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Ketamine for OCD | A New Form Of Treatment
Benefits of Ketamine Therapy
- Almost instantaneous relief
- Reduced compulsion and obsessive thoughts
- Different from traditional OCD treatments
- Improve mental wellness
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine treatment for OCD is a result of years of medical study and research. Ketamine was founded in the ’60s and was first utilized as an anesthetic on the battlefield. For years Ketamine was abused on the streets and called ‘special K.’ Thankfully, Ketamine has moved from the streets and battlefields into extensive medical research. As scientists and clinical studies reveal more about Ketamine, mental health is gaining more benefits. Most recent research has shown that Ketamine given at low doses can improve symptoms of mental illnesses. In addition to OCD, Ketamine treatment is more widely used to treat OCD, anxiety, depression, and more.
Ketamine for OCD in Clinical Studies
Clinical trials done for Ketamine for OCD treatments strive to bring hope to a demographic of people who have few options for relief. OCD is often a debilitating chronic anxiety disorder causing unwanted thoughts or obsessions. These intrusive thoughts often lead people to perform ritualistic behaviors or routines. These behaviors are known as compulsions. One of the most popular theories of Ketamine is that it affects glutamate levels in the brain. Glutamate is a complex process of the brain that enables the mind to make new neural connections. Thus, it is essential to normal brain function. Clinical trials test Ketamine’s effect on the brain, and many prove this theory to be true.
Carolyn Rodriguez, MD, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, has studied Ketamine for years. In 2013 she completed a clinical trial of Ketamine and OCD. Many of the patients given Ketamine in this trial reported a loss of compulsion mid-way through their first infusion. Some noted that decreases in OCD symptoms lasted through the following week. In a previous study, she ran in 2012 at Columbia University, a participant commented, “I felt like, for the first time, I was able to function like a regular person.”
Many who suffer from OCD want answers to the sufferings they endure. They want to have real relief, not just the dulling of symptoms. Rodriguez comments, “Severe OCD takes such a toll on patients…The constant, intrusive thoughts that something is contaminated, the checking and rechecking the repetitive behaviors. It interferes with your life, your jobs, your relationships.” She further states, “What most excites me about Ketamine is that it works differently than traditional antidepressants…Using Ketamine, we hope to understand the neurobiology that could lead to safe, fast-acting treatments. I feel that is part of my mission as a physician and researcher.”
How Does Ketamine Work?
Ketamine therapy for OCD works differently than traditional treatments and medications. Some medications, like Prozac, can take months to have any effect. If indeed it has any effect at all. Ketamine targets the causes of mental illness by targeting the actual cause; the mind. As Ketamine works to promote glutamate production, the reason is allowed to rewire itself. With Ketamine treatments for OCD, the mind can become more adaptable, and patients can experience profound healing effects.
Ketamine Treatment Applications
Ketamine treatment therapy can improve many mental illnesses including:
- Suicidal Ideation
- Chronic Pain
How Much Does Ketamine Cost?
Ketamine for OCD treatments has almost immediate effect, and many report a loss of compulsion after just one infusion. Ketamine Therapy LA offers this new form of treatment therapy and prescribes 10 infusions for an entire course. Unfortunately, most insurance companies do not cover Ketamine treatments. The best way to know what Ketamine OCD treatments will cost you is to schedule a consultation with Ketamine Therapy LA.
What to Expect in a Ketamine Treatment
At Ketamine Therapy LA, patients go through a pre-infusion interview, and a post-infusion debrief. Ketamine treatment infusion sessions occur in a controlled, comfortable setting. Each infusion session lasts 40 – 60 minutes and is closely monitored. Patients may experience an altered state of mind during this time but will maintain consciousness and the ability to speak. A board-certified anesthesiologist gives infusions with appropriate training to administer Ketamine in this way.
How Does Ketamine for OCD Help?
Ketamine works by blocking the NMDA receptors in your brain. These receptors communicate with other neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine to affect how you feel and think. In people with OCD, these receptors may become overactive or underactive depending on their environment or genetics. Ketamine restores them to their normal function levels and, in turn, reduces symptoms for some people.
While Ketamine isn’t a cure for OCD, it can help you manage the symptoms and get your life back. Its dissociative properties free you from your obsessive thoughts, while its psychedelic properties ground you in reality once those thoughts disappear.
Should I Try Ketamine for OCD?
Are you not finding relief with traditional OCD medications? Ketamine could be worth trying. Many patients express immense relief from debilitating OCD symptoms after Ketamine therapy. This treatment increases serotonin levels in the brain—the same neurotransmitter affected by SSRIs (anti-depressants). The increase in serotonin improves OCD symptoms but may not be as long-lasting as an SSRI.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Treating OCD with Ketamine?
The most significant benefit of Ketamine for OCD is that it’s fast-acting. That means OCD sufferers can get relief from their symptoms within minutes. In addition, patients who don’t respond to other antidepressants may feel better with Ketamine.
As with any medical treatment, Ketamine has its drawbacks. It is still new to the mental health space. With that said, there are limited studies on how it reduces or eliminates OCD symptoms. Possible side effects include hallucinations, delusions, hypertension, mental confusion, and sedation.
If you try Ketamine for OCD, visit an experienced and reputable provider. A skilled doctor like Dr. Sirak can prescribe a proper dosage to ensure you get the relief you need without serious side effects.
What Is It Like to Treat OCD with Ketamine?
Since Ketamine is a dissociative drug, it can make you feel disconnected from your body. It may also make you feel like you’re in a dream or trance. For some, the sensation is odd, but others find it therapeutic and enjoyable. Most patients need at least six sessions spaced a week or two apart for Ketamine to be effective for OCD symptoms.
Is Ketamine a Legal Treatment for OCD?
You can safely use Ketamine for OCD, but always consult your doctor about it first. This drug is only available at a certified doctor’s office or clinic like Ketamine Therapy LA in West Hollywood, CA.
When Will I Feel Ketamine's Effects?
Most patients report feeling the effects within 15 minutes. It’s typical to experience them for up to 24 hours after the treatment. The length of time that you’ll feel the effects depends on how much Ketamine you’ve taken and your body’s ability to metabolize it.
Are There Other Ways to Treat OCD?
In addition to Ketamine for OCD, you can practice other holistic healing methods like:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Mindfulness meditation
- Support groups
- Nutritious and well-rounded diet
- Proper sleep
- Daily exercise
- Self-help books
Why Choose Ketamine Therapy LA
Dr. Sirak, MD, is the provider of Ketamine treatments for OCD at Ketamine Therapy LA. He is a board-certified anesthesiologist and master injector. Dr. Sirak has administered Ketamine for years, starting in 2008. He conducts pre-infusion and post-infusion sessions to ensure that patients know what to expect throughout the course and how to best move forward after its completion.
When it comes to Ketamine treatment for mental health, Dr. Sirak believes that patients can have a profound healing experience. Dr. Sirak is committed to helping patients gain behavioral changes and a new mindset. He is confident that patients can have positive results that will stick with them long-term with this safe and effective treatment.
Ketamine for OCD in West Hollywood and LA
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