Ketamine is quickly becoming one of the most promising alternative therapies for depression, anxiety, PTSD, other mood disorders and chronic pain conditions. As far as psychiatric drugs go, it’s the first new option to become available in over 30 years. As buzz continues to build around ketamine’s potential, many people are wondering how it works and what benefits it can offer. Here are just a few of the most encouraging positive effects of Ketamine Therapy.
One of the issues thought to underlie depressive symptoms is an impairment in neuroplasticity, which is the ability of the brain’s neural networks to change through growth and reorganization. When the brain lacks this ability, depressive symptoms become more persistent. Ketamine contributes to increased neuroplasticity by increasing glutamate transmission, which helps neurons communicate along new pathways. As a result, ketamine can help patients experience improved mood and thought patterns through these new connections. This change happens quickly, which is how ketamine is able to produce such rapid antidepressant effects.
2. Psychological Healing
Ketamine helps to improve synaptic connections in the brain by activating the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. Part of this signaling pathway contributes to the healing of damaged synapses as well. During Ketamine Therapy, this primarily occurs in the areas of the brain that are associated with learning, memory, and emotional regulation. This contributes to antidepressant effects while also priming the patient to experience a kind of psychological healing process. Over time, this may even help patients develop resilience that can help prevent the return of their depression.
3. Blocking Pain Signals
In addition to being used as a treatment for depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions, ketamine can be used to treat Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS/RSD) and chronic pain. These conditions develop when the number of pain signals being sent within the body increase significantly. Ketamine Therapy is able to intervene by blocking excessive pain signals and helping the body to “reboot,” in a sense. More specifically, ketamine is able to block NMDA receptors of peripheral nerves so that those signals can be intercepted before they reach the brain and spinal cord.
4. Mental Breakthroughs
Ketamine has long been known as a psychedelic drug that produces dissociative effects when used recreationally. However, when administered in much smaller, controlled doses over a fixed period of time in a clinical setting, ketamine’s effects may contribute to profound mental breakthroughs and attitudinal shifts for patients with depression and other mood disorders. Essentially, the dissociation may facilitate new insights or states of consciousness. These effects can vary from person to person, so while one person may experience deeper introspection, another may get back in touch with feelings that they felt distanced from during their depression, such as joy or peace.
5. Minimal Side Effects
Interestingly, one of the most exciting positive outcomes of Ketamine Infusion Therapy is the fact that it has very minor short-term side effects and no known long-term side effects. During the painless infusion, patients sometimes experience mild dissociative effects, which are often described as pleasant or relaxing. Some experience slight nausea, but medication can be administered to reduce or eliminate this side effect. Patients may feel fatigued afterward, so they are advised to take it easy and avoid driving or going back to work for the remainder of the day. Compared to antidepressant medication side effects, which include everything from weight gain, dizziness, and constipation to insomnia and reduced sex drive, ketamine’s side effects are exceptionally minimal.
6. Rapid Improvement
One of the most exciting things about Ketamine Therapy is just how quickly it can deliver relief from mood disorder symptoms. With treatments like psychotherapy and antidepressant medication, it can often take months to notice any real improvements. Ketamine Infusion Therapy can provide patients noticeable relief from their symptoms and improvement in mood by the day after the third infusion, which usually takes place just one to two weeks into treatment. Many start seeing subtle improvements even earlier than that, and there are some patients who see dramatic and rapid improvements within days of their first infusion. The benefits become more pronounced as the patient progresses through their treatment and completes a full series of infusions.
7. Lasting Relief
When it comes to treating mood disorders, few options are as effective as Ketamine Infusion Therapy. At Ketamine Clinics Los Angeles, over 80% of patients enjoy lasting relief after completing their treatment, which typically involves five to six infusions over the course of two to three weeks. This full series of infusions typically keeps symptoms at bay for three to four months. Some patients experience relief that lasts even longer, especially when they follow the recommended aftercare plan. Considering the small amount of time and effort required to complete this treatment, the highly effective, long-lasting payoff is remarkable.
For many people, ketamine may be the fast-acting and highly effective treatment for mood disorders and pain that they are desperately seeking. To find out if Ketamine Infusion Therapy is right for you, contact Ketamine Clinics Los Angeles to schedule a free phone consultation.