Nearly 16 million adults in the US have experienced depression in the last year; it’s the leading cause of disability worldwide. No one treatment or therapy for depression works for everyone, and many people bounce from treatment to treatment without finding relief. Conventional depression treatments like anti-depressant medicines, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and electroconvulsive therapy can take weeks and even months to take effect, but ketamine is different.
Originally approved by the FDA as an anesthetic, ketamine is gaining attention as a promising new treatment for depression. The effects are immediate and long-lasting, and patients feel the benefits of a lightened mood and a feeling of lifting of dread and anxiety within just a few hours of their first infusion. For people struggling with suicidal thoughts, this fast-acting effect can be lifesaving. PTSD, bipolar disorder, and chronic pain also respond to ketamine treatments.
Each new patient works with our medical team to determine if ketamine treatment is right for them. A thorough medical history is obtained to determine if the benefits outweigh any possible risks of the treatment.
There are two types of ketamine treatment: intravenous infusion treatment and nasal spray. At Tristar, we use IV infusion ketamine treatment as it’s more thoroughly researched, effective, and faster acting.
While undergoing treatment, your comfort and safety are our top priorities. We lay you back in one of our cozy chairs with a blanket, eye mask, and calming music while our medical staff constantly monitor the mental and physical effects of the drug. In the extremely rare case that a problem arises, we have clear procedures to ensure patient safety.
At Tristar, we strive to provide our customers with truly elevated care and experiences in every aspect of our practice. We match each of our ketamine patients with a ketamine advocate--someone whose life has been transformed by ketamine therapy, there to answer questions and share their experience during every part of your treatment.
Though ketamine’s effects on the brain aren’t fully understood, it’s thought to change the way cells communicate with each other. The current research suggests that ketamine may promote synaptogenisis, meaning it promotes the creation of new neural pathways.
Ketamine’s mechanism of action is fundamentally different than that of traditional antidepressants. Think of traditional antidepressants as a software update for your brain; they work by shifting levels of chemical messengers in the blood that tell your brain to feel happy. Ketamine works more like a hardware update for the brain, physically changing neural pathways and growth patterns.
Negative thought patterns and the physical neural pathways they create are known to contribute significantly to the development and maintenance of depression. Ketamine is currently understood to work by helping the brain develop new positive neural pathways, effectively breaking the brain out of the rut of negative thinking.
While traditional antidepressants can take weeks--even months--to take effect, ketamine can start to relieve symptoms of depression within a matter of hours. Patients often report a lightening of mood, a decrease in anxiety, and a lifting of hopelessness after a ketamine treatment.
Ex-NBA superstar Lamar Odom struggled with anxiety, depression, and addiction for years. He hit rock-bottom in 2015 when he overdosed on cocaine and had multiple heart attacks and strokes, and went into kidney failure--he was lucky to survive. After this close call, his friend told him about ketamine treatment, and while he was hesitant to try it, he now talks about how it changed his life by treating the depression and anxiety that led him to substance abuse in the first place.