What a tragic and fragile thing humans are
New findings on how ketamine acts against depression
The discovery that the anaesthetic ketamine can help people with severe depression has raised hopes of finding new treatment options for the disease. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now identified novel mechanistic insights of how the drug exerts its antidepressant effect. The findings have been published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
According to the World Health Organization, depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and the disease affects more than 360 million people every year.
The risk of suffering is affected by both genetics and environmental factors. The most commonly prescribed antidepressants, such as SSRIs, affect nerve signalling via monoamines in the brain.
However, it can take a long time for these drugs to help, and over 30 percent of sufferers experience no relief at all.
The need for new types of antidepressants with faster action and wider effect is therefore considerable.
An important breakthrough is the anaesthetic ketamine, which has been registered for some years in the form of a nasal spray for the treatment of intractable depression.
Relieves depressive symptoms quickly
Unlike classic antidepressants, ketamine affects the nerve signalling that occurs via the glutamate system, but it is unclear exactly how the antidepressant effect is mediated. When the medicine has an effect, it relieves depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts very quickly.
However, ketamine can cause unwanted side effects such as hallucinations and delusions and there may be a risk of abuse so alternative medicines are needed.
The researchers want to better understand how ketamine works in order to find substances that can have the same rapid effect but without the side effects.
Explains ketamine’s effects
In a new study, researchers at Karolinska Institutet have further investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying ketamine’s antidepressant effects. Using experiments on both cells and mice, the researchers were able to show that ketamine reduced so-called presynaptic activity and the persistent release of the neurotransmitter glutamate.
“Elevated glutamate release has been linked to stress, depression and other mood disorders, so lowered glutamate levels may explain some of the effects of ketamine,” says Per Svenningsson, professor at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, and the study’s last author.
When nerve signals are transmitted, the transmission from one neuron to the next occurs via synapses, a small gap where the two neurons meet.
The researchers were able to see that ketamine directly stimulated AMPA receptors, which sit postsynaptically, that is, the part of the nerve cell that receives signals and this leads to the increased release of the neurotransmitter adenosine which inhibits presynaptic glutamate release.
The effects of ketamine could be counteracted by the researchers inhibiting presynaptic adenosine A1 receptors.
“This suggests that the antidepressant action of ketamine can be regulated by a feedback mechanism. It is new knowledge that can explain some of the rapid effects of ketamine,” says Per Svenningsson.
In collaboration with Rockefeller University, the same research group has also recently reported on the disease mechanism in depression.
The findings, also published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, show how the molecule p11 plays an important role in the onset of depression by affecting cells sitting on the surface of the brain cavity, ependymal cells, and the flow of cerebrospinal fluid.
hey bros, I thought that since Seasonal Depression Time is starting to haunt my ass I thought I’d share what I do to help myself feel better
• brush my teeth and hair and wash my face. I’ve started washing my face daily with a cleanser I bought to treat myself and it really helps get the funk and muck out. I’m worth the energy to keep myself clean, even if I can’t shower.
• stay on top of meds. not only my brain meds but my birth control, allergy pills, and Vitamin D. I am worth the effort to keep on track.
• put away stuff and clean little messes. this keeps the tasks from being too daunting, and keeps my depression from manifesting physically in a messy room. if I can handle something small now I can keep it from becoming big. I am worth the time it takes to tidy up.
• allow myself time to rest and relax. as a whole we need to be kinder to ourselves. we need to listen to ourselves, and let our bodies and minds rest when we are tired. too often I associate rest with laziness, but that is not true. I am worth the off time to rest so I can do stuff later.
• communicate my feelings. this journey is rough but I don’t have to go through it alone. I have friends and family who care about me, and can help me when I need it. I’m still learning that talking about my emotions is okay to do, and I know it’s not always easy. I am worth the strength it takes to talk about these things.
• don’t isolate myself. I have the habit of hiding away from the world when I get really down. I end up stewing in my own sadness. it’s ok to have a resting day now and again but too much creates a bad cycle. I’m worth the energy to go out.
there’s other things like hobbies, my comfort objects, indulging in some of my favorite things, but those 6 things are the big ones. those help me to keep moving forward. those allow me to function.
the most important thing I want to share is that YOU ARE WORTH IT. you always have been and you always will. you are worth the time and energy. things get hard, believe me I know, but we fight on to keep moving forward, to see another day.
I’m so proud of all of you. take care of and be kind to yourselves, ok?
I’m twenty-one-years-old and I’ve swallowed half a bottle of acetaminophen. The nurse had given me a cup of charcoal to neutralize the acid in my stomach. My vomit is the color of midnight. My body is ejecting a nightmare.
One of the nurses tells me, “You’ve been Baker Act’ed.” Like it was a gameshow. It’s a seventy-two hour hold. I get moved from the hospital to a mental institution called Bay Care or Bay Pointe or Bay Life. It might as well be Bay Prison. By the end of three days, I lose thirteen pounds and one of my socks.
The patients and I go to this group meeting, and the lead counselor passes out these giant rubber pens and circular sheets of paper. He asks us, “What’s your goal today?” One of the guys pulls the fire alarm and yells that he’ll never stop doing favors for crack. “It’s a free country,” he yells, while two nurses sedate him and drag him across the linoleum. He’s still yelling but the fire alarm drowns him out. The counselor asks again, “What’s your goal today?” I write down, “To get out.”
That night, my bunkmate wakes me up. He’s the same guy they dragged out of the meeting. He’s spinning his mattress over his head and he tells me, “Roaches in my bed, my veins, come on, it’s true, it’s really true!” I know my options. I can grab a counselor to stop him. I can ask to switch rooms. I can tell the guy, “It’s not true, you’re hallucinating, that’s why you’re here.”
“Hey,” I tell him. “I know. Let’s look for them, you know? If we don’t find any, we can sleep, how’s that? Let’s look for them together.” My bunkmate likes this plan. We get on our hands and knees to look for cockroaches. After thirty seconds, he gets back on his mattress and falls asleep.
I touched upon something that has since informed the way I treat people. The way I treat their mental health. The way I treat their feelings of loneliness, of being unheard, of being a minority, of being silenced.
If it’s important to you, it’s important to me. If it’s real to you, it’s real to me. If it hurts you, it hurts me. Your pain is my pain.
[Excerpt from my book, The Voices We Carry.https://www.amazon.com/The-Voices-We-Carry/dp/0802419895]
[Photo by Hoon Park]
I love my dog so much, it’s like she has super spidey senses and knows exactly when I’m about to go off the deep end.
It’s like she knows I’m super upset and liable to do something fucking stupid so she just sits on me, gives me cuddles and demands so much damn attention that I can’t do something stupid.
She also reminds me that I’d be leaving her behind if I was to do it and I couldn’t do that.
My mind goes in overdrive a lot like it just can’t stop thinking. It jumps from one thing to another, so erratically I can’t keep up and the thing is nothing makes sense.
When my mind gets like this, my skin gets itchy like I need to do something and I don’t know what it is, I have this dire need to something, anything if it’ll calm my brain but nothing does.
This can last for a day, a few days, a week, a month and the entire time I just can’t think and I still have to pretend to be okay, pretend that I’m coping, but really my thoughts are drowning me.
I feel like one of those old abandoned, crumbling houses. Y’know the kind you cross the road to ignore because they’re ugly and they make you feel kinda sad.
I feel exactly like that, I mean someone could make that house nicer by doing it up a little, painting it, fixing it, but it’s not really worth it because that house will still be ugly and sad looking. It’s not worth the effort.
You might as well knock down the old house, make it go away, one less ugly thing, in this sad world.
I feel very distant and detached from the Tumblr kaiju community right now.
Psychology textbook diagrams never cease to amaze me
ok y'all this isn’t a psych textbook gaslighting you into thinking it’s normal and ok for your boss to yell at you, it’s specifically about understanding that other people’s treatment of you is usually more about them than you.
If your boss is pissy with you, it’s absolutely more healthy to understand that behavior as a reflection of his mental state rather than of your worth as an employee.
It’s not a psych textbook’s job to advise you how to improve your workplace or say what is/isn’t acceptable treatment by a boss. It’s an example of detaching your own self-worth from how other people treat you.
In fact, if you let yourself think of other people’s treatment as a reflection on YOU more than it is on THEM, it can prevent you from getting things done.
Or, in other words,
ok, im rb'ing this again because this actually helped me finally be able to take advantage of cognitive restructuring in a way i’ve struggled to do for a long time. Ive been able to get to the my boss was having a bad day part, but i’ve always struggled to use that mental change to do something that would improve the situation. but because of this diagram, i THINK ive got it figured out. Here’s a rough explanation of how I interperet this.
Real life example:
Boss yelling: My mom is snapping at me, calling me “disrespectful” no matter how I speak to her, and getting mad at me for having missing assignments
He was having a bad day: She’s stressed due to my grandma being in the hospital
He shouldn’t take it out on me: just because she’s stressed doesn’t mean she gets to be mean to me.
Unionize:I advocate for myself, saying that I’m not being disrespectful and that it’s okay to have missing assignments because I’m doing my best
Fuck his wife: I am unapologetically proud of myself for what i manage to do in a day, especially if my mom disapproves of it or doesn’t view it as productive, as my own little “fuck you” to her.
End result: no depression.
This actually works and its amazing. Thanks to the meme side of tumblr for accidentally developing a highly effective method for coping with people who treat you like shit
i hope you realise i have immediately added ‘unionise! fuck his wife! no depression!’ to my mantras for living
Step aside live laugh love
I take my pills and I’m happy all the time… :)
Um ehrlich zu sein, will ich es gar nicht weiter versuchen. Ich will einfach gehen und diesem Buch ein Ende geben.