Migraines are extremely widespread in the United States, and much more debilitating than people realize. There are about 39 million people who struggle daily with this neurological disease, which makes it the 3rd most prevalent illness in the world. Not only do these severe and persistent headaches affect daily life, but they may be connected with mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. Current research is being performed to figure out what the link may be. For example, do migraines lead to depression and anxiety? Or is it psychiatric illness that leads to migraines?
One of the leading causes of disability in the U.S. is major depressive disorder (MDD), affecting more than 16.1 million adults each year. Another perhaps more shocking statistic is that about 80% of those people never seek treatment, for various reasons. However, one of the main reasons why so many individuals fail to seek treatment is because of the stigma associated with having a mental health condition. A stigma that, unfortunately, is alive and thriving in our society today.
The recent FDA approval of the use of esketamine for treatment-resistant depression means many Americans suffering will soon find relief. The drug, Spravato, was approved for patients who have failed to respond at all to at least two other antidepressant medications. After years of clinical trials, the decision to officially approve Spravato took a month before a panel of experts voted in favor of the new treatment. Since treatment-resistant depression plagues so many among us, this new treatment has generated tremendous hope for depression sufferers, their loved ones, and their mental health clinicians.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for depression. Even though 17% of people will suffer from depression over the course of their lives, modern medicine is still searching for a comprehensive solution. Traditional antidepressant medications are the first line of treatment for depression, though they are only effective for about 40-70% of patients, depending on what source you quote. In recent years, ketamine infusions have emerged as one of the most effective depression treatment available, offering hope for even the most debilitating cases of depression and providing relief to 70% of patients. Inspired by the way ketamine works to treat depression, several pharmaceutical companies are well underway developing new medications that may revolutionize the way we treat this mental health disorder.
For patients suffering from mood disorders—especially severe depression or bipolar disorder—ketamine infusions can be a life-changing treatment. Effective in up to 70% of patients, ketamine rapidly alleviates the symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD and other potentially debilitating psychiatric conditions. The patients who respond to ketamine treatments are often able to reclaim their lives—return to work, enjoy the hobbies they had previously lost interest in, travel with their families, and otherwise live a rich and fulfilling life.