Teen Depression | Ketamine Could be a Solution for Depressed Adolescents

In April 2018, we shared some promising information about a Yale School of Medicine study that found ketamine to be highly effective in reducing the symptoms of depression in a 16-year old patient suffering from suicidal ideations. After having declared himself “hopeless about the prospect of psychiatric improvement,” the patient was treated with ketamine infusions. His condition quickly improved to the point where he could be discharged from his inpatient psychiatric facility and resume his schooling. This study, however, was limited in scope, as it only presented the results from this one patient. Read the article here.

Now, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, there is more proof that ketamine could be a major breakthrough in the treatment of teen depression. This study, performed by researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic, monitored the effects of ketamine infusions on a group of 13 teenagers diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression. Ultimately, researchers noted a 42.5% decrease on the Children’s Depression Rating Scale. After a series of six ketamine infusions, five of the patients’ depressive symptoms had gone into remission, and stayed in remission for at least six weeks.

While this study is larger than the original study performed at Yale School of Medicine, there is still more research to be done in order to understand the long-term effects of ketamine for teen depression. But, for those hopeless cases of adolescent depression where talk therapy and medications are ineffective—which is the case about 40% of the time—ketamine could be a life-saver. Literally.

Treating teen depression early is imperative—left untreated, depression can prevent teens from reaching important developmental milestones. The ramifications of untreated teen depression could last a lifetime. Ketamine has shown unprecedented promise in treating depression in adults, and we’re excited to watch the outcome of larger-scale studies about how it could also be used to treat depression in adolescents and children.

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In the meantime, if your teen is struggling with severe depression, treatment-resistant depression or suicidal ideations, ketamine infusions may be the miracle you’ve been hoping for. Our team of clinicians has performed thousands of ketamine infusions and would be happy to answer your questions about how ketamine could help your loved ones find light in their lives again. Contact us today—consultations are always free, and we’re happy to address your concerns.

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