What are mood disorders?

Many, if not all of us, have either experienced or know someone who has experienced a mood disorder, but what exactly are they? A mood disorder is characterized by a moderate-severe emotional state that is inconsistent with the individual’s life circumstances and can greatly interfere with their daily activities and interpersonal relationships. The result can be debilitating, and left untreated these disorders can lead to severe symptoms such as suicidal ideation, and even attempts. 

It is estimated that 21.4% of U.S. adults will develop a mood disorder in their lifetime. Some of the most prevalent mood disorders include depression, bipolar disorder, and PTSD.


What are chronic pain syndromes?

Pain is what we feel when the body is trying to warn us that something is wrong, and generally it is acute. But for about 20.5% of U.S. adults, pain is a chronic condition that is experienced on a daily basis. Chronic pain can result from various conditions including autoimmune diseases and neuropathic pain caused by diseases of the somatosensory system. 


Typical Treatment of Mood Disorders vs. Ketamine Treatment

A variety of treatments, including medication, talk therapy, and electro-stimulation exist for mood disorders, and they can be very effective for many people. The downfall of these treatments is that they are often only temporary fixes, and it can take weeks or even months to see results.

Ketamine is a newer and potentially more effective treatment option that works differently than some more typical treatments. Unlike SSRIs and SNRIs, the medications often prescribed for depression and PTSD, Ketamine does not focus on increasing the presence of serotonin in the brain. Instead, ketamine increases the amount of glutamate, a different neurotransmitter. Some of the most notable effects of this are immediate relief, results that last long after the ketamine has been metabolized out of the body, and that it can be effective for treatment-resistant depression.


Typical Treatment of Chronic Pain Syndromes vs. Ketamine Treatment

Pain specialists will often prescribe anti-inflammatory, anti-seizure, and anti-depressant medications to treat chronic pain and attempt to figure out and heal the root cause. These treatments do work for many patients, and ketamine treatments are rising in popularity.

Ketamine works to treat chronic pain by increasing the body’s production of endorphins, a hormone that works as a natural painkiller. An added benefit to this is that the increased level of endorphins can prevent chronic pain in the future, instead of only during the treatment. Ketamine can also modify neural connections to prevent chronic soreness, and reduce neuropathic pain by modulating the somatosensory system to desensitize overactive nerves. Additional benefits are a reduction in cortisol production that results in less anxiety and risk of depression, improved cognition, and overall well-being.


If you are seeking relief from a mood disorder or chronic pain syndrome and are interested in trying a ketamine treatment, talk with your doctor. Austin Ketamine Specialists will be ready to offer you a complimentary consultation whenever you are ready.

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