I underwent my second ketamine infusion on Monday and listened to 90s alt rock. That…was different. I have discovered that recreational drugs would not be a thing for me. Thank goodness this is all under a controlled environment and I’m being monitored by a nurse and a doctor.
On Tuesday, I ended up being grumpy and irritable again. I can’t say for certain whether I was irritable due to the treatment or my kids just being assholes. I suspect it was a combination of both. Regardless, I felt okay on Wednesday.
I underwent my third infusion Wednesday afternoon and I feel okay still. It’s Wednesday evening and my brain is firing on all cylinders, I’m not sleepy, but I am very “out of it.” I don’t feel “all here.” I know sleep will help rectify it but it will be interesting to discover whether I am irritable again tomorrow (a snowstorm that will keep my kid home is likely to do it) or if my mood is somewhat better. My mood rating according to my rating scale is a 7. My guess is that my doctor would like me to shoot for a 9 by my last infusion (happy) but I’m content to just be “okay.” I’m always “here.” I’m never doing great or feeling fantastic unless I’m manic. Is it possible to get the euphoria of mania without the downside of the crash? It would be nice to know. Although I do have more energy and motivation for things than I did before the infusions.
Most importantly, my baseline is whether I’m dealing with suicidal thoughts. I did suffer from a little depression 2 days after my first infusion but since then, I’ve been okay. Before my first infusion, I took the PHQ-9, and I scored a 17. Today, before my third infusion, I scored a 6. I’m not sure what the hell happened but I’ll take it.
I think my pain points will be trouble falling asleep and staying asleep and overeating. I’ve been having difficulty concentrating lately so that might also be a factor that may keep my PHQ-9 from dropping much more. And I’m also super restless. Like I have too much energy that I need to burn off. I’ll use my son’s words: “fizzy feet.”
I’m undergoing a series of ketamine infusions for treatment-resistant depression. It’s a series of 6 sessions over the course of several weeks. 1-2 sessions per week.
I had my first infusion on Wednesday for an hour and it was certainly trippy. I listened to soft rock in a completely new way.
I was kind of hoping that effects would begin to take place soon after the infusion. Relief can start to take place within an hour of the first treatment. While I was not depressed or suicidal, I was not happy. In fact, I was irritable. Angry. My doctor and I are on guard to ensure that the ketamine doesn’t trigger mania since I actually have bipolar disorder and not unipolar depression. At this point, I feel like mania would be an improvement.
I’m already pessimistic about the treatment even though my doctor says it can take 3-5 infusions for relief to kick in. My next infusion is Monday. Well, there’s one thing: If I ever wondered whether I’d like doing drugs recreationally, I’ve gotten my answer by getting it legally. (That’d be a no.)
The FDA has approved a nasal spray called Spravato to treat suicidal patients. The drug was approved for those with treatment-resistant depression last year, but has also shown promise to reduce symptoms in suicidal patients in conjunction with therapy and other antidepressants. The drug, while FDA approved, is only administered by a health care provider and is not approved for home use.
Suicides in Japan have decreased in light of the COVID-19 lockdown. According to The Guardian, “the suicide rate in Japan fell by 20% in April compared with the same time last year, the biggest drop in five years.” The stay-at-home mandates affected about 40% of suicide prevention organizations that shut down or reduced workers’ hours. Also seeming to contribute to this drop includes the lack of commuting vs many people working long hours in the office.
The latest star to reveal that she’s suffered from depression and contemplated suicide is LeAnn Rimes. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Rimes confesses to cheating on her husband and admits that she had thoughts about taking her own life during the ordeal. According to the UK’s Daily Mail, the 30-year-old country singer checked into a health facility to deal with anxiety and stress after being criticized for her affair.
Ebselen, an experimental bipolar disorder drug, has been found by British researchers to work like lithium but without lithium’s side effects. In mice. In testing, mice that were somehow made manic with “small doses of amphetamine” were placated with ebselen. Researchers are now moving on to testing on healthy human volunteers before studying those suffering with bipolar disorder.
According to Time magazine, ketamine—a drug that induces hallucinations and other trippy effects—may hold potential as an antidepressant.
And now scientists report on two formulations of drugs with ketamine’s benefits, but without its consciousness-altering risks, that could advance the drug even further toward a possible treatment for depression.
Ketamine is seen as a fast-acting antidepressant for those at high risk for suicide. GLYX-13, mentioned here previously, is a ketamine-like antidepressant currently in clinical trials. AstraZeneca has AZD6765, a “ketamine mimic” that does not appear to be as effective as actual ketamine.
It finds that women with symptoms of depression were 2.5 times more likely to have experienced domestic violence over their lifetimes than those in the general population, while those with anxiety disorders were more than 3.5 times more likely to have suffered domestic abuse. The extra risk grew to seven times more likely among those with post-traumatic stress disorder.
“From our study, we don’t find any reason to stop taking your medication, because untreated depression may be harmful for the pregnancy and the baby,” [Dr. Olof Stephansson, the lead author of the new report] told Reuters Health.
Finally, “gender identity disorder” has been removed from the DSM-V and has been replaced by “gender dysphoria,” a condition in which people are concerned about their gender identity. “Gender identity disorder” seemed to stigmatize gays, lesbians, and transgender individuals. The continuing inclusion of “gender dysphoria,” however, ensures that people suffering with gender identity disorder still have access to health care treatment. (In my opinion, the renaming of “gender identity disorder” to “gender dysphoria” is really a politically correct change. Homosexuality was removed from the DSM back in 1973.)
According to an article on PsychCentral.com, bisexual men who don’t admit to their sexuality are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. The study, performed at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, evaluated 203 men who had female partners but did not disclose their same-sex behavior to them.
Have a dog dealing with depression or seasonal affective disorder? The solution may be to get a light box. Apparently, Max Marvin is the founder of Pawsitive Lighting that offers the Sol Box, a 10,000 lux light box that caters specifically to dogs and cats. The light box will set you back $199.
And finally, a new study suggests that depression in the elderly may be an indication of dementia. I’m a little skeptical of this study considering that 9 percent of Americans already suffer from depression and 3.4 percent suffer from major depression, according to the CDC.
When researchers evaluated 2,000 elderly New Yorkers for depression and then followed them, they found that depression accompanied memory declines but did not necessarily come first.