Ketamine treatment is taking the world by storm. But is it the latest fade, or can it really help our mental health?
Used properly, ketamine can be an incredibly effective treatment for depression, addiction, and other mental health issues. However, this powerful drug may come with side effects and serious risks if it’s not administered by a qualified health care provider. In this article, we break down everything you need to know about ketamine treatment before you consider it as an option to treat your symptoms or addictions.
What is ketamine treatment and how does it work?
Ketamine is a generic drug that has been used for many years as a dissociative anesthetic that works by blocking pain signals in your brain. It’s used most often in hospitals and veterinary clinics, though it’s also available as a street drug.
When used correctly and under medical supervision, ketamine shows promise as a treatment for depression, PTSD, and opioid addiction. Now there are numerous clinical trials underway testing ketamine treatment for a depression in people with major depressive disorder. In many cases, though not all, ketamine is working much better than typical depression medications.
Because ketamine is so new, researchers don’t yet know exactly how it works. It’s thought that it blocks a specific receptor in your brain called NMDA-R, which changes your brain chemistry in ways that may quickly lift depression symptoms. Some researchers are investigating whether low doses of ketamine can be used as an antidepressant while higher doses can block pain during surgery. Although these studies are still under way, many doctors have already begun prescribing low doses of ketamine for their patients who suffer from depression.
As you’d expect from such a novel treatment approach, there are some potential side effects of ketamine treatment. The most commonly reported side effect is confusion or disorientation following the treatment – but luckily any confusion tends to resolve itself within 24 hours after taking ketamine.
What are the benefits of ketamine treatment?
Having chronic pain and struggling with depression, severe anxiety or PTSD can leave you unable to enjoy life. The good news is that ketamine treatment may be able to help. Although it’s used as an anesthetic in emergency situations, ketamine has also been known to help people who have suffered from chronic pain for long periods of time, as well as those who have suffered from panic attacks, depression and other mental health issues. Many studies have shown that it can reduce feelings of worry and helplessness, allowing you a better quality of life without having to take heavy medication that causes negative side effects like sleeplessness or loss of appetite.
The benefits of ketamine are most notable when treating depression, anxiety and panic attacks. Because of its ability to cause rapid effects in a short period of time, it’s often considered a good treatment option when your symptoms have been present for some time and you don’t seem to be improving. The effects can last weeks after receiving treatment, although they do eventually diminish.
How long does it take for ketamine treatment to work?
The length of time it takes for ketamine to work is different for everyone. While some people feel relief immediately, others report that they don’t feel better until they have taken ketamine a few times. How long does it take for ketamine to work also depends on how severe your case of depression is, as well as what symptoms you are experiencing. The process typically takes about 5-7 days, but everyone is different so there’s no way to know for sure how long it will take.
After ketamine is injected, it takes about 5-10 minutes for ketamine’s effects to begin. These effects can last up to a few hours. When you are in your highest state of relief, there is little risk of addiction because your body has not had time to become accustomed or dependent on ketamine yet. However, after you start receiving injections on a regular basis, you may build up a tolerance.
Is ketamine treatment safe and what are the side effects?
Like any treatment, there are some side effects that you need to be aware of. While in ketamine treatment, people do experience a K-hole. This is where patients stop responding and can have visions or hallucinations and extreme dissociation from their bodies. After coming out of their K-hole, patients can feel confused for about 4 hours, but most people find that it is more like an uncomfortable feeling than something horrible.
Other side effects include dizziness and nausea. Some users report a metallic taste in their mouth when they first use ketamine but it usually goes away after they get used to it.
How much does ketamine treatment cost?
The first question many people ask when they’re interested in ketamine therapy is how much does it cost? The short answer is that it varies depending on where you live and how many sessions you need. However, most clinics do offer a free consultation during which they can tell you exactly what you can expect to pay. This is done as a courtesy, so please use it! Don’t hesitate to ask questions; after all, nobody wants their hard-earned money going toward treatments that don’t work.
Like any medical treatment, ketamine treatments don’t come cheap. Many clinics offer financial assistance if you need it.
Make sure you do your research and get estimates from different clinics before committing. This will also help ensure that you’re getting a high-quality service and that you don’t feel pressured into paying more than you need to.
Where can I get more information on ketamine treatment?
The first step in figuring out whether ketamine could be an option for you is learning as much as you can about it. Doing so will not only help you decide if it’s a viable option, but also prevent any potential side effects or complications. If you’re ready to begin that process, your first stop should be our informational resource section on ketamine therapy, where we’ve compiled all of our material into one location. From there, find your nearest ketamine clinic and contact them with any questions that arise.