How Does Ketamine Therapy Help People With Depression?

Finding out that you have treatment-resistant depression can be frightening. However, doctors are willing to work with patients to find alternative methods to relieve their symptoms. Once symptoms are under control, it becomes easier for patients to take control of their lives and work toward overcoming their depression.

Ketamine is used as an anesthetic in medical settings, and it also has a reputation as a street drug. However, ketamine can also help people who suffer from severe depression that cannot be treated through conventional means. Here are some of the ways that ketamine therapy can help you:

1. Ketamine therapy can improve the symptoms of depression.

Antidepressants, such as SSRIs, are frequently used as frontline treatments for depression. People who don't respond well to SSRIs may be prescribed SNRIs or tricyclic antidepressants, which operate on the brain through different mechanisms. All of these medications alleviate depression by altering the reuptake of certain neurotransmitters. Unfortunately, not everyone responds to antidepressants. Ketamine can help people with treatment-resistant depression by encouraging the brain to regrow synapses that have been lost due to depression, according to WebMD.

2. Ketamine therapy is administered in a safe, supportive environment.

The immediate side effects of ketamine therapy can include drowsiness, dissociation, and a feeling of being high. Fortunately, ketamine therapy is administered in a clinical setting with medical supervision. Patients will be supported and monitored throughout the ketamine infusion process to ensure that they remain safe and comfortable.

3. Ketamine therapy may help people experiencing other types of mental illnesses.

Depression is a common mental health concern, but it is not the only mental illness that people suffer from. People with depression often have other comorbidities, which can include anxiety, addiction, and PTSD. Ketamine therapy may be able to provide relief for these conditions, as well as depression. Patients may also find that once their depression is under control, it's easier to deal with the symptoms of their other conditions. Make sure to tell your doctor about all the mental health conditions you suffer from so they can help you make an informed decision about ketamine therapy.

4. Ketamine therapy should be used in conjunction with other treatment methods.

It's not typically recommended that people undergoing treatment for depression rely on medication alone. While medications, including ketamine, can help to relieve the symptoms of depression, it's equally important to treat the underlying cause of the disease. Psychotherapy, sometimes known as talk therapy, is an effective way of helping people overcome their depression. Doctors typically recommend that patients undergoing ketamine therapy see a counselor for psychotherapy during and after their ketamine treatments.

Contact a doctor such as Dr. Christina M. Charlotin, Licensed Psychologist to find out more.