The World Health Organization (WHO) cites the following statistics regarding mental health: as many as 450 million people suffer from a mental or behavioral disorder, nearly 1 million people commit suicide every year, four of the six leading causes of years lived with disability are due to neuropsychiatric disorders and one in four families has at least one member with a mental disorder.
In the US, millions of people are affected by a mental health condition every year. Anxiety is the most common mental illness, affecting 40 million adults in the US, and depression affects 14.8 million. Six million children have been diagnosed with ADHD, and 2.5 million adults suffer from schizophrenia in the United States.
Depression is very common. It is probably more common than the statistics indicate, because many people do not seek treatment. There are many stigmas that accompany mental health conditions, such as depression. Some think that people suffering from depression are just “not trying” and they simply need to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” This is not the case at all – depression is a disorder of the brain, not a disorder of will power. It is a medical illness which needs treatment.
One of the most common forms of treatments for depression is taking antidepressant medication; however, the remission rate of depression on these typical medications is about 30-37%. Ketamine is a newer treatment for depression which is showing great results in many patients. Ketamine actually helps your brain recover from the disorder by establishing new connections in the parts of the brain involved in emotion and mood. Seven out of the 10 new antidepressants in the pipeline are based on ketamine and one is an activator of stem cells that stimulates neuron generation. This shows scientists and drug companies recognize that ketamine activates a growth factor in the brain called BDNF which in turns repairs the brain.