Intentional Living – Ketamine for Severe Depression


Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United State among people ages 15-44.  This week’s Intentional Living focuses on a not so new drug for depression that is now gaining more traction for those who are resistant to the typical meds.

We talked to Dr. Stephen G. Dalton with Lubbock Integrative Medical Associates and he explains what Ketamine is and how it has been around for a long time but in recent years is being used for drug resistant depression.  He says, “one of the things that we do here is we try to get at the underlying biochemical physiologic problems that are contributing to the depression and not just medicate.  Ketamine is actually creating new connections in the brain that will hopefully rearrange things so you don’t have depression, in a good way.”

For people who have struggled with depression for years and years and nothing has seemed to work, there is hope.

Dr. Dalton tells me, “ketamine has been used for fifty years, traditionally used as an anesthetic in and out of the hospital.  With time we find that some medications have additional uses and so most recently in the last twenty years it’s been used in a number of clinics and a number of studies for use of drug resistant depression.”

Usually when patients have failed drug therapy for their depression, “severe refractory depression and most of the people Dr. Dalton says he treats have been referred to him by a psychiatrist for treatment.”

Ketamine isn’t effective in everyone but Dr. Dalton says according to literature you’ll know in two treatments whether or not it’s going to work.

Dr. Dalton says, “with what we use in the clinic for the refractory depression we usually use IV because we can turn it on and turn it off immediately.  But it can be used in injection, nose spray, and orally so there are a lot of ways it can be used but most clinics that use it to treat depression.  Ketamine is not effective in everybody but we’ve seen good results with most of our patients.”

If you are interested in learning more about Ketamine treatments you can contact Dr. Dalton at Lubbock Integrative Medical Associates at 806-795-1393.

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