Author: Dr. Christopher Romig (Ark Integrative Medicine)

The past few years have been trying times for everyone, affecting all ages, races, ethnicities, and socio-economic groups across the globe. In the first year of COVID-19, global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by a massive 25%, according to a scientific brief released recently by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In the U.S., anxiety disorder is the most common mental health issue, affecting nearly 40 million adults (19% of the population) and 32% of teens between 13-18 years of age. Almost half of all those with an anxiety disorder also suffer from depression (and vice versa). While nearly all mental health disorders are treatable, only 40% of those suffering are known to seek treatment.

One of the hallmarks of depression, anxiety, and mental illness in general centers around feelings of loneliness, isolation, and loss of connection to the outside world. One of COVID’s lasting effects was that many no longer felt safe enjoying the simple pleasures found outside the home. Lockdowns and isolation became the new normal for many. And while the threat of the coronavirus has seemingly lessened, it is still an ever-present weight that impacts how we think, feel, and live.

There is a ray of light, however, in the treatment of mental illness, addiction, and end-of-life distress. At our clinic and elsewhere, psychedelic-assisted therapy is displaying unparalleled rates of success, with this drug renaissance marking a watershed moment in the treatment of complex human mental disorders.

With each new study there is further evidence that psychedelics, of which ketamine is one, have significant potential to help people break through repetitive, destructive thinking, daily sadness, and anxiety. I’ve seen countless examples of ketamine-assisted therapy helping individuals discover new possibilities and joy by unlocking the healing potential of one’s own consciousness (I call it the “mind’s eye”).

Ketamine enables individuals to see more clearly what troubles them and keeps them locked in a mental prison. It can provide the clarity to face issues in a positive and resilient way, strengthening the person from the inside.

The transformations are often remarkable, and it’s my hope and goal to help many more stop being a statistic among the rising numbers of those suffering with mental health disorders.

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