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How To Deal With Depression

The way our society throws around the word depressed anytime we mean to convey sadness, it is easy for us to forget that depression is a very real, very debilitating disorder. It’s not something that a person can just snap out of, and it’s not something that can necessarily be “cured” in the traditional way of thinking.

That said, there are a number of ways you can find relief from the symptoms of depression and get yourself started down the path to wellness.

Depression treatment is difficult because at its core, it is contradictory – the things that you need to do to help yourself fight depression are the hardest things to do because of how depression makes you feel.

Fortunately, there are a lot of options ranging from baby steps to larger endeavors. You are not without hope for relief from your symptoms, that is just the depression talking.

Tip #1: Find Social Support

Depression can make you feel like you have to face everything on your own, but it also erodes your sense of perspective and makes tasks seem more daunting than they really are. It can make you withdraw socially and put strain on your personal relationships.

An important step on the road to recovery is reaching out for support. Support can come in many forms – close friends, family, a therapist, maybe even a support group.

The important part is that you know you are not alone. Other people have gone through what you’re going through now, and can be invaluable assets to your struggle.

Tip #2: Do Things You Enjoy

This may sound obvious, but in the midst of a depression it can be hard to enjoy anything, even things you consider hobbies. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is push out of your own comfort zone for a little while – not forever. If it gets too much, it’s fine to retreat into your comfort zone again. It’ll be there waiting for you.

Engaging in hobbies or social activities again can help reduce stress as well, one of the contributing factors to depression.

Tip #3: Support Your Own Health

Mental health being separate from physical health is nothing more than a formality: the brain is an organ, it is as much physical health as anything else in the body. The problem being “all in your head” does not make it any less real. The mind-body connection is real.

One way to keep your mental health in check is to support the rest of your body as well. Try to get eight hours of sleep a night, eat healthy, and practice relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation. You’ll be glad you did.

Tip #4: Don’t Be Afraid To Seek Treatment

You wouldn’t feel bad for seeking treatment for the Flu or for any other serious condition. Depression is a disorder of the mind, mostly caused by things like chemical imbalances or genetic history. It’s not your fault, and you there is no shame in seeking treatment.

What’s more, depression treatment looks more optimistic now than it ever has. Traditional treatments like antidepressant medications and innovative new techniques like ketamine infusion therapy both present options for treatment and relief from your condition.

Contact us today to learn about our innovative new treatment for depression.

what-is-chronic-pain

What Is Chronic Pain?

To feel pain isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it means your brain is working. Pain is a very normal and necessary sensation that occurs in the nervous system. It’s purpose is to alert you to either stop whatever it is that you’re doing that inflicts pain, or seek help for whatever injury might have already been inflicted.

It’s one of the driving forces that keeps us safe.

Chronic pain is a different beast. It’s any ache or pain that lasts for a duration of time exceeding twelve weeks. While acute (normal) pain is a necessary sensation to help keep us safe, chronic pain lingers.

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts for up to twelve weeks, but it can last as long as months (and sometimes years). Usually caused by an initial injury, such as a sprain or pulled muscle, chronic pain is believed to develop after the nerves have become damaged. The nerve damage, in turn, makes the pain more intense and longer-lasting.

Some of the most common types of chronic pain include:

  • Headaches
  • Post-surgical trauma
  • Post-trauma pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Cancer pain
  • Arthritis pain
  • Neurogenic pain (pain caused by nerve damage)
  • Psychogenic pain (pain that isn’t caused by disease, injury, or nerve damage)

How is Chronic Pain Treated?

Although there is currently no way to cure chronic pain, there are actions you can take to help manage the symptoms.

Ketamine for Chronic Pain

Ketamine, first approved by the FDA as an anesthetic, has been shown in recent years to treat mood disorders like chronic pain with rapid results. Ketamine is thought to play a role in the treatment of mood disorders through its influence on glutamate, a neurotransmitter that mediates response to stress and traumatic memories.

To learn more about ketamine and its use as PTSD treatment, contact usContact Us today to schedule a free consultation.

living-with-chronic-pain

Living With Chronic Pain

If you experience symptoms of chronic pain, you’re a member of an expansive club that may include up to 40 percent of the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It could be caused by many conditions – sometimes happening concurrently – but the exact cause is unknown. Because of that, chronic pain cannot be cured. The challenge becomes living with chronic pain but, thankfully, there are options to help you manage its symptoms.

ACUTE VERSUS CHRONIC PAIN

When people talk about acute pain, they normally mean a discomfort they can pin on a specific event or illness, like surgery, bone fractures, pain from a root canal, cuts and minor burns, or pregnancy. The pain can be sharp at times but normally subsides when a cut heals, or another condition subsides naturally.

Chronic discomfort is mysterious and puzzling; the Houdini of the pain world. It normally lasts for more than six months. You can feel chronic pain even without an injury or obvious bodily harm. Chronic pain may result from:

  • Headaches
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Nerve pain
  • Back trouble

Health Conditions May Cause Chronic Pain

Doctors and scientists haven’t identified the Holy Grail of chronic pain – its true source, but research has shown that chronic pain shows up after nerve damage. Our perception of the severity and duration of pain is driven by neurotransmitters in the brain, and when they are weakened, pain receptors fire off more frequently. This has led to the belief that trying to cure a fundamental injury may not reduce chronic pain.

What are some of the causes we can point a finger at (no, not that finger)?

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome, which includes harsh, prolonged fatigue that’s often accompanied by pain
  • Endometriosis is an agonizing condition which happens when a woman’s uterine lining grows on the outside of the uterus
  • Fibromyalgia, which is widespread pain in the bones and muscles
  • Inflammatory bowel disease refers to a group of disorders resulting in excruciating, chronic inflammation inside your digestive tract
  • Interstitial cystitis is a constant disorder causing bladder pressure and pain
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
  • Chronic vulva discomfort (Vulvodynia) which also doesn’t have a cause

STRATEGIES FOR LIVING WITH CHRONIC PAIN

Living with chronic pain can be a struggle for individuals and families. Here are several coping strategies which can help make your ordeal manageable:

  • Discuss various treatment options: Physical therapy, over-the-counter pain medicine or creams, or alternatives like ketamine infusion therapy.
  • Be understanding that common emotions of chronic pain – stress, anger, and frustration – aren’t a sign of weakness and don’t make someone a bad person.
  • Be accepting of the pain and move on to begin treating it.
  • Talk about your feelings when they happen, in a friendly manner.
  • Offer compassion and consideration, not condescension. Offer to help but without making a loved one feel powerless: “I’m sure you can do this but let me help just once.”
  • Keep a journal as a positive way to convey your emotions. Writing down your feelings adds much-needed perspective you may have lacked.
  • Every family has its share of problems, but the sudden introduction of chronic pain in a loved one can magnify the drama. Offer thoughtful feedback to a loved one about what’s going on, maybe even arranging for group counseling.
  • Keep your kids in the loop so they understand what’s happening and school them in simple terms relating to chronic pain and what it does to your family. Children need love and reassurance they’re not to blame for someone’s condition.
  • Keep an eye out for depression and be ready to get treatment if needed.
  • The benefit of group support can be medicinal, especially with members who commiserate with the struggles of chronic pain.
  • Managing chronic pain requires compassion and teamwork. Coordinate and reach out to other family members so you’re not the only one providing care.

HOW TO DIAGNOSE CHRONIC PAIN

The road to managing symptoms of chronic pain begins at the same point: Diagnosis. To diagnose chronic pain, you’ll undergo tests such as X-Rays, MRI, or CT-scans, to root out a physical cause, and an Electromyography to uncover signs of nerve damage. Your doctor will know which tools work best.

KETAMINE FOR CHRONIC PAIN

Our knowledge of living with chronic pain is greater than it seems. One thing we do know is that its symptoms can be managed through innovative therapy, including ketamine which until recently had been used primarily as a pre-surgical anesthetic. If you or a loved one are living with the symptoms of chronic pain we can help. Contact us today to learn more about the innovative new treatments we offer.

can-you-get-disability-for-ptsd

Can You Get Disability For PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects millions of people worldwide who’ve survived a deadly or traumatic event, and it’s a mental illness that is all-inclusive – striking anyone regardless of gender, race, and other socioeconomic markers.

WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF PTSD?

The Mayo Clinic defines PTSD as “a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.”

PTSD isn’t curable. Symptoms of the illness may not show up till months following a trauma, but they can be controlled by most people through a combination of clinical care and medication, such as ketamine, if needed.

WHAT IS A DISABILITY?

If you suffer from PTSD, you know all too well the symptoms can be debilitating, even disabling. You avoid people and places with the goal of suppressing traumatic memories. Many others have different opinions with regards to mental health illness, but experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) say a disability is any condition of the body or mind (“impairment”) that makes it tougher for anyone suffering the condition to take part in certain activities (“activity limitation”) and interact with the world around them (“participation restrictions”).

The WHO defines these “disability dimensions” as:

  • Impairment of a person’s mental operation like memory loss, or body function or structure such as loss of vision, or loss of a limb.
  • Activity limitation, like trouble walking, seeing, hearing, or problem-solving.
  • Participation restrictions in everyday life, such as going to work, partaking in social and recreational activities, and seeking preventive and medical care as needed.

CAN YOU GET DISABILITY FOR PTSD?

Yes. In fact, studies as recently as 2016 show that nearly one-third of all Social Security Disability Insurance recipients got benefits because of several kinds of mental illnesses, including:

  • Anxiety is a part of everyday life, like being at work and suddenly being stressed because you must make a presentation to the company president.
  • PTSD is a mental illness brought on by a traumatic situation, where a person either witnesses death or is threatened by it, and has recurring thoughts or memories about it for months or years after the event happened.

Depending on the severity of the PTSD and your overall health, your doctor or therapist may recommend different treatment options, including the use of ketamine to treat the condition’s symptoms.

  • Bipolar disorder symptoms include mood swings, trouble eating, or problems sleeping.
  • Depression is defined by The Mayo Clinic as “a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.” It’s also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression.
  • Eating disorders are characterized by abnormal eating routines, like anorexia nervosa, where you have an intense fear of gaining weight and severely restrict food consumption. The opposite is bulimia nervosa.
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder is a mental health illness where you have unwanted thoughts about performing an action repeatedly.
  • Personality disorders are behaviors that deviate from normal, acceptable behavior, like paranoid personality disorder.
  • Psychosis is a mental disorder where you see and/or hear something that doesn’t exist and feel like you’re at risk all the time.
  • Schizophrenia is experiencing hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized behavior and speech.

Receiving disability benefits for PTSD depends on proving your condition. Nearly two-thirds of all claims are rejected. To obtain a successful ruling and receive benefits, your application must prove:

  • That your PTSD makes it unreasonable for you to return to work.
  • That your PTSD makes it unlikely that you could handle a different job or kind of work.
  • That your PTSD is expected to persist for at least a year.

HOW DO I PROVE THAT I AM DISABLED BECAUSE OF PTSD?

To prove that you have become disabled by posttraumatic stress disorder, you must provide clear, indisputable evidence of your condition in two ways:

  • Assertions from a licensed medical doctor or mental health provider. This could be in the form of test results, notes compiled during an exam or therapy, or because of a formal diagnosis.
  • Statements or confirmation by someone who knows you or with whom you’ve interacted – family members, friends, or co-workers for example.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Whether you qualify for disability because of PTSD or not, its symptoms can be treated if you act quickly and are committed to long-term treatment. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs has cited many studies about the therapeutic success of ketamine and other related drugs. If you think you suffer from PSTD, contact us today to learn more about the innovative new treatments we offer.

the-stages-of-depression-chalk-board

What Are The Stages Of Depression

Millions of people globally are affected by depression each year, and many of them suffer the worst consequences imaginable from the symptoms and lack of care. Sadness, anxiety, and changes in eating habits are just a few of the symptoms, some of which lead to the five states of depression.

What is Depression?

Depression (clinical depression or major depressive disorder) is a widespread but serious mood ailment. It creates symptoms that affect how you think, feel, and handle daily events, like eating, sleeping, or working. Symptoms must be prevalent for two weeks before a patient can be diagnosed with depression.
Some forms of depression are different, or they can develop under distinctive circumstances, such as Persistent Depressive Disorder, Postpartum Depression, Psychotic Depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder.

What Are The Different Kinds of Depression?

A person with persistent depressive disorder may also have major depression along with less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last two years.

Postpartum depression affects women before and after delivery, with feelings of sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion interfering with their ability to care for their child.

Psychotic depression happens when a person has severe depression and psychosis, such as hallucinations or delusions.

Seasonal affective disorder normally appears in late summer to early fall and lasts through the following winter, with the onset of fewer daylight hours.

Bipolar disorder includes episodes of low moods that meet the criteria of major depression.

The Different Stages of Depression

The five stages of depression were co-opted from the stages of grief as described by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. They are:

  • Denial and Isolation are normally short-term when related to depression. The feelings of extreme sadness can be hard to ignore. But patients still ignore the issue, often believing that if there is a problem, they will just get over it.
  • When denial wears off, anger sets in because you realize you cannot overcome feelings of depression and you are even angry with the world.
  • Bargaining happens when depression takes on its own life and reveals horrible things about yourself. You try to negotiate away thoughts created by depression and replace them with positivity.
  • Depression creates a sensation of isolation as if you are lost in the wilderness with no direction.
    The final stage is acceptance, which means you have finally made peace with the reality of your mental illness.

Warning Signs of Depression

In many cases, the symptoms of depression can be treated, with a drug once used as an anesthetic –ketamine. But which symptoms?

  • Excessive sleepiness or insomnia
  • Petulance
  • Less interest in pastimes that were once enjoyable
  • Hopelessness
  • Constant thoughts of something terrible happening
  • Preoccupation with suicide, death, or suicide attempts
  • In very serious cases, psychotic symptoms like hallucinations or delusions
  • Inability to care for oneself, characterized by trouble bathing, eating, or fulfilling work or family obligations

Symptoms of depression can make you feel like there is no hope but talk to your doctor about depression treatment plans. Even severe symptoms are treatable.

Are You At Risk for Depression?

Certain people may be at increased risk of depression depending on many factors, including:

  • If you have a history of mental illness among blood relatives.
  • If you suffer from a chronic illness or other mental disorders.
  • If you experience stress or major life changes, like loss of employment or divorce.
  • If you struggle with mental illness but do not have a reliable support network.
  • If you suffer from perfectionism or high sensitivity to criticism.

Does Medication Work For Depression?

A doctor may prescribe antidepressants to treat symptoms of depression, but research over the last few decades has shown promise from an upstart newcomer – ketamine. Harvard Medical School says: “If a person responds to ketamine, it can rapidly reduce suicidality (life-threatening thoughts and acts) and relieve other serious symptoms of depression. Ketamine also can be effective for treating depression combined with anxiety.”

Some patients can be treated with esketamine, a nasal spray, or ketamine infusion therapy.

Treatment for Depression

The normal course of treatment follows a predictable path – physical exam with lab tests, mental evaluation, consultation with the DSM-5 – and then a doctor will prescribe treatment. In most cases, that includes psychotherapy and antidepressants, but ketamine has changed the landscape as if humans were terraforming on Mars. The drug is thought to work by positively affecting neurotransmitters in the brain, which play a big role in moods and how they can lead to depression.

Conclusion

The stages of depression and its symptoms are warning markers that should not be ignored. If you can recognize them, you are ready to take the first tiny step to get help. Contact us today to learn more about the clinical use of ketamine for depression treatment. There is hope. We can help.

does-alcohol-make-you-depressed

Depression and Alcohol Abuse

When combined, alcohol abuse and depression affect nearly 30 million Americans every year – and countless others who may be victimized by their destructive powers. Science and medicine play an important role in helping people manage the symptoms of both and repairing damage from either but defeating both require compassion and commitment. Both of these addictions can occur separately or together, but thankfully there are treatment options for them, including individual and group therapy and a drug called ketamine.

Alcohol And Your Brain

Northwestern Medicine spells out all the damaging effects alcohol can wreak on the brain:

  • Releasing more dopamine to create euphoria, a pleasurable feeling.
  • Depression, disorientation, memory loss.
  • Exhilaration. A blood alcohol content (BAC) of between 0.09 to 0.25 means that you are legally drunk.
  • Confusion. A BAC of 0.18 to 0.3.
  • Stupor. A BAC of 0.25 to 0.40 can result in a diagnosis of alcohol poisoning.
  • A high BAC boosts the chance of a coma thanks to weakened respiration, circulation, and motor reflexes and responses.
  • A high BAC could strip your brain of its means to manage bodily functions, leading to death.

Consuming alcohol changes the levels of neurotransmitters, which transmit signals body-wide and play a role in controlling emotion, behavior, and physical activity.

Symptoms of Depression

Depression is characterized by any one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Tearfulness, emptiness, sadness,
  • Anger, irritability, or frustration
  • Problems sleeping
  • Low energy
  • Reduced appetite, weight loss
  • Bigger appetite, weight gain
  • Agitation, restlessness, anxiety
  • Slowed speaking or thinking
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixation with past failures or self-blame
  • Trouble with decision making, problems thinking or concentrating
  • Persistent thoughts of suicide attempts, death, or self-harm
  • Baffling physical illnesses, such as headaches, back pain, nausea, diarrhea

The Connection Between Depression and Alcoholism

Depression and alcoholism often coexist in the same body with devastating consequences. In fact, about 30 percent of people with depression also abuse alcohol. In many cases, the depression appears first, though both conditions seem to take their time before fully gaining control. Studies prove that depressed kids are more susceptible to have problems with alcohol within a short time of the first symptoms. Teens with major depression are two times more likely to start drinking compared to those who are not depressed. The numbers for women are as significant, especially if there is a history of depression among blood relatives.

When you consume too much alcohol, you are at greater risk of making bad decisions or acting impulsively. This can lead to ruinous decisions, financial disasters, unemployment, or broken relationships. All of this means you are more likely to feel sad, especially if your genes are hard-wired for depression.

How To Treat Alcoholism

The best-known methods to treat alcoholism are multi-day rehabilitation or 12-step programs that get pitched on cable television, but there are others:

  • Behavioral programs built to alter drinking behavior with therapy. Sessions are led by health professionals and confirmed by studies proving they are helpful.
  • Medications “prescribed by a primary care physician or other health professional and may be used alone or in combination with counseling.”
  • Lesser-known and local mutual-support groups and other similar programs.

Treating Depression

The symptoms of depression and its effects are routinely ignored for one reason or another, often due to lack of healthcare, shame, or the belief that it is a sign of weakness that will go away on its own. But it will not, and many people who suffer from it enjoy productive lives thanks to getting help when needed – either professionally or through self-help groups. Treatment options like – ketamine infusion therapy to control symptoms, psychotherapy, self-help – should only be decided on after research, assessing risks and benefits, and talking to a doctor or mental healthcare provider for guidance.

Will Ketamine Help With Depression?

The benefits of using ketamine or ketamine derived drugs to treat symptoms of depression are entering the mainstream, as infusion therapy and recently introduced nasal sprays are shown to be effective in helping patients manage their symptoms. Now, the drug is showing promising results for treating alcoholism because one of its side effects is making the brain forget that it is addicted to alcohol. The drug, however, is most effective when combined with traditional psychotherapy in many cases.

Conclusion

Alcoholism affects up to 14.4 million Americans, but depression even more – about 15 million people every year. When combined, the damage is disastrous. In certain patients, one condition can lead to or make the other worse. People who are prone to anger, sadness, health, and personal problems can be hit by both concurrently. If you experience symptoms of either, contact us today to learn more about the innovative new treatment options we can offer.

Ketamine for OCD

Everyone, it seems, will toss out a joke occasionally about OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder): “I have OCD when it comes to folding my t-shirts” or “I have OCD about cleaning my glasses.” But the condition, characterized by the need to repeat an action or behavior continuously, is very real. It’s pop culture relevant, discussed often by Lena Dunham, Howie Mandel, and others. Ketamine-derived nasal spray and infusion therapy are now considered viable OCD treatment options.

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Ketamine for Anxiety

Anxiety is undue concern or worry. It prepares your body for action to battle danger. But what if there’s no danger? Then, anxiety obliges the sufferer to keep fleeing from an unseen beast to an alien destination. If you’ve run this race before and feel like a champion, then you know the effects of anxiety – trouble at work, school, home, and with relationships. But help is available, through clinical therapy, hospitalization, and medication like ketamine.

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Ketamine for PTSD

PTSD, or posttraumatic stress disorder, is most popularly associated with distressed American combat veterans, but it’s a serious mental health disorder affecting millions of men, women, and children – most of whom have never experienced war or front-line combat situations. Normal symptoms include trouble sleeping, reliving distressing memories, and negative thoughts, but all can be treated with therapy or medication, including ketamine and ketamine-derived drugs. In most cases, treatment is customized for each patient’s unique situation.

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Ketamine for Depression

Depression is a significant but treatable medical condition affecting how a person thinks, feels, and acts. More than 17 million U.S. adults suffer from it, while nearly two million children under 17 also experience its symptoms. It’s usually characterized by sadness, but symptoms can appear as apathy or irritability. Occasionally other medications or ailments can trigger or simulate the symptoms, so it’s crucial to seek care, which may involve therapy including the use of ketamine.

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