Report: Elon Musk Uses Microdoses of Ketamine to Manage Depression
SpaceX founder Elon Musk reportedly uses ketamine to manage depression.
Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, has reportedly been using ketamine, a dissociative anaesthetic, to manage his depression. The 52-year-old entrepreneur has previously spoken about his struggles with mental health, suggesting that he may have bipolar disorder and describing his experiences of "great highs, terrible lows, and unrelenting stress."
According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), individuals close to Musk have witnessed him using ketamine in small doses. Following the publication of the WSJ article on 27 June, Musk took to Twitter to express his views on depression. He stated that while he believes depression is "overdiagnosed" in the US, it is a "brain chemistry issue" for some people.
Musk criticized the use of selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a commonly prescribed type of antidepressant medication, stating that "zombifying people" with such drugs occurs too frequently. Instead, he suggested that occasional use of ketamine is a better option based on what he has observed among his friends.
The Independent has reached out to Musk for comment, but neither his attorney nor his top advisor responded to the WSJ's request for comment.
In 2017, Musk engaged with Twitter users, answering questions about his personal life, including inquiries about his mental health. He acknowledged the reality of experiencing "great highs, terrible lows, and unrelenting stress" and when asked if he had bipolar disorder, he simply replied, "Yeah."
Bipolar disorder, as characterized by the NHS, involves extreme mood swings ranging from manic highs to depressive lows. Treatment options for bipolar disorder include medication to prevent and stabilize episodes of mania and depression.
Musk later tweeted that he may not be "medically" bipolar but expressed uncertainty about his mental health. He suggested that his negative emotions may be correlated with negative events and speculated that the root problem may be his tendency to get carried away with what he signs up for.
Microdosing, a practice involving the consumption of small doses of drugs, typically psychedelic or sub-hallucinogenic substances like LSD or psilocybin mushrooms, was also mentioned in relation to Musk's use of ketamine.
Ketamine is an approved drug in the US for the treatment of severe depression that has not responded to other therapies. In the UK, it is approved as an anaesthetic by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) but not for treating depression.
However, in 2019, a drug similar to ketamine called esketamine, which is administered as a nasal spray, was approved in the UK for the treatment of severe depression.