(Esketamine) Nasal Spray for Depression Relief (!!!!)

Wow! It’s true! This works as a rapid treatment for people with imminent suicidal ideation!!!!! This is huge! This can and will save lives!


Nasal Spray for Depression Relief

NEWS   Apr 17, 2018 | Original Story from the American Psychiatric Association

A nasal spray formulation of ketamine shows promise in the rapid treatment of symptoms of major depression and suicidal thoughts, according to a new study published online today in The American Journal of Psychiatry (AJP).

The double-blind study compared the standard treatment plus an intranasal formulation of esketamine, part of the ketamine molecule, to standard treatment plus a placebo for rapid treatment of symptoms of major depression, including suicidality, among individuals at imminent suicide risk. The study involved 68 participants randomly assigned to one of two groups – either receiving esketamine or placebo twice a week for four weeks. All participants continued to receive treatment with antidepressants throughout. The researchers looked at effects at four hours after first treatment, at 24 hours and at 25 days.

The study was conducted by researchers at Janssen Research and Development and Janssen Scientific Affairs, Titusville, N.J., and San Diego, and the Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn. They found a significant improvement in depression scores and decreased suicidal ideation in the esketamine group compared to the placebo group at four hours and at 24 hours. The esketamine effects were not greater than the placebo at 25 days. The measurement of suicide risk took into consideration both the patient’s and clinician’s perspectives.

The results of the study support nasal spray esketamine as a possible effective rapid treatment for depressive symptoms in patients assessed to be at imminent risk for suicide, according to the authors. Esketamine could be an important treatment to bridge the gap that exists because of the delayed effect of most common antidepressants. Most antidepressants take four to six weeks to become fully effective.

This study was a proof-of-concept, phase 2, study for esketamine; it must still go through a phase 3 study before possible FDA approval. It was funded by Janssen Research and Development, LLC.

The authors caution that more research is needed on the potential for abuse of ketamine. That caution is also the focus of an accompanying AJP editorial also published online today. In the editorial, AJP Editor Robert Freedman, M.D., along with members of the AJP Editorial Board, note the known potential for abuse and existing reports of abuse of prescribed ketamine. They discuss the need for additional research relating to the abuse potential of ketamine during phase 3 trials, such as monitoring of patients’ craving and potential ketamine use from other sources.

While it is the responsibility of physicians to provide a suicidal patient with the fullest range of effective interventions, the AJP Editor’s note, “protection of the public’s health is part of our responsibility as well, and as physicians, we are responsible for preventing new drug epidemics.” The Editors suggest the need for broad input in the development of effective controls on the distribution and use of ketamine.

Freedman and colleagues argue that steps to control the use of ketamine would not be aimed at preventing its use for beneficial purposes but would allow for treatment to “continue to be available to those with need, while the population that is at-risk for abuse is protected from an epidemic of misuse.”

This article has been republished from materials provided by American Psychiatric Association. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

Getting Better!

IMG_1318As my friend Sal pointed out, in order to come out of a depression or a manic phase, you have to seek/get help. And in the case of mental illness, because of the stigma, this requires courage. Well we have this courage.

If you broke your arm, you wouldn’t think twice about going to a doctor to get it repaired. You wouldn’t agonize over what the world will think of you if you admit you have a broken arm. You wouldn’t worry if someone saw the name of your medication, what would they think of you! You would simply march into the doctor’s office and get the treatment you needed.

Well, I know it’s very difficult to know that you are indeed in a depression the first time it hits you, but hopefully with the help of friends, family members, or doctors, when you do realize it is a depression, you don’t worry about the stigma, and go straight to a psychiatrist and get the help you need.

Depression, bipolar d/o, mental illness, is an illness of the brain, so it is a physical illness. And illnesses need to be treated to get better. So if you realize you are in a depression, march yourself to a good psychiatrist and get treatment. You are strong enough and you can get better, you will get better!


You will recover!

pink roseOne of the most terrifying things about having mental illness is the sense of loss of self. Never with a physical illness do you say to yourself or your doctor “Where did I go? This isn’t me. The person I was is lost and some stranger has taken my place…”

Never, even if you are so physically ill that you are in the hospital, do you lose yourself, lose the essence of who you are.

But in a mental illness such as depression, there is the feeling of a loss of sense of self. The first time it happened to me was 1985, without knowing what it was at all, I had fallen into a deep depression, and all I knew was that the person I had been was gone. It was one of the most frightening things I have experiences! Until then, I hadn’t even known that such a thing as losing yourself was possible.

Instead of me, there was a blank, terrified, forlorn, lost shell of a person, who wasn’t even sure of how to put one foot in front of another to take a step forward. That lasted for a few months until I was put on antidepressants, although they brought me out of my depression, they of course those pushed me into a full blown manic phase. A story for another time…

A family member is going through a rough depressive episode and it brought all this back to me.

The good news is that you can recover your lost self! As the depression abated, I became me again. Oh my goodness, what a relief, I wasn’t a hollow shell of myself any more, I could think my own thoughts, I could laugh, I could sing, I could be me! Then the bipolar roller coaster took me on a manic ride, but I recovered from that as well with the help of Lithium. And I have recovered from depression and mania many, many times since my coming down with this illness in 1984/1985.

So here’s the hope part of this blog. Never fear, with Lithium or another mood stabilizer, you will recover. At least there’s this as the silver lining to the storm cloud of bipolar disorder. You will recover. Hang on!


Love or Fear

Just been thinking about this, always and forever an ongoing and newly discovered issue for me! Just wanted to share it again.


IMG_0407Yoga, Sufism, Buddhism, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Christ teach about love. All these great philosophies and teachers say there are only two ways to live our lives. One is in fear of everything, the other is in love of everything. I think everyone understands what living in fear means, but not everyone knows what I mean by living in love of everything. So I’ll explain. It’s not just romantic love, although that’s included of course. But what I am talking about here is “out of love.” Your heart is full of love for all beings, and all things. Even when you encounter something “bad,” you act out of the love in your heart. You never say to a child who is unhappy, perhaps needlessly according to you, “If you don’t stop, I’ll really give you something to cry about.” You act with the love in your heart and try…

View original post 342 more words

Healing TREE

My friend Sarah gave us tickets to go to a function benefiting a nonprofit organization called Healing TREE and I happily went along. There, I saw and heard a very compelling and beautiful young woman, Marissa Ghavami, talking about interpersonal trauma. She, along with her cofounders (see below), had started Healing TREE in order to address this veritable epidemic of trauma. Healing TREE offers knowledge and help, support and hope to people who have endured trauma. As a survivor of pretty awful child abuse myself, all this information really hit home with me. And I asked Marissa how I could be of help, and of course this blog came to mind. So here is information about Healing TREE, their mission, their resources and their aim to help those who have suffered trauma or are in an ongoing traumatic relationship or situation. I am, in fact, going to contact one of the professionals (listed on their Approved Care Network) in my area who does EMDR and give that a try.

There is so much information and help here! Please take a look, dear readers, this is a valuable resource in taking steps to learn about and heal the trauma that relationships, or actually any other situation in life, can inflict upon us. Healing is possible, it can be done and YOU can do it!



Healing TREE is a nonprofit organization and a huge resource for people who have suffered trauma. It was founded by Marissa Ghavami, who is currently the CEO of the organization, and her cofounders Debbie Ghavami and Bruce Hardy PhD. She is an actor as well as an advocate for healing from trauma. Healing TREE’s mission is to transform how society responds to abuse and interpersonal trauma. Healing TREE is an organization that wants to shift the focus from “putting a band aid” on traumatic experiences to healing from them. They promote trauma focused treatment modalities that engage the part of the brain that is involved in surviving trauma (the amygdala, or over activated fight or flight response) thereby healing people on a neurological and emotional/mental level. They address all forms of abuse and interpersonal trauma. And the link between trauma and mental illness is also explored.

If a person with these issues comes upon this website, it would give them not only resources to get better but so much hope that it is possible to get better from trauma and abuse! There are modalities and therapies that are available to help people suffering from trauma, and Healing TREE will match people who are suffering from trauma with helping professionals in their area.

As Ms. Ghavami states: “Leading studies (such as the ACE Study*) show that trauma is nothing less than a public health crisis and that it is the root cause behind so many of the toughest problems our society is faced with, like mental illness, physical illness, addiction, crime, assault, domestic violence, homelessness and suicide. Effective treatments are available, there is just a lack of integration between the trauma, mental health and medical fields and of general knowledge surrounding the issue. Healing TREE exists to change that so that healing from trauma becomes the new normal. With the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, our work has never been more relevant. We want to take the current surge of public awareness around issues of abuse a step further though through the resources, education and empowerment at the heart of our mission. We connect those who have suffered trauma with resources for healing rather than coping, provide education to professionals across fields and the public at large that promotes awareness, effective intervention and cutting edge treatment and offer empowerment through producing arts projects that encourage a healing movement.” 

Below is a powerful new video, a Public Service Announcement on “Trauma Bonding.” It is gut wrenching and gives us the startling and heart breaking revelation that women leave an abusive relationship, on average, seven times before being free of it! It also points to resources for people who are stuck in abusive relationships.

Ms. Ghavami states: “The PSA, entitled Bound, was created by Samantha Scaffidi and produced by Voyager Studios LLC in association with SLMBR PRTY. It addresses the question of why people who are, or have been, victims of various forms of abuse often feel a powerful attachment to the people who have abused them. Furthermore, it points towards resources that emphasize trauma’s impact on the brain and promote effective treatment (apart from the typical cognitive approach that doesn’t engage the survival part of the brain that is injured during abuse), which leads to breaking the cycle and finding healing. It is so important that people who are being, or have been, abused see stories that they can relate to and feel empowered to get the help they deserve to heal, free from shame.”


The beautiful bracelet below is a palpable reminder that help is available and people who are in traumatic situations or have been in the past, can BREAK FREE! It can be purchased here to keep the thought and the strength behind it with yourself!


Ms. Ghavami says: “The PSA Bound inspired a “Break Free” bracelet, designed by Ladies of Iron. It is a perfect gift of encouragement or celebration for someone who is considering breaking free from trauma bonding or celebrating a life free from abuse. 50% of the proceeds from these bracelets will be donated directly to Healing TREE to help support our mission. They can be bought here: http://www.ladiesofiron.com/product-page/break-free-bracelet

Below is a video from the Healing TREE website : It is extremely informational and helpful.

*Further reading about the ACE study:  https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy/about_ace.html



World Bipolar Day

Once again, it is World Bipolar Day. We don’t celebrate the fact that we have bipolar disorder, we celebrate the fact that we are strong enough to live with it. So to all my fellow people who live with this illness, I celebrate you, your strength, your tenacity and determination to survive and even thrive with this illness. I have hope that with all the research that is going on, there will be better and better treatments available for us, until hopefully one day, the treatments will work so well that we won’t even be aware that we have this illness!

Until that day, we will band together, support each other, and write, write, write our blogposts to learn, blow off steam, inform, educate, offer support.

Congratulations fellow people with bipolar d/o, congratulations on your strength and determination!