Ketamine therapy has been on the market since the 1960s, long enough for experts to know that it's effective and for patients to know that it's preferable to many of the typical alternatives. But if you're not very familiar with ketamine therapy and what it's for, it's understandable if you're uncomfortable with proceeding with this approach. Additionally, there are many myths surrounding ketamine therapy, leading some people to dismiss this approach outright without giving it a proper chance. However, ketamine therapy can be highly effective in treating depression. With that being said, let's look into some of the things you should know about this treatment method.
One of the reasons why people so often choose ketamine therapy is that it acts more quickly than typical antidepressants. Because these standard medications come in pill form, they often take time to fully release. Psychiatrists often advise that daily antidepressants can take up to six weeks to fully become effective, and this can be agonizing if your symptoms are intense. Because ketamine therapy delivers the medication directly into your bloodstream, it acts more quickly.
Generally speaking, the side effects of ketamine therapy are fairly mild. Patients sometimes experience wooziness and fatigue initially after treatment, with symptoms rarely lasting more than four hours. In comparison, because other antidepressants are taken daily rather than every few weeks or so like ketamine therapy, the symptoms can be more longstanding. For example, it's common for people to experience weight gain while taking standard antidepressants. About half of all people in the U.S. are trying to lose weight right now, according to the CDC. Not having to worry about medication causing weight gain can be a big relief for them.
If your depression is mild, ketamine therapy may be too heavy a treatment for it. This therapy isn't meant for people who feel sad from time to time. It's for people with long-term major depression symptoms.
There is a negative perception around ketamine. But if therapy is administered in a controlled environment by professionals, it's quite safe. Just make sure that you're receiving treatment from a reputable source.
Approach ketamine therapy carefully, and with an informed opinion. It could just be the right treatment for your depression.