We're Open and Available for IV Vitamin and Ketamine Therapy. Learn More

Treating suicidal thoughts with ketamine

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in America, claiming nearly 50,000 lives a year. Nearly 10 million Americans have contemplated suicide and over a million attempt it every year. It doesn’t have to be this way.

With ketamine, you can get the help you need to fight suicidal thoughts.

Watch a success story from CNN:

CNN newscasters

Is Ketamine Right for Me?

Elements graphic

History of ketamine

Ketamine has a long history as a pain reliever.

Developed in 1962, ketamine was initially used as an anesthetic on battlefields, in operating rooms, and in pediatric medicine for minor procedures. Beginning in the 1970s, ketamine gained the unfortunate reputation as a club drug as it became a popular substance of abuse among partygoers and later rave culture.

Ketamine’s notoriety took a positive turn in 1990s when the Yale School of Medicine began researching ketamine therapy as a potential treatment for depression. They found that ketamine can provide significant relief of depression symptoms when administered in a clinical setting and at the right dosage.

Further studies have shown similar results, with significant positive outcomes for ketamine among patients with severe treatment-resistant depression and suicidal ideation.

“The rapid therapeutic response of ketamine is the biggest breakthrough in depression research in a half century,” said Ronald Duman, the Elizabeth Mears and House Jameson Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Neurobiology, Yale School of Medicine.

learn more

How ketamine helps treat suicidality

There are a couple of ways that ketamine can help with suicidal thoughts.

As research from the Yale School of Medicine and elsewhere has found, ketamine triggers glutamate production and blocks N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)—a receptor involved in the amplification of pain signals, opioid tolerance, and the development of central sensitization.

What this does is rewires the brain and alters its connection between cells, which allows the brain to be more adaptable and create new pathways. This provides an opportunity to create more positive thoughts and behaviors.

Dr. Kevin Kane, anesthesiologist and Ketamine Milwaukee’s medical director, explained it well to CNN.

"If you think of it like a tree that loses its leaves in wintertime, ketamine helps grow those leaves back," Kane said. "It doesn’t necessarily have to grow an entire new branch or an entire new tree. It just has to sprout new leaves."

This re-wiring works long-term, although many mental health professionals advise people with suicidal thoughts to do It in conjunction with other solutions like therapy for ultimate wellbeing.

Other uses for ketamine

Ketamine has also effectively been used to treat the following:

chronic pain icon
Chronic pain
Learn more
depression icon
Depression
Learn more

Sources:   Ketamine, Center for Substance Abuse Research; How New Ketamine Drug Helps with Depression, Yale Medicine; Ketamine for major depression: New tool, new questions, Harvard Health Publishing; What You Need to Know About Ketamine’s Effects, WebMD; Ketamine: Exploring continuation-phase treatment for depression, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER); Highlight: Ketamine: A New (and Faster) Path to Treating Depression, National Institute of Mental Health; What are the uses of ketamine?, Medical News Today; Depression, World Health Organization

+