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Are You a Candidate for Ketamine Therapy?

Ketamine has become a popular treatment for mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. But what is ketamine therapy, and who is a candidate for it? This article will provide an overview of ketamine therapy, discuss who is a good candidate for it, and explore the potential risks and benefits associated with the treatment.

Can Ketamine Therapy Help You?

Ketamine therapy is one of the most exciting recent advancements in modern mental health care. Research has found that ketamine can be helpful for various conditions, including depression and alcoholism. However, just like any other treatment, this therapy isn’t for everyone. Here are some things to consider while deciding whether or not the treatment is right for you.

What Is Ketamine Therapy?

Ketamine is a type of anesthetic that is frequently used for surgeries. It’s known for being very safe because it doesn’t affect breathing or heart rates as other anesthetics use. Medical researchers became aware that it could help promote neural plasticity through its use as an anesthetic. Patients who use it are more able to change and grow their neural networks.

Though high doses cause complete unconsciousness, lower doses create disassociation, calmness, happiness, and psychedelic effects. Therefore, many medical providers have started integrating low doses of this medication into traditional therapeutic sessions. Patients take the substance and then use the effects to process past trauma, rethink current behaviors, or analyze their mood. The medication helps encourage mental growth, allowing therapy results to take hold more quickly.

What is the ketamine therapy process like? 

Each ketamine therapy session is tailored to an individual’s needs, but sessions generally follow these steps.

  1. You visit a therapeutic center where you are given a ketamine injection, IV, or nasal spray.
  2. While the effects of the drug become present, you sit back and relax. Effects are mild, and many patients enjoy listening to music while they wait.
  3. Once the effects of the drug are less noticeable, you begin talk therapy with your therapist. This is a great time to examine feelings and memories without triggering problematic thought cycles.
  4. You return home in a few days to discuss how the treatment felt with your therapist.
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Uses for Ketamine Injections

To be eligible for this type of therapy, you must have a diagnosable medical problem. Medical ketamine is not meant for casual or recreational use. Instead, it is only prescribed to those with a condition that could benefit from ketamine therapy. So far, the full extent of this therapy’s uses is unknown. Researchers only became aware of its potential recently, so new uses are frequently discovered. Some of the potential reasons your medical team might recommend the therapy include the following:

  • Depression
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Personality disorders
  • Substance use disorder

How to Tell If You’re a Good Candidate for Ketamine Therapy

If you have a diagnosis that can benefit from ketamine, you may be a good candidate. However, it is important to remember that this medication is a controlled substance with various physical and mental effects. To determine whether or not you are eligible, your doctor will need to review your health history and see if the medication is helpful for your situation.

Reasons You Might Not Qualify for Ketamine Therapy

You will need to be in good physical health to try this medication. It can cause temporary increases in blood pressure, so your doctor might not advise if you are dealing with cardiovascular disease or hypertension.

This medication is also not recommended for pregnant women. Though there is not a lot of data on how ketamine may affect pregnant women, there are some indications that it can impair fetal development. Therefore, it’s usually best to wait until after pregnancy.

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Finally, you should not use the medication if you have had poor reactions to it or other similar substances in the past. Those who have dealt with psychosis or certain types of substance abuse may not benefit from the treatment.

Who is Eligible for Ketamine Treatment?

You may be a good candidate for ketamine treatment as long as you have a condition that can be treated with the therapy and do not have any contraindications. These are a few factors that suggest this therapy might be right for you.

  • You have tried other medications and have not experienced relief from symptoms.
  • Other therapies, like TMS or CBT, have only partially succeeded in the past.
  • Your current symptoms are severe enough to prevent you from fully functioning.
  • The current medications you are on have suddenly quit working.
  • You want faster relief than conventional therapy may provide.

Want To Learn More About Ketamine Therapy?

If you would like to discuss the possibility of ketamine treatment, Mind Body Wellness is happy to help. We provide a wide variety of mental health and addiction services. Our holistic approach combines evidence-based treatment with whole-body healing. Call today to schedule your consultation.