Ketamine for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition that leads to severe symptoms in 83% of all patients. While mood stabilizers often succeed in managing mania and depression, you may continue to struggle with bipolar depression. Dr. Tilak, MD, at Jacksonville and Middleburg locations in FL, offers ketamine to help patients struggling with bipolar depression. Ketamine often delivers rapid and long-lasting relief from depression. To schedule an appointment, call the office or request an appointment today.

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What should I know about bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder was once called manic depression because it causes swings in mood, energy, and activity levels. While many people expect bipolar disorder to have identifiable cycles of low-energy depression and high-energy mania, there are several types of bipolar disorder with different degrees of mania.

Some patients have severe mania that seriously disrupts their life. Others have hypomania, which causes similar symptoms, but they’re mild and usually don’t interfere with everyday functioning.

What symptoms develop during bipolar mania?

The symptoms of mania include:

  • High activity level
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Racing thoughts
  • Rapid speech
  • Feeling irritable

Many patients engage in risky behaviors such as excessive use of alcohol and/or drugs, reckless driving, or spending too much money.

What symptoms develop during bipolar depression?

Bipolar depression causes the same symptoms as clinical depression:

  • Low energy
  • Feeling sad and hopeless
  • Losing interest in activities
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Thinking about suicide

You may experience major depression before having your first manic episode. Additionally, many patients with bipolar disorder are depressed more often than they’re manic or hypomanic.

What type of treatment will I receive for bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is treated with a combination of medications and psychotherapy. Since it’s a lifelong condition, you need ongoing support to keep your mood swings managed.

Mood stabilizing medications such as atypical antipsychotic medications help to control manic and depressive episodes. Antidepressants are used with caution because they often make bipolar symptoms worse. If you continue to struggle with bipolar depression despite mood-stabilizing medications, ketamine is a safe and effective alternative to antidepressants.

How does ketamine treat bipolar depression?

Ketamine has proven to be a safe and effective treatment for depression, including bipolar depression and treatment-resistant depression. When used at a low dose, ketamine balances a brain chemical called glutamate, which in turn lifts depression symptoms.

Dr. Tilak administers ketamine in the office using an intramuscular infusion, allowing your body to receive the full dose with 95% bioavailability. Most patients respond quickly as ketamine normalizes their brain chemicals, with symptom improvement evident within 24 hours.

Though a single ketamine treatment may last a week, with a series of about six treatments, your results may last at least several months and possibly longer. Then you need only an occasional maintenance treatment.