Ketamine offers new hope for patients with severe depression

Inspired by promising research into ketamine’s therapeutic effects, people are swapping strategies online on how to use the drug to ease their despair. Could ‘Special K’ be a panacea for depression? Wency Leung reports

John woke up one morning feeling almost like his old self.

He got out of bed, took a shower and, for the first time in a long time, felt as though this day would not be his last. His suicidal thoughts had faded overnight.

The previous morning, the 50-year-old Ottawa father of three was given his first intravenous infusion of the drug ketamine as part of a trial for people with treatment-resistant depression.

John (not his real name) had tried various medications for his depression over the years – without improvement. But within hours of receiving his first ketamine infusion, he began feeling better.

“I started feeling the benefits almost right away,” he said. By the next morning, “not completely, but I felt like I could behave like the normal man that I used to be.”

 

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