Treating Depression in Teens | Ketamine Offers Hope for Hopeless Adolescents

Without getting into a discussion about the American healthcare system, it’s no secret that mental health treatment could stand to see some improvement. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 6.7% of Americans have suffered a major depressive episode. Still, depression is under-diagnosed and under-treated—especially in adolescents.

In February 2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics called for children to be screened for depression annually, starting at the age of 12. This is a big first step in addressing depressive symptoms before they become debilitating and escalate into suicidal thoughts…or worse. Another hurdle, however, is what to do after a teen is diagnosed with depression.

Primary care physicians can prescribe an antidepressant, but pharmacological depression treatments are ineffective in up to 60 percent of patients. Psychiatric care for adolescents isn’t easy to come by. Most psychiatrists have excessively long waiting lists, if they are even accepting new patients at all. Getting an appointment is only the first hurdle. Is there enough of a patient-doctor connection that the teen feels comfortable opening up? Teens, as we know, can be shy—finding the right psychiatrist may take a few tries. With a limited pool of qualified mental healthcare providers to choose from, however, there isn’t much room for a teenager to be choosy.

Regardless of how long a patient has to wait for an appointment, it’s important for depressed teens to engage in talk therapy. However, as part of a multi-modal approach to mental health and wellness, ketamine infusions can, in the right cases, be a highly effective treatment that offers rapid relief of depressive symptoms in some adolescents. 

A study performed by the Yale School of Medicine shows that ketamine infusions effectively alleviated suicidal ideations and depressive symptoms in a patient who described himself as "hopeless about the prospect of psychiatric improvement." The patient had been hospitalized several times, had a history of suicide attempts, and failed to respond to both pharmacological and psychotherapy treatment. After receiving ketamine infusions, the patient was discharged from his residential facility and able to return to school with “substantial functional improvement.”

For adolescents and adults alike, ketamine infusions have proven to be a groundbreaking treatment for depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder and other difficult-to-treat psychiatric conditions. Please visit our FAQ page to learn more about ketamine treatments, or take advantage of our offer for a free consultation to determine if you or a loved one is a good candidate for infusions.

CONTACT VITALITAS

Our ketamine clinics are located in Littleton and Westminster, CO and serve the greater Denver area, as well as the Boulder and Fort Collins communities. We offer ketamine infusions for psychiatric disorders and chronic pain conditions. If you have questions about ketamine infusions, or would like to learn more about our clinic, please contact us using the brief form below. A member of our clinical team will contact you to answer questions, address concerns, and point you in the direction of health and hope.

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