Depression isn’t just a young person’s problem—it’s an “everybody’s problem.” The negative and unwanted effects of depression appear to have no boundaries—they manifest in people from all corners of the world, regardless of age, location or status. For those who leave their depression untreated, though, thoughts of self-harm and suicide can manifest when emotions boil over. While it’s easy to assume that this kind of affliction could only affect our youth, the truth is that even the aging and elderly generations are affected.
Within the United States alone, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that nearly 7 million American adults aged 65 and up suffer from clinical depression each year. Sadly, nearly 16 percent of all suicide deaths take place amongst this older generation. With over 47.8 million American adults living with depression, it’s vitally important that each of them receives the care they need, regardless of age.
Dealing with depression can be especially difficult for those in their golden years. After having already started and raised a family of their own, most wind up living relatively solitary lives with less social contact and physical activity than when they were younger. When this happens, feelings of sadness are an understandable response. However, with nobody to turn to for comfort or solace, many of these people are unable to cope on their own.
For the last 30 years, the standard depression treatment has been a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). As its age implies, this treatment was developed at a time when depression was believed to be solely the result of a lack of serotonin. However, since then, other biological transmitters responsible for mood regulation have also been identified within the brain.
For many years, this combination of CBT and SSRIs was the only treatment available to depressed patients, young or old. However, only roughly 50% of patients report that this treatment effectively relieves their depression. Thankfully, over the last 10 years new and more effective depression treatments have been discovered. Treatments like ketamine infusion therapy have established themselves as safe and reliable alternatives—and, surprisingly, ketamine infusions are especially useful for treating depression in mature populations.
A number of studies have shown that low-dose IV ketamine rapidly reduces the symptoms of depression. This has made it very useful for treating patients with suicidal ideations. Studies have also shown that the low doses of ketamine appear to improve visual memory, simple working memory, and complex working memory in individuals suffering from treatment-resistant depression. Understanding that our memories degrade as we age, it appears that the benefits of ketamine may make it uniquely qualified as a geriatric depression treatment.
Fortunately—while these studies are wonderful to read about—you don’t need a PhD to be able to appreciate the benefits of a ketamine infusion. When compared to traditional SSRI’s, which usually takes weeks or months to make a difference, ketamine infusions can take as few as a few hours to elicit relief, and patients will know for sure if ketamine is working for them within two infusions.
After living a life well spent, each of us deserves the right to live our remaining years in a relative harmony—filled with family, love, and relaxation. At this age, none of our precious time should be wasted on depression. Therefore, ketamine infusion therapy may be a reliable way to ensure that depressed geriatrics are able to achieve peace throughout their final years of life.
Contact RestoratIV Ketamine Wellness Center
At RestoratIV Ketamine Wellness Center, we offer compassionate support and ketamine treatment options to many who are struggling with debilitating mental and physical health conditions. Our Mississippi ketamine clinic is happy to answer your questions and determine if ketamine infusions are a good fit for your symptoms. If you or someone you love is struggling, please do not hesitate to give us a call or contact us via the brief form below.