Bipolar Disorder

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Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Bipolar

Bipolar Disorder, often called manic depression, is a disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. It cannot be cured, but treatment may help. Each episode usually lasts days to weeks at a time and episodes may occur several times per year or throughout the year. Manic episodes are characterized by periods of elevated mood or irritability and patients often experience high levels of energy and a reduced need for sleep, and sometimes even psychosis. The depressive phases include common feelings associated with depression such as feeling sad, very little energy, low levels of motivation, and a loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities.

Bipolar Disorder affects about 5.7 million adult Americans every year. It is estimated that 2-7% of people in the US suffer from bipolar disorder and that almost 10 million people will develop the illness sometime during their lifetime. Almost half of these patients will never receive the correct diagnosis and thus not receive the correct treatment. Bipolar Disorder affects people of all races, ethnic groups and backgrounds. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, bipolar disorder is an inherited disease and more than 2/3 of people who suffer have at least one close relative suffering with the disorder or major depressive disorder.

Treatment has conventionally been a combination of medications to offset the side effects of each phase of bipolar disorder coupled with psychotherapy. As with depression, medications often take weeks to begin working and sometimes patients may already be in a manic phase. About 70% of patients with treatment resistant depression, including those with Bipolar Disorder, experience rapid relief after a low-dose ketamine infusion. It is important to understand that the degree of relief will vary by patient. Some patients only get partial relief and some patients do not get relief until the second or third treatment. Some do not respond to ketamine at all.