Who would have thought that a drug that was once used as a party drug and an anesthetic would potentially be a wonder drug for people that suffer from depression? Also known as special K, ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic that is commonly used on animals and children. It’s also used in pain management and in some asthma treatments. But now, it’s being revolutionized as a potential wonder treatment for depression.
According to WebMD, somewhere between 13 and 14 million Americans suffer from depression, but about 30 to 40 percent of those people won’t be able to find help from anti-depressant medication. These people suffering from depression have a higher chance of suffering from drug and alcohol abuse. But according to some new studies, ketamine might be the godsend that people with difficult depression need.
According to The Washington Post, a clinical study has proven to be one of the most effective treatments of major depression. The story follows a man, Dennis Hartman, from Seattle who has major depression and suicidal thoughts. After his first dose of ketamine at the National Institute of Mental Health in Maryland.
“My life will always be divided into the time before that first infusion and the time after,” Hartman says today. “That sense of suffering and pain draining away. I was bewildered by the absence of pain.”
Ketamine is being hailed as a breakthrough in depression treatment because how quickly it works. On the contrary, most depression medications can take weeks or months to become effective. And for those who are immune to depression medications, there are hardly any answers left. Electroshock therapy and transcranial stimulation are two possible answers, but then again, does that sound better than ketamine?
If ketamine proves to be an effective treatment for depression, the whole world of depression treatment could flip on its head. But there still are worries for ketamine as a treatment method. While there has been proof that it works, the drug itself can be rather expensive to patients going through ketamine depression treatment. Plus, ketamine can result in large changes in blood pressure and heart rate, and even worse, there is a chance of addiction.