5 Benefits of Ketamine Therapy
- There are many known benefits of ketamine therapy.
- Ketamine creates new connections in the brain which stimulates new ways of thinking and feeling. This often positively changes our perspective of our lives.
- These changes in brain chemistry enable significant mental health improvements.
- Ketamine therapy has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
Ketamine can quiet suicidal ideation, improve OCD symptoms, and help resolve trauma. Another benefit is the felt experience of ketamine which clients describe as pleasant, calming, and meditative.
This article explores five powerful benefits of ketamine therapy.
1. Ketamine can greatly reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
Ketamine therapy is a powerful solution for many mental health challenges. It can provide both rapid and lasting relief.
This clinical study (and over 100 others!) shows that ketamine therapy can significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression:
- 89% of participants in the clinical study, treated by Mindbloom, experienced improvement in symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- 63% of participants experienced greater than 50% reduction of depression symptoms.
When compared to studies of traditional therapies and intravenous (IV) ketamine administration, at-home ketamine therapy using sublingual tablets produced a greater improvement in client symptoms:
- 34% higher than those of SSRI antidepressants
- 54% higher than those of psychotherapy
- 17% higher than those seen in IV ketamine
2. Ketamine creates new neural pathways to help change critical inner monologues
Clients facing mental health challenges may have a difficult relationship with their inner voice. Their thoughts can be negative, self-critical, and unrelenting.
Ketamine research demonstrates that the medicine creates a neuroplastic environment in the brain where new connections can be created, and damaged ones repaired.
While in this neuroplastic state, one has the ability to potentially create new narratives or change their inner monologues into more positive ones
3. Ketamine can help you make better, healthier decisions
As the inner narrative inside our mind changes, we begin to have a new relationship with ourselves.
This refreshed relationship with ourselves allows life to take on new perspectives and opportunities.
With this new perspective, we are free to make new, healthier decisions in our approach to understanding our lives and place in the world.
4. Ketamine can help you process unresolved traumas
When we experience trauma, research has shown that the memories and experiences are stored in the brain and the body.
These memories can be re-triggered by environmental stimuli, causing a flight or fight response. Living with the reactivation of past traumas can be painful and difficult.
Ketamine can alleviate how our brain and body react to our triggers. It creates an environment where synapses can grow and heal; this is important as they are commonly damaged when someone is dealing with something like depression or anxiety.
The repaired and new synaptic connections between neurons can strengthen our resilience and increase our resistance to stress, lowering our traumatic responses. This increases our ability to cope, respond to adversity, and function better amidst challenging conditions.
5. Ketamine can save lives by alleviating suicidal ideation
Suicidal ideation is often a symptom of severe depression, and typically presents itself as thoughts of self-harm.
Ketamine improves neurocognition, reducing the frequency and severity of these thoughts —sometimes to near-zero levels.
As depression loosens its grip, we begin to feel more calm, more assured, and less hostile toward ourselves.
In a clinical study, ketamine therapy reduced suicidal ideation in 64% of patients who reported these symptoms. In other words, ketamine therapy can help save someone’s life.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. If you are in a life-threatening situation, call the National Suicide Prevention Line at +1 (800) 273-8255, call 911, or go to the nearest emergency room.
Ketamine is not FDA-approved for the treatment of depression or anxiety. Learn more about off-label uses here.
Side effects of ketamine treatment may include: altered sense of time, anxiety, blurred vision, diminished ability to see/hear/feel, dry mouth, elevated blood pressure or heart rate, elevated intraocular or intracranial pressure, excitability, loss of appetite, mental confusion, nausea/vomiting, nystagmus (rapid eye movements), restlessness, slurred speech, synesthesia (a mingling of the senses).
Do not proceed with ketamine treatment if any of the following apply to you:
- Allergic to ketamine
- Symptoms of psychosis or mania
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure
- CHF or other serious heart problem
- Severe breathing problem
- History of elevated intraocular or intracranial pressure
- History of hyperthyroidism
- Other serious medical illness
- Pregnant, nursing, or trying to become pregnant
Ketamine has been reported to produce issues including, but not limited to, those listed below. However, lasting adverse side-effects are rare when medical protocols are carefully followed.
While ketamine has not been shown to be physically addictive, it has been shown to cause moderate psychological dependency in some recreational users.
- In rare cases, frequent, heavy users have reported increased frequency of urination, urinary incontinence, pain urinating, passing blood in the urine, or reduced bladder size
- Ketamine may worsen problems in people with schizophrenia, severe personality disorders, or other serious mental disorders.
- Users with a personal or family history of psychosis should be cautious using any psychoactive substance, including ketamine, and discuss potential risks with your MindBloom® clinician before proceeding with treatment.
- The dissociative effects of ketamine may increase patient vulnerability and the risk of accidents.
To promote positive outcomes and ensure safety, follow these ketamine treatment guidelines:
- Do not operate a vehicle (e.g., car, motorcycle, bicycle) or heavy machinery following treatment until you’ve had a full night of sleep
- Refrain from taking benzodiazepines or stimulants for 24 hours prior to treatment
- Continue to take antihypertensive medication as prescribed
- Avoid hangovers or alcohol intake
- Refrain from consuming solid foods within 3 hours prior to treatment and liquids within 1 hour prior to treatment
- Ketamine treatment should never be conducted without a monitor present to ensure your safety