How Can Ketamine Treatment for PTSD Help?

Ketamine treatment for PTSD is becoming increasingly popular as people learn about its benefits. ketamine is an effective treatment for PTSD in many cases, and it can help people to recover from the disorder quickly and effectively. ketamine works by blocking NMDA receptors, which can help to reduce symptoms of PTSD.

Ketamine is an effective treatment for PTSD in several small clinical trials. If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD, ketamine treatment may be an option worth considering. ketamine offers a quick and effective way to reduce symptoms of the disorder, and it is a safe and well-tolerated treatment option.

So, how can ketamine treatment for PTSD help?

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs after you experience trauma. PTSD represents a specific set of symptoms that interfere with daily functioning. Six out of every 100 people in the United States have PTSD and at least one episode a year.

Women tend to experience PTSD at higher rates than men, with 8% of women and 4% of men developing symptoms of PTSD. While being a war veteran is connected to many with PTSD, it is not the only cause.

According to PTSD statistics, sexual violence is the number one cause of PTSD at 33%. Physical abuse, witness abuse to a loved one, organized violence, surviving natural disasters or terrorist attacks, and accidents that end with serious injuries are other causes of PTSD.

Being involved in or witnessing traumatic events affects some people more profoundly than others. Two people can experience the same tragedy; one may see it as traumatic while the other feels blessed and happy for survival.

What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?

To be diagnosed with PTSD, you must have PTSD symptoms in the following categories.

  1. Re-experiencing, like when you see a person, place, or thing that reminds you of the trauma. Once triggered, it’s as if you are taken back to the original trauma and feel the same way you did before. For example, hearing fireworks go off can trigger a re-experience in combat veterans. You may have nightmares, flashbacks, or scary thoughts
  2. Avoiding people, places, and things that remind you of the traumatic event. Also, you may try to avoid thoughts associated with the trauma. They may try to stay busy or distracted or misuse drugs and alcohol.
  3. Arousal and reactions change, and you become easily startled, have angry outbursts, get easily frustrated, are on edge, and have trouble sleeping.
  4. Cognitive abilities change, leading to symptoms like poor memory, blame, guilt, trouble concentrating, and an overall negative mood.

The symptoms you experience may be different than those of others. Many risk factors contribute to PTSD symptoms. 

Who Gets PTSD?

Risk factors are things that make it more likely you will get PTSD. The more risk factors you have, the higher your chance. However, there are no guarantees. Some people are resilient and can overcome trauma better than others, even with significant risk factors.

Risk factors include genetics, brain chemistry, life stressors, existing mental health symptoms, lack of a good support system, and stressors associated with your social life, living environment, work, school, and home. 

Treatments for PTSD

Mental health treatment specialists utilize various techniques to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. Working with your psychiatrist may benefit from anti-anxiety medication to control PTSD symptoms.

Medications that boost serotonin and norepinephrine are usually the first line of treatment. They are called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and are classified as antidepressants. 

Other medication options include benzodiazepines, beta-blockers, antipsychotics, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

Research shows ketamine, a drug once used as an anesthetic for soldiers wounded in battle, has benefits in treating PTSD.

How Can Ketamine Treatment for PTSD Help?

Traditional medication treatments can take up to three months to work. Some people are treatment resistant to medications, meaning they have tried multiple types, combinations, and dose increases but do not feel less anxious. Both of these factors lead some people to have suicidal thoughts.

Ketamine can help someone with treatment-resistant disorders, including depression and PTSD, and prevent suicide since positive effects appear in less than a day.

Ketamine disrupts the neurotransmitter glutamate, a chemical in the brain that aids in regulating stress and forming traumatic memories, emotions, and recognizing pain. Ketamine also works in the following ways:

  • Blocking sensory perceptions
  • Blocking overactivity in the part of the brain that produces negative thoughts, the DMN, or Default Mode Network
  • Opening the mind to release traumatic thoughts and memories and replacing them with positive affirmations
  • Helping you see things in a new and better way

Who Qualifies for Ketamine to Treat PTSD?

Those who make great candidates for ketamine treatment are people who have not responded well to at least two different treatments for PTSD. 

If you are pregnant, have a history of medical conditions with the heart, or have had a stroke or psychosis, you will not qualify. In addition, you cannot be actively engaged in misusing alcohol or drugs or have had a previous negative experience with ketamine. You cannot have uncontrolled medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and intracranial pressure.

Receiving Ketamine for PTSD

There is a process to receiving ketamine for PTSD. It begins with a consultation with a psychiatrist. If you don’t already have one trained and certified to administer ketamine, call The Mental Health Center. You will discuss your physical and mental health history in the consultation and take lab tests to test for liver functionality and other substances.

Once you qualify and are ready for your first treatment, you will be placed in a calm and relaxing environment in the clinical setting. You may choose to listen to music or sit quietly. Your doctor will prepare your ketamine dose based on your weight.

Ketamine is administered via three options: intravenously, a shot directly into your muscle or using a nasal spray. Throughout the 45 minutes of treatment, a nurse will monitor your vital signs.

How to Improve Ketamine Outcomes

If you do nothing except receive ketamine therapy for PTSD, you will have a positive experience and good outcomes. However, there are things you can do to increase the likelihood of seeing better results. For example, minimizing stress helps you have a positive mood, something essential when taking ketamine.

You can also create a playlist of songs that make you happy to listen to during treatment. Spend time meditating to reduce racing thoughts. Try incorporating individual therapy with ketamine treatments.

If you are researching the benefits of ketamine, you have probably felt like you need help for a while. Today is the day you can get that help. Reach out online or by phone to set up your consultation.