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News Bluelight Research on Ketamine as a Treatment for Depression and PTSD

Bluelight Research on Ketamine as a Treatment for Depression and PTSD


Bluelight would like to congratulate Tharcila Chaves and her colleagues on their recent publication: The use of ketamine to cope with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder: A qualitative analysis of the discourses posted on a popular online forum. The paper was published in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse.


The abstract is quoted below:

Background
Because of the shortcomings of traditional pharmacotherapy for major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), there has been growing interest in the rapid mood-enhancing effect of ketamine.

Objectives
To analyze what has been posted about ketamine use for dealing with self-reported depression and/or PTSD on one of the biggest international message boards on the internet.

Methods
Qualitative study with online observation of threaded discussions on Bluelight. In-depth online searches were conducted in 2018. Twenty-nine threads, with a total of 708 units of analysis, were selected and subjected to content analysis, where, via a coding process, the units of analysis were organized into nodes.

Results
Despite having several negative effects (e.g. dizziness, nausea and inability to talk), the examined discourses suggested that the use of ketamine to elevate mood was both efficient and worthwhile. Intranasal use was the most common route of administration mentioned. We traced how the mood enhancement caused by ketamine is perceived: the loss of pleasure disappears, as well as the depressed mood; the markedly diminished interest in activities vanishes and motivation comes back. From all the posts analyzed, only two reported negative outcomes (i.e. no mood-enhancing effect). The most mentioned adverse event was damage to the urinary bladder and the kidneys in cases of misuse.

Conclusion
Although online research of user-generated content has its limitations in terms of reliability and validity, the present study adds relevant information on the use of ketamine for managing depression and PTSD, whether this use is done legally or not.



Annotated version of the final paragraph in the conclusion of the article is quoted below:

Ketamine appears to be a potential tool in managing depressive symptoms. The increasing popularity of ketamine clinics and the FDA approval of esketamine for TRD (treatment resistant depression) say a lot about the current status of off-label ketamine: it seems to work in several situations and people are already benefiting from it (not only people living with depression or PTSD; another popular off-label use of ketamine is for treating chronic pain). Ketamine has the potential to benefit a big group of patients who do not respond to the available therapies. It is considered by the World Health Organization an essential medicine and restricting it has harmed patients, with no reduction in recreational use. More scientific research is needed, naturally, but there is already a substantial amount of data suggesting that ketamine is effective and safe. “If they don’t bring us the treatment, we will make it ourselves”, a T1 member stated (Bluelight quote from thread no. 1). From the black market to the white coat, ketamine as a mood enhancer has been presenting positive results in handling depression and PTSD, giving a novel approach to the pathophysiology and therapy of these conditions.


I think we should be proud to have contributed to an article that advocated greater availability of ketamine as a medicine for depression and PTSD. :)


Note that the full-text article is behind a paywall, but if you have issues accessing and want the pdf, send an email to [email protected]
 

Comments

Hi folks

my understanding is that there is work to be done in finding an analogue version of ketamine which can be produced without the long term build up of bladder toxicity and neuronal cell death. in short, it is shown good promise for treatment resistant depression, but currently not a long term ongoing option for treatment resistant depression due to these side effects.
 
I’m currently detoxing from 120mg Oxycodone. Next week I’m starting a outpatient program that includes ten days of IV amino acids and also ketamine assisted therapy. I’m interested if anyone has had success with this.
I'm really interested in your amino acid therapy. Dr Bloom did a peer reviewed study on the long term efficacy of balancing the 4 brain requirements for amino acids (gaba, dopamine, seratonin and 5htp) with the result that the brain no longer desire to self medicate. The issue is everyones brain chemistry is different, so the amino acid balance must be tailored to the patient.
I'd really like to know how you worked out what amino acid therapy would be effective for you?
 
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