While people are so fond of talking about alternative medicines today, the reality is some situations just can’t be fixed with an herbal remedy. As great as aloe might be at treating that small burn you got from your stove top, it isn’t going to help a victim of a serious house fire. Similarly, taking those daily vitamin B12 pills might help you have a bit more energy, but they aren’t going to do much if you have been sleep deprived for days. The reality is, medicine is usual the best medicine and when conditions get to be too much to handle, it might be time to admit you need to look towards a clinical treatment for severe depression. Of course, what do you do when even those don’t work? New studies show the use of ketamine for depression can be a real alternative.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of cases of depression throughout the United States, with accepted research suggesting that 13-14 million people suffer from severe depression each year. While most of these receive some type of treatment, there is still a serious concern about ongoing cases. More than this, there are those who take an anti-depressant and still suffer from suicidal thoughts before ultimately taking their own life.
In the last couple of years, a new type of drug has come onto the scene that has the potential to change a lot, especially when it comes to treating suicidal patients. Unlike traditional drugs used to treat depression, ketamine is not being looked at as a long-term option, but rather a way to squelch suicidal thoughts quickly. In fact, initial research, though limited to many smaller studies, has shown that some treated with the drug can be free of those thoughts within an hour or less. After this, doctors are still trying to pinpoint how long the effects can last.
Despite its effectiveness, researchers like Kyle Lapidus, MD, PhD, who happens to be an assistant professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at Stony Brook University, want to stress that it is not some sort of miracle drug. Instead, it is important that after a patient uses ketamine he or she works on treating the psychological, social, environmental and other conditions that might exist to cause the depression in the first place.
Of course, the initial purpose of ketamine had nothing to do with depression. In fact, it might be better known by many doctors as an anesthetic. Outside of the medical community, it has also been abused by party-goers due to its ability to cause hallucinations. Despite this, out-of-the-box thinking by researchers like Kyle Lapidus, MD, PhD have proven that it is more than effective, especially in regards to those suicidal thoughts as mentioned above. On the other hand, it is important to realize current research is still limited to smaller studies, so getting a full understanding of the drug’s effects can take time.
While use of ketamine for depression is still limited, there are a variety of clinics around the country that have started offering this option for more severe cases. If you or a loved one suffers from severe depression and have exhibited suicidal thoughts, finding out about one of these clinics could be life-changing.