Ketamine Infusion Therapy: an Alternative Innovative Treatment for OCD

Ketamine Infusion Therapy: an Alternative Innovative Treatment for OCD

By ketamine@dmin | June 14th, 2019 | Categories: Ketamine Infusion Therapy

Treatment for OCD

All too often on TV or social media, the visible rituals associated with OCD are the stuff of jokes and mockery. Yet for individuals suffering from this debilitating mood disorder, it’s no joke. What may start as a simple coping mechanism for a specific trigger—a fear of getting sick leading to frequent cleaning, for example—can eventually take over an individual’s life to the point where they are unable to participate in or enjoy normal activities. As with all mental health problems, OCD is not something that the individual can simply rationalize away. It starts deep within the brain’s chemistry and usually requires medical intervention and a long-term, comprehensive treatment plan.

The key to successfully intervening in and treating OCD requires lifting the anxiety and panic at the root of OCD rituals and breaking the cycle of negative thinking and compulsive thought processes. An innovative treatment option—Ketamine Infusion Therapy—may offer a safe and effective alternative to many of the traditional pharmaceutical approaches utilized by psychiatrists and medical professionals. For many patients, Ketamine Infusion Therapy works quickly to reduce panic and depression while dramatically improving the patient’s mood, thus opening up a window of opportunity for the positive effects of talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and/or exposure therapy to “kick in”.

Understanding OCD

OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, is a mental health concern in which an individual relies heavily on rituals, compulsions, and/or superstitions to cope with uncontrollable irrational thoughts, anxieties, or fears. With OCD, the brain is hypersensitive to certain triggers, launching a dramatic overreaction when exposed to those triggers, which in turn leads to extreme panic and anxiety. Simultaneously, the part of the brain responsible for signaling safety is slow and sluggish, so the brain is unable to counter the hypersensitivity. The result is intrusive and relentless irrational thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

In order to cope with and eliminate this negative cycle of thoughts, feelings, and sensations, the individual with OCD develops rituals or compulsions that artificially reduce the feelings of anxiety and induce the feeling of safety that the brain cannot do on its own. Unfortunately, over time, the rituals, compulsions and superstitions must become more elaborate, elongated, or involved to induce the same level of calm (similar to drug tolerance). Thus, what may start as a minor repetitive action—frequent washing of hands, counting, or praying, for instance—can become so extensive and invasive that they interfere with the individual’s ability to engage in everyday activities.

What Does Ketamine Infusion Therapy Involve for Patients with OCD?

Most patients with OCD start with a series of four to six ketamine treatments, followed by routine maintenance treatments. The exact schedule of treatments is unique for each patient, and depends on how each patient responds to the treatment over both the short and long term. Each treatment involves slowly delivering a low dose of ketamine directly into the bloodstream through an IV. At Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles, we utilize specialized digital infusion pumps, which can be programmed with the exact dosage each patient requires, and can be titrated up or down depending on as well as monitored and altered quickly as necessary depending on the patient’s response. Every treatment is performed in the comfort of our AAAASF-certified clinic, and overseen by our skilled and caring staff to ensure both the safety and comfort of each and every patient.

At Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles, we believe that a successful treatment plan for OCD requires focusing not only on each individual treatment, but on two additional elements as well:

  • Long term monitoring: Dr. Steven L. Mandel has developed a unique assessment methodology called Mood Monitor, a HIPPA-compliant encrypted assessment service via text messaging. Mood Monitor enables regular and routine communication and assessment with each client based on the PHQ-9 depression assessment tool. This tool enables Dr. Mandel and his team to tailor both the individual ketamine treatments and the overall treatment plan to help each patient achieve successful results.
  • A team approach: treating OCD and other mental health issues usually requires a team of medical specialists working together to develop a comprehensive treatment plan with multiple techniques. Ketamine Infusion Therapy can be highly effective when coupled with individual therapy and participation in support groups. With your permission, we will work closely with all of your medical specialists to ensure that our treatment complements and supports your comprehensive treatment plan.

Treating OCD is not, unfortunately, something that can be done in a day and it’s not something that can be done alone. Yet it can be done! If you or someone you love is suffering from OCD, we encourage you to contact us today to obtain more information about our alternative and innovative OCD treatment, Ketamine Infusion Therapy.


For more information about Ketamine Infusion Therapy treatments for depression, bipolar, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), fibromyalgia, pain syndromes and other conditions contact us at Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles in Southern California (Orange County) by clicking here or calling  310-270-0625.


Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash


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