Stoicism is an ancient Greek philosophy founded in the early 3rd century BC by Zeno of Citium. This school of philosophy guides us towards a life of tranquility and virtue. Tranquility is a state marked by the absence of negative feelings like anger, sadness, worry, and stress, and the presence of positive feelings – in particular joy. Virtue is the aim for excellence as a human being living in accordance with nature. Believe it or not, it is one of the roots of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Depression is among the most disabling conditions in our society. According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. In America, 12.5% of individuals over the age of 12 have filled an antidepressant prescription. Yet, the effectiveness of these medications are still lacking. Many patients don’t respond to antidepressant medications, and it can take months for the medicine to kick in. Unfortunately, many patients will regain their depression after being on medications long term.
Psychedelic therapy, or at least the talk of them, is very popular as of this writing. Ketamine is currently the only legal and FDA approved psychedelic in the United States. You may have heard about ketamine as a recreational drug or as an animal tranquilizer but not sure what to think about it. You may have depression, anxiety, OCD, or PTSD which is not being helped by standard treatments. You may even know of a loved one who could benefit from ketamine infusions.
There is a lot of information out there. Some good and some not so good information in giving you a straight-forward understanding of ketamine as a treatment option for various mental health disorders. So welcome to our beginner's guide, where we'll cover the basics of what you need to know.
Ketamine is alleviating symptoms of those suffering from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). It works rapidly and effectively, especially compared to traditional treatment such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
So, how is ketamine making this happen? There is currently no definitive answer to “How Does Ketamine Exactly Work?”, and honestly we don’t believe there is only one single answer. We believe there are multiple mechanisms (scroll to the bottom to check out a couple videos where Dr. Ko explain the less “scientific” mechanisms, such as the spiritual mechanism)
In 2016, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey to investigate the prevalence of chronic pain in the United States. They found that an estimated 20.4% of U.S. adults (50 million people) had chronic pain. Additionally, “high-impact” (more severe, limiting) chronic pain was found in an estimated 8.0% of U.S. adults (19.6 million people).
When people have certain types of chronic pain that are not easily manageable, intravenous (IV) ketamine treatment is an alternative, cutting-edge option to consider. For our chronic pain patients at Reset Ketamine, we implement treatments ranging from 80 minutes to 4 hours depending upon the patient’s clinical diagnosis. Additionally, we often increase the dose after each infusion in order to maximize the effect of ketamine as part of the patient’s tailored treatment plan.
If you are reading this article, then you are likely already aware of the potential of ketamine infusions for the treatment of depression, PTSD, suicidality, and anxiety. Unfortunately, the majority of people are unaware this is an option, or if they are aware, they simply believe ketamine is “just a horse tranquilizer” and drug of abuse that has no benefits in the treatment of mood disorders.
Humans don’t like change, and the medical community is made up…of well humans. Even though there is scientific data to support the efficacy of ketamine treatments, it does mean a change in the way the medical community approaches mood disorders. Let’s look at history to understand this better.
Ketamine infusions are helping many people with chronic pain disorders, anxiety, PTSD, and depression. This is not only due to the biochemical changes in the brain but also because of its psychotropic experiential effect. In this article, we explain how to maximize your ketamine infusion by adequately preparing for and integrating the experience.
It is imperative to prepare both your body and mind prior to the infusion, such as detoxing from alcohol, marijuana, and/or violence on TV, music, and movies. The insights gained during the infusion will more likely be retained and integrated in everyday life if one has set an intention and implements a daily personal practices such as meditation and journaling.
Ketamine infusions are becoming increasingly popular due to the fact they are can potentially rapidly treat anxiety, pain disorders, and treatment-resistant depression. You may be curious about what the experience of ketamine infusion will be like, especially since there is a lot of confusing and misleading information out on the internet. Well, we got you covered!!
What does a ketamine infusion feel like? Depending on how much ketamine and for how long you receive the infusion, you can experience anything from being more aware of how your body feels, quieting of the mind, and filled with feelings of love and gratitude all the way to feeling connecting to the Universe/God, death of your ego, and reliving past experiences.
Imagine living a life filled with anxiety and panic attacks so severe that you are not even able to leave your house. In a 2016 case report from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Utah, they share the story of Ms. A, a 34 year old woman who had been diagnosed with DSM-5 panic disorder, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depressive disorder.
Multiple studies have shown the benefits of using ketamine for treatment-resistant depression. Typically, the spacing of the ketamine infusions have been either two or three times per week. However, one recent study published in 2019 in the American Journal of Psychiatry showed that the reduction in depression symptoms were maintained with once-weekly infusions.
Have you ever listened to a song and been moved emotionally? It might have inspired you to get up and dance, feel ecstacy, joy, or even shed tears. During a ketamine infusion, the music that is played has a powerful role in influencing the set and setting. It can actually be a therapeutic tool that can help open up memories and allow for exploration into the deep recesses of the human mind.
According to the World Health Organization, depression has now surpassed HIV, AIDS, malaria, diabetes, and war as the leading cause of disability. Current antidepressants may take weeks to months to be effective. Unfortunately, one-third of patients are still unresponsive, and are called “treatment-resistant.” However, there are other options available.
Ketamine can be an incredibly powerful tool for the treatment of depression, PTSD, anxiety, OCD, trigeminal neuralgia, migraines, and chronic pain. When used properly with an experienced healthcare provider, ketamine can help catalyze transformational, ineffable experiences. But there are times that someone may have a negative, frightening, or challenging experience. So what can be done to prevent and address this?
There is a growing body of clinical evidence that has shown how ketamine works to produce antidepressant effects in those with treatment-resistant depression (TRD). These studies have used a common subanesthetic dose of 0.5 mg/kg over a period of 40 minutes when administered through an IV. An outpatient study from 2018, published in Molecular Psychiatry, recently added onto this body of research in order to find the optimal dose for antidepressant effects in those with TRD. They found that single IV doses of ketamine of 0.5 mg/kg and 1 mg/kg proved to be more effective than an active placebo in reducing depression over a 3-day period.
Have you wondered why homemade meals can sometimes be more emotionally satisfying compared to restaurant or fast food? For example, when you’re sick and your caretaker prepares a hot soup for you with homemade ingredients, it can make you feel better compared to soup from a can. A 2013 study took that concept and hypothesized: Is it possible to improve mood with tea that was prepared with a belief and an intention?
“No fresh flowers,” my doctor said. “Avoid salad. No uncooked food. And don’t bring visitors home.”
Treatment for breast cancer took the better part of a year, and a lot of that time, I spent alone. No wonder cancer sometimes comes with depression.
Major depressive disorder affects nearly one in four teenagers. Some characteristics of this disorder include irritability, fatigue, and low self-esteem. A major concern for this group in particular is suicide, especially since suicide is the third leading cause of death amongst teenagers. With traditional antidepressants, SSRIs, taking weeks to months to be effective and with over 40% of teenagers being non-responsive to traditional treatments, ketamine therapy may be a fast-acting treatment alternative.
Patients who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are plagued with flashbacks, arousal dysfunctions, and avoidance symptoms. Unfortunately, there are few treatments that effectively treat all of PTSD’s symptoms. Research presented at the Society for Neuroscience suggest that ketamine may aid in ridding patients of fearful memories at the root of this disorder.