What is Major Depression?
Clinical depression or major depressive disorder (MDD) is different from just being sad, upset or having “the blues.” A patient is diagnosed with MDD if, for over two weeks at least, one experiences symptoms severe enough to impair normal functioning and the ability to engage in regular activities in daily life.
MDD causes significant distress and not because of any other underlying medical condition. It affects how we think, feel, and act. Major depression can even lead to self-harm and suicide.
Major depression is present when one feels depressed most of the day and there is a loss of interest and pleasure in activities that were previously gratifying.
- Feeling tired all the time as if you have no energy
- Weight gain or weight loss with significant increase or decrease in appetite
- Sleeping too much or difficulty falling asleep
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Loss of sex drive
- A slowdown in physical and/or mental activity
- Thoughts of suicide or death
Depression is not something that can just be wished or willed away and neither is it an indicator of personal weakness. More than 50% of US adults suffering from depression do not receive adequate treatment. If not treated properly, depression can last years and take over the lives of sufferers and their families.
Various approaches to treating major depression include antidepressant medications, psychotherapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), etc. Antidepressants in combination with psychotherapy is the common method of treatment. However, antidepressants may come with side effects such as insomnia, fatigue, weight gain, and sexual dysfunction. Electroconvulsive therapy is usually avoided and made the last resort for extreme cases.
Ketamine has raced to the forefront as a most efficacious medication in the treatment of major depression as well as other mental health conditions. Furthermore, zero to minimal side effects have been reported in ketamine therapy.
In the form of low-dose therapy, Ketamine has in fact shown rapid action with lasting benefits.
It works by allowing for neuroplasticity and neural regeneration in areas of the brain responsible for emotions and higher level thinking. While the more traditional antidepressants require at least six (6) to eight (8) weeks to start showing their effects, Ketamine has the ability to relieve the symptoms of depression within minutes to hours.
If you or a loved one are still suffering from major depression after trying traditional methods of treatment, Ketamine can be a compelling option.
Get in touch for a comprehensive evaluation to see if Ketamine treatments are right for you.
Dr. Mendiola is Ventura's trusted hometown doctor, caring for its residents and neighboring counties’ since 2000.
He completed his psychiatry residency at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, his advanced TMS Fellowship at Duke University Medical Center, and is dual-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the National Board of Medical Examiners.