Articles about Depression by Lori Calabrese, MD | The Ketamine Blog
The World Health Organization asserts that depression causes more disability worldwide than any other illness. In addition to standing alone as a disabling disorder, it also worsens other illnesses from diabetes, liver disease, heart disease, and brain injuries. We present these articles about depression to show the many ways this disorder is expressed, ways to treat it, and to dispel stigma caused by lack of information.
Depression and stress create a self-defeating cycle. Prolonged stress prunes the synapses, the dendrites attached to them, and the dendritic spines, reducing the network necessary for optimal signaling in the brain. Consequently, thinking slows and outlook darkens. In addition, creativity all but disappears. Depression follows this process, imposing yet more stress on the these all-important signaling structures.
Other structures in the brain enter the process. These structures in turn malfunction and make the symptoms worse. The lateral habenula, the amygdala, the thalamus, and the hippocampus each play a role in depression. By the same token, depression impacts them, too.
Only about a third of people who suffer with depression find relief with traditional antidepressants. These medicines increase neurotransmitters in the brain and eventually increase neuron growth. But the actions of these medicines delay the process and these patients improve slowly. Sometimes, if the first trial with a medication doesn’t help, a different one or combination can help another one third or so of those who didn’t feel better after the first trial. Unfortunately, 33% of people suffering from depression find no relief from these medications. Until recently, they were left with little or no hope of relief for the rest of their lives.
Benefits of Ketamine Treatment
However, ketamine treatment is a novel and advanced treatment that has changed the prognosis for those treatment-resistant patients. Ketamine switches the mRNA to “On” which turns on the DNA to turboboost the brain-derived-neurotrophic-factor (BDNF) that proliferates neuronal growth along with synapses, dendrites, and dendritic spines which play such a vital role in improving signaling throughout the brain.
Another benefit of ketamine is how rapidly it causes the G proteins to slide off the lipid rafts in the cell membrane. This allows them to get back to work enhancing signals. It also causes the cell bursting in the lateral habenula to be dampened. Another process that allows you to experience a sense of reward – and feel better – when something good happens. Basically, ketamine treatment goes to work to help you feel better fast.
Then you enjoy clearer thinking and more creativity. Also a rewarding and upbeat outlook filled with light and joy. Add to that the improved initiative, increased motivation, and hope that makes life worth living again. This remarkable outcome occurs in 65-70% of treatment-resistant patients in general, and much more than that when the treatment is highly personalized. And the results are rapid and robust. Extraordinary.
As you read these articles about depression, keep in mind that there is always hope. Researchers continue to work to find more aspects ketamine’s effects on the brain that can impact the outcome.
In scientific journal letter, Hopkins psychiatrist Adam Kaplin disputes a study claiming ketamine is an opioid. Ketamine has gotten a bad reputation as an opioid—when there’s plenty of evidence suggesting it isn’t one, say Johns Hopkins experts. They believe this misconception may prevent patients from getting necessary treatment for the kinds of depression that don’t respond […]
Stigma Isolates, Humiliates, and Separates As I think about what to write today, my thoughts are filled with a comment I received from a man who’d read last week’s blog, which you can read here. He wrote that he also suffers from bipolar 1 disorder and was upset and hurt by the description of the young […]
Ketamine has gotten a bad rap as an opioid when there’s plenty of evidence suggesting it isn’t one, Johns Hopkins experts say. They believe this reputation may hamper patients from getting necessary treatment for the kinds of depression that don’t respond to typical antidepressants. In a new paper, the researchers clarify the mechanism behind ketamine’s […]
“I don’t care what the &%@!* you think!! It’s all your fault!! I’m outta here!!!” With that, Ben picked up the massive carved oak coffee table and threw it at the window. It hit the window and the wall with a thud, pushing the window frame in a contorted mangle of metal and glass out […]
Know someone who’s suicidal? Or…how about this? Do you know someone you think might be? Is there someone in your life who’s always down, irritable, short-tempered… even jumpy, maybe? Maybe you wish they’d adjust their attitude, or take a chill pill. Sometimes, people can be like this and the problem is that they might be […]
BY M. ALEXANDER OTTO REPORTING FROM APA 2019 SAN FRANCISCO – Serial ketamine infusions eliminated suicidal ideation in more than two-thirds of patients at a psychiatry office in Connecticut but at significantly higher doses than those recently approved for Janssen’s new esketamine nasal spray (Spravato). The patients were treated by Lori V. Calabrese, MD, at […]
When someone commits suicide, you’ll sometimes hear people say, “It makes no sense! She had everything to live for…” Or, “What a selfish thing to do. What about all the people who loved him? What about his kids…his wife..?” But this sort of tragedy isn’t about selfishness. To grasp what happens with your suicidal loved […]
Treatment can help anxious moms relax and enjoy their babies. Jill was so excited to be pregnant. She’d waited for 4 years after she and Joe were married to start trying. She was just elated three months later when a home pregnancy test showed those two little lines. She was pregnant! Even the slightest thought of […]
Time magazine recently offered a Special Edition on mental health… Did you see it? The article about depression treatment – and ketamine specifically – by Mandy Oaklander published in July 2017, was reprinted for this special edition. The title of the special edition is “A New Understanding”…but since the article Oaklander wrote is two years old, […]
No Wonder Treatment Resistance Has Been Such a Mystery! Clue: Look in the Cerebral Spinal Fluid! A man in his forties, Greg had never experienced life without depression. Treating mood disorders didn’t seem to be his psychiatrist’s forte. (Oh boy…) At least not in his case. Every accomplishment, every failure, struggled for expression beneath the […]