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Ketamine For Depression? Consider Both Sides!

Fighting depression can feel like a long, drawn-out battle. If you have tried several anti-depressants, therapy, and an array of other remedies, but you're still suffering, then there is an alternative approach to consider: ketamine. Since ketamine works very differently from conventional anti-depressants, it is a good solution for many patients who have not responded favorably to other medications. Still, it's not a one-size-fits-all treatment — so make sure you consider both sides before you try ketamine therapy.

Pro: Ketamine has been used for a while and is well-studied as a drug.

The use of ketamine for treating depression is rather new, but the drug has been around for a long time. It has long been used, in larger doses, as an anesthetic, which means it has been studied extensively. While ketamine is not without its possible side effects, those side effects are widely known. Ketamine's ability to alleviate depression has been studied, too, even though using the drug in this way is relatively new. This is not an herbal remedy for which there is no evidence, and it's not a brand new drug that nobody knows anything about. 

Con: Ketamine can give you a "bad trip."

Ketamine is a hallucinogen. You take it once, and you have a "trip" after having taken it. Most people have a good trip during which they come to some good conclusions about themselves and their lives. But occasionally, someone can have a bad trip, which can be scary and unpleasant. You need to be very careful only to use ketamine when you're in a safe, relaxing environment as this reduces your risk of having a bad trip.

Pro: Ketamine only needs to be used once or twice.

This is not a drug you have to remember to take every day or every week. You take it once, and it alters your brain chemistry in a way that should alleviate depression long-term. Some patients need another dose some months or years later, but they still don't need to take the drug regularly.

Con: Ketamine is not usually covered by insurance.

Since this is a newer treatment for depression, most insurance companies do not cover the cost. You will need to pay out-of-pocket, and it is not unusual for a session to cost thousands of dollars.

If you are able to pay out-of-pocket and take steps to ward off the risk of a bad trip, ketamine therapy can be a very useful choice for fighting depression.

For more information, contact a ketamine therapy service in your area.