WHAT IS SUICIDAL IDEATION OR SUICIDAL THOUGHTS?
Suicidal thoughts can take over a person’s life. Fortunately, most people preoccupied with suicidal thoughts do not end up following through on their plans, however, even one suicide is one too many. In the United States, there are 144 suicides completed every single day.
Suicide is on the rise, with half of the states in the United States reporting more than a 30% increase since 1999 and nearly all the rest reporting increased rates since then, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and the second leading cause of death among 10 to 34-year-olds. Women attempt suicide more often than men, but men are successful about three to four times more often than women.
Those who do not act on these thoughts are still deeply disturbed by them and the individual experiencing them can fixate on different ways they might kill themselves. Many people with suicidal thoughts are suffering from depression or other mood disorders so the recurring thoughts are often accompanied by symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, panic attacks, impaired concentration, and extreme guilt.
In many cases, this type of thinking is linked to an overwhelming situation that the individual feels they cannot cope with and the future looks hopelessly bleak. This can range from financial problems to relationship issues. Some people are at a higher risk of suicide than others; anyone diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder may experience suicidal thinking more frequently than others. Often, the thoughts do not go away even if the situation disturbing them improves.
Current Treatments for Suicidal Thoughts and Actions
At this time, there is only one medication, clozapine, approved by the FDA for suicide risk reduction in patients with schizophrenia. There is one study of mood disorder patients that shows that treatment with antidepressants, atypical antipsychotics, and lithium reduced death by suicide. There are meta-analyses of small lithium studies that show that suicide is reduced in patients with either bipolar disorder or major depression taking lithium, but those findings are controversial.
There are two proven psychotherapies for treating those who attempt suicide: cognitive behavior therapy for suicide attempters (CBT for suicide attempters) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) for patients with borderline personality disorder and recurrent suicidal ideation and behaviors. Clearly these short-term interactive therapies make a difference, but they still fall short at times.
There are many small studies of various interventions, including promising short-term therapies that include the family, that show that repeat suicide attempts are reduced under the treatment condition being tested.
Treating the underlying cause for the suicidal thinking is the best first line approach for preventing further suicide ideation or suicidal attempts. The most prevalent mental health disorders that lead to suicidal ideations are major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder, along with substance use and abuse disorders.
Ketamine: A Revolutionary Suicidal Ideation Treatment
Ketamine infusion therapy is a highly effective suicidal ideation treatment option for patients struggling with mental health issues, including depression, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Many patients suffering from these conditions have recurring suicidal thoughts and struggle with intrusive thoughts about self-harm that, tragically, can lead to suicide. Suicidal thoughts can be reduced and often eliminated with ketamine therapy. Ketamine treatment is the only intervention that can eliminate suicidal thinking independently of other symptoms. In some studies ketamine has been found to greatly decrease or even stop suicidal thoughts in as little as 90 minutes after IV infusion.
Here at Wyoming Wellness Center we offer low-dose Ketamine infusion therapy to patients suffering from mood disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress, and others that increase the risk of suicidal behavior.
About Ketamine Therapy at Wyoming Wellness Center
At Wyoming Wellness Center, we offer the best possible care in our state-of-the-art facility. Our highly experienced, trained, and compassionate team consist of providers who have carefully considered the research and results of IV ketamine infusion therapy.
Mental health ketamine infusion therapy at Wyoming Wellness Center will start with an initial meeting with our mental health provider. From that meeting, you and our team will develop a plan for the course of care to be provided. If ketamine therapy is determined to be a good treatment option, it will initially consist of 8 infusions:
2 infusions week 1
2 infusions week 2
1 infusion week 3
1 infusion week 4
1st "Booster" week 6
2nd "Booster" week 8
Within this time frame, our team will work with you to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment, provide you with support, and collaborate with your primary mental health provider to assist you in learning skills and meeting your goals.
After your initial 8 infusions you will come back for "Booster" infusions on an as needed basis, based upon your symptoms and mood. Usually that is every 4-6 weeks but it may be less often based on your individual mood and symptoms.
Our staff at Wyoming Wellness Center recognize that every patient is unique and that individual responses to ketamine infusions will vary. Therefore, we will tailor your treatment course to you and your body’s needs. Your individual symptoms, needs, and goals of care will determine your course of treatment.
When you undergo ketamine therapy at Wyoming Wellness Center you are closely monitored by our highly experienced providers and nurses. We use hospital grade equipment to monitor all your vital signs, just like an ICU setting. You will be kept safe, in a comfortable, quiet, and relaxing environment.
Some patients experience short-term dizziness, nausea, and fatigue, but these sensations usually disappear rapidly. After 50 years of ketamine being administered at much higher doses, and approximately 10+ years of research on ketamine treatment for mood and pain disorders, there have been no long-term side effects noted at these low doses.
Following your initial treatment series, we will follow up with you, your primary care provider and your mental health provider to monitor your depressive symptoms, ensure your mental health counseling is progressing well and determine your need for maintenance infusions.
Over the last 10+ years, ketamine has been used successfully in treating mental health and chronic pain disorders. However, because it is not approved by the FDA for this secondary use, almost all insurance companies will not pay for ketamine infusion therapy. For that reason, we do not bill insurance companies. We will provide you with statements and the necessary billing codes, in the form of a superbill, for you to file a claim, if you desire to do so, and request a superbill from us.
If you or someone you love is in the grip of ongoing depression, ketamine treatment for mood disorders may help.
For further information you can also check out the links below:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
American Foundation of Suicide Prevention
Ketamine tied to remission from suicidal ideation