Learn which depression treatment option is right for you.

Comparing Depression Treatment Options

A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Cutting-Edge Mental Health Treatments

Comparison of depression treatment optionsDOWNLOAD OUR FREE GUIDE


When it comes to evaluating depression treatment options, it can be overwhelming to navigate through the latest research, insurance plans, costs, and misinformation that is now rampant in chat forums and social media. Although this blog doesn't constitute medical advice, and we recommend you see a licensed, board-certified healthcare professional when seeking depression treatment options, we believe empowering patients with good, basic guidelines for care can help you start your research. In this blog, we will explore and compare different depression treatment options that we offer at Axis Integrated Mental Health clinics in Colorado, providing valuable insights, costs, and information to assist you in making an informed decision. Whether you're personally experiencing depression or supporting a loved one, understanding the various treatment options can make a significant difference. If you'd like the concise guide we provide our own patients at Axis Integrated Mental Health, please click on the button above. 


What New Depression Treatments Are There?

What is the new breakthrough treatment for depression? Recent advancements in the treatment of depression have given us more than one option for treatment and have enabled many more people to lead healthier and happier lives. Check out some of the options below.
  • Ketamine
    • Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic that has shown promising results in rapidly reducing depressive symptoms.
    • It is administered intravenously and has been approved by the FDA for treatment-resistant depression.
    • Ketamine's mechanism of action is not fully understood, but it is believed to work by targeting glutamate receptors in the brain.
    • Spravato is a nasal spray formulation of esketamine, a derivative of ketamine.
    • It is also FDA-approved for treatment-resistant depression and is administered under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
    • Spravato has shown efficacy in reducing depressive symptoms, particularly in patients who have not responded to other treatments.
  • TMS
    • TMS is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate specific areas of the brain.
    • It has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of major depressive disorder.
    • TMS is typically administered in multiple sessions over several weeks and has shown effectiveness in reducing depressive symptoms.
    • It is more gentle than electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and does not require anesthesia.
    • Psilocybins are psychedelic compounds found in certain species of mushrooms.
    • Recent studies have shown that psilocybin-assisted therapy can have a positive impact on treatment-resistant depression.
    • Psilocybins work by binding to serotonin receptors in the brain, leading to altered perception and a potential shift in mood.

How Much Do These New Depression Treatments Cost?

The cost of Ketamine, Spravato, TMS, and Psilocybins can vary significantly depending on insurance plans and conditions.

  • Ketamine is generally considered to be the least affordable option, with costs ranging from $300 to $800 per treatment session. >> Read more about ketamine infusion cost here
  • Spravato, on the other hand, is a newer FDA-approved nasal spray that can be as little as $10/treatment for those with commercial insurance plans or free for Medicaid patients. >> Read more about Spravato costs here
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive procedure that typically requires multiple sessions, resulting in a higher overall cost. The average cost for a full course of TMS treatment is around $12,000 to $15,000. >> Read more about TMS costs here
  • Psilocybins, which are a type of hallucinogenic mushroom, are not yet FDA-approved and are mainly available through clinical trials or underground sources. Therefore, their cost can be highly variable and dependent on availability. It's important to note that these costs can vary depending on factors such as location and healthcare provider.

How Much Time Do These New Depression Treatments Involve?

Ketamine, Spravato, TMS, and Psilocybins are all depression treatment options that work faster than most antidepressants; however, they may require a greater time commitment at the beginning of treatment. The following guidelines can give you a better understanding of how much time you'll need to plan for each treatment option.


How long is the total treatment plan?
4 weeks or less
Can continue treatment indefinitely after discussing with provider
6 weeks
How long is EACH treatment?
2-3 hours
2 hours
30 mins
What is the frequency of treatment?
depends on diagnosis
2x/week first month

1x/week second month

5 days a week
What additional commitments do I need to consider?
Cannot drive after treatment, and many feel too tired to return to work until following day.
Cannot drive after treatment, and many feel too tired to return to work until following day.


Psilocybins, the active compound in magic mushrooms, are being studied for their potential therapeutic effects. The duration of Psilocybins treatment can vary, depending on the specific protocol and individual response. While research is ongoing, currently, there is no FDA-approved treatment protocol using psilocybins.

It's important to consult with a healthcare professional to understand the specifics of each treatment and determine which one may be the most suitable option.


What Does Insurance Cover for These New Depression Treatment Options?

When comparing Ketamine, Spravato, TMS, and Psilocybins as treatment options for depression, affordability plays a crucial role in the decision-making process. Insurance coverage becomes a key consideration for patients seeking these treatments.

Ketamine infusions and intramuscular ketamine, while relatively affordable, will never be covered by insurance as it is currently already FDA-approved for safety and is a generic. Use of ketamine for depression is considered "off-label", therefore, insurance companies will not pay for it as treatment for depression, making it important to explore options beforehand.

On the other hand, Spravato, a nasal spray medication derived from ketamine, is not only covered by most insurance plans but also has a rebate program, making it very cost-effective. The Spravato WithMe savings card allows commercially insured patients to pay $10/visit with the savings card paying up to $8,150 towards your deductible.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy, a non-medication option, is also typically covered by insurance, after 2 or more failed antidepressants.

Psilocybins, a psychedelic compound, is still being researched and is not yet covered by insurance, so it is vital to consult with healthcare providers to determine its cost-effectiveness. Ultimately, understanding insurance coverage for these treatments helps patients make informed decisions regarding their depression management.

These are meant to be general guidelines for insurance programs. With so many insurance plans and options available, please don't hesitate to contact us at (720) 400.7025 to speak with a billing specialist who can discuss the specifics of your insurance plan.


What Are the Most Effective Treatments for Depression?

Success Rates of New Depression Treatments

Results will vary from individual to individual. However, research has shown some general guidelines in terms of success rates for different depression treatment options.

Pros and Cons of New Depression Treatments

There is no one right answer to the question "What is the current best treatment for depression?" Realistically, there are pros and cons to every treatment, and no one treatment works 100% of the time for everyone. But here are a few pros and cons to consider as you research the option that may be the best for you.
-Start treatment immediately with no waiting period
-Dose can be easily customized for each individual and for effect
-More effective for some conditions like PTSD
-Faster results
-Shorter treatment period
-No additional antidepressants required to start treatment
-Well-studied safety profile
-High-quality and safe manufacturing process
-No withdrawal symptoms after stopping treatment
-Not covered by insurance
-Requires downtime after treatment
-No driving until following day
-Requires maintenance doses
-Can cause vomiting and nausea
Covered by most insurance plans
-No needles required
-Some people respond better to intranasal esketamine than other forms of ketamine
-Safer than at-home ketamine
-Smoother experience than intramuscular ketamine
-No withdrawal symptoms after stopping treatment
-Must take antidepressants together with treatment
-Requires prior-authorization from insurance company and 2-4 failed antidepressants in medical history
-Takes longer to feel relief
-Requires downtime after treatment
-No driving until following day
-Requires maintenance doses
-Can cause vomiting and nausea
-Must be taken in a clinical setting
TMS -Pharmacology-free which may be preferable for those with substance abuse issues
-No downtime after treatment
-Covered by insurance
-Does not require monthly maintenance dose
-Fewer side effects than pharmacological treatments
-Well-studied safety profile
-High-quality and safe manufacturing process
-Requires 6 weeks of treatment, 5 days a week, 30 minutes a day
-Can cause mild headache
-Must be done in a clinical setting
-No need to see a board-certified professional
-Can be taken outside of a clinical setting
-Not considered addictive generally
-Does not show up on employment drug tests

-Research about Psilocybins is still in early stages and incomplete.
-No consistent manufacturing process which makes it hard to dose and predict length, intensity, and outcomes of treatment
-Many "magic mushrooms" sold on the street are regular mushrooms laced with illegal substances like PCP or LSD
-Not covered by insurance
-Can trigger psychosis and paranoia and make some psychiatric conditions worse
-If side effects occur, no rescue meds or clinical interventions


In conclusion, it is crucial to be well-informed about Ketamine, Spravato, TMS, and Psilocybins rather than relying on hearsay. Each treatment option has its own merits and considerations, and understanding the facts can empower individuals to make informed decisions about their mental health. By dispelling rumors and fostering open conversations, we can collectively work towards destigmatizing these treatments and ensuring that those who can benefit from them receive the support they need. Remember, knowledge is power when navigating the world of mental health treatments.
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