Can Ketamine Help Alleviate Suicidal Thoughts? 

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, it’s time to get help. There are many risk factors that may contribute to suicidal ideation, including a history of mental health conditions and previous suicide attempts. 

If you or a loved one is experiencing the effects of treatment-resistant depression or other circumstances leading to suicidal thoughts, you may be wondering how to get help. In addition to working with a primary care provider and counselor or therapist, alternative treatments can sometimes be helpful, depending upon the person’s background and symptoms. 

Research continues to point to the efficacy of ketamine therapy for depression (as well as other mental health conditions and chronic pain). Interested in learning more about this possibility? Here, we discuss how ketamine may help certain individuals overcome or reduce symptoms of depression, including suicidal ideation: 

How Ketamine May Improve Cognitive Functioning

According to a five-year clinical trial conducted by Columbia University, ketamine rapidly improved depressed individuals’ thinking and reasoning skills. In the study, participants who expressed thoughts of suicide were provided with a standard dose of ketamine intravenously (in conjunction with previously prescribed antidepressants). Some of these individuals experienced a reduction in suicidal thoughts within 24 hours and kept these thoughts at bay for up to six weeks. 

The researchers discovered that suicidal ideation was not directly correlated with the severity of depression. The research suggests that a low dose of ketamine given intravenously may improve depressed individuals’ problem-solving abilities and clarity of thought. What’s particularly interesting about this study is that even patients who didn’t report an improvement in other depression symptoms benefited from feeling safer and less likely to harm themselves. 

Columbia’s findings regarding ketamine and lessening of suicidal thoughts are incredibly encouraging. Emerging studies continue to point toward ketamine’s ability to impact neurotransmitters to combat many conditions. From major depressive disorder to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and even chronic pain, ketamine therapy has many applications. If you or someone you know has been experiencing thoughts of suicide, now is the time to reach out for help. 

If you’d like to explore the possibility of ketamine infusions, we’d love to help you. It’s important to work closely with your medical team and continue the medications you’re prescribed, so we’ll need to determine if you’re a candidate before proceeding. The first step is to reach out to us for a consultation and discussion of your current symptoms and medical background. Ready to start the conversation? We’re here for you. Contact us today to schedule a chat. 

Further Reading

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