Psychedelic Drugs: A Possible Treatment for Depression and Mood Disorder

The downward spiral of clinical depression and anxiety may be difficult to arrest. New treatments are either inaccessible or not yet safe to use. The global burden of disease is increasing for mental disorders, and the effectiveness of available modes of intervention depends on several factors. Many people who are living with mental disorders try their best, given the circumstances, to lift themselves, only to fall once more from a great height.

The Use of Pharmacologic Agents in the Treatment of Mental Disorders

Various drugs have been developed and adapted to augment psychotherapy, particularly for patients with chronic mood disorders and related illnesses that are disabling. Some disorders may be life-threatening. Today, pharmacologic options are available for persons diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, clinical depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, and others. The use of drugs in treating these disorders may come with a price—debilitating side effects and slow improvement of symptoms. Therefore, sufferers and medical professionals alike are keen on finding pharmacologic agents that offer relief without debilitating side-effects.

Off-label Applications

A controversial discussion has been initiated with the use of ketamine in psychotherapy. The agent is a popular anesthetic used in various procedures, including in surgeries for children. As an anesthetic, it is used in a much higher dosage. Meta-analyses reveal that ketamine psychotherapy offer respite from treatment-resistant depressive states.

Freedom from the Rut

Removing one’s state of mind from a hopeless rut can be a Herculean effort for a depressed individual. The use of psychedelics facilitate an elevation of mood and being. To date, ketamine is the only legally available drug indicated for the relief of the emotional burdens of clinical depression. Furthermore, the psychedelic agent seems to be beneficial to anxiety, cocaine use, and alcohol abuse as well. However, the substance can be addictive, and it has a following in clubs and circles comfortable with the use of recreational drugs.

Ascending from the Depths

The use of psychedelics as anti-depressants is the subject of various research studies. The short-term benefits in treatment-resistant depressive disorders and chronic refractory mental health illness are evident in published work. The recurrent and repetitive bouts of emotional suffering can be quite exhausting. Based on observations, relief and recovery are on hand for those who use the pharmacologic agent ketamine. However, definitive results have yet to be established, and long-term effects on the brain are mostly unanswered questions and incomplete data sets.

Ongoing Research

Teenage Girl Visits Doctor's Office Suffering With Depression

At this time, a standard protocol is yet to be established for the use of ketamine. Some protocols involve single administration, while others require repeated administrations. Treatment-resistant sufferers are offered the alternative when they do not respond to psychiatric drugs or psychotherapy. In some people with suicidal tendencies, there is good news. Based on available research, the pharmacologic agent pulls them out of the pit of despair.

Emotional suffering can be severe in mental health disorders. Even for people to get better, the road to recovery is long, winding, and riddled with potholes. The gradual process of psychotherapy offers long-term relief and recovery. It may be prudent to explore the use of pharmacologic agents to complement the positive effects of therapy.

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