How Ketamine Has Transformed the Lives of Individuals with Severe Depression
In today’s world, severe depression is a significant mental health concern. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), approximately 64% of individuals experience severe impairment due to major depressive disorder. Over the years, the number of deaths resulting from suicidal thoughts and self-harm associated with depression has increased. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has further exacerbated mental health issues, leaving many individuals struggling to cope. So, how can one navigate these challenging times?
Before we explore potential solutions, it is crucial to identify the signs and symptoms of depression.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
There are several signs and symptoms that may indicate depression in oneself or someone they know:
- Trouble concentrating, frequent forgetfulness, and difficulty making decisions
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness
- Negative thoughts and feelings of hopelessness
- Insomnia, excessive drowsiness in the morning, or oversleeping
- Lack of interest in activities once found pleasurable, including sex
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Persistent pains, headaches, or cramps
- Gastrointestinal problems that do not improve with treatment
- Continuous feelings of sadness, anxiety, or emptiness
- Suicidal thoughts, attempts, or self-harm
Treatment for Severe Depression
If left untreated, depression can be severe and life-threatening. One potential treatment option for severe or clinical depression is the use of ketamine. In 2019, the FDA approved ketamine for emergency use in depression cases. Ketamine is classified as a schedule III drug in the USA and works by blocking excessive activity in the central nervous system, inducing a calming effect. It is only available in injection form.
It is crucial to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider before considering ketamine treatment. Attempting to administer the medication yourself is not recommended, as the dosage varies for each individual. Factors such as age, size, sex, and the severity of the condition may influence the appropriate dosage. Ketamine is also used as a pre-anesthetic or in conjunction with other available anesthetic agents.
The recommended dosage of ketamine for adults ranges from 1 to 2 mg/kg, administered at a frequency of 0.5mg/kg/min. In some cases, the doctor may administer IV diazepam at a dosage of 2 to 5mg over 60 seconds to minimize emergence phenomena. In most cases, a dosage of 15mg IV or less is sufficient.
For the initial stages of treatment, ketamine is typically administered at a dosage ranging from 6.5 to 13mg/kg. A dosage of 10mg/kg is