Depression Therapy Ketamine Therapy

Traditional Treatments vs. Ketamine Therapy for Depression and Anxiety

7 min read

Depression is a mental health condition that affects millions of people all over the world. This condition often makes day to day life heavy and overwhelming. Its symptoms include experiencing emotions like sadness, hopelessness, and helplessness, along with a lack of interest in activities, changes in appetite, and disruptions in sleep patterns. Although traditional antidepressants are commonly used by individuals with depression, there are cases, such as treatment-resistant depression, where only alternative treatments like Ketamine Therapy can provide relief. There’s been a lot of discussion lately about the pros and cons of ketamine therapy versus traditional antidepressants. Today, we’ll be comparing them to help you make a well-informed decision on what your next step to recovery will be.

Ketamine Therapy

Ketamine was first developed as an anesthetic in the 1960s. However, it then emerged as an alternative treatment for depression, particularly for those individuals who haven’t responded well to traditional antidepressants. This therapy operates by enhancing the activity of glutamate, which is a neurotransmitter that is crucial for learning and memory. Moreover, ketamine also promotes the formation of new neural connections in the brain, which has the potential to ease some severe depression symptoms.

Advantages of Ketamine Therapy

One of ketamine therapy’s standout features is its rapid action. A lot of individuals’ individuals report feeling better mere hours after treatment, a stark contrast to the weeks or months typically required for traditional antidepressants to take effect. Moreover, ketamine therapy is generally safe and well-tolerated. It is usually administered via intramuscular injection; patients undergo close monitoring throughout the procedure. 

Ketamine therapy has various mental health benefits, such as:

  • Ketamine therapy helps reduce suicidal and self-harming thoughts
  • Ketamine therapy alleviates symptoms that are associated with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Ketamine therapy offers rapid relief, as some individuals who undergo this therapy experience improvements within just one to three infusion sessions

Additionally, another form of ketamine therapy, known as Esketamine Spravato nasal spray treatment, offers a non-invasive alternative. Administered via nasal spray, this method provides a convenient and accessible option for patients seeking relief from treatment resistant depression symptoms.

Spravato Treatment (Esketamine nasal spray) offers various benefits, such as:

  • Esketamine nasal spray treatments like Spravato® provide rapid alleviation of depression symptoms, offering individuals fast relief from emotional distress 
  • Esketamine nasal spray helps regulate mood over the long term, assisting patients in achieving greater stability and emotional well-being 
  • Esketamine treatment increases glutamate levels, facilitating the formation of new neural connections and promoting heightened brain activity. This leads to improved cognitive function and emotional resilience 
  • Esketamine therapy stimulates the brain and promotes the production and release of neurotransmitters crucial for mental health, such as serotonin and dopamine, resulting in improved mood and overall well-being 
  • Esketamine has been shown to significantly decrease the frequency of suicidal thoughts

Disadvantages of Ketamine Therapy 

Although ketamine therapy provides a lot of advantages to individuals who use this treatment, it does have some drawbacks.

Common side effects of Ketamine Therapy include: 

  • Ketamine therapy requires specialized medical facilities and trained personnel, meaning not everyone has easy access to it 
  • The treatment is often expensive and not covered by insurance, posing financial barriers for many individuals
  • Long-term implications of ketamine on the brain are not fully understood, raising concerns about safety and efficacy over time
  • Ketamine carries a risk of misuse and dependence with repeated use, necessitating careful monitoring and management
  • Side effects may include disorientation, dizziness, increased vital signs, and changes in sensory perception, highlighting the need for close monitoring during treatment

On the other hand, Spravato nasal treatment, despite being hailed as a game-changer, it’s crucial to recognize that it comes with some disadvantages. 

Common side effects of Spravato (esketamine) include:

  • Individuals may experience a sense of detachment or disconnection from their thoughts, feelings, or surroundings, commonly described as feeling disconnected from the mind or body
  • Some individuals may feel drowsy or experience dizziness, which can affect their ability to perform tasks that require alertness or coordination
  • Nausea and vomiting are potential side effects of Spravato treatment, which may occur shortly after administration of the nasal spray
  • Changes in taste perception, such as unusual or unpleasant tastes, may occur during or after Spravato treatment
  • Spravato treatment can lead to a temporary increase in blood pressure, which may be monitored during and after administration of the nasal spray

Traditional Depression Treatment 

Traditional antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), have formed the foundation of depression treatment for decades. These drugs act by raising neurotransmitter levels in the brain, including serotonin and norepinephrine, which are associated with mood regulation. 

Advantages of Traditional Treatment

There are a lot of traditional treatment approaches for mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. There are conventional methods like widely prescribed medications and established psychotherapeutic techniques that most individuals have used for the longest time.

Traditional treatment has a lot of benefits, such as:

  • Traditional antidepressants are a cost-effective solution with widespread availability for individuals seeking treatment for depression.
  • They can be conveniently prescribed by primary care physicians, simplifying the treatment initiation process for patients.
  • Most insurance plans typically cover traditional antidepressants, alleviating financial barriers and enhancing accessibility.
  • Extensive research spanning several decades supports the safety profile of traditional antidepressants, fostering confidence in their efficacy and tolerability among healthcare providers and patients alike. 

Disadvantages of Traditional Treatment

While traditional treatment provides a lot of advantages to individuals who use it, it does have some disadvantages.

Common side effects of Traditional Treatment include:   

  • Traditional antidepressants may require several weeks or even months to manifest their therapeutic effects.
  • Some individuals may not respond favorably to traditional antidepressant treatment.
  • These medications can induce side effects such as nausea, insomnia, and sexual dysfunction in certain patients.
  • In rare cases, particularly among children and young adults, traditional antidepressants may elevate the risk of suicidal ideation and behaviors.

Traditional Treatments vs. Ketamine Therapy for Depression and Anxiety 

Treating depression and anxiety is not an easy feat. There are a lot of treatment options available on the market, but only a few will be able to address the exact needs of a certain patient. When it comes to considering which treatment will work best or which one is better, both ketamine therapy and traditional antidepressants present their own set of advantages and disadvantages. 

Ketamine therapy is known for its quick relief especially for those individuals who are unresponsive to traditional antidepressants, yet it comes with higher costs and specialized requirements. On the other hand, traditional antidepressants offer accessibility and a proven safety record, although they may entail a significantly longer onset period and side effects.

Treat Depression and Anxiety at Marpa Minds, Westchester, NY

Choosing the most suitable treatment option depends on the unique needs and preferences of each patient, as well as the availability of resources and medical facilities. Before initiating any treatment plan, it is essential to seek guidance from a qualified healthcare professional. 

If you’re considering Spravato® ketamine therapy, we encourage you to reach out to us. Our dedicated team is available to discuss with you the various options we provide and assist in determining the optimal course of action tailored to your specific needs. You can contact us here or call us at 1877-88-MARPA.

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