hours whether it will be effective for them or not. This is a huge advantage to many of the existing medications, as many of them require months to test effectiveness.
Benefits of Ketamine
At a recent conference, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Martha Koo discusses with experts how even just the first ketamine infusion can rid some patients of suicidal thoughts, and that ketamine has helped some patients achieve complete remission from their depression and pain. She also sees ketamine infusions as a tool to reverse neuronal atrophy, and help patients become more psychologically flexible, less avoidant, and to cope better with adversity and stress. Koo believes ketamine to be an amazing therapy for depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.
Chronic depression can be so difficult to treat, especially when a patient is resistant to standard treatments. Mass General Researchers conducted several studies on ketamine and concluded that ketamine was superior to the active control medication, midazolam, and was similarly effective in both anxious and non-anxious treatment-resistant patients. Overall, the study highlighted the potential role of ketamine in delivering relief to patients who had not found it elsewhere. This study was done in the context of what researchers identified as an “urgent need” for more effective treatment options, as depression continues to become a pressing issue in the US.
Contact Tahoe Ketamine
Are you or a loved one battling chronic pain or depression? Contact our staff for a free consultation to answer any questions you may have about ketamine infusion therapy or any of the holistic treatments or wellness services that we offer. We look forward to helping you.