MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Depression takes an effect on a person's health. But there's a type of treatment using ketamine that can put a stop to it.
It's called Ketamine Infusion Therapy, a method healthcare professionals are using to not only ease the physical pain but the pain that no one sees.
"What we did not realize until fairly recently, probably the past 10 years, that it works on glutamate receptors which are specific receptors to depression, PTSD, anxiety, those mood disorders," said Tammy Vaught, a certified registered nurse anesthetist with the Ketamine Clinic of West Texas.
Vaught just opened the first ketamine clinic in Midland back in October.
"Midland and Odessa have a low per capita rate in mental health providers, we're very under-serviced," said Vaught.
Here's how the infusion works, patients are taken into a quiet and calming room to ensure they're comfortable.
"The ketamine treatment and dysphoria can take them back especially for PTSD patients," said Vaught. "You want them in the calmest and safest environment they can be in. Safety and calmness go together in my opinion."
The patient is given a low dosage of ketamine and monitored throughout the procedure for 45 minutes. For the first two weeks, patients will go through therapy 6 times in 2 weeks. After that, depending on how a patient reacts, most won't have to go back until a month or two later.
"It is hugely beneficial and it is starting to repair neurons so we're seeing great results in the long term," said Vaught. "One thing that a lot of people in mental health talk about is people think of it as not as important, not as crucial, not as detrimental to their life because it's not visible."
You can't put a band-aid on mental illness. But with 45 minutes of treatment, it could put away years of depression. Not everyone is eligible and will react the same way. But on average, 3 out of 4 people experience benefit after treatment. The FDA has not approved ketamine to be used to treat depression since there's still more research being done. The clinic said there's no concern of abuse or overdose since the patient is administered by healthcare professionals. They also haven't found addiction when it's used in low doses.
"I hope to secure my own education to be a mental health practitioner to not only provide ketamine treatments but service our community and mental health across the board," said Vaught.
To inquire about therapy, you can contact the clinic at (432) 704-2133. The clinic is located in Midland at 1811 W Wall St.