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Ketamine Therapy vs Traditional Antidepressants 

One of the most common mental health disorders is major depressive disorder, more commonly known as depression. Depression is a significant obstacle in daily life. There are many different treatments because of how common depression is. The most common of these treatments is antidepressants. Treatments like ketamine therapy exist because antidepressants sometimes cannot help symptoms. In this blog, we will discuss the differences between ketamine therapy and traditional antidepressants.


It is crucial to understand how depression works to understand antidepressants. There are many potential sources of depression, but researchers don’t know the exact cause of the disorder. But some leading causes are your brain chemistry, genetics, stress, medical conditions, and other medications. One explanation for depression is an imbalance of neurotransmitters, particularly serotonin. Serotonin is a natural transmitter that regulates your mood.

An imbalance of serotonin can cause depressive behavior and prevent your mood from improving. The leading theory on the functionality of antidepressants is that antidepressants increase the level of neurotransmitters in your brain. Specifically, they increase levels of certain neurotransmitters like serotonin. 

They improve your mood by returning your neurotransmitter levels to normal. However, antidepressants do not always work. Treatment-resistant depression affects approximately 30% of people who have been diagnosed with depression as claimed by Cleveland Clinic. But there are ways to deal with treatment-resistant depression, such as ketamine therapy. 

Ketamine Therapy

Ketamine therapy is a solution to treatment-resistant depression. This treatment works differently compared to traditional antidepressants. Instead of increasing neurotransmitters, ketamine changes the way your brain works. Ketamine can enhance neuroplasticity allowing the brain to make new neural pathways. These new neural pathways change how your brain works, ultimately improving your mood. If you are not convinced, many sources report that ketamine by itself has success rates of around 70%. This number goes higher when combined with psychotherapy. 

In conclusion, there are cases where traditional antidepressants cannot get the job done. Mainly because they do not account for other potential causes of depression. Ketamine, however, can change the way a brain works. Ketamine therapy combined with psychotherapy can yield incredible results that can change a person’s life. An additional but crucial difference between antidepressants and ketamine is that while you may be expected to take antidepressant pills for the rest of your life, a ketamine patient will require fewer and less frequent treatments as their symptoms improve. Are you interested in ketamine-assisted psychotherapy? Then schedule a consultation with us at Mindstream Medicine located in Philadelphia today.