Episode 341: ketamine therapy
Theo Von invites Dr. Jason Pooler, founder and medical director of the Chattanooga Ketamine Center, to provide his insights between Ketamine Therapy and depression.
Theo Von invites Dr. Jason Pooler, founder and medical director of the Chattanooga Ketamine Center, to provide his insights between Ketamine Therapy and depression.
What's the connection between sleep and mental health? Sleep deprivation can affect your mental health and psychological state. Those who battle mental health problems are more likely to have a sleep disorder such as insomnia.
Keep reading to find out the impact sleep has on your hormones and why you will want to stay ahead of this as you attempt to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle!
There is always this weird, counterintuitive conversation that occurs when you or someone you know achieves some level of health or dieting success, that involves “celebrating” that success with the same foods or drinks that you gave up in the first place to achieve the success…
Yet, it isn’t some level of deficiency or survival mechanism kicking in that is driving those desires and cravings. It is simply your brain doing what you have trained it to do (for most people) since you were younger: boost dopamine with feel good foods.
The depletion of willpower and the weight of decision fatigue eventually build up enough pressure for your brain to throw in the white towel and take a much needed KitKat break.
While some may call it “evolution”, others lean on the fact that our brains are only responding in the same manner that we have trained them to do over our lifespan.
Keep reading to discover how to break these loopholes and not keep spiraling into a sugar coma after hard, stressful days throughout the week or weekend.
Two of the most common complaints from patients in the functional medicine space are: Low Energy and Brain Fog. And, with the previous year we have all experienced, along with the extra stressors, most Americans have felt a little of one or the other… or a ton of BOTH.
What is news to most people, is that usually brain fog and low energy levels share the same root cause. That is why specific supplements and habits improve both simultaneously.
In this article, we dive into some of the easiest habits and hacks to implement in order to boost low energy levels and clear your foggy brain.
With the mental health space so full of medication and supplement hacks looking to aid neurotransmitter deficiency or excess, most people, unfortunately, overlook the elephant in the room when it comes to mental health longevity and mood: Inflammation.
Have you heard that anxiety and depression contribute to people experiencing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, bloating, diarrhea, or stomach pain? Research suggests a growing body of evidence that it may actually be the other way around! Keep reading to find out more about the connection between your mental health and gut health.
SPRAVATO™ is a prescription medicine, used along with an antidepressant taken by mouth, for adults with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) or depressive symptoms with major depressive disorder (MDD). Keep reading to learn more about Spravato™ and patients' success with it.
Health goes beyond just simply taking medication! It's often needed to help in addition to many of the offerings we provide at Neuromend and Drip IV. However, find out the top three lifestyle changes we recommend for you to be proactive with your health and empower healthy habits!
Have you ever heard the mantra: “More doesn’t necessarily equal better. Better outcomes are the only predictor of qualifying better input"? Because performance is the only measure of performance, right? Keep reading to get a little more insight on this hot topic.
Throughout the history of medicine, the patient has most often been the one that empowers the physician. They empower the surgeons with authority and expertise to conduct their operation. They empower their OBGYN’s with the authority to manage not only their pregnancies but the birth of their children.
Yet, for some reason, patients have fallen into somewhat of a trap.
Read on to learn more about how patients can learn to own their own destiny in improving or resolving their chronic diseases.
Sleep, physical activity, and a healthy diet are the “big three”! These behaviors are inseparable health factors of optimal well being. Dive in to find out how to achieve optimal health and well being with a mix of these and Ketamine treatments.
The FDA approved form of Ketamine (Spravato or Esketamine) hitting the market has sparked many consumers' curiosity. What is it? Is it covered by my insurance? Keep reading for answers to a few questions you may have about Spravato™.
For those that have suffered from migraine headaches in the past or have had family or friends that suffer from them, you know how debilitating they can be for the patient once they set it.
But there is new hope for migraine sufferers. Keep reading to see how Ketamine Infusions are shaking up the migraine space!
Patient's with Crohn's disease suffer daily from bouts of pain, loose stools, and tremendous amounts of fatigue all due to the rampant inflammation in their intestinal lumen.
Keep reading to discover how IV Ketamine infusions, gain popularity for their healing capabilities with treatment resistant depression, can be utilized for patients suffering from the chronic pain of Crohn's disease to finally find some much needed relief.
Ketamine continues to gain traction in the area of aiding Treatment Resistant Depression, but new research coming out is also showing its efficacy in helping treat chronic pain as well.
One of the pain modalities that Ketamine is showing promise in is with helping to create relief for those suffering from Peripheral Neuropathies.
Keep reading to discover just how Ketamine can help relieve peripheral neuropathy pain and if you are suffering from any of these chronic pain issues, how you can possibly find relief as well.
For many Americans, aches, pains, and fatigue are just a way of life given the current stressors of 2020 so far. Yet, for some, they experience levels of these symptoms that are often so debilitating that they can’t perform normal jobs, chores, or activities without having to sit or lie down due to the overbearing weight of their symptoms.
While many patients experience similar symptoms and suffering with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, they often don’t have the accompanying pain that is common and specific to Fibromyalgia.
Keep reading to learn more about the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and how to relieve your pain as you work towards healing for good!
Ketamine is quickly gaining traction from its reputation as a "party drug" to its new found ability to provide relief to those suffering from treatment resistant depression and many facets of chronic pain.
Keep reading to discover exactly how Ketamine Infusions are being used to effectively treat those suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).
For years, when many physicians or patients hear about or experience treatment resistant depression, they have been conditioned to think about resorting to Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT).
Read on to discover the differences and benefits of ECT and Ketamine infusions as they pertain to improving or curing treatment resistant depression.
Ketamine infusions are a hot and effective topic right now in the depression space.
Their ability to provide relief to those suffering from treatment resistant depression is quickly changing Ketamine's previous reputation from that of a party drug to a super effective depression relief therapy.
But, what many patients want to know is, aside from depression, are Ketamine infusions effective for treating or relieving neuropathic pain syndromes.
Keep reading to discover exactly how Ketamine Infusions are being used effectively to mitigate or severely decrease neuropathic pain.
While some medical clinics continue to look for ways to thrive or survive during this COVID-19 pandemic, some clinics have chosen a new offering to tack on to their existing niche or specialty that is adding new patients and new revenue to their business model.
Keep reading to see why adding Ketamine infusions to your existing medical practice could be the boost you need to thrive in a struggling medical space while offering treatment resistant depression patients a light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
At NeuroMend, we strive on helping clinics across the country open their doors. We are proud to share the success and results we have earned from our clients in the ketamine clinic industry.
Meet Ayafusion Wellness Clinic - relieving suffering by supporting patients and bringing healing to all areas.
Many patients are finding relief from treatment resistant depression by utilizing Ketamine to improve their symptoms.
Now with the FDA approved form of Ketamine (Spravato or Esketamine) hitting the market, many consumers are curious about the difference between the two.
Let's dive into everything you need to know about the difference between Ketamine and Spravato.
We have been working hard at getting back to our customers during this harsh COVID-19 season. And we are excited to be opening our clinic back up with a brand new treatment offering!
Keep reading to discover the latest news around Neuromend's REMS Spravato certification!
With the constant media coverage of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), most people aren't just wondering if they will contract it or not, but if they do, what can be done to effectively treat it.
Well, finally medical science has offered us an effective solution to kill the virus and treat the symptoms. Discover exactly what you need to do to help with preventing and treating the Coronavirus.
Specifically, alcohol consumption. Indeed, in one study using Intravenous Ketamine, alcohol consumption was reduced for a minimum of nine months!
With many patients hearing about the success that Ketamine is having on Treatment Resistant Depression, they become really interested in figuring out the answer to the question: “Does my health insurance plan cover Ketamine infusions?”
Keep reading to find answers to your questions surrounding insurance reimbursement and Ketamine.
With all the hype around anti-aging as of late, it is tough to overlook the obvious benefits of NAD+ and the role it plays in our Mitochondrial health and energy metabolism. Keep reading to discover all of the benefits of supplemental NAD.
Aside from our own patients' feedback about how much better they are feeling after IV Ketamine Therapy, we are always excited to get feedback from clinics that we have consulted in starting to offer Ketamine inside their own clinics or as a start-up.
And this successful testimony is no different.
With the clocks "falling back" this past weekend, many people may notice feeling more "blue" with the days ending earlier than normal. Luckily, there are several ways to help avoid or decrease these symptoms so that you can adapt to the time change in a healthy way.
In today's American Healthcare climate, more and more clinics are looking for ways to thrive that don't require them to be so dependent on governmental or insurance reimbursement. Keep reading to discover six proven ways to increase your clinic's profitability and longevity.
Drip IV now offers complete individualization for IV micro-nutrition.
At the onset of your Ketamine journey, a quintessential question emerges:
“What is the perfect Ketamine-infusion timeline?” How should you approach maintenance Ketamine Infusions?
Neuromend's own, Allen Green, recently sat down with KADN to discuss how his clinic is helping to treat PTSD and depression which is a common struggle for many first responders.
With the new millennium emerged a new party drug, K, previously known as Ketamine. K’s popularity exploded. And, spread like wildfire.
Since setting goals for the new year, you've looked forward to taking steps to implement change and make this year the best yet. Now, midway through the summer, those goals have fallen by the wayside and you're no further on the progression track of life than you were six months to a year ago. This realization can be overwhelming.
How did you fall so far off course when you were so determined such a short period ago?
Every year for Memorial Day, we are reminded of not only how thankful we are for the ultimate sacrifice given for our freedom, but also of how many of our Armed Forces members continue to suffer from PTSD. Fortunately, there is hope and light at the end of their dark tunnel.
Effective immediately, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of Spravato (esketamine) nasal spray for the treatment of treatment-resistant depression, more commonly known as TRD.
“Last week I completed my sixth ketamine infusion at Neuromend Infusion Therapy in Lafayette, La. I have been struggling with depression off and on my entire life. The 7th grade was the first time I remember feeling uncomfortable, on the outside and not a "part of". I also experienced horrible stomach aches almost daily. The doctors never found anything wrong with me physically so they chalked it up as stress. I was athletic, had plenty friends, and lacked nothing as a child. There was no cause that I could see. It would get better for a couple years then I would relapse into another depression. This happened in 7th grade, 10th grade, then again as a freshman in college and would continue for my entire life. In high school I started self-medicating with alcohol and other drugs. Until that in itself became problematic.
If you're from Lafayette or have spent more than a few hours here, you know how harsh the weather can be on your body. Staying properly hydrated is vital for handling the South Louisiana climate. All critical bodily functions require water, making it an essential part of living a healthy life. It lubricates the joints and eyes, keeps skin healthy by eliminating toxins, and facilitates proper digestion.
Balance is the key to a healthy life, but it can be difficult to achieve. Hectic schedules, responsibilities, and a culture that doesn't allow us to slow down; something always seems to get in the way of obtaining optimum health.
Get Back On Track
We have an easy way for you to get back on track: Drip IV Therapies.
Intravenous therapies* provide results that undeniably reward our bodies with what it needs. Drip IV's mission is to provide a health-based, alternative method of achieving balance emotionally, mentally, and physically.
This year at the Jeep Show and Shine Gumbo Cookoff , Neuromend's own Allen Green will be speaking on the success that their clinic has experienced treating patients with treatment-resistant depression and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) as well as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD).
Not many people have heard of CRPS and RSD, but to those diagnosed with it, they know it and its symptoms all too well.
Your habenula, sometimes referred to as the “Anti-reward System”, is a tiny area in the middle of your brain positioned between the thalamus and the stalk of the pineal gland.
The habenula regulates nearby reward areas and helps us to learn from actions made throughout our lives.
New year. New me.
Every January, motivation hits and we become determined that this is the year we will make major improvements in our lives. We sit down with a pen and paper and list all the things that we plan to change in the upcoming year. For those struggling with depression, finding the motivation to make improvements for the new year can seem daunting. When each day is a struggle to get out of bed, how can one even begin to contemplate gathering the motivation to make life-altering changes.
The research suggests otherwise.
Well, it's that time of year again.
The smell of pumpkin spice is in the air, sappy movies have us wondering why we can't find our lover to kiss under the mistletoe, and the family debate has begun on where everyone will be getting together to open presents.
The holidays have clearly crept up on us yet again. December is known to be a time for giving gifts, throwing parties, and visiting family.
It is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, right?
Then why do so many of us dread this season and the blues it brings with it?
These reasons may be a few of the culprits.
Veterans fight long and hard to keep our country safe and free. They spend many years sacrificing their time and energy preparing to battle those who pose a threat to the United States only to come home and fight a battle against an enemy where they received no training.
RA, the shortened name of rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia have proven to be difficult ailments to treat. Statistics show that roughly 1.5 million Americans suffer from RA, with nearly three-quarter of those suffering being women. RA also increases the risk of developing fibromyalgia.
When facing a situation that few have done before, there are usually more questions than answers. Ketamine as a treatment for depression, especially TRD, is still in its infancy. Many trials and errors occur in order to produce the desired results. Here at NeuroMend, we have put in over a thousand hours into the research and development of how we use ketamine as an anti-depressant. While opening our own clinic, we have learned a lot. As always, when undertaking a task that few have attempted, expectation often differs from reality. Listed below are a few of our experiences we would like to share with you.
Table of Contents
With the recent surge of ketamine clinics popping up around the country, it can be quite tricky to know which one to choose. Listed below are four criteria that you should be looking for when selecting a ketamine clinic to suit your needs.
Recently there has been a significant surge in ketamine clinics popping up around the country. Ketamine, once known as the popular party drug "Special K," has recently entered the spotlight for its extreme efficacy in treating depression. Contrary to popular belief that these businesses are looking to make a quick dollar, patients dissatisfied with their current anti-depression treatments who are looking for alternative methods are the ones fueling the demand.
Dr. Susannah Tye, a researcher within the Mayo Clinic Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, discusses research on optimizing depression treatment with ketamine intervention for patients with treatment-resistant depression.
Young people suffering from treatment-resistant depression (TRD) showed a significant reduction of their symptoms after being administered ketamine infusions, according to a study published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.
Intravenous ketamine infusions have been used extensively to treat often-intractable neuropathic pain conditions. Because there are many widely divergent ketamine infusion protocols described in the literature, the variation in these protocols presents a challenge for direct comparison of one protocol with another and in discerning an optimal protocol.
A team at the University of Illinois at Chicago has uncovered a new mechanism that helps explain the remarkably rapid, and long-lasting, antidepressant effects of the controversial drug ketamine. The exciting research reveals the drug operates in a similar way to conventional SSRI antidepressants, except is it significantly more effective.
An analysis of data from the FDA Adverse Events Reporting System (FAERS) supported previous findings that ketamine could be an effective treatment for depression, researchers found.
For six years now, life has been really good for James. He has a great job as the creative director of an advertising firm in New York City. He enjoys spending time with his wife and kids.
Are you looking to start a ketamine clinic for depression? Do you need a ketamine infusion protocol and a ketamine infusion clinic operations manual? Let NeuroMend Ketamine Consulting support your efforts!
More than three million Americans report suffering from clinical depression each year — and according to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 16 million Americans experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2016. That number makes up almost seven percent of all adults in the country.
“After the first couple of treatments it didn't seem to work, but after I hit my fourth one, everything started to change.”
Whether you are just now considering Ketamine Infusions for Depression or you have already reaped the positive effects from them, cost can be a huge factor. It can be frustrating to finally find something that works for your Treatment Resistant Depression that insurance may not cover.
What Did He Just Say!?
“I’m not so despondent about life anymore.”
“I ran this week.”
“I did Easter for the first time in years. I even cooked!”
“I don’t know what changed, but I smile now…and I laugh.”
“I haven’t heard him sing in years.”
“She asked me to make an appointment for her to get her hair dyed. She hasn’t dyed her hair since Christmas 2015.”
Ketamine Infusion Therapy will not only provide a temporary healing touch to a patient suffering from symptoms of depression, but can also work as a sustainable support system along with other therapies to help a patient come out of the state of depression entirely.
Identifying the way in which ketamine rapidly alleviates treatment resistant depression could pave way for new generation of treatments.
The demand for ketamine infusion therapy is growing at an exponential rate. As the mounting research supports the use of ketamine infusions for treatment resistant depression and other mental health disorders, as well as multiple forms of chronic neuropathic pain, increasingly, patients are opening their minds to the hope behind ketamine infusions.
Regardless of the growing mounds of evidence in support of ketamine as an antidepressant, still a negative stigma exists. To some, ketamine will never be more than a club drug, or a horse tranquilizer. But to the tens of thousands of Americans whose lives have changed or been saved thanks to ketamine infusions, this drug is an absolute miracle.
Cleveland Clinic’s Medical Innovation Summit concluded on Oct. 26 with the annual list of emerging medical technologies that could transform healthcare in the coming year. Ketamine for Treatment-Resistant Depression listed as number 7!
The first placebo-controlled study of ketamine’s effect on social anxiety disorder has provides more evidence that the anesthetic could be helpful in severe cases.
“Many patients with anxiety continue to have impairing symptoms despite the first-line talk therapy (cognitive behavioral therapy) and first-line medications (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors),” said study authors Jerome H. Taylor of the University of Pennsylvania and Michael H. Bloch of Yale University.
Dr. Adam C. Young, MD is the Director, Acute Pain Service and Assistant Professor for Anesthesiology & Interventional Pain Medicine at Rush University Medical Center. Recently he agreed to share his thoughts with the National Pain Report on the use of ketamine for the treatment of chronic pain.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): The Bedrock of Depression Treatment & How Ketamine Infusions Can Help When SSRIs Aren’t Working!
Millions of people are affected by mental health disorders every year. Depression is among the greatest of these illnesses, and men are more likely than women to not seek treatment. The “stigma” of our masculinity being threatened keeps thousands of men from seeking help. The thought of becoming vulnerable to something they cannot control, or looking weak in the eyes of their family and friends can allow this serious illness to spiral out of control.
Ketamine is associated with significant pain relief among patients with refractory headaches, according to study findings presented at Anesthesiology 2017, held October 21-25 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Ketamine Gets ALLL the Reactions
With all of the chatter about ketamine and its treatment of refractory depression, as well as chronic migraines, comes excitement, curiosity, doubts, and criticism - from both patients and healthcare providers alike. "It's really fascinating," says one doc, while another quips, "but it doesn't last long enough!" It's been deemed "the most exciting development in mental health" by some, while others express legitimate concerns about the long term effects of ketamine use. "Do they really send people down the k-hole!?," someone asked me last week. (The answer is NO. The dose administered is subanesthetic and subdissociative. Read more here. )
When anything or anyone new and different arrives on the scene, isn't this the way humans typically respond? That which challenges the status quo usually evokes discomfort and fear.
You may have heard about physicians embracing the relatively new philosophy of Integrative or Functional Medicine. Our health care system has put demands on doctors that limit the amount of time spent with patients. Instead of being allowed the time with a patient to find the underlying causes to illness, physicians are rushed and overwhelmed, and are, thus, forced to treat symptoms.
Feelings of guilt often accompany major depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. That you are having difficulty functioning on a very basic level, while knowing that you “don’t have it that bad” (or, that’s what your *insert family member* is telling you) has you feeling even worse. Your family and friends may not understand what you're going through, and from their perspective, have trouble grasping why you can’t just pick your head up and work through this. You tell yourself, ‘I'm not DYING, for God’s sake…,’ but it doesn’t help a thing.
When You're Stuck in Your Head
“You know, depression is sort of a selfish feeling,” someone told me last week. “I just sit there, thinking only about myself and my life.” So, when she is able, she volunteers with a local hospice. On the days she volunteers, her depression is not as bad.
Laughing Until We Couldn't...or Could...Breathe
In 2010, following my father’s cancer diagnosis, I accompanied him to MD Anderson for one of his two-day appointments. Interested in the ancillary services they offer to patients and their families, I looked at the Integrative Medicine department’s events calendar when we arrived. Ten o’clock a.m.: Laughing Yoga. How could we pass that up!? My dad reluctantly agreed to participate.
Ketamine Gets ALL the Reactions
With all of the chatter about ketamine and its treatment of refractory depression comes excitement, curiosity, doubts, and criticism - from both patients and healthcare providers alike. "It's really fascinating," says one doc, while another quips, "but it doesn't last long enough!" It's been deemed "the most exciting development in mental health" by some, while others express legitimate concerns about the long term effects of ketamine use. "Do they really send people down the k-hole!?," someone asked me last week. (The answer is NO. The dose administered is subanesthetic and subdissociative. Read more here. )
When anything or anyone new and different arrives on the scene, isn't this the way humans typically respond? That which challenges the status quo usually evokes discomfort and fear. (See why more means better when dealing with ketamine clinics)
How Do Your Stressful Mornings Affect Your Health?
Picture this: A stressful event happens. Your brain interprets it as a physical or social threat, which results in the activation of the regions of your brain associated with pain. Your sympathetic nervous system (SNS) triggers the ‘fight-or-flight’ response, followed by cascade of physiological events, which results in the production of inflammatory proteins and stress-related changes in your genes. This response to stress happens over and over and if not managed can become chronic, increasing your risk for inflammatory-related diseases, such as arthritis, asthma, certain types of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and psychiatric disorders.
Migraines Are the Worst
A woman recounts her experience: “It happens after I eat chocolate or drink red wine, or right before I start my period. I know it’s coming on because I start to see flashes of light in my peripheral vision. That’s when I brace myself, wherever I am, knowing my day’s plans may be shot. Best-case scenario, I’ll take prescription medicine and kick it before it kicks me. Worst-case, I’ll have to leave work and will be confined to my bed, in the dark, drinking cups of black coffee with an ice pack on my head, until the pain subsides. Sometimes the pain doesn’t let up for a day or two. When I do finally feel some relief, I am exhausted and hungover.”
Don't I Just Need to Find the Right Medication?
If you have been battling depression, you might feel helpless because nothing you've tried lately is working. However, there is more to treating depression than finding the right medication or the right therapist. While the right medication coupled with effective therapy can be paramount to treating severe depression, there are lifestyle factors to consider. The choices you make on a daily basis can have a profound effect on your mood and on your mental health, in general.
What Are Patients Experiencing During the Infusion?
In a previous blog entry, I wrote about the ketamine infusion experience. Let me expand on that today, as I focus on recovery from ketamine infusion therapy. While our patients are receiving ketamine infusion therapy, our nursing and anesthesia clinicians are conducting ongoing assessments of the patients. Every ten minutes, the patient’s vital signs are checked, and the patient is asked how s/he is feeling. All patient responses are recorded within the medical record and utilized to help our clinical team better understand how this low-dose infusion affects the patient. Responses from patients vary from “I feel good” to “I feel weird,” with adjectives like ‘funny,’ ‘sleepy,’ ‘fine,’ and ‘a little drunk’ used to describe how patients feel while receiving the infusion. They also report feeling as if they are dreaming, unable to really engage in a conversation or stand up.
What time are we eating!? What can we bring!? Will the kids swim!? Oh, what a bummer that it’s raining…we were gonna take the boat out!
While you might be seasoning meat to grill, making potato salad, drinking beer, slathering sunscreen on your kids’ faces, or just enjoying a long weekend, take a moment to remember the men and women who died while serving in the Armed Forces.
Depression, Substance Abuse & Suicide
On Wednesday, May 17, 2017, the day the world lost talented musician Chris Cornell to suicide, the National Institutes of Health issued a news release: “Study finds tens of millions of Americans drink alcohol at dangerously high levels”. Researchers from the NIAAA Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research analyzed data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), a national survey conducted in 2001-2002 and 2012-2013. The surveys examined subjects' alcohol use within the previous year, and its co-occurrence with drug use and psychiatric conditions. The results of the survey? Adults in America are engaging in extreme binge drinking now more than they were ten years prior. Find the research abstract, as well as the journal article, here.
An Infusion? Yikes.
When you hear the word ‘infusion,’ what comes to mind? A hospital gown? Needles? Doctors and nurses hovering over you, in a cold hospital room? Sometimes your associations with certain words can deter you altogether from considering new experiences – especially if those associations elicit fear.
After Doing Yoga, You Might Just Feel Better
What is it about practicing yoga that leaves you feeling relaxed, at peace, and just better? Or, less angry? Less sad? Was it because you were physically separated from your phone for more than 30 minutes during waking hours? Or, that you gave yourself permission to let go of that thing, that person, or that fear you hold onto for dear life, for an hour? Was it the simple act of moving your body while also breathing that left you feeling that good?
Depression: A Global Problem
This year, the World Health Organization launched a global campaign on depression, called “Depression: let’s talk”. According to the WHO website, “The goal of the campaign is that more people with depression, everywhere in the world, both seek and get help. Depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. More than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015.” If the World Health Organization is devoting an entire year to educating the public on the importance of talking about depression, it’s a problem!
Sometimes It’s About Surviving the Day
If ever in your life you could not pay your electricity bill, you probably were not able to focus on much else. I’m guessing you were not considering ways to improve your relationship with your child, planning a weekend with friends, or even meeting anyone for coffee. You were likely highly stressed and focused only on how you would keep the lights on.
When our basic needs aren’t met, the rest of what might be important cannot be addressed. The mind expends all its energy on securing the necessities to survive. Anything unrelated to making sure you have the essentials is put on the backburner.
When All Else Fails, Stare at Your Phone...Right!?
You know that if you would quit smoking, start exercising three days a week, make plans with a friend, keep a gratitude journal, and start eating healthier, you’d be happier, right? You also should “Breathe, and let it go” and know that “Dark days don’t linger for long,” like those Instagram posts tagged #happiness read.
But Then You Feel Worse
There you are, lying in bed, scrolling aimlessly through your phone and wishing you did not need to go to the bathroom because you don’t even have the energy to sit up. You slept 8.5 hours last night, like most nights, yet you don’t feel rested. In fact, you’re exhausted, and there’s zero desire inside of you to get up for class, for work, for breakfast. The new antidepressant your doctor started you on five weeks ago hasn’t made a difference, and you are so sick of changing medications.
So, you continue to scroll through Facebook, looking at pictures of couples smiling, one friend’s weight loss before/after shots, another’s motivational quote for the day, and a shared Bible verse on the importance of having faith. ‘Faith in what!?,’ you ask aloud, and force yourself to roll out of bed, feeling worse about your pathetic life than you did an hour ago.
Its notoriety as a rave drug jolts folks a bit, when they hear that ketamine is being used to treat refractory depression. Yes, ketamine…the ‘horse tranquilizer’ the drug that has taken many down the ‘K-hole’. That one. Over the past couple decades, scientists have conducted numerous studies that have repeatedly and consistently revealed the efficacy of low-dose ketamine infusions in treating depression in people for whom standard pharmacological treatments have not worked. Ketamine was developed in 1962 and has been used as a general anesthetic for more than 30 years. The drug has a remarkably safe track record when used in clinical settings and is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. Ketamine is FDA-approved as an anesthetic, but research continues to inform us that low doses of ketamine, administered intravenously, can produce rapid antidepressant effects.