Depression is very difficult disease to live with, as it can affect almost every aspect of your day to day life. This mental illness, also known as Major Depressive Disorder to distinguish it from a simple bad mood, is characterised by a persistent low mood that is accompanied with a loss of pleasure in activities that would normally be enjoyable.

It is a severely disabling condition that can affect everything from work to family to school life to general health. Also people with major depressive disorder are at risk for committing suicide as they feel that their suffering has no end and that death is the only escape, as well as feeling like they are an unwanted burden on family and friends. Depression can develop gradually over time and it is difficult sometimes to notice how bad the symptoms are getting until they become very severe.

Depression is much more serious than simply feeling blue for a while after a sad event such as a death, a divorce or the loss of a job. Most people will feel sad for a while and then they will rebound and move on with their life. However, depression will cause you to spiral downward into a deep pit of despair which is incredibly difficult to get yourself out of.

Our understanding of depression and how it works has grown a lot over the centuries, although this understanding is incomplete. We still have a lot to learn about this mental illness and how it affects us. We currently don’t have a cure for depression and we would struggle to trace the disease down to its physiological roots – we just don’t understand enough about the wiring of the brain.

At the moment the typical treatments prescribedare psychotherapy, medication and electroconvulsive therapy. Currently psychotherapy is the most common treatment when it comes to patients who are under the age of 18.

Before any depression medications are approved and widely accepted as effective they will need to be tested on people who volunteer to take part in a clinical trial. These mental health clinical trials will be used to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of new treatments and they require a steady stream of volunteers who are willing to take part.

Currently researchers are working on creating biomarkers for depression, which would allow them to test for aspects of a patient’s physiology and predict a clinical outcome. In the future, a doctor might be able to screen a patient in advance so that they could tell which treatment will work for them. This might help to reduce the time that the patient would need to live with the effects of depression.

Ketamine – Possible Depression Relief

A growing body of depression research shows that the anaesthetic drug ketamine might offer some potential for depression treatment. This substance has a reputation as an illicit party drug but it has recently been used in a lot of emergency rooms to curb serious suicidal thoughts – which means that it has the potential to be a lifesaver.

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The advantage of ketamine is that it will act very quickly to reduce the suicidal thoughts of someone who is severely depressed. Scientists don’t know exactly how ketamine works within the brain, but they know it works very differently than other anti-depressants such as Zoloft, Prozac and Effexor. While other anti-depressant medication can take months or weeks to start working, ketamine will work within a matter of hours. Since this drug has the ability to improve the mood very quickly – it is very promising.

Of course, no matter how effective this drug is it cannot be a single treatment to cure depression. Doctors need to address all aspects of the disease, from the psychological to the biological to the environmental and social. Ketamine might serve the purpose of taking the patient away from a place of serious suicidal thoughts, but you will not be addressing the big picture of the patient’s mental health. At the moment we don’t know anything about the potential of ketamine as a long term treatment for depression.

In order to find out more about potential depression treatments it is very important to conduct medical trials. If you feel like you might want to be a volunteer for this type of trial, you can talk to your doctor or do some research online to find a study that fits with your needs – as there are many paid clinical trials to choose from.