If you think of the brain as a beehive, in many neurotypical minds, the bees work harmoniously in conjunction with each, doing their part, but in the depressed brain, the bees collide, sting, and create chaos on an ongoing basis with insufficient refuge.
It is natural and even healthy for people to experience bouts of depression, as long as it is short-term and in response to a negative situation, like divorce or perhaps the loss of a job. But for those individuals that have a major depressive disorder or what used to be called, clinical depression, the damaging, dark thoughts rarely go away. Worldwide over 350 million people are suffering from depression. It is said to be the chief cause of disability. And rightly so, since depressive disorders make it extremely difficult to function, keep up with responsibilities, perform daily activities and maintain the motivation to live.
American First Lady, Rosalynn Carter was a major advocate for mental health research. She stated, “Early diagnosis is so important because the earlier a mental illness can be detected, diagnosed and treatment can begin, the better off that person can be for the rest of his or her life.” She went on to explain, “If you look at suicides, most of them are connected to depression. And the mental health system just fails them. It’s so sad. We know what to do. We just don’t do it.”
In a sense, she was right about knowing what to do, but since the 1980’s there have been many advancements. The timeline of major depressive treatment has come a long way. In the early years, shock therapy and institutionalizing people was the norm. In the 1930’s into the late 1980’s drugs like amphetamines, MAO inhibitors and SSRI’s were popular treatment options.
Over a decade ago, the Mayo Clinic introduced genetic testing. Genetic testing allows physicians to decide which pharmacological treatments will work best for certain individuals depending on their genes.
Dr. Pollack, founder and CEO of Psychiatric Associates of Southwest Florida (PASWFL), has been utilizing genetic testing for years. Genomic testing includes both pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic genes which allows Dr. Pollack and other psychiatrists to offer precise, personalized medicine and treatment options for patients afflicted with depression. TMS or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a noninvasive method to influence brain activity and rework cortical emotionality. TBS or Theta-Burst Stimulation is a dynamic version of TMS, utilizing the same approach with even greater effects on brain activity.
For his patients with depression, Bipolar disorder, PTSD and other brain disorders, in addition to TMS and TBS, Dr. Pollack has seen exceptional outcomes with an IV infusion technique, called Ketamine therapy.
What is Ketamine?
Back in the 1960’s Ketamine was developed to treat wounded U.S. soldiers that were serving in the Vietnam War. In the 1970’s, Ketamine was often used as the anesthetic of choice for surgery.
Ketamine works by creating new connections in parts of the brain that control mood and emotions. These new neurological connections help the brain to send positive signals to the psyche, along with beneficial physical conditions to the body. The effect is notable within hours, but most patients report the results are instantaneous. These astonishing changes can be seen in brain scans and imaging.
FDA Acknowledges Efficacy of Ketamine Therapy
Data analysis collected by the FDA supports that Ketamine Therapy shows promising results as an effective treatment for severe depression. During the study, over 279,000 patients were evaluated for pain therapies and their outcomes. A group of 41,337 patients were given Ketamine for alleviating pain and pain management, but surprisingly, many of these individuals were concurrently reporting fewer episodes of depression. Ironically this is almost how the first anti-depressant was discovered in 1952 while doing a trial of a new anti-tuberculosis medication.
Ketamine was thought to be a favorable treatment opportunity for patients with severe depression or those that suffer from suicidal episodes. The study also acknowledged Ketamine’s rapid onset and capacity in reversing depression and its symptoms.
Ketamine Therapy coordinated by Dr. Pollack is a safe, reliable treatment tailored to each patient’s unique medical profile. They administer the therapy using state-
of-the-art technology, which allows them to monitor and evaluate each patient’s response and progress meticulously.
Within a short series of infusions (usually given over a few weeks) patients experience notable differences in their outlook, mood, and purpose. Counseling alone is not enough and unfortunately, treatment-resistant depression commonly occurs with standard antidepressants. Significant changes in the thought processes of severely depressed patients place them at greater risk of committing suicide. Therefore alternatives like Ketamine, TMS and TBS are essential to allow our mental health system to serve patients with the best and most beneficial options.
These alternative treatment options have proven to not mask the symptoms of depression, as so many other treatment modalities have done in the past, but rather to treat the brain’s disease state and to regenerate the brains neurotransmitters. To find out more about Dr. Pollack and his clinic, please visit paswfl.com, or call 888-491-4171 to schedule an appointment.
About Dr. Robert Pollack
Robert W. Pollack, M.D. CEO is a Florida-licensed Board Certified Psychiatrist. He has been in practice since 1977 and has served the public in many capacities.
The American Psychiatric Association Board of Trustees, January 1, 2015, has granted him Life Fellow status.
Psychiatric Associates of Southwest Florida (PASWFL) is a private solely owned psychiatric medical practice located in Fort Myers, Florida. Dr. Pollack is currently the CEO of Psychiatric Associates of Southwest Florida and resides in Fort Myers. His practice serves people from ages 18 and up. His current special interests focus on the use of Genomics to aid in the determination of the most efficacious way to utilize psychotropic medications as well as the use of rTMS in the treatment of refractory depressions and other psychiatric illnesses. Ketamine, Theta Burst Stimulations and new and innovative treatments for psychiatric patients.
At PASWFL, appointments are scheduled quickly, within one week of your call. For more information on Ketamine and our practice, please visit our website at www.paswfl.com.
6804 Porto Fino Cir #1, Fort Myers, FL 33912
Office: 239-332-4700 | TMS & Ketamine: 888-491-4171