Over 16 million Americans live with chronic depression. And, unfortunately, it’s thought that up to 40% of these individuals don’t get the relief they need from prescription treatments alone. However, there are alternative options for treating depression. And, one of these effective, alternative methods includes ketamine infusion therapy. Before deciding if this treatment is the next step to addressing your depression, learn more about how ketamine works to address chronic depression and manage symptoms.
Ketamine is an anesthetic. So, it works to sedate patients in a medical setting without repressing the respiratory and cardiac systems. However, it also provides auditory and visual hallucinations, which is why it is fairly common for people to take ketamine as a party drug. So, many people, instead of thinking ketamine may be a good treatment alternative, view the use of ketamine in medical settings as controversial. But, regardless of its recreational abuse, ketamine shows great promise in helping individuals dealing with both chronic pain and mood disorders like depression.
Overall, ketamine has properties to treat chronic pain due to neurological damage as well as depression because it’s an NMDA antagonist. This means it attaches to a receptor in the brain that’s responsible for sending signals of pain. When the NMDA receptor is blocked, it stimulates another receptor, the AMPA receptor. When this happens, the AMPA receptors increase in producing glutamate. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that strengthens the brain’s ability to use signaling between neurons. So, when more glutamate is present in the brain, changes in the way the brain communicates happens. And, new synapses and neuron plasma membranes are created.
Many individuals struggling with depression may experience a reduction in glutamate, which can lead to the development of many depressive symptoms. However, antidepressants don’t address glutamate levels. So, they may not provide the relief from symptoms patients may need. Since ketamine infusion therapy can help with glutamate levels and the way the brain responds to neurotic signaling, many individuals who may not experience help with antidepressant medications may find benefits through this type of therapy.
Looking for alternatives to treating depression? If traditional treatments aren’t providing the symptom relief you need, ketamine infusion therapy may be the solution you’re seeking. Fortunately, ketamine infusion therapy is showing great promise for individuals living with depression. And, most patients experience relief from symptoms immediately. If you want to learn more about how ketamine infusion therapy can help you or a loved one living with chronic depression, contact us today or call 925-289-1430.