Depression: find something that works or die

Radio Lab is one of my favorite public radio shows: Robert Krulwich is a master producer. Remember this 2007 story?

A piece on Seattle's KPLU the other day brought glutamic acid closer to home as mushrooms are sources of glutamate. The smell of sex, especially in Hypomyces lactifluorum, has been a fascination.

This morning's broadcast on ketamine harkened the Krulwich piece, too; a contraindication of treating the glutamate sites in the brain is unusual sexual behavior.
Ketamine, in contrast, activates a different chemical system in the brain – the glutamate system. Researcher Ron Duman at Yale thinks ketamine rapidly increases the communication among existing neurons by creating new connections.
Ketamine, a Schedule III substance, is considered a 'street drug' by lawmakers and law enforcement:
Now imagine that your local police have their own bees, bees they release each morning to scour the neighborhood looking for illegal plants.
and is considered far more dangerous when self-administered than Schedule I cannabis has been shown to be:
"We were shocked and surprised that it worked," says Gary Wenk, Ph.D., one of the study's authors and a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Ohio State University. Research shows that the neurotransmitter glutamate is involved in storing memory in a process that involves growing both new cells and connections between them, and destroying old ones. Some current Alzheimer's drugs like memantine affect glutamate—as does THC. Early in life, this process is in balance, and so interfering with either the growth or the "pruning back" of brain cells and connections—as might occur from using marijuana—might impair memory. But, says Wenk, "The same systems involved in pruning neurons at the beginning of life could be killing them at the end." Therefore, interfering with the pruning process later in life might actually help, rather than harm.
Depression is deadly.

The patient in this morning's NPR piece had tried scores of compounds created by Big Pharma and was still trying to end his life.


I wondered about this. I watched the Google+ interview with the President and found him warm but scripted. Somebody tweeted that Bill Clinton would have been more in his element than Mr. Obama was; someone else that it looked like a campaign spot.

Interesting read from Charles Trimble.

Tribes, pressure the President to move the Black Hills National Forest, the Custer National Forest, and the Nebraska National Forest into the Bureau of Indian Affairs, take the money owed to you, and petition for Statehood.

More on the Google-backed Newberry volcano geothermal test

NPR's Talk of the Nation hosting ketamine discussion today.


Bob Newland said...

There is no conceivable reason to consider anything Sibson says. He's proven himself to be incapable of conscious evaluation/analysis of anything except by process of his own interpretation of a single book written and edited by folks with an agenda.

larry kurtz said...

He must believe they meant it when they said, "no strange gods before me."

Stan Gibilisco said...

Yes, I heard that NPR broadcast. Fascinating! I don't suffer from major depression -- I don't think I ever have -- but I still found that broadcast interesting. Thank the Higher Powers for NPR ...

D.E.Bishop said...

I have struggled with Severe depression, and made a plan for my suicide in 2007. I have never endured a more terrifying, horrifying time in my life.

Medications helped to an extent; psychotherapy helped to an extent; a particular form of psychotherapy called Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) helped the most. I needed them all.

My depression is now rated at Mild, though sometimes it escalates to Moderate. Usually those Moderate times are fairly short because I have learned concrete skills that are effective in reducing my depression in DBT and from my therapists.

I know that Moderate times will continue to come, and that it will go. I'm confident of that because I've watched it happen in me before. So there is an end to the depression in sight.

Severe Depression is a terrible thing. It smashes, crushes, crunches one down to an odorous bug crawling across a filthy floor through a disgusting slime. That's how it felt to me.

I am so incredibly grateful that I have not felt that way for 4+ years now. But you need to know that it took gut-wrenching, heart-breaking work to get to this place.

It took every single thing I have, and every bit of dim hope I could salvaage from the darkest corners of myself. And the love and support of people who doggedly loved me, whether I could believe it or not, or wanted to hear from them or not.

I can't imagine what could be more difficult. It truly was a fight for my life. I don't know if I could do it again, and I don't intend to find out.

larry kurtz said...

Thanks to all for coming by. D.E.B: very powerful.

Winter has been nearly merciful so far; equinox not so distant from here.

Best wishes, all.

larry kurtz said...

“In two hours after the first treatment, I was a new person. Immediately the memories went away. The crying stopped. I stopped feeling suicidal. I’ve stopped taking any medication. I’ve lost 93 pounds. I get out and see people,” she said. “Ketamine has given me a whole new perspective. I am normal. Do you know what that’s like after being so depressed for so many years?” [Psilocybin joins ketamine, MDMA on list of maligned substances studied for medicinal use]