Fall is here, and for lots of people, that means happy thoughts of warm sweaters, mulled cider, and crisp weather. But, for those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), fall and winter mean months of sadness and depression.
Seasonal affective disorder is a subtype of depression, with symptoms occurring during the darker, cooler fall and winter months, then typically subsiding when spring arrives. Like other types of depression, SAD can be hard to treat, leaving many people suffering for roughly half the year.
At Scottsdale Ketamine Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, our team uses ketamine infusion therapy to relieve the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. If you find yourself battling the blues throughout the fall and winter, here’s how ketamine therapy could help you.
The basics of seasonal affective disorder
Seasonal affective disorder may not be as well known as some other types of depression, but it’s still very common. The American Psychiatric Association says as many as 5% of Americans suffer from SAD, but other sources, such as the American Academy of Family Physicians, suggest an additional 10-20% of Americans may be affected.
Researchers aren’t completely sure what causes SAD, but studies show it most likely has to do with lessening levels of natural light. In fact, the farther you live from the equator — where light levels stay more consistent throughout the year — the more likely you are to have SAD symptoms. Though it’s rare, some people experience SAD during the warmer months of the year.
Seasonal affective disorder shares many of the same symptoms as other depressive disorders. These symptoms include the following:
- Decreased energy
- Increased feelings of hopelessness, sadness, or worthlessness
- Problems concentrating
- Moodiness or irritability
- Loss of interest in enjoyable activities
- Changes in sleep
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Craving for carb-rich foods
- Feelings of fatigue or lethargy
Although SAD can affect both women and men, it occurs about four times as often in women.
Traditional treatments for seasonal affective disorder
Historically, SAD has been treated using medication and psychotherapy, just like other types of depression. Sometimes, light therapy — sitting in front of a light box for long periods of time — is added to the mix.
While these treatments can help some people reduce their symptoms, they don’t provide complete relief for everyone. In fact, some people find these treatments provide no meaningful effect at all.
What’s more, medication and psychotherapy can take weeks before you notice any reduction in symptoms. That means weeks of suffering without knowing if your treatment will provide you with the results you’re hoping for.
Ketamine infusion therapy for seasonal affective disorder
Ketamine is a drug that has been used for years as an anesthetic. However, researchers have found that ketamine can also help regulate mood.
When infused into your bloodstream via an IV, ketamine triggers the production of a neurotransmitter chemical called glutamate, which plays a huge role in stabilizing mood and reducing the symptoms of depression.
Furthermore, ketamine infusion therapy offers quick results. Many people experience an improvement in their symptoms within a few hours to a few days. And, the effects of ketamine can last for a few weeks, and infusions can be repeated.
Ketamine can be used on its own or in combination with other therapies. That makes it a good choice for people who are already being treated for depression but need extra support during the colder, darker months of the year.
Enjoy the season
Seasonal affective disorder can make half the year a miserable, depressing experience. If you’re suffering from SAD, ketamine infusion therapy could be the solution you’re looking for to feel better fast.
To learn more about ketamine infusion therapy for SAD and other types of depression, book an appointment online or over the phone with Scottsdale Ketamine Clinic today.