The Dangers of Depression
If you suffer from extended periods of anxiety, sleeplessness, agitation, or forgetfulness, you may be experiencing the first signs of depression. If left untreated, this mental illness can have potentially devastating consequences – an increased risk of heart disease, substance abuse, and other mental disorders. Nearly 15 million Americans suffer from depression every year, including men, women, and children – but the key to recovery is available through psychotherapy and options like ketamine infusion therapy.
What is Depression?
Per the Mayo Clinic, depression is greater than a weakness to be overthrown: “Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called a major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think, and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.”
What is Ketamine?
According to Harvard Medical School: “The drug ketamine is a promising treatment for some people with major depression. It can be given as an IV infusion or a nasal spray. Because it works quickly, it could be an important tool in helping people who are suicidal.” The drug was originally used as a battlefield anesthetic during Vietnam but has evolved into a treatment therapy for mental health disorders and their symptoms, like sadness, agitation, irritability.
How Does Ketamine Therapy for Depression Treatment Work?
When dispensed via infusion therapy, ketamine is known to work quickly, within one or two sessions – far quicker than other kinds of medications such as antidepressants. The drug should never be administered by anyone other than a physician or licensed clinician, and never outside of a doctor’s office or clinic.
In 2019, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration approved a ketamine-derived drug called esketamine, the first time a new drug had been greenlit to treat depression in decades. In this case, it is dispensed as a nasal spray and offers similar therapeutic benefits in fighting depression as IV ketamine infusion.
Complications of Depression
Depression is a severe mental health disorder that affects millions of people globally without discrimination. The condition can have a horrendous toll on you and your loved ones. Depression often worsens if it is not treated in a timely fashion, resulting in behavioral, emotional, and health troubles that affect all aspects of your life. The condition may necessitate long-term treatment. But leave discouragement out of the picture. Most people suffering from depression feel healthier with psychotherapy, medication, or both.
Examples of complications related to depression include:
Excess obesity or weight, which can result in diabetes and heart disease
Physical illness or pain
Drug or alcohol misuse
Anxiety, social phobia, or panic disorder
Family disputes, relationship troubles, and school or work problems
Suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or suicide
Self-mutilation, like cutting yourself
Early death from medical issues.
Symptoms of Depression
The warning signs of depression are different for everyone, often driven by a combination of current mental and physical health, and the stressors of daily life. Symptoms of depression can include any of the following, either by themselves or combined:
- Constant anxiety or sadness
- Low moods
- Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and pastimes
- Tiredness or low energy
- Moving or talking slowly
- You have trouble sitting still
- You have problems remembering, concentrating, decision making
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Changes in appetite, diet, weight
- You are preoccupied with suicide or death
How Is Depression Diagnosed?
Like other mental health disorders, depression is normally diagnosed in a doctor’s office or by a clinician and may include any or all of these four components:
- A physical exam performed by a medical doctor or licensed healthcare professional to eliminate any medical issues resulting in symptoms. You will be asked about personal and family medical history.
- A mental health evaluation performed by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other licensed mental health professional. You will be asked about your feelings, thoughts, and behavior problems in detail.
- Reviewing a record of your daily moods.
- Reviewing the DSM-5 to gauge criteria for the illness.
Is Ketamine A Viable Treatment Option for You?
Depression is a severe but treatable mental health illness whose symptoms like sleeplessness, agitation, anger, and worry should not be ignored. It is not something to be ashamed of.
If you or a loved one needs help with depression, ask your doctor or therapist today about treatment options which might present the greatest chance of success for your condition, including the use of esketamine nasal spray or IV ketamine infusion therapy to help with your depression.