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"Can you recommend a doctor that is using Ketamine for severe depression?"

ZocdocAnswersCan you recommend a doctor that is using Ketamine for severe depression?


I have tried everything that there is to try for my illness for 40 years. Many different med cocktails, and even ECT. I've been in psychotherapy most of the time too. Nothing has worked and many of the meds I can't take because of severe side effects. I've been hospitalized many times and tried suicide a few times. I'm hopeless that there is nothing left for me to try. I've heard about the use of Ketamine for this but have been unable to find a doctor that does it. Please, can you help? I was also thinking of participating in a study using DBS, but there is no data to back it up, and also afraid I would be put in the placebo group, so I decided against it. I live daily with suicidal ideations, and just afraid that one of these days I will be successful in my attempt unless I can find help. Please, can you help me?


I am very sorry to hear about your severe and persistent depression symptoms, and I am also very concerned, as you are, about the persistent suicidal ideation, which is extremely dangerous. In the short term, the most important thing is to set up a safety contract with your psychiatrist or with another health care provider that you trust to help prevent another suicide attempt. Also, if you are feeling acutely suicidal, it is extremely important to seek immediate emergency medical help, such as by going to the emergency room of your local hospital. In the medium to long term, it sounds really critical that you get help from a psychiatric specialist who is skilled in dealing with the more complex cases of depression. You will need to talk with your current psychiatrist or primary care doctor to get help with this referral process, because who you need to go see will depend in part on what part of the country you are in and what the psychiatric referral system looks like there. Ketamine, unfortunately, is used only investigationally in the treatment of depression and is not approved for this indication. There are a few small trials looking at this but, once again, you would need help from your current psychiatrist to determine whether enrolling in one of these trials is an option in your area of the country.

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