September is suicide prevention month, and while there are many different ways to help prevent suicide, ketamine treatments may be one of the most effective methods. Recent studies have shown that ketamine can help reduce suicidal thoughts in as little as 24 hours. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please seek help! There are many resources available, and ketamine treatments may be able to provide relief from those thoughts.
If you are considering suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at
800-273- TALK (800-273-825). You are not alone.
HOW CAN KETAMINE HELP A SUICIDAL CRISIS?
If you suffer from depression and have thoughts of suicide or self-harm, getting rapid relief from your symptoms is critical. Most other treatment options are not an immediate fixes. On average, antidepressants take several weeks to achieve the desired effect, and even then, only about half of people find significant relief. This isn’t ideal when life is hanging in the balance.
Ketamine has been shown to relieve severe depression symptoms in a matter of hours, and low doses of the drug can disrupt the suicidal crisis in those with severe depression. Ketamine does this with its calming effects on the brain and by changing the brain’s structure of synapses, the points at which the nerves conduct signals. Essentially, ketamine is changing the path for important neurotransmitters in many essential areas of your brain.
We have found that ketamine infusions can be used to treat a variety of medical issues, such as chronic pain, migraines, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. Multiple sessions of ketamine infusions over several weeks can be a life-saving approach for those with suicidal behavior and a relief for those with other conditions.
Researchers followed 78 participants suffering from major depressive disorder and clinically significant suicidal ideation and found that a standard dose of ketamine given intravenously produced a rapid improvement of suicidal thoughts in some individuals, and part of this improvement was correlated with an improvement in problem-solving and thinking more clearly. This improvement in neurocognition—and suicidal ideation—occurred even when some of these individuals did not show comparable improvement in depressive symptoms.
Participants in the study who responded positively to the ketamine treatment continued to do well for up to six weeks after they were given an initial infusion in conjunction with other antidepressants tailored to each specific patient's needs.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for those ages 10-34 and the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Since 90 percent of those who commit suicide in the U.S. have a psychiatric illness and 60 percent of those suffer a major depressive episode before a suicide attempt, it would be a major benefit if ketamine could be used to lessen suicidal risk.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, ketamine treatments may be able to help. We offer a new perspective on treatment that can reduce the risk of suicide in highrisk individuals. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression and thoughts of selfharm, ketamine infusion therapy may be the answer.