One in ten Americans experience a form of chronic nervous system disorder. If you are among that ten, you know it can be challenging to deal with sometimes.
Medications and therapies are available to help. One therapy that is picking up steam consistently is ketamine-assisted therapy.
If you wonder if this is for you, read on for five facts you need to know about ketamine.
1. History of Ketamine-Assisted Therapy
Ketamine assisted therapy is a relatively new form of treatment in the field of mental health. It has been used for several decades to relieve pain and, in the past decades, to induce anesthesia for surgery. More recently, however, it has become popular for its potential antidepressant effects.
Ketamine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an “off-label” treatment for depression. It is a new exciting option for those suffering from severe symptoms that haven’t responded to traditional treatments.
2. The Benefits
This therapy has been gaining popularity due to its potential benefits in treating mental health disorders such as:
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
- post-traumatic stress disorder
Ketamine works by acting on the brain’s glutamate system. This is thought to be responsible for the development of many psychiatric disorders.
Ketamine blocks the receptors in the glutamate system. This helps to reduce symptoms of mental illness while also promoting neuroplasticity. In turn, this enhances the brain’s ability to adapt and potentially recover from mental health challenges.
3. The Potential Risks
While reports of therapeutic effectiveness are encouraging, this treatment does not come without potential risks. While ketamine is generally considered to be safe when taken at clinical doses and administered by an experienced healthcare provider, it has several known side effects. These include psychological, gastrointestinal, neurological, and cardiovascular side effects, as well as possible addiction.
It’s important to discuss any questions or concerns you have with a qualified medical professional before you begin a course of ketamine-assisted therapy. To learn more about this therapy, click for ketamine therapy information here.
4. How to Prepare for Ketamine-Assisted Therapy
Preparing for ketamine-assisted therapy includes informing the therapist of any medical conditions. This will help ensure the patient isn’t at an increased risk while taking the drug during therapy.
It is also important to listen to the professionals and follow their instructions to maximize the effects of the session. It is best to avoid alcohol and other drugs for 24-48 hours before the session. Food or fluids should be limited a few hours before the session, and medication should only be taken as directed.
5. Best Practices When Considering Ketamine-Assisted Therapy
Consult with a licensed psychiatrist or other certified provider for an evaluation. They can help you decide if the treatment is suitable for you and the specific health problems being treated. Your doctor can answer any questions or concerns you may have and should discuss with you the potential side effects of the therapy.
It is also important to discuss if there are any alternative treatments and if they are more suitable for you. Make sure you feel comfortable with the risks before beginning treatment. You should keep a journal of all the changes you experience during treatment and discuss it with your provider.
Consult a Professional to Find the Best Treatment for You
Ketamine-Assisted Therapy is an innovative approach to mental health treatment. Patients can experience positive results from this therapy due to its unique properties, quicker response, and low risk of dependency. If you or a family member is considering this, research thoroughly and seek professional help to ensure it is the right treatment plan.
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