I’ve been paying a great deal more attention to my depression lately because I can feel it creeping in as the holiday approaches. Admittedly, I’ve not been working out as I should be, and part of that is probably depression-related as well. At the same time, I could be forcing myself to go, but I’m not. I feel run down and lack the energy necessary to expend during a workout. I’m also fully aware that I would feel so much better if I pushed through it and hit the gym, even if it wasn’t for the full 90 minutes. The truth is, sometimes I get in my own way.
Anyway, I’ve been looking at different ways to control my depression better, and I thought I would share some of the things I’ve found.
There are a few common things that I’ve never been able to quite grasp, and leading the pack in this category is meditation. I would love to meditate, but I have found it too frustrating because I can’t seem to quiet my thoughts. At the same time, I haven’t put any effort into finding a good teacher either. Again, kind of getting in my own way.
I’ve found lots of positive things written about cannabis as well. Medical Marijuana is now legal in Ohio, and the science behind it seems pretty solid, and I’d be open to exploring that as well.
I did come across something new that I found interesting. I was reading an article on the Cleveland Clinic website about Ketamine, which led me to one of their podcasts called Neuro Pathways. The topic was about using Ketamine for treatment-resistant depression. You can listen here.
It’s generally considered to be treatment-resistant depression when someone doesn’t respond after two adequate trials of at least two different medications, preferably of different classes. While I don’t know that I would consider myself to be warring with treatment-resistant depression, I will say that it never seems to go away completely. I’ve talked many times about why I think of it as a war with depression rather than a single, lengthy battle. I recently recorded a short video explaining this, and I embedded it below.
Without going into much background, Ketamine has been around for a long time. The FDA first approved it for use as an anesthetic in 1970. Ketamine can and has been abused, but that’s also the case with many other drug. It was later discovered that Ketamine could profoundly impact people struggling with treatment-resistant depression. Fast forward to 2019 and the FDA approved Ketamine for the treatment of depression. There are two main delivery methods, intranasal and intravenous. The most commonly used is intravenous, and I understand it’s significantly cheaper as well.
What makes Ketamine unique is that it regrows connections inside the brain and creates new neuro-pathways that can help people become more resilient against depression going forward. Also, unlike other antidepressants, it’s not the presence of Ketamine that causes this response but rather the body’s reaction to it. It’s important to understand that this isn’t a one-time fix for depression but is instead part of a comprehensive treatment plan. That plan includes all the old favorites like therapy, diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes. It may also include further Ketamine treatment.
I guess the bottomline is that it’s considered a game-changer. I’m not sure I would personally sign up for this, but it’s fascinating. I feel like I manage pretty well, at least for the most part. Although to be completely honest, just because I’m not suicidal and I’m functional doesn’t mean my depression is appropriately managed. I imagine that it would be like putting on a pair of glasses for the first time. You are so used to seeing things a certain way that it becomes your normal. It’s not until you put on the glasses and have your vision corrected that you realize how much better off you are with the glasses than without. That’s kind of where I’m at with this.
Who knows, perhaps my life would be profoundly improved by something like Ketamine. Maybe I’m struggling more than I realize?
The point is that my little searching for options Google adventure led me down an interesting road. It’s comforting to know that significant advances are being made in the field of mental health, more specifically, depression. I’m going to keep following the news about using Ketamine for depression because I’d like to see where this goes.
As always, if you’re struggling with depression, never be afraid to ask for help. I know how hard that can be, but there’s no shame in seeking help for mental illness.