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How Patients Struggle with Treatment-Resistant Depression and Anxiety

image of a woman on medication for depression

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Are you struggling with treatment-resistant depression and/or anxiety? It can be a debilitating battle leaving you feeling hopeless and lost. It can take years to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety, and once diagnosed, it can take many more years to find a prescription drug treatment that works. What many patients experience with prescription drugs is something of a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs coupled with unexpected twists and turns. To begin with, simply starting the process of taking an anti-depressant medication can be difficult and often comes with various side effects like:

  • temporary worsening of your depression
  • feeling agitated, shaky or anxious
  • feeling and being sick
  • indigestion and stomach aches
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • loss of appetite
  • dizziness
  • insomnia

Additionally, it may take weeks even months for your body to adjust to the new anti-depressant medication. As you adjust to the medication, you may further notice you have developed other unexpected secondary side effects such as:

  • weight gain
  • sexual side effects
  • muscle twitching
  • sweating
  • allergies
  • tingling

Weeks and months go by

As the weeks and months go on, you may discover that the side effects of the anti-depressant medication begin to outweigh the benefits of the drug, or, you may find the drug dose is not correct and needs to be adjusted. In some cases, your doctor may switch your drug all together or add a second drug, thereby increasing your drug responsibility and raising your odds of developing further side effects–not to mention the fact that you now have to begin the drug adjustment period all over again.

The standard treatment approach for depression & anxiety

The standard line of treatment for patients diagnosed with depression and anxiety is to prescribe prescription drugs and then monitor the patient. This process is known as watchful waiting. Doctors are trained observe patients for bothersome side-effects to emerge from the drug(s) and then watchfully wait to see if the adverse effects diminish over time. Depending on what happens, they are trained to either reduce the dose or adjust the dosing schedule or switch to another antidepressant. If those approaches are not successful, the (off-label) addition of other pharmacological agents is considered. While this may be the standard protocol, it can leave patients feeling lab rats.

IV Ketamine infusions for depression anxiety ptsd chronic pain fibromyalgia CRPS Bethesda MD McLean VA Washington DC

The all too common struggle

This is an all too common story I hear from my patients and it is no wonder treatment is such a struggle! What is worse is that the majority of the patients that I see have lived this way for years, going from doctor-to-doctor, drug-to-drug, only to eventually be diagnosed as treatment-resistant. That diagnosis leaves patients feeling hopeless.

In this stage of hopelessness, some patients manage to find good doctors and visit skilled psychiatrists, and through them, discover that there are real options for treatment resistant depression and anxiety. Those real options are IV ketamine infusions and nasal Spravato. Some determined patients are also able to discover these treatment options online and through other reputable sources. It is one of the reasons why we write these articles! It is important to continue to raise awareness about ketamine and advocate its proper use for treatment-resistant mood disorders and chronic pain.

Ketamine is safe for the treatment of severe depression & anxiety

Ketamine is very safe when administered by highly trained clinicians and has a strong body of evidence-based research supporting its use. In controlled studies on patients with severe depression, intravenous doses of ketamine have proved statistically significant in numerous studies. In most studies, more than 50% of the participants exhibited a decrease in their depression symptoms in just 24 hours after ketamine treatment.

A few standout points about Ketamine Therapy include:

  • Ketamine therapy has a calming effect on the nervous system
  • Ketamine is best when added to the patient’s current treatment protocol
  • Ketamine is non-addictive
  • Most Ketamine patients report little to no unwanted side effects

Ketamine can be a welcome change

For many patients, ketamine can be a welcome change to the typical experience of treating depression and anxiety. Ketamine often works more quickly and is metabolized better by the body. Most antidepressants take weeks to build up in your body and become effective, while ketamine can begin working within a matter of hours. Ketamine treatment is not for everyone and we invite you to come in and see us for a consultation to find out for yourself if ketamine IV Infusions are right for you.

If you would like to learn more about Avesta Ketamine and Wellness, please review our About Us page.

Ketamine Infusions in Bethesda, MD, McLean, VA and Washington, DC




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