Between 2008 and 2017, 60,000 veterans died from suicide. That’s roughly 20 deaths per day. And veterans are 21% more likely to commit suicide than their peers of the same age and sex. For many, ketamine infusions offer a beacon of hope – especially when other depression and PTSD treatments have failed to work.
For a veteran named Joshua Emer, ketamine infusions have provided relief and healing from his depression and suicidality. This story was originally reported by Fox 21 News.
Ketamine and Depression: Veteran Joshua Emer’s Story
Veteran Joshua Emer had already lost 5 friend to suicide, and the medication he was taking didn’t provide the relief he needed from his depression and suicidality. He even tried the companionship of a service dog, but eventually didn’t have the dog anymore.
That’s when he decided maybe ketamine infusions for depression could provide the relief he needed.
“I had nothing else going for me at that point, I mean I was still flirting with killing myself,” he told Fox.
And the ketamine infusions have helped him find relief: “I was on 7 different medications,” he said. “And now I’m on one.”
How Ketamine Infusions Treat Depression
Ketamine infusions are different from other depression, PTSD, and suicidality treatments because they work effectively and they work fast with long term results.
Ketamine Infusions Work Effectively
Ketamine infusions work effectively because they literally rewire the synapses in the brain. Researchers propose several ways ketamine infusions accomplish this “rewiring.” Some research points to ketamine’s ability to block NMDA receptors. Other research indicates that ketamine restores disrupted circuits as well as building new circuits. Still more research points to ketamine increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter glutamate between neural receptors – activating AMPA receptors which ultimately produces new signaling pathways.
It’s highly likely that ketamine infusions affect the brain in all these ways or in a combination.
For a more detailed description of current ketamine research, we recommend reading our blog “How Does Ketamine Affect the Anatomy of the Brain?”
Ketamine Infusions Work Fast with Long Term Results
Ketamine infusions also work fast with long term results. Case in point, emergency rooms are starting to use ketamine to treat acute suicidality. And the reason ketamine infusions work so quickly has to do with cell biology. Depression has been linked to deactivated G-proteins within cells. Ketamine reactivates G-proteins within about 15 minutes and keeps them from re-deactivating for a long time. This is a very simplified description of this process. For more details on how ketamine works fast and long term, we recommend reading our blog discussing how ketamine treats depression quickly.
70% of patients who receive ketamine infusions find relief from their symptoms after only the first session. And the relief can last for months.
Ketamine and Depression Relief for Veterans
Last year, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense recommended ketamine infusions as an “adjunctive treatment for short-term reduction in suicidal ideation” in their guideline for screening veterans of suicide risk.
For anyone interested in ketamine infusions, it’s important to remember that ketamine infusions are not a first line of defense treatment. And they shouldn’t be the only treatment received. Ketamine infusions work most effectively when combined with other therapy like talk therapy.
Ready to Try Ketamine Infusions for Depression?
Joshua Emer found relief from his depression and suicidality through ketamine infusions. Do you or someone you love struggle with PTSD, depression, or suicidality? Then ketamine infusions could provide the needed relief. Simply schedule a free 15 minute consultation with one of the doctors at Virginia Infusion Therapies in Leesburg, VA.
Why suffer from depression if you don’t have to?