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A New Way to Treat Teens and Adolescents with Depression and/or Suicidal Tendencies: Ketamine

Although research continues to be published in regards to the growing benefits for ketamine infusions in adult populations, there are still few studies in adolescents. This is NOT because the treatment may not be as beneficial, but this is mainly due to natural progression of evidence based science. Almost all research, clinical trials and treatment trials start off in the adult population. Then only a few trickle down into the adolescent/teen population or even further to the pediatric population. Much of medicine is practiced based on extrapolation from science in adult based studies.

In a study from Yale Medical Center, researchers treated a 16-year old boy suffering from severe depression and suicidal ideations with a series of ketamine infusions. The patient, who had previously resisted other pharmacological interventions and depression treatments, described himself as “hopeless at the prospect of psychiatric improvement.” After receiving ketamine infusions, though, the patient improved to the point that he could be safely discharged from his inpatient psychiatric facility and was able to go back to school, resuming a lifestyle much more consistent with that of other teenagers.

This led researchers in the Mayo Clinic to perform a larger scale study for teens with depression being treated with ketamine. The results were published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Pscyhopharmacology, after receiving a series of 6 treatments with ketamine infusions, patients experienced an average decrease of 42% on the Children’s Depression Rating Scale. Five of the 13 patients actually achieved clinical remission of their symptoms, three of which remained in remission for more than 6 weeks.

Additional studies show that up to 40% of adolescents fail to respond to first line therapies for depression. In addition, 50% of the non-responders fail to respond to the second intervention. We know this patient population may need specialized therapy interventions, and may at times be a challenge. Ketamine infusions for these patients, who fail to respond to first and/or second line treatments may be hugely beneficial, and can change their complete outlook on life.

If your teen or adolescent is struggling with severe depression, suicidal thoughts or tendencies and are in need for help, the expert physicians at StriveMD are available. We are a leading experts in ketamine therapy treatment for adolescents, teens and adults.

At StriveMD Wellness and Ketamine in Chicago and Cincinnati, we offer intravenous (IV) ketamine infusions to help with depression, anxiety, and a variety of treatment resistant disorders. We also focus on vitamin and hydration therapy to help with immunity and wellness that have been compromised from poor mental health. With a team comprised of physicians board-certified in adult and pediatric anesthesiology, neurology, pediatrics, pain medicine, and functional medicine, we are the most comprehensive team from the nation’s best medical institutions to take care of patients of any age including adolescents and geriatric patients. We work with your mental health provider to ensure safety and effectiveness of our program. If you or someone has a mental health disease that is worsening, or fighting a chronic medical condition, please call your healthcare provider or go to the emergency room. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to email us at


Take care and stay safe.

StrIVeMD Wellness & Ketamine, Chicago and Cincinnati

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