Unmanaged chronic pain can make depression symptoms worse, but that’s not the only reason you might not find the depression relief you need. For some people, managing chronic pain and taking the right medications still doesn’t fully alleviate depression symptoms. When this happens, it’s called treatment-resistant depression, and, unfortunately, it affects up to one-third of adults with major depression.
Because depression — especially treatment-resistant depression — can profoundly impact the quality of your life, it’s important to explore all your options, including ketamine infusion therapy.
Let’s take a look at how ketamine infusion therapy helps patients with treatment-resistant depression, courtesy of our team here at Beverly Hills Migraine & Pain Management Institute.
Signs you’re dealing with treatment-resistant depression
Treatment-resistant depression refers to depression symptoms that don't respond fully to traditional depression treatments, such as medication and therapy.
You might suspect you have treatment-resistant depression if:
- If you’ve tried several medications and varying doses but still don’t feel better (note: some antidepressants can take over a month to make a difference in your symptoms)
- Your symptoms have improved a little but not enough to improve the quality of your life
- You’ve incorporated other treatments, such as therapy and lifestyle changes, with little relief
- You don’t have any other underlying conditions that are contributing to your feelings of depression
Understandably, treatment-resistant depression can feel overwhelming, but there is a beacon of hope: ketamine infusions.
What is ketamine infusion therapy?
Dr. Benjamin Taimoorazy, our triple-board certified specialist, offers ketamine infusion therapy right here in our Beverly Hills and Northridge, California offices. This therapy is an intravenous ketamine infusion designed to help alleviate the most stubborn type of depression: treatment-resistant depression. Originally used as an anesthetic, it’s now widely used for the management of chronic pain, as well as anxiety and depression.
Ketamine infusion therapy: Hope for those with treatment-resistant depression
Ketamine infusions shine as a depression treatment because they help alleviate treatment-resistant depression quickly 一 anywhere from one to 24 hours post-infusion.
This begs the question: How does ketamine help when other medications can’t? The answer is simple: Ketamine infusions target a different part of your brain than traditional antidepressants do.
How it works
Ketamine infusions interact with your glutamate receptors. In turn, this triggers a cascade of events:
- Ketamine blocks NMDA receptors
- This triggers an influx of glutamate, a neurotransmitter responsible for keeping the brain functioning
- Your AMPA receptors are then activated, which supports proper neuron communication
- The better your neurons communicate, the better your brain functions
In addition to engaging with your receptors and supporting proper neuron communication, ketamine therapy helps with depression treatment in another way: It helps build new synapses in your brain. Because synapse dysfunction is linked to depression, it makes sense to focus on improving synapse growth as part of your depression treatment.
In other words, ketamine infusions offer hope to patients with treatment-resistant depression by interacting with your brain on many different levels.
Are ketamine infusions right for you?
We know that recovery from depression requires a multidimensional approach, and that’s why we support you throughout your entire mental wellness journey from IV infusions to guidance with at-home modifications that support your mental wellness.
Before we recommend ketamine infusions, Dr. Taimoorazy performs a comprehensive exam, reviews your medical history, and reviews your depression symptoms. If ketamine infusion therapy is right for you, we prepare you for your infusions and review all protocols with you. As a concierge-style practice, we’re always a call away if you have questions.
If you’re struggling with treatment-resistant depression, call 424-302-0289 to make an appointment at either of our locations. Alternatively, you can request an appointment online and start exploring the benefits of ketamine infusion therapy.