Details for Ketamine 'rapid and effective' for reducing suicidal thoughts

Fact checked by Jasmin Collier

 Ketamine — a medication primarily used as an anesthetic — may offer a fast and effective way to reduce suicidal thoughts among individuals with depression. This is the finding of a new study by researchers from Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, NY.

a sad woman looking out of a window
 
Research suggests that ketamine could be a fast-acting and effective treatment to reduce suicidal thoughts.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States; each year, around 44,193 peoplein the U.S. take their own lives, and a further 494,169 are hospitalized for self-harm injuries.

Depression is by far the most common disorder underlying a suicide attempt; around 30–70 percent of those who attempt suicide have major depression or bipolar disorder.

But how can you tell if a friend or loved one with depression is having suicidal thoughts? Verbal threats of suicide or being a burden to others, an increase in the use of drugs or alcohol, and changes in mood can all be warning signs.

Of course, it is not possible to predict whether a person will attempt suicide, which highlights the need for speedy treatments that can reduce suicidal thoughts.

"There is a critical window in which depressed patients who are suicidal need rapid relief to prevent self-harm," explains study leader Dr. Michael Grunebaum, a research psychiatrist at Columbia University Medical Center.

Read more here.

Don't struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts alone. Find out how Catholic Charities can help. 

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