ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The pandemic has dragged on for nearly two years as a new variant breaks out in Africa. As a result, countries are closing their doors to several African nations following the discovery of the omicron variant.
The U.S. is not spared as COVID-19 continues to be a threat to everyone. The health risk extends to the indirect psychological effects of COVID-19.
Have you ever felt a lingering sadness, fatigue, or recurrent thoughts of death? Like many, people are experiencing depression and suicidal ideation.
Medical practitioners have prescribed ketamine for depression and suicidal ideation through the years. So, let’s see the feasibility of ketamine at this time of the pandemic:
- How important is ketamine in Albuquerque?
- Depression in NM
- Suicidal ideation in NM
- Depression and suicidal ideation in NM during the pandemic
- What intervention is good for depression and suicidal ideation?
- Who is eligible for ketamine in Albuquerque?
- Are ketamine therapies effective?
- Where is the nearest ketamine therapy in Albuquerque?
How Important Is Ketamine in Albuquerque?
Figures show you how many are suffering from depression and suicide or suicidal ideation. It tells you exactly why a solution is crucial now.
Depression in NM
According to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) report, adults diagnosed with a form of depression in the USA were at 19.9% in 2019. This figure is not far from NM’s 17.3% of the same year or pre-COVID. Moreover, the BRFSS report reveals:
- People diagnosed with depression between 45-65 years old were higher than the younger and older age groups.
- Adult women were almost 7% more affected than men.
- History of depression was higher among LGB at 37% than straight adults at 16.2%.
- People with depression with an income of less than $15,000 topped the rank among higher-income earners.
- About 37% or one-third of jobless adults had a history of depression diagnosis.
Suicidal ideation in NM
BRFSS 2019 report further shows NM suicide death rates were 50% higher than U.S. rates for two decades. It meant NM’s suicide rate ranked second nationwide! It was further suggested that depression contributed to a higher risk of attempted suicide and suicide. Other significant figures about suicide among NM adults from the report include the following:
- 7.0% thought about ending their life
- 9.3% aged 18-44 years had suicidal ideation
- 19.1% or one-fifth of LGB thought of committing suicide compared to 6.4% of straight adults
- 10.8% with an income of less than $15,000 a year reported prevalence of suicide compared to adults of higher incomes at 3.2%
- 15.8% of jobless NM adults thought of committing suicide compared to employed adults at 5.8%
- 14.4% and 12.4% of disabled and poor health, respectively, though about suicide compared to those with no disability and good health at 3.9% and 5.6%, respectively
Depression and suicidal ideation in NM during the pandemic
Mental health has been a significant issue since 2020. COVID-19 impacted everyone in every part of the globe, and it persists until today.
NM has a total of more than 5,000 deaths. In Bernalillo county, there’s a total of 86,722 reported cases and 1,188 deaths as of November 30, 2021.
People got sick or died from COVID-19. But many have experienced or continue to experience the adverse psychological effects of the pandemic.
You may feel anxious, fearful, and depressed like someone else in the community. This situation is worse for those who have depression and suicidal ideation pre-pandemic.
In a news article, a psychologist and director of NM Behavioral Health Services Division, Neal Bowen, said that psychological problems surge due to the pandemic. These psychological issues include anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and substance abuse.
The pressing need for behavioral health services is a must as cases continue to rise. A behavioral health service like counseling is available in NM. Residents can call the NMCRISIS care line for their mental health concerns.
Why ketamine for depression? Know the pros and cons now!
What intervention is good for depression and suicidal ideation?
A medical practitioner assesses your psychological status before recommending the proper intervention.
Other than psychological counseling, medical practitioners prescribe medications. For example, they can suggest antidepressants, anti-anxiety, or antipsychotic drugs.
These medications ease the symptoms of depression and suicidal ideation. These medications also work best with behavioral or cognitive therapy.
However, people who have chronic major depression may be prescribed electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
Additionally, people with treatment-resistant depression (TRD) can undergo these procedures. However, there are cases when they no longer respond to conventional medications. One medical intervention for TRD is ketamine, which is available in Albuquerque.
Who is eligible for ketamine in Albuquerque?
Studies have shown that ketamine works for depression and suicidal ideation. But it’s not for everyone. Nevertheless, you are a potential candidate for ketamine therapy if you answer “yes” to the following questions:
- I have been prescribed different kinds of medication, a combination of medications, and varying doses without positive effect on my depressive or suicidal ideation symptoms.
- I have tried ECT or TMS in the past, which still does not work for my depression or suicidal ideation.
- I have tried counseling and behavioral therapy that did not result in any positive outcome.
- I am not pregnant.
- My blood pressure is maintained, or my hypertension is under control.
- I do not have acute heart disease.
- I have not had a previous bad experience with ketamine therapy.
- I do not have a history of a brain injury or mental problems like schizophrenia, psychosis, or substance abuse.
It is best to consult us for a comprehensive medical evaluation if you consider ketamine in Albuquerque.
Ketamine for Better Mental Health in Albuquerque. Here’s how.
Are Ketamine Therapies Effective?
The FDA approved intranasal ketamine for TRD. In contrast, IV ketamine is still considered an off-label drug for TRD.
Further studies need to validate IV ketamine’s safety and dosing administration as a therapy for TRD. About 140 clinical trials have been investigating IV ketamine for psychiatric disorders since February 2020. Most psychiatric disorders being studied include mood problems, suicidal ideation, PTSD, and OCD.
Here is a quick list of some of the latest 2020-2021 studies:
- The Canadian Rapid Treatment Center of Excellence naturalistic or real-world study: The study reveals IV ketamine effectively easing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and functional impairment. It was safe and well-tolerated by adult users with TRD.
- The Canadian Rapid Treatment Center of Excellence study on ketamine for TRD and bipolar with anxiety: The study of 209 adults shows IV ketamine significantly reduced symptoms of anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.
- The Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments Task Force systematic review of ketamine for TRD: The results reveal a single dose of IV racemic ketamine may serve as a third-line therapy for TRD. The task force suggested careful assessment for repeated use or maintenance by ketamine experts.
- Ketamine effect on depressive symptoms: A study shows repeated or ten doses of IV ketamine sustained antidepressant effects for five months. It significantly reduced disability, absenteeism, and presenteeism at work and school.
- Ketamine effect on suicidal ideation: A study reveals a single dose of IV ketamine may reduce suicidal ideation among people with TRD. The early anti-suicidal effect may wane quickly. Although, it can serve as support to existing standard treatment for people with TRD and suicidal ideation.
- Ketamine effect on TRD during the pandemic: A real-world study reveals that IV ketamine experienced significant improvements in symptoms despite COVID-19 restrictions. Repeated IV ketamine infusions eased adults’ anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation with TRD.
Social support is an essential factor during ketamine therapy. However, the effectiveness of IV ketamine was not reduced despite limited social interactions.
Nasal spray or IV ketamine? Let’s help you decide.
Where Is the Nearest Ketamine Therapy in Albuquerque?
A few clinics are offering IV ketamine in Albuquerque. When considering which “nearest” clinic to go to, bear in mind the five dimensions of access to healthcare.
These five dimensions have been adapted from “The Concept of Access” by Penchansky and Thomas.
- Affordability: The standard rate of IV ketamine infusion and the overall cost, including charges, if any, are reasonably priced. Or it is the right price that fits your budget.
- Availability: The best clinic has ketamine-certified staff and appropriate equipment for IV ketamine infusion.
- Accessibility: The clinic should be geographically near your home or office for convenience.
- Accommodation: The staff are pleasant and listen to your preferences. Likewise, the clinic’s therapy room should be private and comfortable.
- Acceptability: The clinic welcomes clients regardless of age, sex, gender, social class, religion, and ethnicity. It includes the complexity of your case.
Besides these five dimensions, it is wise to consider a timely dimension. The clinic must adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols.
The high cases of depression and suicidal ideation during the pandemic can no longer be denied. However, there are ways of managing the symptoms of mental health problems. Medicines, medical procedures, and psychological counseling work hand in hand to relieve you.
For severe depression that does not respond to usual treatments, ketamine can be an option. Its efficacy, safety, and tolerability have been extensively studied. It is an adjunct therapy that works well with other modalities.
In addition, a November 2021 real-world study highlights ketamine as a standalone therapy. It outperformed combined therapy in abating symptoms of suicidal ideation among people with TRD.
Not everyone, though, is a candidate for IV ketamine infusion therapy. To know if you need ketamine in Albuquerque, consult us today.