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 a Nova Vita patient:
What is ketamine?
Ketamine is a medication that alleviates physical and mental pain—both acute and chronic. Ketamine works quickly and effectively, so you don’t have to wait weeks or even months like you would with other treatments. You can get the help you need right away.
Watch a success story from CNN:
History of ketamine
Ketamine has a long history as a pain reliever.
Created in the mid-twentieth century, ketamine was initial used as an anesthetic on battlefields, in operating rooms, and as an alternative treatment for anyone who had adverse effects to other anesthetics.
Soon after, ketamine began being used as a party drug, taken in excess amounts and administered in harmful ways. This led to a bad reputation and heavily restricted laws.
That all changed in the 1990s, when the Yale School of Medicine began researching ketamine as a potential solution for depression. They found that ketamine can effectively treat depression in instances where it’s administered accurately at the proper dosage by a licensed medical professional. This includes severe depression.
More recently, doctors and scientists at many universities and organizations have begun studying ketamine as a potential solution for suicidal ideation. In these studies, and at ketamine facilities nationwide, ketamine has effectively treated suicidal thoughts in many people.
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:
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