What Does Ketamine Therapy Feel Like?

What does ketamine therapy feel like? Ketamine therapy often induces a sense of deep relaxation and detachment from reality. Patients may experience vivid, dream-like visions and a feeling of floating. Emotions can range from euphoria to introspection. Sessions typically last about an hour, with lingering effects that can promote lasting relief from depressive symptoms. It is crucial to undergo this therapy under professional supervision for safety.

Ketamine therapy is an innovative treatment that offers a unique experience for patients seeking relief from depression and other mental health conditions.

During a session, individuals often report a profound sense of relaxation and detachment from their surroundings, akin to a dream-like state. This therapeutic process, conducted under professional supervision, can lead to significant emotional introspection and enduring symptom relief.

This article provides a comprehensive overview to help answer one of the most common questions asked by individuals interested in ketamine therapy: what does ketamine therapy feel like?

What Does Ketamine Therapy Feel Like?

Ketamine therapy has become a popular topic due to its potential in treating resistant depression and anxiety. Many individuals are curious about what the experience feels like, making it a common and important question.

Understanding what to expect can help individuals feel more prepared and at ease. Patients often describe sensations of lightness or altered perceptions, which are temporary and closely monitored.

So, what does ketamine therapy feel like? Let’s take a closer look.

Initial Sensations

Before your session begins, your clinician will ensure the environment is relaxing and that you are comfortable. Depending on how ketamine is administered, you will quickly start to feel its effects. Many report feeling a warm flush, leading to physical and mental relaxation. You may feel a slight dissociation from your thoughts and body, with some people describing sensations of floating or hovering.

While negative mental health symptoms may diminish, and your mind may become more open to positive feelings, experiences vary. Some individuals report feeling more clear-headed yet dream-like, while others feel more in touch with their emotions.

Common Experiences During Ketamine Therapy

Dissociation, or an out-of-body experience, is common but not universal. Ketamine therapy can be effective regardless of whether dissociation occurs. Other reported effects include:

  • Visual and sensory distortions
  • Euphoria
  • Lightheadedness
  • Calm and relaxation
  • Change in motor skills
  • Drowsiness
  • Slight increase in heart rate
  • Sensitivity to light and sound

The intensity and duration of these sensations can vary and typically begin fading within an hour. However, the therapeutic benefits may continue for much longer. It is important not to compare your experience to others, as factors such as gender, weight, mental health condition, and metabolism can influence the effects.

Physical Effects of Ketamine Therapy

Your doctor will conduct a comprehensive physical exam to determine your eligibility for ketamine therapy, minimizing the risk of adverse effects.

Common physical effects may occur within five minutes of administration and include:

  • Muscle relaxation
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Heart rate may increase slightly
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Heightened senses
  • Slower speech and movements
  • Sense of floating

Some people report feeling lighter, as if a weight has been lifted, while others may feel heavier.

Psychological Effects of Ketamine Therapy

Ketamine therapy aims to improve brain function by working on the glutamate neurotransmitter. Any medicine that alters the brain can make you feel psychological changes. Some of the most common psychological effects include the following:

  • Dissociation or feeling detached from reality
  • Euphoria, pleasure, and reward
  • Improved mood
  • Altered consciousness
  • Enhanced insight and motivation

With traditional therapy for depression or anxiety, people enter treatment guarded and with walls built up around their feelings and emotions. It can take months for a therapist to break down those walls, work through issues, and help someone feel better. With ketamine therapy, this process can be done in a few sessions.

What To Expect After Ketamine Therapy

As your session concludes, you will notice the effects of ketamine fading. Complete recovery can take several hours, which is why it is advised not to drive or operate machinery immediately after therapy.

While adverse side effects are uncommon, individual responses can vary. Many people report immediate improvements that can last for weeks. To enhance the benefits, consider the following:

It is important to discuss with your doctor before making any changes to your current medications. Ketamine therapy can complement existing treatments, potentially enhancing their efficacy.

The Importance of Preparation and Setting

Your surroundings can influence your mood. A chaotic environment can increase anxiety and stress, while a spa-like climate promotes calmness. Because ketamine opens the mind and alters perception, it’s crucial to be in a healthy, safe, and relaxing environment.

You can prepare your mind for a positive experience by listening to relaxing and inspiring music, wearing comfortable clothing, and engaging in stress-reducing activities. Avoid over-eating to prevent feeling too full and uncomfortable. Some doctors ask that you consume a liquid diet only on the day of the procedure.

Upon arrival, your clinician will take you to a room to make you feel relaxed, comforted, and safe.

Ketamine Therapy Support

Ketamine therapy support refers to the people you surround yourself with while undergoing ketamine treatments. Supportive friends and family members have specific characteristics that show they care and want to help you get better, including:

  • Having an open mind
  • Willing to drive you to and from therapy
  • Listening to your doctor’s instructions in case you forget
  • Helping you implement the doctor’s instructions
  • Helping them maintain a positive mindset before and after sessions
  • Being mindful of their needs
  • Encouraging positive changes
  • Prioritizing their mental and physical health so they can better care for you

Another avenue of support is to join a ketamine therapy support group with people who are undergoing treatments just like you. Hearing their stories and giving feedback to peers can add value to the healing process.

Ketamine Therapy in Los Angeles

Have you tried multiple treatments for your depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders but feel none of them are working?

Are you considering ketamine therapy but want to know how it will affect you? Many people in Los Angeles are finding relief with ketamine therapy.

The Mental Health Center offers ketamine therapy in Los Angeles and can provide answers to all your questions and help you find relief, too.


Most people benefit from ketamine therapy and rarely experience adverse side effects. While you can feel the psychological and physical effects of ketamine during treatment, they are temporary and, for most, are pleasurable. So, what does ketamine therapy feel like? To find out, contact the Mental Health Center.