Bipolar disorder is different from other mental problems.
According to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, bipolar disorder is the 6th leading cause of disability, and can decrease lifespan by up to 9 years. More than 20% of people who suffer from bipolar disorder at some point contemplate suicide. Because of the highly variable symptoms of bipolar syndrome, it can often take years to get an accurate diagnosis.
The good news is that Ketamine infusion also works for bipolar syndrome. Symptom relief from cyclic depression and mania is often achieved after a single infusion. In some studies, bipolar syndrome patients have a 50% reduction in depression symptoms and a 75% reduction in suicidality, and the effects of Ketamine were prolonged by the addition of other mood stabilizing medicines. Bipolar disorder treatment with Ketamine apparently jump starts a part of the brain deep in the right hemisphere, which is associated with increased motivation and anticipation of pleasurable experience.
Unlike some antidepressant medications, Ketamine does not trigger manic episodes in bipolar patients. Many standard antidepressant medications can cause weight gain, which may further increase depression and reduce self-esteem. Conversely, Ketamine infusion has no weight gain or self-esteem side effects.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder sometimes called Manic-Depression. It characteristically involves cycles of depression and elation or mania. Sometimes the mood switches from high to low and back again are dramatic and rapid, but more often they are gradual and slow, and intervals of normal mood may occur between the high (manic) and low (depressive) phases of the condition. The symptoms of both the depressive and manic cycles may be severe and often lead to impaired functioning.
“The results are startling. They’re not 100 percent, there are people who don’t respond to Ketamine, but the results are very, very good.”
Associate Professor Graham Barrett, Neuroscience, Melbourne University