Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"Special K" for Depression (audio)

Jon Hamilton, NPR.org (Morning Edition, Jan. 30, 2012); Wisdom Quarterly
Chris Stephens, 28, who has been battling depression all of his life, plays with his dogs at home in Concord, Calif., on [Jan. 28, 2012]. After a dose of ketamine, Stephens says, "I actually wanted to do things. I wanted to live life" (Lianne Milton/NPR.org).

A [pharmaceutical anesthetic turned] club drug called "Special K" is generating a lot of buzz among researchers who study depression.

That's because "Special K," which is actually an FDA-approved anesthetic named ketamine, can relieve even suicidal depression in a matter of hours. And it works on many patients who haven't responded to current antidepressants like Prozac.

Those traditional drugs, which act on the brain's serotonin system, can take more than a month to kick in and don't work for up to 40 percent of people with major depression.

"We can take care of a migraine in hours," says Dr. Carlos Zarate, MD, a brain researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health who is studying ketamine. More

NeuroSoup on ketamine

Wisdom Quarterly (COMMENTARY)

Prozac, Zoloft, Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, Valium, Paxil, Remeron, Gabapentin, Buspar, Depakote... -- are expensive and toxic drugs that actually work no better than placebos. (Placebos can work pretty well). They are tested on tortured animals and human guinea pigs because, as artificial toxins introduced into an organic system, they are expected to cause nausea, stomach lining bleeding, headaches, insomnia, suicidality, bizarre behavior, and negative sexual side effects.

Pharmaceuticals are not intended to "cure" depression, by their own labelling. They are meant to be expensive lifetime habits controlled by prescription and relied on like crutches. Actual cures (diet, allergen and sugar removal, avoiding excitotoxins, and artificial ingredients, binaural beats, meditation, or therapeutic use of DMT, mushrooms, super microdose LSD, iboga, etc.) are outlawed or restricted to research by pharmaceutical companies that are striving to develop synthetic chemical analogs for the next big thing to cash in on before mounting lawsuits force the FDA to realize that any synthetic product does more harm than good.

I'm struggling lately in my Dharma practice. I haven't meditated in months -- not because I don't want to, because I do, but because I just can't get myself to do it. A large part of it is my mental illness, which makes finding motivation extra challenging, especially when the heavy medicating drugs I have to take to prevent mania and psychotic episodes zap me further of the will to do much of anything (TheBuddhistBlog).

Better options to try are exercise, lifestyle changes (radical alterations that break the habits holding us in place), fasting, riluzole, a less potent ketamine, or scopolamine, which is used to prevent seasickness, according to Maura Furey (National Institute of Mental Health). There are many herbs as well as energetic medicine (such as Traditional Chinese Medicine), exploring recovery (uncovering molestation or childhood traumas that addictions or dysfunctional behavior often mask) because we either work it out or act it out.

() Dickon and Liz talk ketamine for 5 minutes.

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