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Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), offers Esketamine nasal spray for the treatment and management of severe depression in adults. Image Credit:

Abu Dhabi: Patients battling depression in Abu Dhabi can now benefit from a new treatment that helps manage severe forms of the mental illness.

Public health provider, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), announced that it is now offering Esketamine nasal spray for the treatment and management of severe depression in adults. The spray is recommended for patients who have tried other anti-depressant treatment modalities without benefit.

Novel treatment

Esketamine targets new receptors in the brain than those which were traditionally addressed by antidepressant medication. It has shown good safety profile and tolerability in patients, and Seha facilities with psychiatry clinics have, therefore, introduced the novel therapy for patients experiencing treatment-resistant depression.

“At Seha, our goal has always been to provide our patients with highest standards in treatment. Our team of highly experienced psychiatrists and psychologists strive to deliver a holistic and integrated treatment modality, tailored for each individual patient. Mental health and its treatment differ from patient to patient, which is why we are pleased to add another treatment method to our services, giving us more bandwidth to explore treatment solutions that are as tailored to each patient as possible,” said Dr Nahida Niaz Ahmed, consultant psychiatrist and chair of the Seha Behavioural Health Council/

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Patient experiences

A number of patients recently shared their experience after receiving the treatment, highlighting how Esketamine has facilitated their recovery.

A 30-year-old man, who has been struggling with major depressive disorder for the past six years, was prescribed Esketamine after trying multiple types of medication, anti-depressants and even shock therapy (ECT), all of which were unsuccessful in relieving him of his depression. A month after his physician started him on the nasal spray, he began to notice a positive impact on his outlook and lifestyle. Now, he exercises daily, is comfortable interacting socially, and has become significantly more motivated to find a job and support his family.

Suicidal tendencies

Another 20-year-old woman who has been diagnosed with severe depression with suicidal tendencies had previously gained no relief from other medication. The nasal spray helped improve her condition, and significantly helped decrease her suicidal thoughts.

Another young man resumed school after receiving the treatment. Prior to it, he isolated himself in his room and stopped studies for over three years, which had, in turn, adversely affected his physical and mental health. The patient said he has gradually been able to deal with negative thoughts, and is now replacing them with goals and ambitions for a better future.