How long will the therapeutic effect of ketamine therapy last for depression symptoms?
An intravenous infusion of ketamine can be highly effective for treating depressive symptoms. When traditional treatments have failed, IV therapy at a ketamine clinic Maryland is an excellent option for an alternative depression treatment.
While most medications for depressive disorder must be taken on a daily basis, Ketamine IV infusion is typically given weekly for a series of 6–8 treatments. Some patients will continue coming in for occasional maintenance therapy.
Ketamine infusion treatment is quickly becoming the gold standard for treatment resistant depression. One aspect that many patients appreciate is that infusion therapy offers long-lasting relief from depression and other mood disorders.
After a single infusion, the patient will likely notice an improvement in mood with less depression, less anxiety, and fewer suicidal thoughts. After successive infusions, the symptoms will progressively improve.
After a series of weekly infusions, patients may notice ongoing depression relief, for weeks, months, or even years. Ketamine therapy is ideal for allowing the brain to heal from the effects of lifelong depression.
Is it true that treating depression requires an antidepressant medication for life?
When a psychiatrist prescribes antidepressant drugs for a psychiatric disorder, they often intend for the patient to take medications for life. Rarely is there a plan to taper the patient off of their psych medication.
Are they right to want to keep patients medicated indefinitely? Does depression last forever?
Most psychiatrists play it safe by keeping their patients medicated long-term. Once they consider a patient to be stable, they do not want to take any chances.
Unfortunately, many patients do not need lifelong depression treatment. If they were able to get medical therapy that promoted brain healing, they would not need to take antidepressant drugs, such as SSRIs, forever.
Ketamine infusion therapy is brain healing therapy. It promotes improved functioning and improved connections throughout the central nervous system.
Traditional therapies, such as SSRIs, create drug dependency, while only providing temporary relief. Patients get stuck on depression meds that do not work, and then they have a hard time getting off of them.
Ketamine treatment makes it possible to move forward, towards living a life that is depression-free, and medication-free. Patients have less depression, and they do not have to worry about drug dependency or drug withdrawal symptoms.
When comparing antidepressant medications vs ketamine therapy, consider that many antidepressants carry black box warnings from the FDA about the risk of suicidal ideation. Ketamine, on the other hand, is used to treat suicidal ideation.
Does ketamine therapy provide permanent relief from chronic pain or neuropathic pain?
Intravenous ketamine does provide lasting relief from chronic pain and neuropathic pain. The goal of the initial infusions is to make the pain more tolerable. Ongoing ketamine infusion therapy will help the patient to move forward towards pain-free living.
If you suffer from a chronic pain condition, then you know that traditional pain meds do not provide lasting relief. Pain pills do not promote healing. They simply cover up the problem.
Traditional pain medication can only offer relief for up to several hours. Opioids and anti-inflammatory pills work by masking the pain for a short time.
Ketamine therapy, on the other hand, gets to the root of the problem. Chronic pain is in the brain. By promoting brain healing at the level of neuronal dendritic connections, ketamine offers a much longer-lasting solution.
Some patients reach a state after a single series of infusions where they are satisfied with the results. Others may choose to return for additional treatments to improve their pain relief state further.
How is chronic pain connected to severe depression?
While chronic pain is not a mental health condition, it is linked to various mental health diagnoses. These include depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, and suicidality.
The reason for this connection is clear. When intractable pain disrupts a person’s life relentlessly, it becomes deeply disturbing, psychologically.
Patients with chronic pain syndromes know how it feels to have pain care withheld. In recent years, authorities have cracked down on opioid prescribing, leading doctors to cut dosages drastically, or stop pain treatment cold turkey.
Unfortunately, when chronic pain treatment is withdrawn suddenly, the patient may enter a state of depression and hopelessness. After getting their pain under control, they are now forced to suffer again, in pain.
Under treated or untreated pain leads to depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and it can exacerbate existing mental illness. Fortunately, ketamine infusion therapy for chronic pain can offer hope, as well as emotional and psychological healing.
Ketamine therapy vs TMS therapy: Which is better for chronic pain or depression?
Because of the close connection between depression and chronic pain, it is possible to improve a person’s pain tolerance by treating their depression. TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy, is a treatment that is highly effective for lasting reduction of depressive symptoms.
While TMS is not currently approved for the treatment of chronic pain, it does improve functioning and quality of life for people who live with pain. Comparing TMS vs ketamine therapy is not easy, because it depends on the individual patient, and how they experience pain.
Each person is unique in their experience of chronic pain and depression. One patient may respond better to ketamine, and another may do better with TMS.
For patients who have serious issues with both chronic pain and depression, it is possible to get TMS and ketamine concurrently, or simultaneously. Combined ketamine and TMS therapy has a very high success rate in treating treatment resistant depression and chronic pain.
Patients who receive both treatments may experience longer-lasting relief compared to patients who receive either TMS or ketamine alone. Whichever treatment is provided to the patient, whether it is a single therapy or combined therapy, both options offer lasting improvement and better quality of life.
How can ketamine integration therapy help achieve longer lasting benefits of ketamine infusion treatments?
Ketamine is a medication that provides direct treatment of depression. The mechanism is through growth of new connections in the brain and improved functioning of the GABA and glutamate systems.
In order to feel better with fewer depressive symptoms, a person can attend a ketamine clinic weekly for a series of infusions. Even if they do not receive therapy or counseling, the medication works to improve the patient’s symptoms and sense of wellbeing.
However, traditional psychotherapy does improve the long-term results of ketamine therapy. Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy works better than infusion treatments alone.
In addition to traditional psychological techniques, such as CBT, motivational interviewing, and other therapies, there is also integration counseling. During and after an infusion session, the patient may reveal deep insight into their personal experience of depression.
While ketamine is different from most psychedelic substances, it is possible to achieve a state of self-awareness that can help a person to untangle deep-set issues relating to past traumas.
An integrationist, or integration counselor, is a person trained to work with a ketamine patient to better understand the experience. They help the patient to make the best use of insights obtained during the infusion session.
Is ketamine infusion therapy better than Spravato for depression?
Spravato is a nasal spray that contains esketamine, a single isomer of the ketamine molecule. While most ketamine treatments are currently considered to be “off-label”, Spravato has full FDA approval for treatment resistant depression.
The advantage of an approved therapy is that health insurance companies will cover treatment. Off-label therapies are usually not covered.
Other than insurance coverage, what are the differences? Spravato is a nasal spray that is sprayed in the patient’s nose in a psychiatrist’s office on a weekly basis.
The Spravato dosage is low, with fewer dissociative effects. A patient who receives Spravato must get treated on a weekly basis indefinitely for best results.
When the patient stops Spravato, their depression may return within a short time. While it is good to have multiple treatment options, a ketamine infusion series is considered to be superior to Spravato therapy.
Fortunately, Spravato patients may choose at any time to switch over to infusion therapy. If the patient finds that Spravato is not working adequately, they may request a change of therapy in order to experience the full, long-lasting benefits of ketamine IV infusion therapy for depression.
For patients who suffer from both chronic pain and depression, IV ketamine is the preferred treatment over Spravato. When both pain and depression are present, it is important to choose a therapy that addresses both issues.