Anxiety, Depression, PTSD

Benefits Of Ketamine For Anxiety, Depression, and PTSD

Nearly one in five adults in the US live with a mental illness. But not everyone benefits from the same treatment options. The good news is that there are different treatments to try, including ketamine. 

Ketamine can draw a mixture of reactions. Some people have never heard of it before, whereas others will remember its history as a wartime anesthetic or think of it as a party drug. However, using ketamine for anxiety, depression, complex PTSD, and other psychological disorders is a breakthrough treatment option.

Are you interested in learning more about ketamine therapy for anxiety and other disorders? Read on for everything you need to know. 


What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine was first discovered in the 1960s and was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an anesthetic in the 1970s. It was used during the Vietnam War for injured soldiers as it is an anesthetic that does not require a ventilator.

It is now used in different ways, including in veterinary medicine and as a common sedative in pediatric emergency care. Some people use it recreationally, which is why it is only legal by prescription only. 

Ketamine produces a dissociative experience, which can be described as a trance-like state. There are different types of ketamine, with two main types being used for psychological treatment. These are:

The types of ketamine interact differently with the brain, but both are effective treatment options. However, it can treat treatment-resistant depression and other psychological disorders, such as complex PTSD and anxiety. What type of ketamine you receive depends on your doctor's assessment of your needs and where you receive treatment.

 

How Does Ketamine Work?

Research is still being done to determine how ketamine precisely works. However, what is known is that it produces important and useful effects. There is evidence that it can work in different ways in the brain to relieve depression and other psychological disorders:

  • Stimulates neural activity
  • Increases neuroplasticity for new thought patterns 

When the ketamine dose is administered, the experience can last around two hours, but its benefits last after treatment finishes. The experience can include feelings of unreality, euphoria, and distortions. Ketamine therapy for anxiety and other psychological disorders is done in safe clinical settings with medical supervision.

 

How Does Ketamine Work for Depression? 

Ketamine for depression and other psychological disorders works differently than when it is used as an anesthetic. A lower dose is given, with the focus on the other effects ketamine produces. It depends if you are given the nasal spray or IV treatment, but both offer benefits for depression. 

For example, studies have found that ketamine triggers glutamate production, which helps the brain produce new neural connections, which can be lifesaving for people with depression. It helps them break negative thought patterns and behaviors, open up to new perspectives, and become more receptive to therapy.

Ketamine likely increases glutamate production because it connects to NMDA receptors in the brain. This allows it to create more glutamate between neurons. Glutamate triggers connections in AMPA receptions, which help other neurons communicate more efficiently.

The result includes changes in mood and thought patterns. There are suggestions that ketamine works for depression in different ways, such as opening communication between other parts of the brain. It may also reduce inflammation signals, which can contribute to depression.


Ketamine for Anxiety 

Ketamine for anxiety works in different ways. Depression and anxiety are often connected, so the changes to glutamate also help reduce anxiety symptoms.

Studies have found that ketamine can help with a variety of anxiety disorders, including:

Often ketamine therapy for anxiety will be done alongside other treatment forms, such as therapy. This means you have sufficient reduction in anxiety symptoms to benefit from other treatments, such as therapy, which can help you get to the root cause of anxiety.

Ketamine opens you to different perspectives, which can help you reach new realizations. It can help you move forward with your recovery journey. 


Ketamine for Complex PTSD

Ketamine for PTSD can also be beneficial. As with depression and anxiety, glutamate plays a role in stress response, traumatic memory formation, and other symptoms of PTSD.

Because ketamine targets glutamate, it can help the brain release trauma and ease symptoms of PTSD. Studies have found that PTSD severity reduces in patients who have ketamine therapy. 


Benefits of Ketamine

There is a reason why ketamine has been used for so many years. It offers a variety of benefits, which have helped patients in many ways. Here are the top benefits of ketamine therapy for anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders. 


Immediate Effect

The benefits of ketamine are almost immediate. It can rapidly reduce symptoms of depression and other psychological disorders. You do not have to wait, which can speed up the recovery process and can be lifesaving for people who are experiencing suicidal ideation. 

Patients are able to see changes that motivate them to continue with their treatment. This may involve other interventions, too, such as counseling. They do not have to wait for new medications to work to engage in their treatment plan.

Although ketamine has a rapid effect, several doses are usually required for long-lasting impact. Usually, the effects of one dose last for around a week. 


Maintenance Doses Possible 

Ketamine is a safe intervention under supervision, which means medical professionals can create treatment plans for IV ketamine. Patients can receive IV ketamine for a set period of time, such as weekly for twelve weeks. This enables them to focus on overcoming their psychological disorder.

 

Safe to Use Under Medical Supervision

Medical staff used ketamine during the Vietnam war because it is an anesthetic that does not slow breathing or heart rate. Patients need to use it under medical supervision because of the risks causal use presents. There are several side effects and the risk of addiction if people chase the euphoria of the experience.

However, under medical supervision, it is safe to use to treat psychological disorders. Usually, it is for people who have treatment-resistant psychological disorders. But ketamine therapy is becoming increasingly common in the mental health field. 


Physical Health Benefits

Ketamine can help reduce pain, which is why medical professionals use it to treat neuropathic conditions and as an anesthetic. However, many people who experience psychological disorders also experience physical pain. Ketamine can relieve this burden and help patients who use opioids or other substances for pain relief. 


Allows New Thought Processes

One of the biggest benefits of ketamine for PTSD, anxiety, and other psychological disorders is that it improves synapse growth. It rewires connections between neurons, so new thought processes are easier to access. It can be difficult to break thought patterns, which is why ketamine for anxiety and other disorders can be so beneficial. 


Reduces Safety Risks

Ketamine can also reduce safety risks associated with mental health disorders. For example, it can reduce the severity of symptoms, such as:

  • Suicidal ideation
  • Self-harm thoughts
  • Isolation
  • Paranoia 
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Substance abuse

Sometimes patients cannot wait for a traditional SSRI to work. Ketamine opens the gateway for more treatment possibilities that empower the patient while keeping them safe. It also provides peace of mind for loved ones who may be worrying about the severity of symptoms. 


Take Advantage of Therapy 

There are different types of therapy available for psychological disorders. Therapies include:

The type of therapy you need depends on the psychological disorder you experience and your personal needs. However often the symptoms of psychological disorders make it difficult to engage in therapeutic interventions.

Ketamine therapy can help relieve the symptoms that act as a barrier to therapy. It can allow the patient to access therapy and attend. Or it can help them get more out of their therapy sessions. 


Fewer Side Effects

Most mental health treatments involve side effects of some kind. However, the benefits of a treatment can outweigh the risks. However, most of the ketamine's possible side effects are not long-term. 

These side effects can include:

  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Dissociation 
  • Perceptual disturbances

Most side effects just last for the first IV ketamine infusion and end soon after. This is different from some other mental health treatments, which can include long-term side effects. However, more research is being done into frequent and long-term ketamine usage. 


Research Support

Research on ketamine therapy for anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders is promising. This is why it is now being used as a mental health treatment option. And research continues to grow, making it possible for ketamine to be a more common mental health treatment.


Ketamine for Depression in Maryland 

Ketamine offers many benefits as a mental health treatment. It can help people overcome psychological disorders and continue on their recovery journey. However, it is essential to pick a reputable provider who offers ketamine for anxiety and other psychological disorders.


Are you looking for ketamine for depression in Maryland? Gemini Health Elkridge Maryland offers ketamine for PTSD in Maryland, along with other conditions. Contact us today to learn more. 

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PTSD

How do you treat PTSD

As society has grown to improve its understanding of trauma, and traumatic experiences, PTSD treatment options have changed. Modern understanding of this mental health condition has broadened the therapeutic options available to individuals suffering. PTSD treatment therapy includes cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EDMR), and prolonged exposure (PE) therapy. 


For many years, PTSD was referred to as “shell shock.” While PTSD has likely existed for hundreds of years, it began to be widely acknowledged with the conclusion of World War I. The returning soldiers were exhibiting signs of being emotionally damaged from the ravages of the Great War. While PTSD has been referred to in many ways, it differs from other psychiatric disorders. But what is PTSD?  

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental health condition that is directly correlated to a terrifying event. The individual may have witnessed or experienced the terrifying event, but this psychiatric disorder is directly triggered by this moment. The traumatic moment triggers the human body’s “fight or flight” symptoms. In less terrifying moments, the “fight or flight” symptoms eventually subside. But with a traumatic experience, those symptoms can reoccur long after the event has ended.   


Some common catalysts for developing PTSD are war/combat, terrorist acts, serious accidents, rape, violence, near-death experiences, and natural disasters. These events may cause terrifying nightmares, severe anxiety, flashbacks, and hyper focused thoughts revolving around the experience. If you find yourself having difficulty coping with the event and adjusting to life afterward, you may be experiencing PTSD. The symptoms will get worse and impact the quality of your life.  


When you are suffering from PTSD, it is critical to begin receiving PTSD treatment. For individuals experiencing these symptoms, the best treatment for PTSD is to begin working with a skilled mental health professional. But, how do you treat PTSD?  

How Is PTSD Treated Today?  

After World War I, thousands of soldiers returned from a devastating war with emotional symptoms that were not linked to any physical damage they may have incurred during combat. Doctors at the time began referring to these symptoms as “Shell Shock” due to soldiers being exposed to exploding shells during the brutal fighting.  


Early treatment for these traumas were not sensitive to the emotional component of these symptoms. Due to societal norms at the time, “Shell Shock” was seen as a sign of weakness or failure. These treatments may have been just as damaging, if not cruel, to those suffering. These approaches included: 


  • Electroconvulsive shock treatment  
  • Disciplinary treatment (physical or militarily) 
  • Solitary confinement  
  • Emotional deprivation 
  • Forced movement of limbs with machines 
  • Electric heat baths 
  • Hypnotism  

As society has grown to improve its understanding of trauma, and traumatic experiences, PTSD treatment options have changed. The best way to treat PTSD is through therapy. Modern understanding of this mental health condition has broadened the therapeutic options available to individuals suffering. 


PTSD Therapy 

Forms of therapy for PTSD now include trauma-focused psychotherapy and medication. PTSD treatment therapy includes cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EDMR), and prolonged exposure (PE) therapy. With these various psychotherapy (or talk therapy) approaches, it may leave you wondering how do therapists treat PTSD with these options.  


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For PTSD:

 A type of talk therapy that supports the individual to recognize how their patterns of thinking may emotionally paralyze them, and keep them in a constant state of trauma. This therapy is usually coupled with exposure therapy when treating PTSD. 

 

Exposure Therapy For PTSD: 

This is a type of behavioral therapy which helps suffering individuals safely acknowledge and face situations and memories revolving around the traumatic event.  


EDMR Therapy For PTSD: 

A series of guided eye movements that encourage the individuals to focus on the trauma while experiencing eye movement stimulation. This allows the individual to experience a reduction or even relief from the magnitude of the trauma experience.  

 

Prolonged Exposure Therapy For PTSD:

A therapy that assists and teaches individuals how to gently approach trauma related memories and environments. This therapy supports patients to focus on not avoiding their trauma or its associated memories, and allowing them to confront the symptoms of the event itself. This allows for long-term recovery from their PTSD.  

 

Medication Therapy For PTSD: 

Typically used to support talk therapy, certain prescription medications like SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are used to help individuals overcome their trauma symptoms. SSRIs are antidepressants used to alleviate the depression symptoms triggered by the traumatic experience.  
 

While there is no “catch-all” sure proof way to treat PTSD, there are many types of treatment that can help support an individual function and cope with the traumatic event. The important thing for individuals suffering from PTSD is to reach out for mental health therapy. The best therapy for PTSD is to be under the guidance of a mental health professional who can help establish a treatment plan for them to overcome their symptoms. Patients can learn techniques to help them manage and cope with their emotional triggers to better function in their day to day life.  
 

If you are struggling with PTSD, and need help to begin treatment for your symptoms, Call Gemini Health (301) 363-1063. We are a team of skilled mental health professionals who are trained in various treatment approaches. Gemini Health can help treat and manage your mental and behavioral health concerns. Call today to schedule an appointment today. 

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