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Depression Therapy Ketamine Therapy

Is Ketamine Therapy Right for You?

7 min read

Wondering if ketamine therapy is right for you? Finding a suitable mental health treatment that meets your needs can be challenging, as each individual responds differently to various treatments. While consulting a medical professional is important before starting any new therapy or medication, there are some indicators to consider in evaluating ketamine therapy’s suitability for you.

What is Ketamine Therapy?

Ketamine therapy involves utilizing ketamine, a psychedelic substance, to alleviate emotional distress. It was originally used as an anesthetic in surgeries; however, research has discovered its potential in mitigating mental health issues when administered in controlled, minimal doses. However, it’s essential to recognize that ketamine isn’t universally effective— similar to other medications, it may not suit everyone. Nonetheless, studies suggest that it can benefit up to 70% of individuals, a notable improvement compared to the efficacy rates of traditional antidepressants, which typically hover around 20%. 

Moreover, another form of ketamine known as Esketamine is also used in ketamine therapy. Derived from ketamine, an anesthetic long used in depression treatment, Esketamine recently gained FDA approval for nasal spray administration in individuals with treatment-resistant depression. Esketamine is a more potent variant of ketamine, derived from a segment of its molecular structure. Its increased potency allows for administration at lower doses, potentially minimizing side effects. With its approval for intranasal use by the FDA, there’s a higher likelihood of insurance coverage for this treatment option.

What To Expect In Ketamine Therapy

Ketamine infusion offers a rapid and effective means of alleviating depression symptoms, particularly when conventional treatments like antidepressant medication prove ineffective.

Ketamine therapy is available in two primary forms: Ketamine (Intravenous) and Esketamine (Intranasal). 

With Ketamine infusion, you can expect a direct administration of the medication intravenously, typically resulting in a rapid onset of symptom relief, often within hours or days of treatment initiation. Many individuals report significant improvements in mood, energy levels, and overall functioning after a series of ketamine infusions. 

With Esketamine, also known as Spravato nasal spray treatment, you can expect a convenient and non-invasive form of administration. The nasal spray is self-administered under the supervision of a healthcare provider in a clinical setting. Esketamine has been shown to rapidly alleviate depressive symptoms, often within hours or days, similar to intravenous ketamine. It offers a promising alternative for individuals who may prefer or require a nasal spray delivery method.  

Ketamine therapy can be administered either intravenously or as a nasal spray. Regardless of the method used to administer it, ketamine works by stimulating different parts of your brain. You will be able to relax and then receive your therapy in a comfortable, private room. Even if you opt for the nasal spray, healthcare professionals will monitor you until the effects of the ketamine wear off. After around two hours, a loved one can drive you home. Side effects, such as sleepiness, are temporary. While you may feel sleepy on the day of your treatment, most people wake up the next morning with a noticeable improvement in their mood.

Who Is Eligible for Ketamine Therapy?

Treatment-resistant depression isn’t a condition you can easily recover from. With all the traditional methods and prescriptions proven to be ineffective, you may be considering it as a potential solution. However, before proceeding with any treatment, including ketamine therapy, a thorough evaluation is necessary to determine its suitability for you. 

You may be eligible for Ketamine therapy (intravenous) if:

  • You’ve exhausted various medication combinations or dosages without experiencing symptom relief.
  • You’ve attempted other therapies, such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).
  • Previous attempts with group or individual Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or other forms of therapy haven’t yielded satisfactory results. 

It’s important to note that IV ketamine therapy isn’t typically the initial approach for addressing depression. However, for individuals who have exhausted other options, it may provide the relief they seek. 

Furthermore, if you opt for esketamine, it too may offer the relief you’re seeking. Around 33% of individuals grappling with depression find little to no relief from various traditional antidepressants. Clinical trials have demonstrated that Esketamine effectively diminishes depression symptoms in a significant majority of these cases.

You may be eligible for Esketamine therapy (intranasal) if:

  • You have been diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression
  • You have tried at least two different antidepressants for a duration of at least six weeks each
  • You have a lack of significant improvement or remission in depression symptoms with prior antidepressant treatments

Is Ketamine Therapy Is Right for Me?

When it comes to a diagnosis like depression, treatment-resistant depression (TRD), or other mood disorders, it helps to have a number of available treatment options. If you are planning on getting ketamine therapy, there are some things you should take into consideration first before you figure out if it is the right treatment for you.

  • Know your depression history
    While not typically suitable for mild depression, individuals with prolonged treatment-resistant depression may consider ketamine. Research indicates that sub-anesthetic doses of intravenous ketamine in a safe clinical setting can rapidly alleviate severe debilitating depression and mood disorders.
  • Monitor your vitals
    Individuals with elevated blood pressure should consult their doctor before ketamine treatment, as changes in blood pressure and heart rate have been reported. Regular monitoring of vital signs before and after treatments can mitigate potential risks.
  • Exhaust other treatment options
    Ketamine is not the first-line treatment but is reserved for severe cases of depression unresponsive to conventional psychiatric medications and therapies. When conventional treatments have failed, ketamine may offer a viable alternative.
  • Integrate ketamine into a comprehensive treatment plan
    Ketamine works best when incorporated into a broader treatment framework, typically alongside cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It should not replace other treatments but rather complement them.
  • Acknowledge potential side effects
    Like any medication, ketamine may have side effects. Understanding and researching potential reactions is crucial for informed decision-making.
  • Expect rapid relief
    Unlike antidepressants, which can take weeks to show effects, ketamine often provides immediate symptom relief within hours, facilitating a quicker return to normal functioning.
  • Consider ketamine as an alternative to ECT
    While electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) has traditionally been used for rapid intervention in severe depression, recent research suggests that intravenous ketamine may be a preferable alternative for patients struggling to achieve remission. Its rapid antidepressant effects and overall success make it a viable option.

Spravato® Ketamine Therapy for Depression in Westchester County

Before deciding to use ketamine therapy as a treatment for your condition, it is important that you make sure you undergo a comprehensive psychiatric and medical evaluation by a psychiatrist experienced with ketamine therapy. While ketamine is a groundbreaking treatment for depression, especially treatment resistant depression, it may not be a suitable treatment for everyone. Certain mental health or medical conditions might disqualify someone from receiving ketamine therapy. It’s crucial to be well-informed about what qualifies someone as a good candidate for ketamine, the best places to receive treatment, and all the associated risks before proceeding; and the best way to do that is by consulting a professional.

Are you considering ketamine treatment because you have previously tried traditional treatments without success? Don’t lose hope. Marpa Minds offers ketamine therapy, including our specialized Spravato treatment which offers a new solution for individuals dealing with treatment-resistant depression. Tailored for cases where traditional therapies have failed, our treatment could be the breakthrough you’ve been seeking. At Marpa Minds, your well-being is our top priority. We ensure a safe, supportive environment where you can feel comfortable and cared for. Take the first step toward your recovery today by contacting us here or calling us at 1877-88-MARPA.

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