Founders index high for mental illness, but no one needed to tell that to Ronn Dunnett, who makes pricey handmade snare drums for musicians like Neil Peart of Rush. He battled severe depression for years. He tried therapy and multiple medications, to no avail. Then, last year, Dunnett learned about a promising new treatment--ketamine.
Yes, ketamine--which, although an FDA-approved anesthetic, is better known for sending club kids into nonresponsive and severely dissociative k-holes. But in recent years, it has earned a reputation as an effective off-label treatment for depression and suicidal thoughts. Findings from numerous studies bolster that rep--and hundreds of entrepreneurial docs have opened clinics. Like Steven L. Mandel, who founded Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles in 2014, and who treated Dunnett. (Off-label use is legal, but insurance companies don't cover it.) "Ketamine was my hail mary," says Dunnett. "I can finally feel pleasure." Before treatment, he'd gone as far as to plan his suicide--in the garage, with his motorcycle. "This isn't hyperbole--this gives some people their lives back," says Mandel, who adds that about half of his patients are entrepreneurs.
There are a handful of other novel--and increasingly available--treatment options these days. One of Inc.'s Best Industries of 2019 is the burgeoning world of digital therapeutics, for instance. Video games and other software applications can now be used to treat a variety of medical conditions, rather than simply entertain. Some even require a prescription from a physician. As noted in the report, the U.S. digital therapeutics market was valued at $889 million in 2017 and is expected to reach $4.42 billion by 2023, according to business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.
Further, the world of telemedicine and teletherapy is attracting physicians and startups alike. DotCom Therapy, a telehealth company that booked more than $2 million in revenue in 2017, provides speech therapy, occupational therapy, and mental health services. The founders are currently expanding to new markets around the world. That company was highlighted in 2018 as a part of the growing raft of firms within the self-improvement industry, which collectively generated $9.9 billion in 2017 revenue, according to Marketdata research.
Even though help would seem to abound, do stop and take care of yourselves during the long, gray days of winter. Should you need help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 1-800-273-8255.