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Author: Dr. Irfan Handoo

Should You Try Ketamine Therapy?

Living with treatment-resistant mood disorders can make the days seem long and hope for treatment futile. Despite past treatment efforts, advice from the internet, or any herbal recipes you may have stumbled upon, nothing is sticking. Maybe dieting or lifestyle changes helped for a little while, but you always seem to take one step forward, three steps back. There is hope, though: ketamine infusion therapy. 

What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a powerful anesthetic that was first used around the early 1960s, and gained popularity by treating wounded U.S. combat troops fighting in Vietnam. Since that time, scientists have discovered that it has additional medicinal value. Besides its use for anesthesia, the medicine is a fast-acting treatment option for symptoms of mood disorders like depression and chronic pain conditions, which may not always respond well to other treatments or therapy.

Ketamine & The Brain

While most antidepressants target one of the “monoamine” neurotransmitters, like serotonin, norepinephrine, or dopamine, ketamine has in its crosshair glutamate, your brain’s most common excitatory chemical messenger. While controlling the brain’s means to handle cognitive ideas, emotions, and neuroplasticity, glutamate encourages and strengthens synaptic networks. It also has a critical role in overall cognition – how you learn, remember, and react to experiences. Ketamine is believed to support and repair damaged or weakened neurotransmitters like glutamate.

Conditions Treatable With Ketamine

Ketamine has been used for years to treat the symptoms of many pain and mental health conditions, which for some people, become chronic conditions. A condition is classified as chronic when it fails to respond to two or more treatment options. Ketamine is used to treat several conditions:

  • Depression (major depressive disorder)
  • Anxiety symptoms like fear, avoidance, sleep issues, and eating problems
  • Bipolar disorder, which features emotional highs and lows
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Trauma from past abuse
  • Suicidal ideation

Should You Try Ketamine Therapy?

If you are currently living with a diagnosed mental illness and have yet to find a treatment option that works for you and your symptoms, ketamine infusion therapy may just be the treatment you’ve been searching for.  

The Benefits of Ketamine

  • Ketamine has a “robust and rapid effect” on depression.
  • Ketamine infusions are quickly becoming one of the most popular treatment options for various disorders, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and bipolar disorder.
  • It may also lower inflammation in the brain and boost stress resilience.
  • Ketamine has been approved to treat depression and works particularly well with “treatment-resistant depression.”

Are There Side Effects?

One of the most commonly reported side effects of ketamine is dissociation. This disconnection effect actually aids the treatment and delivers a positive response to ketamine therapy for many patients. This is all an ordinary component of the treatment. 

Final Thoughts

If you are living with treatment-resistant symptoms stemming from a mental illness, please contact Dr. Handoo at his clinic about the benefits of ketamine therapy.

Ketamine Treatments to Help You Improve your Mental Health

Depression is one of the most common mood disorders, affecting over 264 million people worldwide.  Recent studies have shown that nearly 100 million Americans have had elevated levels of depression since the pandemic.

The widespread prevalence of Major Depressive Disorder has led to the research and development of multiple treatments, the most common of which are psychotherapy and medicines. However, in some instances, neither of those treatments work, making it necessary for the patients to seek alternate treatments. One of the most effective alternative treatments for depression has been IV Ketamine Treatments.

What Is Ketamine Treatment?

The drug, which gained infamy for its misuse in parties, has surprisingly shown to be extremely useful in treating depression under medical supervision.

IV Ketamine Treatments  focus on using the body’s reaction to the drug to treat depression rather than relying on its effects while it is in the system. Ketamine triggers reactions in the cortex, prompting it to regrow neuronal connections.

 

The Procedure

The typical Ketamine Treatment involves administering an infusion of IV ketamine to the patient intravenously for a 40-minute period. Research and observations show that the drug has a rapid response against severe symptoms of depression, which persists even after the drug exits the symptoms.

This response rate proves ketamine’s ability to bring sustainable improvement to the patient, both immediately and over time, and relieve them from depression.

Cautions

While Ketamine is effective as an alternative treatment for depression, it is also an addictive drug and should not be used without a doctor’s supervision. Ketamine treatment also triggers some of the following responses in the body, and these are considered normal side effects of the drug:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Temporary perceptual impairment
  • Possible feelings of dissociation

However, these side effects are temporary and dissipate quickly.

 

Conclusion

IV Ketamine Treatments are an extremely effective treatment for patients suffering from severe depression who have not responded to the typical treatments. It has shown promise, and there is ongoing research to further understand exactly how ketamine changes the brain to help suppress depressive symptoms.

Dr. Handoo has performed IV ketamine treatments for hundreds of patients over the years and is a member of the American Society of Ketamine Physicians. He is in touch with leading ketamine providers across the country and is one of the most experienced ketamine psychiatrists in the region.

We are dedicated to providing the best possible assistance to patients suffering from depression and will ensure you get the best treatment possible.

Alternative Treatments for Depression–TMS and IV Ketamine Treatments

More than 264 million people around the world have depression, making it one of the most common mental health disorders. Depression has also been the leading cause of suicide among teenagers and young adults, known to disrupt the lives of patients who have it.

The more common treatments for depression are psychotherapy and antidepressants, but their inability to treat all patients led to research for alternative treatments. These researches resulted in the discovery of two successful alternate treatments for depression, more commonly known as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and IV Ketamine Treatments.

However, before explaining how these two methods help treat depression, let’s first briefly explore what depression is.

Depression

Depression is one of the most common mood disorders, which leads patients to experience persistent sadness and loss of interest in routine life. In severe cases, it can seriously disrupt the patient’s ability to engage in daily tasks and functioning.

Common Symptoms

Depression can make the patient experience a range of symptoms, the most common of which are listed below:

  • Sadness and emptiness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and routine activities
  • Insomnia or disturbed sleeping patterns
  • Anxiety and restlessness
  • Chronic physical pain

In its most severe form, depression can also make patients suicidal, which makes it especially dangerous.

Treating Depression through TMS

TMS is an alternate treatment for depression that uses electromagnetic waves to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to alleviate symptoms of depression.

How it Works

Since depression largely impacts the amygdala, thalamus, and hippocampus, treating depression through TMS involves directing electromagnetic waves towards these areas of the brain. The stimulation pushes the nerve cells in the region to help ease symptoms.

Treating Depression Through IV Ketamine Treatments

Ketamine is a notorious drug that became popular for its misuse in clubs and during parties. However, during various studies regarding mental health, researchers discovered that Ketamine effectively treats mood disorders.

How it Works

Ketamine treatment involves injecting IV ketamine into the patient during a session that lasts 40 minutes. Ketamine treatment is effective because it immediately alleviates the symptoms and blocks NMDA receptors to activate glutamate, repairing areas of the brain causing depressive symptoms. Hence, the patient does not need ketamine to always be present in the system to find relief.

Important Advice

Both these treatments are employed only when a patient does not respond to regular treatments for depression and should only be done under a certified doctor’s supervision.

Conclusion

To conclude, alternate treatments for depression like TMS and IV Ketamine Treatments have successfully  helped patients who were unable to find relief through the regular methods. They work by stimulating the dorsolateral frontal cortex of the brain as with TMS, or blocking NMDA receptors to active glutamate, as with IV ketamine treatments.

If you are suffering from depression and seeking help, please contact us and schedule a session with us.

 

Ketamine Treatments

Ketamine is something that is well-known to many. In some cases, ketamine has gotten a bad reputation. Just like any other medication, some people choose to misuse them, however, this shouldn’t outweigh the good that they can do over the bad. 

When it comes to examining ketamine, there has been a recent breakthrough that suggests that Ketamine Treatments and help with treatment-resistant depression. This is a much-welcomed breakthrough that according to Dr Thomas Insel, the former director of the National Institutes of Mental Health is “perhaps the most important breakthrough in antidepressant treatment in decades,”.

There have been numerous clinical trials that have shown that Ketamine can help significantly with patients who suffer from suicidal thoughts and severe depressive symptoms where another medical treatment has failed. Ketamine treatments have now been used extensively all across the United States for over the past 15 years to help with depression. 

There are currently 2 different ways to administer ketamine–IV ketamine treatments, and intranasal ketamine (Spravato), which was FDA approved in 2019.

There have been studies to show that Ketamine produces a sustained and rapid reduction in severe depression symptoms and is usually given as a single intravenous infusion over a 40 minute period. It has been shown that it helps by blocking NMDA receptors for glutamate, a different mechanism from most modern antidepressants that work on other target areas. 

When going through treatment the majority of patients recover within 30 minutes then head home, driven by a family member or friend. You can’t drive on the day of treatment. On average patients have 6 infusions, and many notice a dramatic difference after just 2-3 treatments. 

Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues and it affects 18.1% of the population every year. In the past, people did not always recognize their anxiety as a mental health issue, but in recent years, our understanding of the condition has improved a lot. If you feel that you may be suffering from anxiety, you should look into your options for anxiety treatment in Kansas City. Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to spot the signs of anxiety and they don’t realize that there is an issue. These are some of the symptoms you should watch out for. 

Excessive Worrying 

It’s normal to worry about things from time to time, but if you find that you are constantly worried about small things and this stops you from concentrating on other things, you may have anxiety. Often, the worry is disproportionate and simple everyday tasks or events cause excessive worrying. 

Agitation 

Anxiety has a physical effect on the body, so you may feel very agitated. If you find it difficult to concentrate or sit still, or you have sweaty palms and a racing heart, that could be a sign that you are suffering from anxiety. 

Panic Attacks 

Panic attacks are a severe manifestation of anxiety disorder and they create an overwhelming sense of fear and panic. Panic attacks are debilitating and if you experience them, you need to look for anxiety treatment.  

Avoiding Social Situations

Social anxiety is a specific form of anxiety that leads to excessive worrying and nervousness about social situations. If you find it difficult to manage stress when you are with a group of people and this causes you to avoid social situations, you may have an anxiety disorder. 

If you notice one or more of these symptoms, it is important that you seek help from anxiety treatment services.

Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses

Major depression is one of the most common mental illnesses facing people worldwide and for those who don’t like to take medications, it can be a battle to find something that alleviates symptoms. Sometimes people who take medications regularly as well as therapy, still find that their symptoms persist. When quality of life is diminished, it is time to make a stand. 

There are however, some modern and alternative methods of treatment that can offer hope today and one of those is TMS otherwise known as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. This is an innovative approach that has been pioneered over the past few years and it is becoming a benefit form of treatment for depression. It works as a therapeutic approach to depression that uses magnetic devices to stimulate nerves in regions of the brain. It is often used when the other forms of treatment have failed. 


TMS sends a series of magnetic pulses to a patient’s brain, repeatedly over the space of a thirty minute session. It does not require anesthesia, it rarely reports any type of side effects, and the results can be felt immediately. However, most patients require a few months worth of treatment before they begin to feel a real change in their mindset. Although this treatment is only in its infancy, there is growing evidence that suggests that TMS can be beneficial and useful among a plethora of conditions, including bipolar and PTSD. It’s important for anyone suffering with long term mental health problems, to consider all options for a healthier future.

TMS Kansas City

TMS stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. It’s a recent treatment for depression that has been revolutionizing the field of clinical psychiatry. It’s FDA Approved for the treatment of depression since 2008. It’s now used extensively across the world as a successful treatment for depression.

At times there are patients that don’t respond to standard medical treatment for depression such as antidepressants, or patients who have side effects that are frequently caused by these types of medications that they just don’t want to experience any longer. The treatment consists of 6 weeks of non-invasive, in-office treatments that take place 5 days a week for a total of 30 treatments.

This non-invasive method of treatment stimulates the neuromuscular tissue using strong, time-varying magnetic fields to induce electrical currents. Instead of using invasive electrical currents like in electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), TMS stimulates the dorsolateral precontral cortex. The pulse that you will experience is much like what you would experience in a regular MRI. It works to help depression in both short-term and long-term, and the benefits have been proven to last for many years.    

TMS is an effective and non-invasive treatment that patients can drive home after. One of the biggest advantages of TMS treatment is that there are no side effects like you find with medications, such as nausea, weight gain, dry mouth or decreased sex drive.  As a result of TMS, many patients’ mood, energy, and concentration have significantly improved, and many patients have been able to taper off medications after finishing TMS, no longer needing to be on a long list of medications. TMS is FDA-approved and covered by all insurances, and has dramatically improved depression for tens of thousands of patients over the years.

5 Common Ketamine Myths

Common Ketamine Myths

1. Ketamine Doesn’t Treat Depression

There is no uniform treatment for all patients with depression. Before you start your ketamine treatment, you will be asked to provide your medical history and details about the past therapies that you had, so that your doctor can provide you with proper treatment. In most cases, people get the drug from clinics that don’t have the proper medical staff. For the drug to effectively treat treatment-resistant depression, you should consult a medical professional to find out the correct dosage. Just like any other drug, ketamine is not given at the same dosage.

2. Ketamine Is Bad

The most common myth relating to ketamine is that it has some life-threatening effects. Reports that suggest that some lethal side effects are associated with the drug omit a critical point that those people took ketamine in large doses and without any medical supervision. Any drug would turn lethal if it is taken more than prescribed or without doctor’s advice. The drug is revolutionary when it comes to treating depression. The key, however, is to use it responsibly.

3. A Tranquilizer For Animals

While it’s true that veterinary hospitals use ketamine to sedate large anumals like horses, its use is not limited to animals. In fact, many vets use this medicine to sedate large dogs as well. There are so many human medicines that you can safely administer to animals. The statement that ketamine is a tranquilizer for animals has no basis at all.

4. Ketamine Is Dangerous

This is the extension of what we discussed above. Any drug which is misused is dangerous for human consumption. Large doses of ketamine may result in harmful side effects such as psychosis, memory loss, and unconsciousness. When you consult with a medical professional, they will give you the exact amount of dose that your body can handle, to ensure that you don’t have to encounter any side effects.   

5. It Is a Recreational Drug

Ketamine was once the life of bars and late-night parties. However, the fact that the drug made people wobbly or high is mostly due to the misuse of the drug. Previously approved as anesthesia in by the FDA, the authorities approved the drug for treating depression in 2019. This drug is not a party drug anymore and is wildly being accepted in medical settings as a vital player in contributing to mental health improvements.

The Final Word

There is no denying that ketamine has shown wonderful results when it comes to tackling treatment-resistant depression. It is a safe drug to use, provided that you consult with your doctor before using it.

What is TMS and Does it Work?

Depression affects more than 17 million adults in America. It’s one of the leading causes of disability in the country. Many people start the treatment for it, but at times, end up feeling more miserable than before. That happens because antidepressants and psychotherapy do not work for everyone. Approximately two-thirds of people who try antidepressants don’t get enough relief.

In some cases, depression can be so severe and stubborn that it doesn’t dissipate even after a patient has been on antidepressants for months. For such patients, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a ray of sunshine.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or TMS is a noninvasive procedure that exposes some parts of the brain to electromagnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells. The process is typically performed by a doctor who holds up an electromagnetic coil near the front of the patient’s head. This creates a magnetic field around the left prefrontal cortex in the brain, which is responsible for the symptoms of depression in a person.

The field that’s generated through the coil sends an electric current to the brain and helps release certain chemicals. Those chemicals, over time, elevate the mood.

This therapy is usually performed five times a week. And doctors recommend patients to get at least 30 sessions for better results. It has proven to be effective in the past. About 50-60% of people with depression, who had failed to receive any form of relief through the old methods to treat it, experienced a reduction in their symptoms after using TMS therapy.

The ABCs of Ketamine Treatment for Depression

FDA approved ketamine in the 70s. While it’s been used in hospitals during surgical procedures for decades, it’s now being used for treating persistent depression and other extreme psychological conditions. But is it ketamine safe? If so, who is eligible to use ketamine, and to what degree? Let’s find out.

When a person has depression, the most go-to interventions used for their treatment are psychotherapeutic such as CBT. Aside from therapy, patients are also given antidepressants such as Zoloft, Sert, Prozac, etc. But unfortunately, only a handful of people respond to antidepressant pills. And when a person doesn’t respond to this class of medicine for more than two trials, they are then diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression. No matter how many bottles of pills they empty, it’s not going to help them. After reaching this dead-end during the treatment of depression, doctors go for a different route, which doesn’t involve working with monoamines such as dopamine. The new route uses another kind of chemical in the brain to facilitate happiness. And that chemical/neurotransmitter is called glutamate, which works off of the NMDA receptor.

So what ketamine does is that it attaches itself to the NMDA receptors, which target glutamate. This entire process works to elevate the user’s mood.

Ketamine has a lousy reputation for abuse because it’s a powerful drug that can cause addiction if taken in high amounts. But, in minimal doses (that don’t put a person to sleep), it provides rapid relief for depression and leads to profound changes in the symptoms of depression.

If a person has tried the traditional means of treating depression, but nothing has worked for them, then they might have treatment-resistant depression. Ketamine is a modern mental health treatment to manage that.

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