Does ketamine infusion therapy work well as a postpartum depression treatment?
According to the World Health Organization, at least 13% of women experience depression after giving birth. The real number is likely much higher.
In fact, as many as one in five women who have given birth experience postpartum depression symptoms. Maternal depression, or the postpartum blues, can lead to significant consequences.
New mothers with severe postpartum depression may contemplate suicide. They often experience mood swings, intrusive thoughts, and other depressive symptoms.
Postpartum depression can lead to marital conflicts that may end in separation or divorce. Women who have recently given birth and are experiencing depression often feel fatigued, and have a feeling of worthlessness.
Conventional treatments often fail to provide adequate symptom relief. Traditional antidepressants, such as Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, and others simply do not work in many cases. When a traditional antidepressant medication regimen does not work, the patient may be diagnosed with treatment resistant depression.
Women who have experienced prenatal depression, or have a history of depressive disorder or another mood disorder may be at higher risk of developing postpartum depression. Fortunately, ketamine assisted psychotherapy, a treatment that combines IV ketamine therapy at a ketamine clinic with psychotherapy, may be able to help.
Ketamine IV therapy works well for mental health issues and chronic pain.
Ketamine treatment is already being used for treatment resistant depression, suicidality, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, addiction, bipolar disorder, migraines, and chronic pain. Ketamine doctors have continued to discover new uses for this treatment option.
For example, we already knew that ketamine worked well for chronic pain and neuropathic pain. But, more recently, doctors have discovered that the IV infusion therapy works particularly well for conditions such as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), chronic Lyme disease pain, and fibromyalgia.
Similarly, it has been well established that ketamine infusion treatments work exceptionally well for treating depression and suicidality. Not surprisingly, the same IV infusion of ketamine, combined with talk therapy, also works quite well for postpartum depression, often providing rapid relief.
Postpartum depression often causes the patient to experience suicidal thoughts, combined with a high depression score. Patients who have had a cesarean delivery are at higher risk of postpartum depression.
When a series of ketamine infusions is given to a patient with postpartum depression, suicidal ideation is reduced or eliminated, and the patient’s mood is greatly improved. With improved symptoms, the patient is better able to interact with her newborn.
Is ketamine therapy safe during pregnancy and after pregnancy?
While ketamine is considered to be a safe drug, it has not been studied extensively in pregnant women. Hence, the recommendation is to avoid ketamine therapy during pregnancy, if possible.
Women who are interested in getting ketamine therapy while breastfeeding should speak with their pediatrician about the potential risks of breastfeeding during ketamine treatments.
Fortunately, ketamine sessions are provided over a short period of time, often two weeks. Because of the short window of therapy, patients do not have to worry about having ketamine in their systems long-term.
Because of the long-lasting efficacy of therapy and the effects of neurogenesis, or brain growth, ongoing ketamine infusions are not necessary in most cases. One of the best features of ketamine for postpartum depression is that the treatment may be completed within 2–4 weeks, without the need for further treatments for an extended period of time.
Ketamine is safer than many other FDA-approved medications, and, unlike traditional antidepressants, it does not have to be taken on a daily basis. While doctors and patients must always consider the risks, benefits, and alternatives of any therapy, ketamine is an excellent choice, based on its efficacy and safety profile.
Is ketamine for postpartum depression compatible with other therapies for depression?
Of course, ketamine works very well with psychotherapy. In fact, ketamine patients will get the most benefit from treatment by attending therapy sessions during and after an infusion series.
In addition to psychotherapy, some patients will benefit from transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS. TMS is a safe and effective treatment for depression that uses a magnetic field to generate a mild electrical field in a precise deep region of the brain.
TMS shows great promise in treating postpartum depression, and TMS is compatible with ketamine infusion therapy. Some clinics provide combined ketamine and TMS treatment sessions.
In some cases, TMS will be the therapy of choice, and in others, ketamine is the ideal treatment. While not all patients will choose to schedule both ketamine assisted therapy and TMS together, the option is available to qualifying patients.
Does your ketamine provider offer TMS therapy? TMS is only offered in specialized treatment centers, including The Mood Wellness Center in Annapolis, MD.
Read More: How Many Ketamine Infusions Do You Need?
When is the best time to consider ketamine infusion therapy for postpartum depression?
Postpartum depression may start before birth, just after birth, or even weeks, months, or up to a year after giving birth. The onset of postpartum depression is unpredictable.
Often, when the symptoms start, the person may want to keep quiet about it. She would rather not bother anyone with her feelings of sadness and fatigue. She hopes that it will just go away.
Unfortunately, the symptoms often do not resolve spontaneously. The depressive symptoms progressively worsen over time.
The best approach is to address depressive symptoms early on, before they become a more serious problem. Rather than waiting until the depressive feelings are unbearable, it is best to initiate therapy sooner, to prevent things from getting worse.
In some cases, talk therapy is the best place to start. Medication therapy is not always necessary, if the patient presents early for evaluation and treatment.
However, when the need for medical treatment arises, ketamine for depression Annapolis is an excellent way to reduce and eliminate the symptoms of postpartum depression. If you or a loved one is concerned about the possibility of depression after childbirth, please consider ketamine-assisted therapy for postpartum depression.