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.
“I’m so depressed. Starbucks is out of almond milk for my macchiato. Now what?” “My hair grows so sloooowlyyyyyy…. it’s just depressing…” “Oh my gosh, you’re so OCD…look at your closet! What’s the matter with you, girl?” We live in a world where words like “depression” or “OCD” are thrown around as often as a […]
Mother’s Week Did you enjoy Mother’s Day? Maybe you celebrated the day, or maybe it was a weekend whirlwind, but I’m hoping the people in your world have been celebrating the moms they love and appreciate all week long! If you’re a mom, you know what mean. No gesture is too small. But even if you’re […]
Can You See It? Teenagers can be so unbelievably moody. Well … a far more palatable word for it is reactive. Overreactive (like yelling that brings the house down), intensely reactive (meltdowns that go on for hours, leave a hole in the drywall, or tear the room apart), egregiously reactive (with threats to jump off […]
I could use some of that. We hear that all the time. Relief, relaxation and relishing your life can sound so far away … but it doesn’t have to be. As word gets out about IV ketamine treatment for depression and other psychiatric mood disorders, more and more studies are emerging. New information is surfacing […]
Ever have somebody copy you? You know, try to be like you? Imitate what you do, where you go? try to get what you have? They wannabe like you. Well, maybe not just exactly like you — kind of like you and better than you all at the same time. It’s happening with ketamine. We’ve been talking […]
IV Ketamine and Treatment-Resistant Mood Disorders After reading today about a beautiful young man – let’s call him Tom – whose life ended tragically at the crossroads of despair, I started thinking. Like many of my own patients, he had a wondrously warm and giving heart — and a compassionate heart the size of Montana for […]
Excitement about IV Ketamine Recently, I shared my perspective about the consensus statement released by the American Psychiatric Association’s Council of Research on Novel Biomarkers and Treatments Task Force. Their statement was about the use of IV ketamine for treating mood and other psychiatric disorders. That Task Force, in its consensus statement, assured members of the […]
Do you know someone who’s been listless and hopeless for a really long time? More than weeks or even months … someone who’s been taking antidepressants for years, and has never really felt better? Have you noticed how years of despair affects a person’s outlook so deeply that their personality seems to change? Clare’s story Take Clare. […]
JAMA: “Ketamine for Depression” Buzz The mental health community is all a-buzz about IV ketamine for treating depression and other psychiatric disorders, and for good reason. For the first time, people who’ve been treated without success for years are experiencing relief and enjoying their lives. For anyone who has suffered from psychiatric disorders without relief […]
Why do we always talk about IV ketamine for treatment-resistant depression, rather than just ketamine? Can’t we give it any old way…ketamine IV, IM, or IN for depression? Why is it so important that it be given as an intravenous infusion, rather than as an intramuscular injection or an intranasal spray? Ketamine IV, IM, or IN […]