What To Do When Depression And Anxiety Mix
You’ve noticed some changes lately. Maybe you feel sad, hopeless, or donât get any joy out of activities that used to be fun. Sounds like depression, right?
Maybe that’s not all. Sometimes you’re worried, afraid, and just plain uneasy. Isn’t that a sign of anxiety?
Not so fast. Itâs normal to have ups and downs or to have things youâre concerned about. You might be going through a difficult time. Your doctor can help you figure out if itâs actually a condition and what would help.
If you have both conditions, there are lots of ways to get help.
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Researchers Are Closer To Explaining How Ketamine Treats Depression
Angela Underwood’s extensive local, state, and federal healthcare and environmental news coverage includes 911 first-responder compensation policy to the Ciba-Geigy water contamination case in Toms River, NJ. Her additional health-related coverage includes death and dying, skin care, and autism spectrum disorder.
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Ketamine Infusion And Nasal Sprays
Ketamine infusion therapy is one of the newest and most effective ways that doctors are able to provide relief for individuals with severe depression. Infusion centers are beginning to pop up all over the country, which is making the treatment more accepted and accessible.
Patients interested in trying ketamine for depression can visit these centers once every one to six months depending on the severity of their condition. Within several hours of treatment many patients begin to feel better, and within 24 hours some feel nearly or completely better.
People with Treatment-Resistant Depression who start taking prescription antidepressants typically have between a 10 and 20 percent chance of a positive response. Those being treated with ketamine infusions have a positive response rate between 50 and 80 percent.
Ketamine can actually assist in repairing neuron synapses that dont function properly in depressed patients.
These staggering and positive results have been known to the scientific and medical communities for many years, but ketamines party drug stigma hindered further research and adoption. The good news is that now, attitudes toward the drug are finally starting to change and with the changes, access to ketamine as a medication is becoming more readily available.
Clinical Characteristics Of The Sample Population
shows that the mean age of the sample population was 33.55 ± 8.80 years. Mean age of onset of illness was 29.90 ± 8.73 years. Mean of the duration of illness was 6.95 ± 4.31 months. Most of the patients had diagnosis of a moderate depressive episode with the somatic syndrome or recurrent depressive disorder current episode moderate with the somatic syndrome . Most of them did not have any history of medical illness or any family history of medical illness or mental illness. Majority of the patients were drug naïve .
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Study Shows Rapid Brain Response To Ketamine For Depression
- A new study shows a better understanding of how ketamine reduces depressive symptoms quickly.
- The drug can potentially create beneficial changes in the brain for better mood regulation.
- Because of its side effects and addiction potential, it should only be taken under medical supervision.
For treatment-resistant depression, the lengthy process of trying different medications can add frustration on top of an already overwhelming condition. That’s why many who experience depression and those who treat them are considering wider use of ketamine, a dissociative drug taken by recreational users to feel more detached from reality and themselves.
A new study by clinical researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and published in the June 2020 issue of Translational Psychiatry, is highlighting why this drug works so quickly and how even low doses can be beneficial for those with major depressive disorder.
Researchers used brain scans of 30 participants who had tried the most commonly prescribed antidepressant treatmentselective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , such as Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloftand not received relief from their depression. After a low dose of 0.5mg of ketamine, the scans showed that they had an increased number of serotonin 1B receptors.
In the research, this process happened within 24 to 72 hours after the ketamine dose for 72% of participants.
How Is Ketamine Administered
Ketamine will be delivered through an IV as an outpatient procedure at the Department of Psychiatrys procedural unit at University of Michigan hospital. Ketamine infusion therapy is administered by our team of medical professionals specially trained in the delivery of Ketamine. Typically, a patient needs approximately 3 hours to participate in an infusion. A nurse will monitor your vital signs and provide support throughout the procedure.
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Behind The Buzz: How Ketamine Changes The Depressed Patients Brain
The anesthetic-cum-party drug restores the ability to make connections among brain cells
The Food and Drug Administrations approval in March of a depression treatment based on ketamine generated headlines, in part, because the drug represents a completely new approach for dealing with a condition the World Health Organization has labeled the leading cause of disability worldwide. The FDAs approval marks the first genuinely new type of psychiatric drugfor any conditionto be brought to market in more than 30 years.
Although better known as a party drug, the anesthetic ketamine has spurred excitement in psychiatry for almost 20 years, since researchers first showed that it alleviated depression in a matter of hours. The rapid reversal of symptoms contrasted sharply with the existing set of antidepressants, which take weeks to begin working. Subsequent studies have shown ketamine works for patients who have failed to respond to multiple other treatments, and so are deemed treatment-resistant.
Despite this excitement, researchers still dont know exactly how ketamine exerts its effects. A leading theory proposes that it stimulates regrowth of synapses , effectively rewiring the brain. Researchers have seen these effects in animals brains, but the exact details and timing are elusive.
Cognitive Deficits Associated With Mdd
Cognitive deficits in the domains of executive functioning, attention, memory, psychomotor speed, and cognitive flexibility are frequently observed in MDD and provide an important dimension to target with antidepressant treatments . The number of studies investigating ketamines effects on cognitive function in adults with TRD or bipolar depression is limited but growing. In one double-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial of 62 individuals with TRD, ketamine had no deleterious effect on cognitive functioning in addition, poor processing speed at baseline was associated with improved antidepressant response to ketamine . In another study of 43 individuals with TRD randomized to receive one or six ketamine infusions, researchers reported some improvements in short-term neurocognitive function, particularly in the domains of processing speed, set shifting, and spatial working memory . Finally, a recent retrospective study of 68 individuals with TRD found that ketamine had pro-cognitive effects, including depression-independent improvements in working memory as measured by the Trail Making Test . It should be noted, however, that the cognitive improvements that often accompany improvements in depressive symptoms have thus far limited the fields ability to assess ketamines direct effects on cognition. Larger randomized controlled trials specifically designed to investigate the effects of ketamine on cognitive parameters as a primary outcome are warranted.
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A Shock To The System
One way of thinking about the possible mechanism behind the anti-depressant effects is that it may operate something like shock therapy. In the 20th century, passing an electrical current through the brain was found to have antidepressant effects. Ketamine may also produce additional activation of networks in the brain, albeit via a more targeted chemical route. Since depression is characterized by being stuck in a specific psychological mode, shocks to the system of different kinds may be what the system needs to escape its rut temporarily, find relief and hopefully a better equilibrium after. This finding of a new balance is one reason that altered states, in general, have therapeutic potential.
What Can I Expect The Day Of My Ketamine Treatment
No food can be eaten for eight hours prior to treatment. No gum, candy, or smoking for six hours prior. Water is okay up to four hours before treatment. Once checked in, a low dose of Ketamine is infused through an IV over the course of 40 minutes. During this time, the patient will be continually monitored by a nurse and a doctor.
Usually patients can go home within 2030 minutes of completion of infusion. It is required that the patient arrange a driver to drive them home and preferably someone to stay with them that day.
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Adverse Effects Of Ketamine
Ketamine is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance under the Controlled Substance Act and, as noted above, approved by the FDA for anesthetic indications . Common adverse effects associated with anesthetic ketamine use include emergence reactions, hemodynamic instability, and respiratory depression. These symptoms are very rarely reported at the subanesthetic doses typically administered to treat depression. At the higher doses often associated with illicit use, ketamine can induce a condition termed the K-hole, in which the individual may be non-communicative due to dissociative symptoms, lack of awareness of self and environment, and/or unresponsiveness to external stimuli. Symptoms are typically self-resolving, and management in these situations is supportive . There is also a risk of abuse and dependence with ketamine, and repeated use may result in tolerance and dependence individuals may experience withdrawal.
Ketamine For Depression: Why It Really Works
Like most chemical treatments for mental health disorders, the therapeutic effects of ketamine were first stumbled on before we had a good understanding of why it works. Why ketamine produces antidepressant effects is actively being researched. Science may not have the definitive answer, but there are promising leads.
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How Ketamine Could Revolutionize Treatment
Although the drug carries a stigma, it certainly is beginning to offer hope to people with treatment-resistant depression.
Major depressive disorder affects about one in five people at some point during their life. Research suggests that, if left untreated, it can contribute to long-term brain damage and put people at higher risk for dementia.
And while treatments such as antidepressants and psychotherapy have much to offer, a third of depression patients will be treatment-resistant.
What’s more, even if these treatments work, they take longer. Antidepressants, for example, often don’t kick in for 2 to 3 months.
Krystal says that although esketamine and ketamine were initially reserved for the toughest cases of depression, patients’ experiences with the drug have “been so positive that it is prescribed increasingly for the broad array of patients with treatment-resistant forms of depression.”
While ketamine brings hope to folks with treatment-resistant depression, Krystal adds that those with depression and addiction might not be ideal candidates for the treatment because the drug can be addictive.
Although ketamine isn’t likely to become the first line of defense, it can give people the chance to see what its like to not be depressedwithin the hour, and for weeks.
“I foresee continued growth in its role in the treatment of depression in the U.S. and around the world,” Krystal adds.
Where Can You Receive Ketamine Therapy
Legal ketamine clinics now exist throughout the United States, a list can be found here. A ketamine nasal spray is also available for depression. Access to this treatment is likely to only increase over time as many more people continue to find relief from their depression through the use of ketamine.
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What Does A Ketamine Session Feel Like
Was I on this soapbox as I drifted off into my ketamine trip? I have to admit I was not. I felt peaceful as Jenna began with a meditation, reminding me that if things ever got to be too overwhelming, I could always return to my breath. “Blessings on your journey, Alaina,” she cooed as a chorus of female voices chanting in unison rose from the playlist blasting in my headphones.
I first felt a melting sensation in my back soon my limbs, too, felt like puddles, and I lost all feeling of having a physical body. Very slowly, I had no sense of who I was or what I was doing. This, of course, was fucking terrifying, but I found ways to soothe myself taking deep breaths, moving along to the music, remembering that I had a mouth I could turn up into a grin. I gave up caring.
There were two cracks of light in my eye mask, streaming in from both sides of my nose. This is common whenever I wear any type of glasses or covering due to my prominent, aquiline nose, things never quite sit right up there. I cannot remember a time when I did not feel majorly insecure about my big nose. I hated it so much growing up that I began to blame everything on its size. If it were only smaller Id have gotten all the jobs Ive ever been rejected from, or Id feel less alone, or Id be happier.
My post-trip snack pack. It was not a hamburger, but it was delicious.
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Rs Contributing Author: Dr James Cooke
Dr. James Cooke is a neuroscientist, writer, and speaker, whose work focuses on consciousness, with a particular interest in meditative and psychedelic states. He studied Experimental Psychology and Neuroscience at Oxford University and is passionate about exploring the relationship between science and spirituality, which he does via his writing and his YouTube channel, YouTube.com/DrJamesCooke. He splits his time between London and the mountains of Portugal where he is building a retreat centre, The Surrender Homestead, @TheSurrenderHomestead on Instagram. Find him @DrJamesCooke on , and , or at DrJamesCooke.com.
Disclaimer: LSD is potentially categorized as an illegal drug. Reality Sandwich is not encouraging the use of these drugs where prohibited. However, we believe that providing information is imperative for the safety of those who choose to explore these substances. This guide is intended to give educational content and should in no way be viewed as medical recommendations.
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The Effects Of Ketamine
Ketamine is a medication primarily used for starting and maintaining general anesthesia. It induces a sedated, trance-like state while also providing some form of pain relief. Other medical uses for ketamine include treatment for chronic pain and some types of depression.1-2
Ketamine is a dissociative drug that causes a person to feel detached from reality. Although a low-dose infusion properly administered by a doctor may be therapeutic for some patients with depression, the recreational misuse of ketamine is very dangerous and poses many risks to the user. At higher doses ketamine can cause adverse effects that can include:3-4
What Does A Ketamine Treatment Session Feel Like
While everyone’s ketamine treatment session will differ, many describe the experience as a euphoric, dreamlike state in which the world around them seems to fade away, everyday cares dissipate, unusual thoughts emerge, and vivid memories come to the surface. Some mild visual hallucinations are possible.
The psychedelic experience is intended to be gentle, not scary. Depending on the dosage, the length of the treatment will vary, but most sessions take anywhere from 40 minutes to two hours.
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Taking The First Step
If you are interested in learning more about the use of Ketamine to treat your depression, reach out to a psychiatrist or mental health center specializing in this type of treatment, virtually or by phone.
Create a list of questions, and when you meet with the doctor, he or she can provide answers. Together, you can create a treatment plan, possibly using Ketamine to treat your depression so you can enjoy living a happy life once again.
Ketamine As An Illegal Drug
Ketamine serves a purpose in medicine when prescribed correctly, but it is also a commonly abused drug. Commonly referred to as “Special K” and “Cat Valium,” Ketamine is sold illegally as a mind-altering drug that enhances or alters mood and perception.
The anesthetic properties can also cause the individual to feel numb, which may lead to accidents and severe injuries while under the influence of ketamine.
Usually, the high lasts for less than an hour and can cause a state of utter bliss, also known as euphoria. In addition to the typical out of body experience, higher doses that are typically injected can lead to an effect known as the K-hole.
K-hole refers to a near-death, out-of-body experience, where the user is incapable of interacting with others.
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Esketamine Helps The Brain Form New Connections
Research suggests that untreated depression causes long-term brain damage and is a risk factor for dementia. Studies show that people with depression have up to 20% shrinkage of the hippocampus, a region of the brain critical for memory and learning. But esketamine may counteract the harmful effects of depression.
Animal studies indicate that connections between brain cells diminish under chronic stress, but esketamine reverses these stress-related changes. Esketamine is different than any other antidepressant in that it not only prevents the neurotoxic effects of depression on the brain, but it also seems to have a growth-promoting effect, explains Kaplin.