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News in Inpatient Depression Treatment and Ketamine Research 2018

Many hospitals and psychiatric institutes around the world offer inpatient services for those struggling with major depression disorder (MDD) and other depression-related illnesses like bipolar disorder, mood disorders, and those with suicidal thoughts. Usually, inpatient care is the best way for long-term depression patients to receive the care they need.

Did you know that ketamine is now being used to help manage depression among some inpatients for depression? This powerful anesthetic drug is being used to help thousands of people tolerate their symptoms, carry on with their treatment, and facilitate their healing. In the last few years, ketamine has skyrocketed in popularity as a medicinal intervention in humans.

Are you currently living with depression or is someone you know diagnosed with depression? If so, you may be interested in learning about the many exciting new developments in inpatient treatments in the medical world. In this article, our experts discuss the latest news on inpatient depression treatment and scientific research on ketamine and ketamine therapy.

Depression and the Inpatient Experience

Inpatient care is a form of hospitalization in which patients require admission to a psychiatric institute or hospital because it would otherwise be unsafe to have the patient unsupervised. Normally, only those living with severe cases of depression and persistent suicidal ideation are admitted into inpatient care.

Those living with severe depression are usually admitted into inpatient care due to previous ambulatory care or through admission via emergency medicine departments. After the writing of an admission note, a patient is formally admitted into inpatient care. Inpatient care can last days or several weeks until they are deemed well enough for a discharge note.

Ketamine: What We Know

Ketamine is a powerful and fast-acting analgesic and anesthetic drug that has recently gained popularity as a treatment for major depression, generalized anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other chronic pain-related illnesses. However, since it was first discovered in the early 1960s, it has not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Sometimes maligned by the name “horse tranquilizer,” ketamine is one of the most common anesthetics used in veterinary medicine for large mammals. Its popularity as a surgical anesthetic in animals has led to a scientific inquiry about its suitability in humans.

Consequently, a large body of research has been produced on ketamine and its efficacy as a pharmaceutical-grade medical intervention.

Ketamine: The Latest Research

Ketamine The Latest Research

Ketamine has been the subject of intense scrutiny in recent years. Since the early 2000s, ketamine infusion clinics have opened up across the United States. These mental health clinics offer off-label ketamine for treating anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. However, both the general public and the scientific community have historically understood little about ketamine.

In the last decade, public ignorance surrounding ketamine has begun to dwindle. This is due to a large mass of research having been published on the subject of pharmaceutical ketamine and a vast amount of anecdotal evidence compiled by ketamine infusion clinics.

Ketamine as an Antidepressant

A recent research paper published in Molecular Psychiatry in 2018 tested whether a sub-anesthetic dose of ketamine would yield antidepressant benefits. Their research paid specific attention to the molecular mechanism of action underlying the antidepressant properties of ketamine.

Their results were encouraging for ketamine advocates. The research team found that ketamine exerted “acute changes in synaptic plasticity, leading to a sustained strengthening of excitatory synapses, which are necessary for antidepressant behavioral actions.” This provides material evidence that ketamine alleviates symptoms of depression.

This research supports earlier work done by scientific teams exploring ketamine’s suitability as an antidepressant agent. Notably, a 2015 study led by Dr. David Feifel found that ketamine is effective as an antidepressant substance. However, he maintains that more research still needs to be done on ketamine become final conclusions can be drawn.

A recent review article in ScienceDaily also points to the fact that ketamine shows significant promise as an antidepressant. In particular, they cite a 2018 paper from the American Journal of Psychiatry (AJP) which defended the use of nasal spray ketamine for treating acute bouts of depression rapidly.

Ketamine and Inpatient Anxiety Research

Over the past year, ketamine has drawn significant media attention for its ability to reduce feelings of anxiety and panic. Specifically, an article in VICE discussed experimental applications of ketamine in the form of nasal spray, pills, and intravenous infusions for helping provide relief for those living with anxiety.

Of particular interest is ketamine’s ability to help alleviate social anxiety disorder (SAD) on top of regular depression-related symptoms for those undergoing inpatient care. At present, research is being undertaken as to whether mental health inpatients can safely use ketamine to treat multiple intersecting mental illnesses at once.

Interestingly, a New Zealand-based research team found that ketamine can reduce symptoms of treatment-resistant anxiety disorders. In other words, ketamine has the unique potential to provide rapid relief for those who would otherwise be unable to obtain treatment.

Ketamine and PTSD

Finally, ketamine is also being explored as a potential treatment option for those who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is well understood that depression and PTSD often go hand in hand, especially among those who are seeking inpatient care. To be able to alleviate the symptoms of both conditions would provide significant relief for these patients.

In one study published in 2018, 12 dozen adults with PTSD were given three ketamine doses of ketamine over a three-week period. The patients experienced rapid anti-anxiety effects that lasted between three and seven days. These results indicate that ketamine may have value as a treatment of last resort in cases of acute depression or anxiety.

Inpatient Care and Ketamine?

All of the most recent searches on ketamine and ketamine therapies indicates that ketamine may have strategic value as a treatment for inpatient care. However, more research needs to be done on whether ketamine infusion therapy is suitable for the sensitive inpatient care environment.

 Overall, ketamine shows significant potential for use in clinical and inpatient care. It remains to be seen whether we can expect to see ketamine used in clinical and inpatient care settings in the future, although the recent research proves to be promising in this regard.

Mental Health Treatment Centers that Recommend Ketamine as a Treatment

Since the early 2000s, ketamine infusion therapy clinics have popped up in increasing numbers around the world. For thousands of people around the world suffering from major depression, bipolar disorder, chronic pain, and other serious illnesses, ketamine infusion clinics have provided much-needed relief.

Although ketamine therapy is still in its infancy, ketamine is rapidly rising in popularity among the medical community. This is because ketamine has shown tremendous promise as a fast-acting antidepressant treatment option for those who are resistant to conventional therapies.

Are you one of the millions of people around the world living with treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or bipolar depression? If so, you might benefit from seeking help at a ketamine infusion therapy clinic. In this article, we will go over the benefits of ketamine therapy and how to find a clinic near you that recommends ketamine as a treatment.

Ketamine: An Introduction

Any prospective ketamine therapy recipient needs to first understand the details of ketamine. This way, the patient can decide whether ketamine therapy is right for their specific condition. Before making a decision, the various benefits and potential risk factors need to take into consideration.

Ketamine is an analgesic and anesthetic substance that is used, primarily, as a painkiller. Since its discovery in the 1960s, ketamine has caught the eye of the medical community for its ability to powerfully reduce pain-related symptoms within minutes of administration. It is no surprise, then, that ketamine is one of the most popular surgical anesthetics in veterinary medicine.

At present, ketamine is held back from mainstream adoption because it lacks formal approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Consequently, ketamine is generally not covered by private health insurance providers. However, public interest groups like the Ketamine Advocacy Network are actively working toward gaining FDA approval.

Is Ketamine Safe?

Numerous studies conducted over the last decade have shown that medical ketamine therapies are both safe and effective. A recent overview of ketamine therapy published by PsyPost discusses how ketamine treatment produces side effects that are common among conventional antidepressants, although with a much shorter duration.

Today, thousands of American citizens have taken to ketamine infusion clinics to seek treatments. Since they first started opening roughly a decade ago, there have been no reported incidences of ketamine-related deaths or serious illnesses as a result of treatment administration.

Is Ketamine Therapy Right for You?

Is Ketamine Therapy Right for You

Despite early studies and reports heralding the relative safety of ketamine, it is important to bear in mind that ketamine is still a medicinal substance in its early stages of adoption. As such, more research and clinical trials will need to be released before any final conclusions can be made regarding its side effects and potential harm.

Despite the fact that ketamine has only recently been adopted by the medical community, those in need of treatment should not shy away from inquiring about ketamine infusion therapy. If you have had unsuccessful experiences with conventional treatment for OCD, generalized anxiety, major depression, or PTSD, you should ask your doctor about ketamine therapy.

Ketamine should never be used outside of a clinical context. If you decide to seek ketamine treatment, ensure that the clinic is licensed and staffed by medical doctors or anesthesiologists. Also, make sure you disclose your medical history and any prescription medication you are taking before receiving treatment.

Ketamine Treatment Centers in the US

One of the first major steps in seeking ketamine infusion therapy is locating a reputable clinic. Many mental health clinics across the United States do not currently offer ketamine infusion services. However, a growing number of clinics in the American West and the Southeast regions are beginning to offer ketamine infusion therapies.

A great resource for locating ketamine treatment centers in the United States is the Ketamine Advocacy Network’s directory of US providers. However, their directory is not an exhaustive list as more and more clinics are opening up every year. To help you quickly navigate the various ketamine infusion clinics listed in the directory, we have organized them below.

Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles

Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles

If you live in the Greater Los Angeles area, the Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles should be your first stop for ketamine therapy services. Their team of doctors and accredited anesthesiologists have satisfied countless patients over the years, which has rightfully earned them a reputation as one of the West Coast’s finest ketamine therapy clinics.

Actify Neurotherapies

Actify Neurotherapies does not brand itself as a ketamine therapy clinic, but rather as a mental health clinic that recommends ketamine as a treatment option. The experts at Actify hold themselves to high professional standards and are careful to follow protocols backed by substantive peer-reviewed evidence. They are based in Princeton, New Jersey.

LoneStar Infusion PLLC

LoneStar Infusion PLLC is one of the finest mental health clinics in the American South. Based in Houston, Texas, this clinic offers a range of mental health services including ketamine infusions for treating OCD, PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Led by Dr. Allison Wells, M.D., their team of doctors has performed hundreds of infusions since 2015.

Boston MindCare

Serving the New England region of the US, Boston MindCare is among the country’s most reputable mental health clinics offering ketamine infusion therapy. While they offer a host of services tailored to those recovering from mental illness, they specialize in ketamine infusion therapy and alternative treatments for those who need fast-acting relief.

Seattle Ketamine Clinic

The Seattle Ketamine Clinic is the Pacific Northwest’s home for ketamine infusion therapy. Their team of physicians administer off-label ketamine for a period of two weeks across six infusion sessions. Along the way, they regularly check in with patients and walk them through their recovery process at all stages of the therapy.

Atlanta Center for Ketamine Therapy

The Atlanta Center for Ketamine Therapy is the name of the private practice of Dr. Andro Giorgadze, M.D., who has been offering board-certified therapies for 15 years. Dr. Giorgadze is one of the United States’ most renowned clinical investigators in ketamine research and, fortunately, offers highly affordable rates for his ketamine infusion services.

Learn More about Ketamine Treatment Centers (Locations Throughout the United States)

Today, thousands of Americans are turning to ketamine infusion therapy to help treat their major depression disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe depression, and other chronic mood disorders and pain-related illnesses. Due to increased demand, new treatment centers are popping up all over the country. Do you need help finding a treatment center near you?

In this guide, we describe the top ketamine treatment centers in the United States. All of the clinics we list are fully licensed and legal medical clinics that have a reputation for service excellence. If your depression or mood disorder is treatment-resistant, consider any of the centers we describe below.

List of Ketamine Treatment Centers in the U.S.

To help you navigate the world of ketamine infusion treatment, we put together this non-exhaustive list of the top ketamine treatment centers in the United States. Consider booking a consultation with any of the centers listed below if you seek ketamine treatment for chronic or severe depression or pain-related illnesses.

Boston MindCare

Boston MindCare serves the Greater Boston area, providing ketamine infusion therapy for the management of several chronic mental illnesses. They are conveniently located in Lexington, MA, which is only a short drive from the central Boston area.


ActifyNeurotherapies is one of the country’s largest network of ketamine infusion providers. Currently, they operate nine affiliated ketamine centers in New York City, Denver, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Princeton, Potomac, West Palm Beach, San Francisco, and Raleigh. They have a nationwide team of over a dozen doctors to serve you better.

Ketamine Wellness Center

The self-described “gold standard in care” is available at the Ketamine Wellness Center. With locations in Phoenix, Tucson, and Denver areas, the Ketamine Wellness Center network of ketamine infusion clinics can provide exceptional relief in these underserved markets.

Herro Medical Center

Dr. Ellison F. Herro, M.D., is a practiced anesthesiologist who has been operating in the Arizona valley area for three decades. He works in an interventional psychiatry clinic and has previously served as the Chief of Trauma Anesthesia at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.


As a subsidiary of Brain Health Centers Inc., Neuro-Luminance is a Denver-based ketamine infusion center. Neuro-Luminance is headed by Theodore Henderson, M.D., Ph.D., has extensive research in brain sciences and psychiatry. He has maintained a private practice since 2000 and has been awarded the Saint Louis University Community Service Award.

Vitalitas Denver

Vitalitas Denver is a specialized depression treatment center and ketamine clinic that offers supervised ketamine infusions for a range of mental illnesses and mood disorders. With 27 years of ketamine administration experience, Vitalitas Denver is among the most qualified and respect ketamine treatment clinics in the country.

Atlanta Center for Ketamine Therapy

Headed by AndroGiorgadze, M.D., the Atlanta Center for Ketamine Treatment is the first ketamine infusion clinic of its kind in the state of Georgia. With over 15 years of clinical experience to his name and years of private practice administering ketamine medication (Rapastinel), Dr. Giorgadze is one the country’s leading minds in medicinal ketamine.

Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles

Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles

Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles is the first and only ketamine clinic accredited by the AAAASF. As one of the leading US clinics licensed to administer IV ketamine infusion therapies, the Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles has performed over 5,000 administrations since 2014. They have a self-reported success rate of 83% among depression and mood disorder patients.

NY Ketamine Infusions, LLC

NY Ketamine Infusions, LLC., is a private ketamine clinic located in Manhattan, New York, with satellite offices in Madrid and Pittsburgh. They offer outpatient therapy for those who suffer from chronic mental illnesses and mood disorders. However, other forms of chronic pain such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain are also treated at NY Ketamine Infusions.

The Ketamine Institute

The Ketamine Institute is a research and advocacy center in support of medicinal ketamine treatment. They have close partnerships with leading psychiatric teams in Pensacola, Florida, which administer professional ketamine infusion therapies.

Their clinical partners include Anchor Clinic and Anchor Neuroscience, both of which are based in the south Florida area. On top of their ketamine infusion therapies, they are known for their groundbreaking multidisciplinary research on ketamine and its efficacy in treating depression, anxiety, and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Michigan Progressive Health

Michigan Progressive Health is one of the few Michigan ketamine infusion clinics currently in operation. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan Progressive Health is a leading ketamine resource center in the American Midwest. Led by Dr. Megan Oxley, their research and clinical teams offer support and services to those in the Detroit and surrounding area.

Patients report that Dr. Oxley’s office feels more like a home than a clinical setting. Their comfortable, relaxed atmosphere offers a safe and supportive environment where those in need of help can find it. To boot, Dr. Oxley is a founding member of the American Society of Ketamine Physicians, which is a group of pro-ketamine board-certified physicians.

Alabama Ketamine Clinics

Alabama Ketamine Clinics

Alabama Ketamine Clinics is a multi-specialty clinic with a psychiatric department devoted to ketamine infusion therapy. Based in Dothan, Alabama, Alabama Ketamine Clinics is dedicated to treating major depressive disorder and other physical and mental illnesses related to chronic pain.

Midwest Ketamine Center

The Midwest Ketamine Center is a Chicago-based ketamine clinic specializing in outpatient care for chronic and refractory depression. They offer low-cost solutions for aerosolized ketamine infusions. The Midwest Ketamine Center is known for offering both intravenous and nebulized ketamine treatments. Their main offices can be found in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Northwest Ketamine Clinics

Northwest Ketamine Clinics are a group of affiliated ketamine treatment centers serving the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. At present, Northwest Ketamine Clinics have offices in Seattle, Bellevue, and Portland, with plans to expand in the near future. They have a reputation for service excellence and patient satisfaction in this underserved region.

Northwest Ketamine Clinics can schedule consultations with prospective patients within 24 hours of their submitting an inquiry. We suggest visiting their website today if you need to access ketamine treatment services in the Pacific Northwest.

How to Perform a Sleep Disorder Test and How Ketamine Can Help

Millions of Americans suffer from common sleep disorders, although many are completely unaware of the fact they have a problem at all. From night terrors and sleep deprivation to insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea, sleep disorders come in a variety of forms that affect people differently. In this article, we discuss how to tell if you have a sleep disorder and whether medicinal ketamine can help provide relief.

Sleep Disorders 101

Otherwise known as “somnipathy,” sleep disorders are a type of medical disorder characterized by a persistent “disorder” of one’s sleep patterns. Broadly, sleep disorders are classified into the following categories:

  • Parasomnias
  • Circadian rhythm sleep disorders
  • Dyssomnias
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    Sleep disturbances

Each of the above categories of sleep disorders encompasses their own unique characteristics. Medically, they can be tested and diagnosed using polysomnography and actigraphy technology which monitor sleep cycles.


These sleep disorders are characterized by great difficulty in getting to sleep, staying asleep, or of excessive fatigue and sleepiness. In other words, they are defined by their interference in one’s ability to get a sufficient amount of sleep or adequate quality of sleep. Typically, dyssomnia sufferers will not feel restful in the morning or will feel wakeful during regular sleeping hours.


Parasomnias are a different categorization of sleep disorder defined by abnormal movements, behaviors, perceptions, or dreams that occur during sleep or while falling asleep. Parasomnia-induced states are dissociative and typically occur between wakefulness and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep cycles.

Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders

Circadian rhythm sleep disorders (CRSD) are a category of sleep disorders characterized by their interruption of the body’s regular sleep timing. Therefore, those who suffer from CRSD cannot easily fall asleep when they should and are often wakeful and alert while attempting to sleep. Those with CRSD do not have a regular and well-maintained “body clock.”

Sleep Disturbances

Sleep disturbances are a broad umbrella term to describe all other forms of chronic sleep issues. Persistent nightmares, sleep paralysis, restless leg syndrome, sleepwalking, and sleep-related anxiety are all forms of sleep disturbances that do not fall neatly under any other category.

Sleep Disorders: Symptoms and Warning Signs

Since sleep disorders come in a wide variety of different forms, they have a diverse array of symptoms and warning signs. For some, this can make diagnosis a challenge. However, there are general indicators that a sleep disorder may be at hand. Here are some of the most common signs that you may be suffering from a sleep disorder:

  • Frequent yawning throughout the day
  • A constant desire to nap
  • Regularly waking up tired
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    An inability to sleep
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    An inability to stay asleep at night
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    Erratic sleep schedule
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    Requiring substances to fall asleep

Online Quizzes for Sleep Disorders

Online Quizzes for Sleep Disorders

To find out if you suffer from common sleep disorders, you may want to take a quick online test. Although there are several types of tests available, the Clayton Sleep Institute offers one of the most reputable and well-designed self-assessments for sleep disorders. You can find Clayton Sleep Institute Adult Sleep Quiz on their website.

Alternatively, you could take the National Sleep Foundation Sleepiness Test if you want to test your general sleepiness levels. Extreme fatigue and excessive sleepiness is a strong indicator of sleep disorders such as narcolepsy. If you are rated as “very sleepy,” you should consider speaking to your doctor about sleep disorders.

For more specific online testing, you can try taking any of the Columbus Sleep Consultant sleep disorder quizzes. They have a host of online tests for a variety of sleep disorders from sleep apnea to insomnia, narcolepsy, and restless leg syndrome.

Ultimately, the most accurate way of determining whether you have a sleep disorder is to visit your local sleep clinic. Sleep clinics are staffed by doctors and sleep specialists who have the equipment necessary for monitoring your sleep. Sleep clinics are often covered by private insurance providers and Medicare.

Ketamine for Sleep Disorders

In recent years, ketamine has become a popular medicinal treatment for major depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain-related illnesses. This is especially true of patients who are resistant to conventional treatment methods such as psychotherapy and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Although ketamine currently lacks formal US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, it has gained popularity as an off-label treatment for sleep disorders as well. This is because psychological ailments and pain-related illnesses are strongly associated with sleep disorders.

What Is Ketamine?

Before seeking ketamine therapy for sleep disorders, it is important that you first familiarize yourself with what ketamine is. Ketamine is a powerful anesthetic and analgesic drug. In other words, it is a drug primarily used to treat pain. Since the 1970s, ketamine has been used as an anesthetic in veterinary medicine, which has caused it to be derided as a “horse tranquilizer.”

In reality, ketamine is far more than a horse tranquilizer. In fact, it is a potent medicine that is used to treat both humans and a variety of animals during surgery. And, unlike other popular painkillers and anesthetics, the side effects are few, especially when compared to morphine or suboxone.

Is Ketamine Safe?

Over the past decade, a wide body of scientific research has pointed to the fact that medicinal ketamine is safe for treating common sleep disorders. Notably, a 2014 study found that ketamine was safe and effective for treating both depression and sleep disturbances since it was able to induce slow wave activity during sleep.

Is Ketamine Right for You?

Unfortunately, depression and anxiety are a common thread among those who suffer from sleep disorders. The common prescriptions used to treat mental illnesses are often ineffective, which leads patients toward alternate forms of therapy, such as ketamine infusion therapy.

 If you are curious about whether ketamine is right for you, speak to your doctor about ketamine infusion therapy. There are dozens of clinics across the United States and around the world that offer supervised ketamine infusions to help alleviate the psychological symptoms of sleep disorders and other mental illnesses.

How to Identify Mood Disorder Symptoms and How Ketamine Can Be Used as a Treatment

Although depression and bipolar disorder are the most common mood disorders in the world today, there are many other chronic mood-related illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder that can cause lasting difficulty in your life. There is, however, a glimmer of hope. If you can detect the symptoms and early warning signs of mood disorders, you can help curb them before they take hold of your life.

Are you, or a loved one, at risk for developing a mood disorder? At the least, chances are you know someone who suffers from a mood-related disorder. After all, a staggering20.9 million Americans currently suffer from mood disorders. In this guide, we go into detail by describing the various mood disorders, their symptoms, and how ketamine may be able to treat them.

Mood Disorders: What Are They?

According to John Hopkins Medicine, a mood disorder is defined as “a mental health class that health professionals use to broadly describe all styles of depression and bipolar disorders.” Therefore, all disorders and diseases that fall along the depression and bipolar spectrum are classified as mood disorders.

There are four broad categories of mood disorders. No one category or type of mood disorder is necessarily any more severe or disabling than any other. The most common types of mood disorders are:

  • Major depression
  • Dysthymia
  • Substance-induced Mood Disorder
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    Bipolar Disorder

In the following sections, we will walk through each of the mood disorders listed above. In addition, we will discuss their symptoms, prevalence rates, and treatment options.

Major Depression

Major depression is the most common mood disorder in the world. It is characterized by a persistent lack of interest in usual activities, feelings of helplessness, sadness, and despair. Symptoms must persist for a minimum of two weeks to indicate major depressive disorder (MDD). Otherwise, these symptoms may be a sign of low mood or a depressive episode.

Sometimes,major depressive disorder is referred to as “unipolar depression.” This is because unipolar depression is distinct from bipolar depression, which involves a high and low period in which the subject experiences elation punctuated by harsh low mood. By contrast, unipolar depression does not involve episodes of elation or mania.

Symptoms and Treatments

According to a review of an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, between 20 and 26 percent of American women cite experiencing major depression in their lifetime compared to only 8 to 12 percent of men. The median age for the onset of MDD is age 32, although major depression can be diagnosed at any age.

One of the reasons why major depression occurs in women more often than men is because this mood disordertends to co-occur with other illnesses. For example, women sometimes experience postpartum depression after pregnancy. Particularly severe incidences of postpartum depression can lead to major depression.

Fortunately, four out of five patients with major depressive disorder report seeing improvement after seeking treatment for six weeks. Psychotherapy, pharmaceutical intervention, and, more recently, ketamine infusion therapy, have all been proven effective in reversing the effects of MDD.


Dysthymia is a chronic irritable mood

Dysthymia is a chronic irritable mood or low-grade depression that persists over the span of multiple years. As a psychiatric illness, dysthymia closely resembles depression regarding its cognitive and physical symptoms. However, dysthymia is generally regarded as a less severe mood disorder than depression, although longer lasting.

As a mood disorder, dysthymia was first identified by psychiatrists in the 1970s as a form of “depressive personality”. It was characterized by its less acute nature than clinical depression. In other words, dysthymia is defined by a long and persistent “low” mood and regular irritability.

Symptoms and Treatments

It can sometimes be difficult to tell apart someone living with dysthymia from someone who is generally moody. Ultimately, the subjective experience of the patient will determine the extent to which they identify with the disease. The primary symptoms of dysthymia are a prolonged depressed mood, the absence of mania, altered appetite, fatigue, and low self-esteem.

It is important to note that dysthymia is set apart from other mood disorders due to its specific time requirements. To be diagnosed with dysthymia, a patient needs to exhibit depressive symptoms for no less than two years and must experience depression continually with no breaks exceeding two months in length.

Most dysthymia sufferers will seek treatment for the stress associated with the mood disorder before they seek treatment for the depressive symptoms. Psychotherapy has been shown to be effective in treating dysthymia. However, therapy is often most effective when used in conjunction with medications such as SSRIs and tricyclic antidepressants.

Substance-Induced Mood Disorder

Substance-induced mood disorder (SIMD) closely resembles major depression and dysthymia. However, it is characterized by its being brought about due to using alcohol, drugs, or medications. Normally, healthy individuals will feel transient feelings of sadness throughout their lives. Those with SIMD, however, usually feel these emotions during the hangover or “crash” that follows their substance use.

You can identify SIMD by the low mood symptoms and feelings of depression that arise after taking drugs, alcohol, or medication. If you regularly feel negative emotions after taking psychoactive substances, or if you compensate for these effects by taking more substances, you need to seek treatment for SIMD.

Ketamine for Mood Disorders

Mood disorders such as major depression, dysthymia, and SIMD can be treated with ketamine infusion therapy. According to Pam Harrison of Medscape, physicians can safely and effectively administer the anesthetic ketamine to treat mood disorder sufferers or those suffering from chronic pain.

Although ketamine has not yet received formal approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), dozens of licensed clinics have opened across the United States that offer ketamine infusion therapy. Ketamine infusion therapy is a promising new treatment that takes less than an hour to administer while providing lasting and powerful alleviation.

For more information about using ketamine for mood disorders, we recommend inquiring about ketamine treatment at your local ketamine infusion clinic. A directory of US ketamine providers can be found on the Ketamine Advocacy Network website.

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