Depression is debilitating. It’s hard to walk through life with the weight of chronic depression. And if you’ve suffered from this condition for years, you’ve most likely tried a long list of medications (from Paxil to Lexapro, Zoloft, Klonopin, and more). Often, these medications help — that is, until they stop helping. This process of trying to find the right medication can last for years, and sometimes, patients end up losing hope that anything will work. 

Many patients dealing with major depression or treatment-resistant depression need another option. If conventional antidepressants such as SSRIs aren’t working for you, or aren’t working fast enough, ketamine infusions can be an effective option. Ketamine effectively improves depressive symptoms in 40-60% of patients, and it is a safe, innovative depression treatment that changes — and saves — lives.

We started Karitas Ketamine Clinic because we recognized that our patients suffering from depression were being left without good, affordable, treatment options. Using ketamine for depression can have a multitude of benefits, and we see the positive impact ketamine infusions can have every single day in our West Covina Clinic. Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of ketamine for depression and get in touch today to find out whether ketamine infusions are right for you. 

Why Ketamine?

Ketamine is one of the first truly new treatment options for depression. It has been hailed as a “miracle drug” and researchers, doctors, and patients alike are impressed by the drug’s rapid effects. In fact, studies, like this one published in the Annual Review of Medicine, have shown that ketamine infusions (delivered through an IV) can relieve the symptoms of depression within hours. Ketamine for depression is an especially good option for people who have treatment-resistant depression. It also is a good option for those who are suicidal and don’t have time to wait for another medication to start working. Ketamine can, and should, be used alongside other medications and forms of treatment such as psychotherapy. 

While there is still a lot still to be learned about ketamine infusions and ketamine for depression, there are clinics like Karitas Ketamine Clinic in West Covina that are providing patients with safe, affordable ways to access this life-changing treatment. Thousands of people are coming to clinics and finding the relief they’ve been seeking for years. And while insurance does not currently cover ketamine infusions, we are committed to offering affordable ketamine treatments because we know how important this medication is for our patients. 

Ketamine for depression basics:

  • At our clinic, ketamine is administered intravenously (aka,via an IV drip). 
  • When ketamine infusions work, patients usually respond within one to three infusions. If you don’t experience any improvement, further ketamine infusions are unlikely to help.
  • A much lower dose of ketamine is administered in depression treatments as compared to the dose used for anesthesia purposes, which means you’ll be awake the whole time!
  • Like many medications, ketamine does have addictive properties, so if you have a history of substance abuse, it’s important to talk with your doctor and our ketamine clinic staff to discuss whether ketamine for depression is right for you.

If you’d like more information, visit our FAQs page!

Ketamine vs. SSRIs

Ketamine works in a completely different way than SSRIs. The theory behind SSRIs is that a deficit of serotonin is what causes depression, and SSRIs help increase the levels of serotonin in the brain by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin. This model has been described as a “chemical imbalance” in the brain, and it is the way we’ve thought about depression for the past 30 years.

Newer research in the field of psychiatry suggests that depression is caused by problems with neural circuits rather than chemical neurotransmitters (like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine). These neurotransmitters influence the neural circuits, but they don’t have the ability to “rewire” the brain. 

Many scientists have found that in the brains of depressed animals, there are fewer connections, or synapses between neurons that communicate rewards. It is theorized that ketamine helps build synapses and regrow neural pathways, teaching the brain new routes.

If you have suffered from depression, you may feel like you just can’t get your brain to stop thinking negatively or that you’re stuck in negative thinking patterns. Ketamine infusions may work by strengthening synaptic connections and building new, more positive, neural networks. 

Instead of focusing on serotonin, like SSRIs, scientists believe that the neurotransmitter glutamate may be responsible for helping to grow synapses and neural pathways. And, while much more research needs to be done, it has been found that ketamine triggers a rush of glutamate in the brain’s prefrontal cortex, rapidly exciting a lot of neurons.

While some patients do respond very quickly to ketamine infusions, it’s not a quick fix. Nothing mental health related is. Yet, when so many of the world suffers and dies from chronic depression, it is vital that we work to develop as many means as possible toward helping them heal, including ketamine for depression.

Karitas Ketamine Clinic

Our mission here at Karitas is to provide access to ketamine infusions for all who could potentially benefit from this life-changing treatment. That’s why our West Covina clinic offers some of the lowest-priced ketamine infusions in the entire nation. 

Follow our blog to learn more about ketamine for depression as well as other conditions for which ketamine can be useful — including severe anxiety, bipolar depression, and chronic pain. Visit our FAQ page and contact us today to set up an appointment or to learn more about ketamine for depression.

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