Medication, psychotherapy, and positive lifestyle changes are often considered the gold standard of depression treatments because, for many people, this combination is enough to ease depression symptoms. Unfortunately, not everyone sees an improvement with medication and therapy. Approximately 15% of people don’t respond to their antidepressants at all, and another 40% only report a slight increase in relief. Depression that doesn’t resolve with the standard treatments is called treatment-resistant depression.

The good news is that treatment-resistant depression doesn’t mean you don’t have any hope of feeling better. Dr. Scot DePue at Keystone Advanced Ketamine Therapy offers cutting-edge therapy that alleviates depression symptoms, including treatment-resistant depression. Ketamine therapy is an intravenous therapy available here in our Wyomissing, Pennsylvania office.

In this article, we’ll explore what treatment-resistant depression is and how ketamine treatment can help.

What is treatment-resistant depression?

No matter what treatments or lifestyle changes you include in your treatment plan, you won’t see immediate changes. It can take a few weeks to determine the right medication (and the right dose). Different medications also take time to start to work. For example, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), can take four to six weeks to take effect. The same is true of lifestyle changes you make. Exercising, practicing good sleep hygiene, and eating well can also take days or weeks to make an impact on your mental wellness.

That being said, if you’re taking your medication as directed and practicing self-care, good nutrition, and healthy sleep routines, you might have treatment-resistant depression. Treatment-resistant depression is depression that doesn’t respond to the typical treatments. You might not see any improvements, or you might see only minimal improvements.

Combating treatment-resistant depression

While treatment-resistant depression doesn’t respond well to traditional depression medication, it does respond to ketamine. Ketamine, which was first used as an anesthetic, provides relief to individuals with depression 一 and it doesn’t take weeks either. Intravenous ketamine therapy has been demonstrated to improve depression symptoms in as little as 72 hours, according to a clinical trial published in Biological Psychiatry. For those who have suffered for weeks without any reprieve in their depression symptoms, 72 hours is a sign of hope.

What is ketamine and how does it work?

Ketamine therapy is delivered intravenously right here at Keystone Advanced Ketamine Therapy.

Ketamine reduces the symptoms of depression by stimulating specific parts of the brain. In fact, this is part of the reason why ketamine can help you even if you have treatment-resistant depression: ketamine stimulates different areas of the brain 一 areas that SSRIs don’t target. Ketamine targets glutamate, which is one of your brain’s most common chemical messengers. SSRIs target different messengers, monoamine neurotransmitters. Additionally, researchers believe that ketamine promotes the regrowth of connections between your neurons, which enables ketamine to help rewire the brain.

What to expect during your treatment

Receiving an IV infusion is similar to receiving an IV in any medical or healthcare setting. After a quick pinch, you can sit back and relax while the medication is delivered directly into your bloodstream. You may experience a few (temporary) side effects, including hallucinations. For this reason, it’s recommended that a friend or family member drives you home from your appointment.

At Keystone Advanced Ketamine Therapy, it’s our mission to support your mental wellness. If you haven’t had success with other depression treatments or medications, give us a call and find out if ketamine therapy is right for you. To learn more about this therapy, call our Wyomissing, Pennsylvania office at 610-334-8131. You can also visit our website to schedule an appointment.

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