Ketamine for treatment-resistant depression
Depression is the leading cause of disability, affecting more than 300 million people worldwide. Symptoms include sad mood, loss of interest and pleasure, feelings of guilt, sleep disturbances, disturbed appetite and feelings of fatigue.
What causes depression? The interaction of biological, social, environmental and cultural factors can result in the development of depression. Given this multi-causal origin, a multidisciplinary treatment approach with effective synergy is mandatory.
Despite the continuous development and launch of new molecules, the antidepressants usually indicated for the treatment of depression (SSRIs, SNRIs) are not effective in a large percentage of cases. Those cases of depression that undergo various lines of treatment, combining, switching or boosting various drugs without diagnostic remission will be categorised as refractory depression, without, so far, a promising treatment offer.
Ketamine has been shown to be highly effective for the treatment of refractory depression, providing a novel tool for those millions of people who do not respond to the first lines of conventional treatment.
The multifactorial origin of depression forces us to offer a holistic treatment to ensure long-term results, so our approach plan will address the needs of each applicant and offer not only pharmacological treatment with ketamine, but also work through psychotherapeutic sessions from Acceptance and Commitment and Mindfulness sessions.
How can ketamine help?
Ketamine has been used as an anaesthetic in hospital practice for 50 years and is a highly safe drug. In recent years, it has been used successfully for treatment-resistant major depression.
In contrast to conventional antidepressants, which take two to six weeks to take effect, a single dose of ketamine can significantly improve depressive symptoms in the first week. This shortened time to efficacy is relevant in that it helps to dilute suicidal thoughts, a symptom that in some cases can be aggravated by the antidepressants themselves.
Its main pharmacological action is the blockade of NMDA receptors. This blockade can produce an anaesthetic, anticonvulsant, neuroprotective and dissociative effect. Its anxiolytic, analgesic and psychomimetic effects are the key to possible transpersonal healing work.
An experience with ketamine
“Ketamine is a doorway, a portal, a way for people to become deeply aware of their lives,” explains Dr Joel Friedman in a conversation with journalist Don Lattin in his book ‘The New Psychedelic Medicine’. “Who we really are has nothing to do with our stories of who we think we are. Our traumas and our dramas give us a false sense of identity. That is what I call the small self. Ketamine offers the story of the Big Self. It connects you to the Source.
Lattin’s interview with Friedman is much more than a journalistic account. The book’s author himself recounts how he started taking antidepressants in the 1990s, and how his experience with ketamine helped him “gain a deeper understanding of this thing called depression” and get off antidepressants.
Ketamine is psychoactive. That is, it alters our perception of reality. This is why its use has been restricted in medical use beyond anaesthesia. Here is Don Lattin’s account of his experience with injected ketamine:
“(…) An incredible sense of peace came over my soul. My consciousness seemed to be hovering over my body like some kind of higher protective power. It was a sensation I had briefly experienced years ago, in a less intense way, during a Zen meditation retreat. Suddenly, I was not wrapped up in my own story. My ego had dissolved. I was present, really present, in a completely new way.
Ketamine treatment in Spain
Due to the increase in the incidence of depression, which has tripled following the COVID-19 pandemic, Beckley Med has developed a dynamic protocol that is tailored to the needs of those suffering from refractory depression. The treatment aims at short-term improvement, thanks to the implementation of intravenous infusions of ketamine, and the maintenance of this symptomatological remission thanks to the interdisciplinary approach and the application of Acceptance and Commitment therapy and Mindfulness. The treatments are carried out at CITA, an environment surrounded by nature with an exceptional care service, enhancing the experience to the maximum.
If you are interested in accessing this treatment you can contact us through our contact form. Once we receive your request, we will contact you to arrange an appointment for a video-conference session. During this session, a diagnostic interview will be carried out and any doubts that may arise regarding the treatment process will be clarified. At the end of the clinical session you will be able to find out if it is a potentially effective treatment for you and, if it is, you will be given priority access to it in relation to other patients arriving later.
Think Tank founded in Great Britain in 1998 by Amanda Feilding, a pioneer in psychedelic research in the field of mental health and on Drug Policy reform.
The world’s leading psychedelic research organisation. Rick Doblin’s MAPS is a global leader in training programmes for psychedelic therapists.
The figure of Stan Grof in the history of psychedelics has reached legendary status. His legacy takes the form of a comprehensive psychedelic psychotherapy training programme.