CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Shopping lists and social gatherings are stressful enough. Nobody wants to deal with depression, anxiety or chronic pain during the holidays, but unfortunately, these drains on our mental and physical well-being never take a day off.

Dr. Eric Evans and Shannon Evans, owners of Desert Sands Medical Clinics, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News

At Desert Sands Ketamine Treatment Center, Dr. Eric Evans partners with patients struggling to find relief from traditional pharmaceutical offerings, including antidepressants. The clinic administers ketamine via IV infusion to treat depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain. For many, ketamine in this therapeutic setting represents an optimistic new frontier. 

“You’re not alone in your battle for better mental health,” he said. “We’re here, and we’re ready to help.”

Beyond the “winter blues”

People living with depression and anxiety may struggle to get into the spirit of the holiday season. While everyone can’t always be merry and bright, feeling especially downhearted around Christmastime is often more than just the “winter blues.” 

Seasonal affective disorder impacts millions of Americans every year and is characterized by mood swings, feelings of hopelessness, fatigue and social withdrawal. Symptoms typically start in the fall and continue through the winter. 

Evans said it’s impossible to overstate the impact that colder temperatures, reduced sunlight and fewer opportunities to participate in outdoor activities can have on mental health. 

“This time of year is particularly difficult for anyone already facing challenges with their mental health,” he added. “If your current treatment plan isn’t enough to keep your mood and motivation balanced, consider adding ketamine to your toolbox.”

Exploring ketamine for pain

Winter is also a challenging time for the millions of Americans living with a pain disorder. Chronic pain can occur in nearly any part of the body and presents itself differently depending on the patient. Migraines, complex regional pain syndrome, nerve pain and arthritis pain all fall under the umbrella of chronic pain. 

Pain disorders are exhausting and debilitating, often making even the simplest tasks much more difficult. While ketamine has received a great deal of attention in recent years as a breakthrough mental health treatment, Evans said the medical world is just now discovering how beneficial it can be for people struggling with chronic pain. It enables patients to participate in everyday life more comfortably while also regulating the emotional imbalances that frequently accompany pain disorders.

“Treating their mood disorder was a big part of helping them get their pain under control,” he added. “Ketamine has been amazing at helping people with both issues.”

The Desert Sands difference 

Interior of the Desert Sands Ketamine Treatment Center, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News

Patients shouldn’t trust just any ketamine provider with their therapy, however. Desert Sands Ketamine is recognized as the Best of Southern Utah, having recently won a silver medal in the behavioral/mental health treatment category for the third consecutive year; they also earned gold for alternative therapies in 2021.  The clinic offers a comfortable, spa-like healing atmosphere with compassionate staff who are dedicated to helping patients achieve the best results possible.

“It has been nothing short of miraculous for a lot of people in our clinic,” Evans said. “With ketamine, people can wake up in the morning and joy is a possibility for them again.”

Every patient comes to Desert Sands Ketamine with a unique history and set of issues they’re struggling to navigate. As such, the clinic employs a multifaceted approach to mental health by providing support systems designed to improve all aspects of well-being, including dietary guidance, meditation, massage therapy, relationship counseling and talk therapy.

Real patients, real stories

Desert Sands Ketamine is bringing hope and healing to Southern Utahns struggling with treatment-resistant depression and other mental health disorders. Many patients have experienced remarkable, even life-changing, results.

After surviving a violent crime, Teresa J. came to Desert Sands Ketamine suffering from PTSD, depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. Therapy and traditional medications were already part of her recovery plan, but that wasn’t enough. 

“Ketamine and the staff at Desert Sands have quite literally given me my life back,” she said. “I had terrible trust issues and being in such a vulnerable state was scary for me, but the care that the staff has shown me really helped me to rebuild my trust in people again, too. All of the staff are amazing, and I am just so grateful.”  

“Dr. Evans is an amazing person,” another patient, Jayden S., said. “He is kind, compassionate and very knowledgeable. I’ve never been to a doctor’s office and felt more welcomed or cared for than I did at Desert Sands.”

For more information or to schedule a free consultation, visit the Desert Sands Ketamine Treatment Center website or call 435-522-5190.

Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.

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Desert Sands Ketamine Treatment Center | Address: 346 E. 600 South, St. George | Telephone: 435-522-5190 | Email: | Website.

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