Suicidal depression is not a black and white issue. There is no one cause: untreated depression, substance abuse, stress, failure to reach unrealistic expectations at home or at work—all of these may play a factor in suicidal ideation. There is also no one solution: psychotherapy, antidepressant medications, electroconvulsive therapy—although these options have been at the forefront of suicidal depression treatment for decades. Until now.

Earlier this year, a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry presented promising data about the efficacy of ketamine for suicidal ideation. Using data from ten clinical studies—all of which fulfilled highly specific and rigorous criteria—researchers deduced that one ketamine infusion can lead to a rapid decrease in suicidal thoughts. After just one day, 55% of patients reported no longer having suicidal ideations—and these results lasted for a minimum of one week.

There is still research to be done regarding the use of ketamine for suicidal depression and ideations, though having a readily-available therapy to treat those who need immediate help could save many lives. It is estimated that 123 people commit suicide every day. How many of these lives could be saved with ketamine infusions?

Of course, before we can treat suicidal ideation, we need to know that an individual is suffering. And those who are suffering don’t always speak up. Look for the following signs of suicidal depression, and reach out your hand if you feel a friend or loved one is struggling:

  • Verbal expressions: as direct as “I don’t want to live anymore,” or as subtle as “The world is better off without me”
  • Mood swings, agitation, aggression or impulsive/risky behavior
  • Lethargy, or lack of interest in hobbies he or she once found joy in
  • Substance abuse
  • Hopelessness
  • Changes in eating and/or sleeping patterns
  • Withdrawal and isolation
  • Self-neglect; lack of self care or hygiene
  • Giving away possession or other signs of getting his or her affairs in order
  • Visiting with friends and relatives, as if to say goodbye
  • Unusual happiness or peace after having exhibited any of the above behaviors

We don’t need any more than the recent influx of headlines to know that suicide is not only a major issue in this country, but that it can affect anyone—even those who you’d least expect. By bringing awareness to suicidal depression and talking about the treatment options available, hopefully we can reduce the amount of suicides and bring hope to a nation that desperately needs it.


Vitalitas Denver operates two of the country’s most highly ranked ketamine clinics. Our clinics are located near Denver and Boulder/Fort Collins, CO, but we treat patients from around the country. If you or a loved one is suffering from depression, suicidal ideations, anxiety, PTSD or a chronic pain condition, we may be able to help. Speak with a highly trained clinician about the benefits of ketamine infusion therapy and how it could help you live your best life.

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