Depression and anxiety are the most common forms of mental illness in the world. While many treatments are very successful for treating these illnesses, there is a large portion of sufferers in which treatment does not work. There is a drug that is now being tested and considered for an unconventional way of treating depression and potentially anxiety – Ketamine.
Ketamine's Mood Lifting Ability
Ketamine isn't new on the pharmaceutical scene and has a reputation as an illicit drug known as "Special K". Ketamine has a hallucinogenic effect on those who take it and can actually change the mood of the person using it. Recently, several clinics have been using Ketamine in their clinics in smaller doses to help those suffering from severe depression to help elevate their mood. The drug has been used in some emergency rooms on those with suicidal thoughts to help bring their minds away from dark thoughts.
Ketamine is a fast-acting drug, which usually only takes hours or less to take effect. Health care professionals say it does tend to have small and brief side effects in the majority of people who take it.
Ketamine is not considered a miracle drug because experts aren't sure of how it works and how it can help those with depression or anxiety. It does work differently from antidepressants and seems to be more effective in some patients who are resistant to other drugs. However, any depression treatment is more effective when used in combination with other treatments such as therapy and cognitive behavior therapy for anxiety sufferers.
Experts believe that while Ketamine can help to elevate a patient's mood in the immediate moment, professionals still need to address the entire patient's needs. The professional needs to treat the potential reasons for the patient's depression. This could include family issues, chemical imbalance, or some trauma that occurred in their life.
How is Ketamine Given?
Ketamine treatment is given within the clinic's walls by a professional trained to give infusions. Ketamine is administered through an IV infusion in very small doses. The drug takes effect fairly quickly and has the ability to last up to a few days in some patients.
The side effects that patients experience include confusion, lucid daydreaming and fuzzy vision. These do clear up pretty quickly once the infusion is finished and there are no hallucinations. Patients are kept under watch for the duration and they must have transportation back home.