Depression affects more than 300 million people worldwide, and it’s one of the leading causes of disability. In severe cases, depression leads to suicide.
Adverse life events often cause depression. But biology, psychology, and social interactions also play a role.
There is a confusing array of modalities and drug regimens for treating depression. We’ll discuss two in this article.
Read on for information comparing ketamine vs ECT for anxiety and depression.
What Depression Isn’t
Everyone suffers from sadness now and then, and that’s normal. Normal sadness often comes from external circumstances or situations. Examples of situational depression are sadness due to:
- Death of a loved one
- Loss of a friendship
- Death of a beloved pet
It’s impossible to live and not experience challenging situations and sadness now and then.
Depression is more than sadness, though. It’s a constellation of behaviors that together result in a decreased quality of life. Some of the symptoms of depression are:
- Extreme sadness
- Depressed mood
- Difficulty focusing
- Lack of pleasure in normally pleasurable activities
- Suicidal thoughts
When the symptoms won’t go away, even after treatment, then it’s treatment-resistant depression.
What can you do for this type of depression? If you or a loved one has tried two or more medications without relief, it may be time for something different.
What Is Ketamine Therapy?
Ketamine was first used as anesthesia in the 1960s. It’s also a drug of abuse when used outside the clinic setting.
But ketamines for depression are now widely used and are a miracle for some patients. The drug is given via an IV infusion. The patient stays awake during this painless treatment.
The entire treatment takes about two hours. The infusion itself takes about 40 minutes. The patient needs about six infusions in a 2-3-week period.
About 70% of patients report improvement within days on the ketamine treatment. Ketamine has no side effects.
The Basics of ECT for Anxiety and Depression
ECT is electroconvulsive therapy. Its first use was in the 1930s and it’s still used today. ECT must be done in the hospital while the patient is under anesthesia.
The procedure induces a controlled seizure using an electric current. It sounds scary but it’s effective for up to 80% of patients. It usually takes 6-12 treatments over the course of 2-4 weeks.
ECT carries a potential side effect of persistent memory loss.
Ketamine VS ECT for Depression
Is ketamine the best option or is ECT for anxiety and depression better? It’s a matter of personal choice and resources.
Ketamine is easier and faster with no side effects. But most insurance companies won’t cover the treatment.
ECT requires a hospital stay and has the potential side effect of persistent memory loss. But many insurance companies do cover the treatment minus your deductible.
Whatever you decide, please get treatment if you or a loved one has depression. It’s a debilitating illness for which many treatment options exist.
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