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Ketamine for Severe Depression: What to Expect

Ketamine for Severe Depression: What to Expect

The symptoms of severe depression, ranging from persistent sadness to sleeplessness and including constant feelings of exhaustion or loss of interest in hobbies and personal goals, can feel like a boulder on top of your chest. Seeking treatment only seems to present more challenges. 

How can you get out from under your severe depression symptoms and improve your mood?

If more conservative approaches like therapy and antidepressant medications haven’t relieved your severe depression symptoms sufficiently, you should know about promising ketamine infusion therapy treatment for severe depression.

Dr. Nichelle Renk provides ketamine infusion therapy for severe depression and other chronic conditions such as PTSD, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and pain at her practice at Alpenglow Pain & Wellness in Anchorage, Alaska. Talk to Dr. Renk about ketamine infusion therapy and whether you could be a good candidate.

Here’s just some of the information Dr. Renk wants her new and existing patients to understand about using ketamine as a treatment for severe depression.

Ketamine: How it works

Medical uses for ketamine go back decades. Long used as an induction agent and sedative during surgical procedures, ketamine currently shows promise for other therapeutic uses, including as a treatment for severe depression, fibromyalgia, and chronic pain. 

We are still learning about all of the ways that ketamine can improve your mental and physical health and wellness.

Ketamine temporarily interrupts pain signals, preventing them from registering in your brain. The drug produces a dissociative effect. Used therapeutically, it may be able to disconnect you from the negative cycle of your chronic emotional pain and allow your mood to improve.

Ketamine battles your severe treatment-resistant depression by transforming the interior of your brain.  Specifically, ketamine increases your glutamate levels which improves energy and your happy neurotransmitters which improves mood. Without the constant pain signals, your depression can start to improve. Studies show that ketamine tames mental health symptoms immediately after treatment, with benefits continuing after treatment for most for weeks to several months.

What to expect with low-dose therapeutic IV ketamine

In high or uncontrolled doses, ketamine can become addictive. Low-dose therapeutic ketamine infusions differ from party drugs, protecting you from addiction.

At Alpenglow Pain & Wellness, Dr. Renk and nursing staff supervise your ketamine infusion therapy closely, making sure your dosage is right for you. You can trust her medical expertise in correctly administering this treatment.

Dr. Renk delivers ketamine treatment via infusion therapy. A very thin intravenous (IV) needle is gently inserted into one of your veins, allowing a ketamine medication to flow directly into your bloodstream. You rest in comfort in a recliner while Dr. Renk and staff monitor your session.

During the IV infusion process, which typically takes less than an hour, most patients experience dissociative feelings. You may not experience dissociation, but still receive effective relief with ketamine infusion therapy. Most patients find the infusion process deeply restful.

Within about 15-20 minutes of your IV drip ending, the dissociative effects of ketamine wear off. However, your antidepressant benefits can last for days, weeks, or even months after a single infusion session.

Real results with ketamine for depression

For treatment-resistant severe depression, Dr. Renk may recommend a series of ketamine infusion sessions. Many patients benefit from three to six infusions, spaced over a six to twelve week period. You can also talk to Dr. Renk about booster treatments if your depressive symptoms start to return.

Learn more about how ketamine infusion therapy could improve your mental health by consulting with Dr. Renk at Alpenglow Pain & Wellness now. Schedule your initial consultation appointment with Dr. Renk by calling 907-677-7246 today, or book online at your convenience.

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