If you deal with a mental health condition like major depressive disorder or anxiety, ketamine infusion therapy is a treatment option you should know about. Ketamine is an FDA-approved medication with immense potential for treating severe cases of anxiety, PTSD, depression, and other related conditions, even when other treatments haven’t yielded results.
For those living with mental health conditions, there’s nothing more important than seeking effective treatment. The right treatment strategy can be life-changing and empower you to live above mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. Today, we’ll explore the many benefits of ketamine infusion therapy and help you determine whether it’s the right option for you.
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine was originally used in the middle of the 20th century as an anesthetic for animals. However, in the 1970s, the medication received FDA approval. Since then, ketamine has been used as an anesthetic for humans as well. The first major use case for ketamine was during the Vietnam War, when it was used to aid in the treatment of soldiers with injuries.
What is Ketamine Infusion Therapy?
What is ketamine infusion therapy, and what are the benefits of ketamine?
Unlike other forms of therapy, ketamine infusion therapy involves intravenous delivery of a dose of ketamine. The process relies on an IV line, which is administered by a professional IV therapy technician. This form of therapy is often used to treat PTSD, depression, and even chronic pain.
What Does Ketamine Infusions Treat?
Ketamine infusions have been used to treat all of the following conditions:
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a condition characterized by intrusive thoughts and impulsive actions. This condition can be debilitating for many people, and traditional forms of treatment aren’t always effective for severe cases. The benefits of ketamine infusions can be helpful for those who deal with OCD.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a diagnosable form of anxiety that manifests as daily, chronic anxious thoughts. While everyone deals with anxiety from time to time, sufferers of GAD deal with significantly more anxious thoughts than the average person.
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is the most severe and treatment-resistant form of depression. While treatments like therapy and medication can be helpful in the treatment of MDD, a certain part of the population is less responsive to these treatment methods. In a case of treatment-resistant major depressive disorder, ketamine infusions can be the difference-maker that lead to relief from depression.
Bipolar disorder, which affects the mood and causes extreme emotional highs and lows, is also treatable with ketamine infusions. While antipsychotic medications are often prescribed to those who deal with bipolar disorder, ketamine psychotherapy is becoming a more mainstream treatment option for people with bipolar disorder.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is triggered by a traumatic experience and manifests in the form of hypervigilance, persistent anxiety, withdrawal, and other problematic symptoms. Ketamine infusions have been found to be an effective treatment for PTSD.
Ketamine is often used to relieve pain, and infusions of the drug have been found to be a reliable treatment option for sufferers of chronic pain.
How Does Ketamine Infusion Work?
When you get a ketamine infusion treatment, here’s what you can expect.
- A ketamine IV infusion is administered by an experienced technician, who inserts an IV line into a patient’s arm. Ketamine benefits begin taking effect immediately.
- The treatment works by working against the damage caused by the long-term release of stress hormones like cortisol. This effect of ketamine treatments makes this treatment method distinct from prescription depression medications.
- By working against the effects of stress hormones on the brain, ketamine infusions are thought to reduce the overall severity of mental health conditions like stress and anxiety.
Are Ketamine Infusions Effective?
The scientific research on ketamine infusions points to significant improvement in the severity of conditions like depression and anxiety. Patients surveyed in one study showed significant signs of improvement within as little as two weeks.
Ketamine Therapy Benefits
There are several major benefits of ketamine therapy for those who deal with mental health conditions or chronic pain. Below are some of the biggest benefits of ketamine infusion.
- Rapid Relief: This is a fast-acting treatment that often yields results significantly faster than standard antidepressant medication.
- Alternative Treatment: As an alternative to prescription antidepressant medication or standard psychotherapy, ketamine therapy is worth considering for anyone who has not had success with other treatment methods.
- Long-Lasting Results: Many people who undergo ketamine infusions find that a period of treatment is enough to put them in remission for a mental health condition or chronic pain. This means the severity of symptoms has dramatically subsided.
- Improved Physical and Emotional Well-Being: The effects of ketamine include a noticeable increase in physical and emotional wellness for many people, especially for sufferers of depression.
- Minimal Side Effects: Ketamine infusion side effects are incredibly rare and are seldom severe. Since the infusion procedure is overseen by an experienced technician, you have the support you need if any side effects do occur during or after treatment.
- Reduction of Suicidal Thoughts: Because of ketamine therapy’s overwhelmingly positive impact on depression symptoms, this form of treatment has also been found to significantly reduce suicidal thoughts.
Combining Other Treatments With Ketamine Infusions
Ketamine infusions are sometimes used in tandem with other treatment methods, such as psychotherapy or TMS therapy. Ketamine infusions can be effective as supplementation for other treatments, but they also often work on their own without additional treatment. Make sure to consult a mental health professional before undergoing other treatments alongside ketamine infusions.
Potential Side Effects of Ketamine Infusion Treatment
Ketamine infusion side effects are rare. However, it’s important to know the possible short-term and long-term side effects and how to manage them.
- Possible short-term side effects: Dizziness, confusion, nausea, changes in your sensory perceptions
- Long-term side effects: Possible development of ketamine withdrawal syndrome if doses are not properly administered
- How to manage side effects: Get ketamine infusion treatments from experienced professionals who know how to help you handle side effects.
Is Ketamine Therapy Right for Me?
Ketamine therapy may be right for you if:
- You have already tried other forms of treatment for a mental health condition or chronic pain but have not been satisfied with the results
- You deal with major depressive disorder (MDD) that is resistant to treatment with medication or therapy
- You are not pregnant
- You do not have a history of substance abuse
Why Choose Experience Structured Living for Ketamine Therapy
At Thrive Medical Specialists, we take a unique approach to ketamine therapy. In addition to inpatient ketamine infusions, we also offer at-home treatment. In addition, we offer other treatment options that can work in tandem with ketamine infusions, including TMS and stem cell therapy.
To learn more about ketamine therapy from Experience Structured Living, contact us today.
Can Insurance Cover Ketamine Therapy?
Ketamine treatments can sometimes be covered by insurance. However, not all insurance companies will cover treatment, so it’s vital to talk with your provider before starting ketamine therapy.
What to Expect When Beginning Ketamine Infusion Therapy
Here’s what you can expect when you start your first ketamine infusion therapy session:
- Initial consultation and assessment: You’ll start treatment with a consultation and assessment, which give you all of the information you need to confidently enter infusion sessions.
- Pre-treatment instructions: Your IV infusion technician will give you some basic instructions about what to do during the infusion process.
- During the infusion process: The effects of ketamine are often perceivable almost instantly. During your infusion, you’re likely to feel a sense of euphoria and lightness.
- Post-treatment instructions: The recovery process after an infusion typically takes 20-30 minutes. Your infusion technician can support you during this time.
- Follow-up and maintenance infusions: You can schedule follow-up infusions after a session, with treatment phases usually including between three and six infusions over the course of several weeks. After this, you can also schedule standalone maintenance infusions.
Ketamine infusion therapy has a wide array of benefits, especially for those dealing with depression, anxiety, or chronic pain. If you’re suffering from a mental health condition or dealing with chronic physical pain, contact us; we’re ready to support your recovery with our unique ketamine therapy treatments.