Once referred to as “manic-depression,” bipolar disorder is a mood disorder characterized by intense swings between episodes of aggression or euphoria (mania) and episodes of depression or sadness. In truth, bipolar disorder is a more complex diagnosis than its previous name would indicate. There are in fact multiple types of bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is believed to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain’s natural levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. While these imbalances can cause the prolonged manic episodes most people associate with this condition, it can also manifest in different ways. Bipolar disorder can include severe bouts of depression that last for weeks or even months. These depressive episodes are only interrupted by short periods of mania or hypomania, only to return back to depression. Some people with bipolar disorder also experience mixed episodes, where they have depressive symptoms, such as exhaustion, sadness, and pessimism, while also being anxious and impulsive. Bipolar depression can be hard to treat, because most individuals with bipolar disorder cannot take standard antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which can trigger a manic episodes.
While individuals who have bipolar disorder with depression cannot take traditional antidepressants, recent studies have indicated that therapeutic IV Ketamine infusions can help. Ketamine is a powerful anesthetic that is well-tolerated in almost all patients who take it. When administered at a sub-anesthetic level, Ketamine has a powerful, fast-acting antidepressant effect. Individuals who have been clinically depressed for months can recover after only one infusion. Ketamine’s properties through h N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonism help to reset brain function, bringing individuals who receive the treatment back to a normal mood baseline, before they ever felt depressed. For someone with bipolar disorder, the immediate effect of a IV Ketamine infusion can interrupt the cycle of depression and prevent suicidal feelings.
Before beginning ketamine treatment, patients should receive a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation from a psychiatrist experienced in treating mood disorders. Our medical director, Raul J. Rodriguez, MD and his clinical team specialize in the treatment of mood disorders, such as clinical depression, anxiety disorders, and bipolar disorder.
While the antidepressant effect of Ketamine can be felt after only one infusion, participating in a multi-infusion Ketamine treatment protocol can provide long-term relief from the symptoms of depression. IV Ketamine infusion therapy is most effective when combined with psychiatric care & medication management, and individual & group therapy. Individuals being treated at our outpatient mental health clinic in Delray Beach also receive psychiatric follow-up appointments to monitor the Ketamine’s effectiveness as well as any other mood stabilizers they may be on. Our center also offers both Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) which are both clinically indicated in the treatment of bipolar disorder.
“Dr. Rodriguez has created a place that is truly focused on healing. There are so many types of treatment options and they are focused on finding the one that is right for you.”
“This center is a very special place. Everyone is warm, caring, supportive, and professional. It helped me overcome my anxiety and depression. I love the emphasis on mindfulness, yoga and exercise as well as traditional therapy”