Despite the headlines, it is rare to hear about suicides, even though one happens about every 10 minutes in the US. Adolescent and adult mental illnesses have skyrocketed, and the tsunami of post-traumatic stress, depression, and suicides will follow. In 2020, eighteen Las Vegas students, all children, took their lives; more police officers died by suicide using their firearms than in the line of duty; four police officers who responded to the January 6th attack on the US. Capitol died of suicide. It is also hard to believe that more firefighters die of suicide than in burning buildings. Frontline healthcare professionals have a much higher risk of having depression, anxiety, insomnia, and distress. Rarely do these suicides draw media attention. In 2022, nearly 50 thousand people took their lives, most of them white males from California and Texas (CDC report).
Why does one decide to die by suicide? No one can fully answer that question, but biological, psychological, social, spiritual, and environmental factors influence depression and suicide. For about 130 people per day, it’s the last worldly decision they’ll ever make. Recent unfortunate suicides include beloved NFL superstar Junior Seau, actor Robin Williams, television personality Anthony Bourdain, and fashion designer Kate Spade. What contributing factors need to coalesce to bring someone to this life-ending decision? To most, the thought is terrifying and comprehension impossible. For others, attempting suicide is the only answer remaining to squelch their anguish.
Fear, self-isolation, and social distancing exacerbate the detrimental effects on those with and without mental illness. Our life experiences, traumas, emotional conflicts, and stories sculpt our psyche. A dark, self-loathing psychological perspective is required to bring a person to extreme measures. If someone is ready for suicide, their thought processes have hit a cul-de-sac, which is sardonically French for “dead-end.” Suicide is subtle, and the decision to take one’s own life is often impulsive. Rigid thought patterns inhibit people with suicidal ideations from reaching out for help. Our daily environment, habits, stressors, and relationships are strong influences. Consider what social distancing does to someone already practicing isolative and self-deprecating behaviors. The spiritual elements of life include questions like – what’s the point of all this? Why are we here? What happens after we pass? There are no correct answers here. Those who have misaligned their spiritual truths find it harder to discover a sense of peace and empowerment. Life lacks significance for those without purpose, appreciation, or a sense of enjoyment. When a loved one takes her own life, they leave many unanswered questions; constant thoughts of “what” and “why” permeate the minds of those left behind.
Suicidality is extraordinarily difficult to assess, and the field of psychiatry is left to treat an illness not fully understood. We have no effective treatments for suicide; although that might be thankfully changing. Treating suicide and depression is complex, and psychiatrists and other mental health professionals will attest that few medications can effectively treat suicide or treatment-resistant depression. Medicines for depression and suicide take weeks to have an effect, and faster-acting antidepressant medications are needed to treat and prevent suicides.
What if there was a way to remove the hijacking device leading to suicidal ideations and grant time to work things out? We have a little-known medication available today that can stop suicide in its tracks, and it’s called ketamine. Most people have never heard of ketamine, and you might well be wondering how ketamine can be a game-changer for treating suicidal ideation, PTSD, addiction, and depression. Few are familiar with this decades-old anesthetic and party drug. Ketamine can rapidly stop suicidal ideation and buy precious time to seek help, and might save your loved one’s or even your life. Ketamine is a legal and well-studied path to treat certain mental disorders, and four decades of research have transformed ketamine from an anesthetic to a routine outpatient treatment for mental disorders.
The military uses ketamine to help war veterans recover from PTSD. In a 2012 study published in Science, the authors called ketamine “the most important discovery in half a century.”
As long ago as 2010, the New York Times reported:
“It has been known for several years that small doses of ketamine can relieve major depression.”
Said Maggie, 53, “I woke up the next morning, and I didn’t take an antidepressant for the first time in 20 years.”
“I look at the cost of not using ketamine — for me, it was certain death,” said Dennis Hartman, 48, a businessman from Seattle. He said that after a lifetime of severe depression, he had chosen a suicide date when he entered a clinical trial of ketamine at the National Institutes of Health two years ago. His depression lifted, and since then, he has gone to a clinic in New York every two months or so for infusions.
Excerpt taken from my new book, The Revolutionary Ketamine. Please order it today.