Mailbag! Docs Using Horse Drugs for Depression?!?

Dear Living Well Daily Reader,

You’ve got questions…

We’ve got answers!

Depression can strike anytime.

And when severe enough it can require medication.

It’s no surprise that some depression drugs can cause all kinds of side effects, but they’re nothing compared to what’s coming down the pike for depression treatment.

You see, a drug with a history of recreational use and addiction issues is now positioned to be the next big depression breakthrough.

Let’s dive in…

Hi Natalie,

I know depression isn’t easy to treat.  But I couldn’t help but be surprised when a friend  (who suffers from severe depression)  recently told me her doctor thinks ketamine would help treat her depression.

This sounds like a bad idea to me. Isn’t ketamine the drug kids are getting high on? Has it ever been used to treat depression?


Sandy C.

Yes, Sandy, you’re right. Ketamine is a popular party drug and is often taken recreationally.

And because it can knock you out cold, it’s even been used in crimes like date rape, kidnapping and robbery.

But it didn’t start out this way.

Ketamine was first used as an anesthetic for large animals. And with good reason — it can drop a half-ton horse to the ground in just a matter of seconds.

It’s now used in humans to help start and maintain anesthesia because it can induce trance-like states. Unfortunately, these trance-like states also come with memory loss, hallucinations and even heart, bowel and psychological problems with long-term use.

But even with these dangerous side effects, some docs are using it as an “off-label” treatment for depression.

You see, after a few positive trials, some physicians have been giving ketamine infusions to treat depression — especially in hard-to-treat cases.

And for some folks it’s worked.

But these results can wear off in as little as a week, so regular infusions are needed to keep depression symptoms in check.

Even worse, there’s yet to be a large-scale trial that can determine whether ketamine is safe and effective for treating depression without any serious side effects.

I don’t know about you, but I would need a lot of good evidence before taking a drug that can put down a horse and cause serious hallucinations.

Not to mention ketamine has addictive properties. This is bad news for everyone but can be especially dangerous for folks already suffering from depression.

Depression is a serious illness and should be treated like one.

But until there’s more proof ketamine is a viable option for depression, there are other ways to fight it.

One good way is with your diet.

Many studies show diet can play a major role in mental health. And a good way to get a grip on your mood is through food.

A good place to start is by reading Food and Mood: Eating Your Way out of Depression. Click here to find out more about it.

Do you have health questions you want answered? Drop me a line:

Live well,

Natalie Moore
Managing editor, Living Well Daily

Ed. Note: Please send your feedback: – and click here to like us on Facebook.


[1] Ketamine

[2] Ketamine depression treatment ‘should be rolled out’

[3] Ketamine For Severe Depression: ‘How Do You Not Offer This Drug To People?’

[4] Ketamine for Depression: Key Efficacy, Safety Questions Remain

Natalie Moore

Written By Natalie Moore

Natalie Moore is a dedicated health researcher with a passion for finding healthy, natural, and science-based solutions. After a decade of direct healthcare experience in western and natural medicine, she was involved in public health research before joining Living Well Daily.

View More Free Articles

EAR Test Protects Your BRAIN?

Hearing loss has a habit of sneaking up on folks. Typically, it happens so slowly that you don’t notice it until you’ve lost a SIGNIFICANT amount of hearing. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 8 percent of adults 55 to 64 have disabling hearing loss. That number jumps to 25 percent for people...

Read This

Missing "Lucky Penny" Mineral Harms Your Heart

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, Some nutrients get all the glory. There are the vitamin A-Listers like C, D, and E. And although minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium might be considered B-List stars, they ALSO get their fair share of attention. But one vital nutrient never gets to walk the red carpet. And that...

Read This

Risk of Stroke SURGES 50% Worldwide?!

It’s NOT good news. A recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO), confirmed that the chance of having a stroke has skyrocketed by a whopping 50 percent in the last twenty years. According to the WHO, that means your stroke risk is now about one in four. Next time you’re in a crowd, look...

Read This

Is Tofu GOOD for You? (The Truth REVEALED)

I often wonder why so many people are passionate about tofu. There’s something about it that triggers strong emotions. Some folks HATE it, while others LOVE it. But is it good for you? Well, it’s complicated. Tofu is a fermented soy product. It tastes bland alone. But it takes on the taste of whatever you...

Read This

Bizarre New Cell Phone Risk (Beware)

I sometimes joke with my (adult) kids. “Do you know,” I ask, “that the PHONE you carry around with you all the time can make phone calls?” They laugh and mumble, “Old,” under their breath. I swear the generations who grew up with a cell phone attached to their palm will do almost anything to...

Read This


“Got any natural treatments for COPD?” – Mike, Ann Arbor, MI Dear Mike, Unfortunately, COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, is a common condition. In fact, it’s now the third leading cause of death in the United States. COPD causes the airways to constrict, making breathing difficult or uncomfortable. Persistent coughing, excess mucus production, wheezing,...

Read This

The COVID-Triggered Habit Harming Your Health

Boy, a LOT has changed in the last few years. COVID altered our lives in so many ways. I used to largely ignore hearing a cough or sneeze in public. But now they get my attention EVERY time. In fact, protecting myself from them has a side benefit. I’ve dodged many of the other sniffle-and-...

Read This

Fruit-Aisle Secret to Better Heart and Brain Health

Aging often gets a bad rap. But there are a bunch of advantages to getting older (and wiser). And honestly, it sure beats the heck out of the alternative. But we can all agree that getting older has one BIG drawback… Over the years, you start to collect illnesses. First, it could be your blood...

Read This

Knock Out Severe Knee Pain NATURALLY

Dear Living Well Daily Reader, You might know the old saying, “Walk a mile in his shoes.” Well, it’s a perfect fit when talking about knee pain. Except it might be more accurate to say, “Limp a mile.” Because all too often, when you tell someone you suffer from chronic knee pain, they blow you...

Read This

"Bright Idea" Battles Dementia WITHOUT Drugs

Mainstream medicine giving the thumbs up to a drug-free, non-invasive treatment for ANYTHING is like spotting a unicorn. But that’s precisely what’s happened with dementia. You probably already know how poor the options are for treating this disease. Heck, even the MOST enthusiastic supporter of drug therapies will admit the existing Alzheimer’s meds are a...

Read This