Ketamine was first used in Belgium in the 1960s, and just 10 years later, the FDA approved ketamine for use as an anesthetic. One of the main advantages of ketamine as an anesthetic is that it doesn’t slow your heart rate or breathing rate. Ketamine continues to serve many purposes to this day, as it’s now used to treat treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Hadi Estakhri provides ketamine therapy as an intravenous (IV) infusion here at Allied Psychiatry and Mental Health in Newport Beach, California. Spravato™, an FDA-cleared nasal spray, is also available on-site.
Before recommending ketamine therapy, Dr. Estakhri provides a thorough examination to determine that ketamine therapy is right for you. Continue reading to explore three reasons ketamine treatment might be right for you.
1. You have depression, anxiety, or PTSD
Ketamine therapy is often discussed in terms of treating hard-to-treat depression, but ketamine therapy doesn’t just help alleviate depression symptoms. It is used to treat other psychiatric conditions, including anxiety and PTSD. In a 2021 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers noted that patients who received ketamine treatment responded more positively than patients who only received midazolam.
Additional studies show that ketamine therapy can help reduce suicide ideations as well as treat anxiety disorders, including social anxiety and generalized anxiety.
2. You’ve already tried different medication
Medication is a common treatment for anxiety, depression, and PTSD, and there are many different types of medication that treat these conditions. However, you might consider ketamine treatment if you’ve tried different medication combinations or dosages without any relief in your symptoms.
3. You’ve already tried TMS and other therapies
In addition to medication, there are other types of treatments, like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS treatments use pulsed magnetic fields to stimulate neurotransmitter activity in the regions of your brain that regulate your mood, but if TMS hasn’t provided the level of relief you need, you might consider ketamine.
4. You haven’t responded fully to therapy
Individual therapy, CBT therapy, and group therapy provide many benefits to individuals with anxiety disorders, depression, and PTSD. While therapy can provide many coping strategies, you might find that therapy alone isn’t enough to ease your symptoms.
5. You experience side effects from medications
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are first-line antidepressant drugs, but they aren’t right for everyone. If you experience side effects of SSRIs, you might benefit from other treatments and therapies. Remember, oral medication is just one option for treating mental health disorders.
6. You don’t have any of the contraindications for ketamine therapy
Ketamine therapy isn’t right for everyone. If you are pregnant, have uncontrolled hypertension, blood vessel disorders, acute cardiovascular disease, or a history of psychosis, substance abuse, or increased intracranial pressure, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) advises against ketamine therapy.
If Dr. Estakhri determines that ketamine therapy isn’t right for you, he suggests other therapies to help you find the relief you need.
Receiving ketamine therapy
Ketamine therapy is delivered either intravenously or as a nasal spray. Regardless of which type you receive, ketamine therapy works by stimulating different parts of your brain. You’ll relax and receive your therapy in a comfortable, private room. Even if you receive the spray, we’ll continue to monitor you as the ketamine wears off.
Approximately two hours later, a loved one can drive you home. Side effects (like sleepiness) are temporary. Despite feeling sleepy on your treatment day, most people wake up in the morning with a noticeable improvement in their mood.
To learn more about ketamine therapy and to find out if it’s right for you, simply request an appointment via our website. Alternatively, you can reach our Newport Beach, California office at 949-258-7135.