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Mental Health Services for Treatment-Resistant Depression
September 24, 2022 at 7:00 AM
This was captured well waiting for the doctor who was busy at the time

If you’ve been treated for depression and your symptoms haven’t improved, you may have treatment-resistant depression. For most people, taking antidepressants or going to psychological counseling eases depression symptoms for most people. But for others, the standard treatment isn’t enough.

We’ll cover mental health services for treatment-resistant depression in further detail below, with a particular focus on ketamine and transcranial magnetic stimulation.

What is ketamine treatment?

Ketamine is a psychedelic drug that’s gaining popularity as a treatment for depression. The medication was initially used in hospitals and veterinary clinics as an anesthetic for decades. It offers patients faster relief, sometimes easing depression after just a single dose (especially if used intravenously).

Some researchers believe ketamine can make patients feel detached from their environment while easing pain. Other studies show that ketamine’s effect on certain receptors in the brain is responsible for its positive results. Specifically, ketamine is an N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist that provides rapid antidepressant effects in people with treatment-resistant depression.

In a recent study involving 41 people with treatment-resistant depression, a single ketamine infusion decreased 27% of the participants’ depression while 5% achieved remission. Another study found that one in three participants reported that ketamine provided some benefit.

Potential ketamine side effects

One of the biggest concerns of using ketamine for treatment-resistant depression is the negative side effects that users may experience. The most common side-effect of taking ketamine is feeling strange, weird, or loopy.

The drug also has other effects as well. Short-term side effects of ketamine can include:

  • Cognitive issues related to memory, learning, and attention
  • Confusion or feeling like you’re in a dreamlike state
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Muscle stiffness and numbness
  • Nausea
  • Sedation
  • Speech or movement issues, sometimes even becoming immobile
  • Slowed breathing

What is transcranial magnetic stimulation?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain to improve depression symptoms. It’s typically used when other depression treatments haven’t been effective.

During a TMS session, an electromagnetic coil is placed against a patient’s scalp near the forehead. The electromagnet delivers magnetic pulses that stimulate nerve cells in the region of your brain involved in mood control and depression. It’s thought that TMS can activate regions of the brain that have decreased activity in depression.

Though studies have not been able to explain why TMS works, the stimulation seems to impact how the brain is working, easing depression symptoms and improving mood. There are different ways to perform TMS and techniques may change depending on the experts you receive treatment from.

What are the risks of TMS?

Unlike vagus nerve stimulation or deep brain stimulation, TMS does not require any surgery or the implementation of electrodes. Because of this, it does not cause seizures or require sedation. It’s generally considered safe and well-tolerated by patients.

Make an appointment with Bella Jace Center to get holistic care for treatment-resistant depression.

Bella Jace Center is a Brentwood psychiatric practice that provides holistic care to help our patients to enhance their mental health. Whatever you’re dealing with in life, you can get experienced, nonjudgmental support from the team at Bella Jace Center. You deserve the best care available, which is why we commit to helping our clients to achieve their mental health goals through balanced treatment plans. From initial evaluations to medication management and ketamine infusions, our team of expert psychiatrists will adjust your treatment plan until it delivers results.

Get holistic mental health care that responds to your changing needs from Bella Jace Center. Schedule an appointment and learn about your care options for treatment-resistant depression.

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