Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses among Americans. There are several treatment options for depression, which typically involve various medications and therapies. However, these traditional treatments don’t always work. Millions of Americans suffer from treatment-resistant depression, which is defined as symptoms of depression that don’t improve after at least two different treatment options are tried.
Recently, ketamine has been gaining popularity as an effective alternative to traditional treatment methods for depression, notably when others have failed. If you’re wondering whether you can replace your antidepressants with ketamine infusions, keep reading to learn the answer, or click here to explore more.
Traditional Treatment Methods
There usually isn’t a single treatment method that works for depression. It’s typically treated with a combined schedule of regular therapy and medication. The major downside of traditional treatment methods is that most take weeks or even months to start working. A person with depression has to endure their symptoms as they wait for treatment to affect them. This can be unbearable for some. Of course, the dangers of this cannot be overstated. For starters, they can end up hurting themselves. Furthermore, those with a predisposition to violent behavior can also hurt others. Needless to say, neither scenario is acceptable, so it is imperative that a faster-working solution is found.
Ketamine for Treating Depression
Although it isn’t widely available, ketamine has proven itself to be more effective at improving depression symptoms much faster than other treatments. It’s the only treatment shown to relieve symptoms within the first hour of treatment. Compared to the other methods of relief, this is essentially miraculous. And with minimal side effects and risks, it just might be the panacea for depression that so many people have spent so long waiting for.
Tapering Off Antidepressants
Many people feel so much better after ketamine infusion treatments that they begin to wonder if they can replace their antidepressants with them. While it is possible, it’s a slow process if it’s to be done. A person should never stop taking psychiatric medications immediately, especially if you’re feeling good and strong mentally. If there’s something you want to change, you should always do so by tapering and switching under the guidance of your care team.
When a patient receives an increased level of adequate support and follows supportive techniques provided by their doctors, it is possible to eventually taper off medications by lowering dosages at regular safe intervals. This process is different for everyone and shouldn’t be attempted without the guidance of your doctor.
If a patient can reduce symptoms such as depression and anxiety while building the skillsets they’ll need to manage their mental health in the future, they may be in a position where they will no longer need to take medication due to the benefits of ketamine infusion therapy and lifestyle changes.