Managing Mental Health

In today’s society, women are expected to have it all. From a dream job to a spotless home, the pressure to be perfect can be overpowering. That’s why mental health conditions like anxiety and depression run rampant among women of all ages, and they can be just as problematic as physical ailments. With proper identification and treatment however, women can achieve happier, healthier lifestyles.

Mental Illness and Gender

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, men and women are prone to different mental health disorders. As many as 10-15% of women will face depression at some point during their lives, which is twice as much as men. This can be a result of biological differences, hormone fluctuations, and social expectations. These same triggers are also responsible for the higher rates of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in women. Like depression, women are twice as likely as men to develop an anxiety disorder, and twice as likely to develop PTSD.

Ketamine Infusion Therapy

Fortunately, women facing mental health conditions don’t need to suffer in silence – there are treatments. While every case is different, one method that has gained recognition as an effective means for treating mental health issues that plague women daily – like anxiety, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and postpartum depression among others – is ketamine infusion therapy.

With ketamine infusion therapy, a patient will receive a subanesthetic (small enough to prevent psychological side effects) dose of ketamine through an IV. The IV takes approximately 40-60 minutes to fully disperse and is administered once a week for one to four weeks, on average. Timing and the number of treatments may vary from patient to patient and will be determined by the attending physician. Many patients will require booster treatments over time to reinforce the ketamine’s effectiveness.  

Benefits of Ketamine Infusion Therapy

While traditional antidepressants can take weeks or longer to become effective and dosages can be hard to determine, ketamine infusion therapy is designed to work within a few hours. For women struggling with debilitating depression or anxiety, a quick IV can be lifesaving. And for those who are treatment-resistant, it can make an enormous difference in quality of life.

An Expert Weighs In

"For years, women with anxiety, depression, and mood disorders have been told they have a 'chemical imbalance' in their brain. We know now that there is more to reversing depression than simply using anti-depressant medications that 'trick' your brain into thinking the 'imbalance' has been corrected. Ketamine stimulates the creation of new brain cells (neurogenesis) and new neuronal connections (synaptogenesis). This leads to an increase in the levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BNDF), a growth factor that is thought to be responsible for the rapid reversal of depression, including suicidal thoughts."
Dr. Kerry D. Friesen
Medical Director, The Friesen Center

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