Today I speak with Dr. Patrick Oliver about the only drug approved currently to treat suicidal ideation: Ketamine.
“Where this works is literally in making connections in the brain.”
Dr. Oliver is an emergency room physician that left the ER to start his own Ketamine infusion clinics because he saw a need that no one else was filling to offer life-saving treatment to people with severe depression. He says he was incredulous of the results a colleague was seeing of Ketamine for acute suicidality until he visited the clinic himself and saw for his own how “the depression just seems to go away.”
We talk about how Ketamine works in the brain.
Dr. Oliver says the goal of Ketamine infusion is partial disassociation—a separation of your sensory experiences from your mind’s supervision of them. He strongly believes that psychiatry’s current standard of care—offering Wellbutrin or Zoloft or Paxil to patients with acute suicidality—is dead wrong.
“After I saw it I couldn’t not do it. Nobody was helping these patients,” Oliver says.
We discuss misconceptions some people have about what depression really is and discuss the safety of Ketamine even in treating severe depression that’s co-occurring with substance abuse.