The dissociative party drug Ketamine helped Sabrina Misra overcome her suicidal thoughts and severe depression, Misra said. Although the FDA has not approved the drug, psychiatrists are administering ketamine as a depression treatment. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune)
Sabrina Misra suffered from depression for most of her life, but last summer, it became almost too heavy to bear.
Despite years of therapy and a trove of medications, Misra, 36, had become so despondent that she started planning her suicide. But before she acted, her psychiatrist introduced her to a new treatment with an unusual back story.
The treatment was ketamine, an anesthetic used to sedate both people and animals before surgery. It’s also a notorious street drug, abused by clubgoers seeking a trancelike, hallucinatory high.
But in recent years, numerous studies have found that ketamine can be an effective and speedy treatment for people with depression — particularly those who, like Misra, have found little relief from traditional medications.
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