Ketamine has been used in medical settings for over 50 years, but its use as a treatment for mental health conditions is relatively new. A growing body of research suggests that ketamine may be effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
A 2018 study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry found that a single dose of ketamine was associated with a reduction in PTSD symptoms in military veterans. A decrease in suicidal ideation and depression was also observed in participants who received ketamine.
Meanwhile, a 2019 study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found that a course of ketamine infusions was associated with a reduction in PTSD symptoms in civilian trauma survivors. The study participants who received ketamine also experienced fewer depression and anxiety episodes.
While research on using ketamine for PTSD is still in its early stages, the available evidence suggests that ketamine may be an effective treatment for this condition. If you are interested in trying ketamine for your PTSD, talk to your doctor about whether this treatment option is right for you. You may read about our KAP treatment here.
What Is PTSD? How Is It Related to Depression?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop after a person undergoes or witnesses an extremely traumatic experience, such as a natural disaster, terrorist act, serious accident, war, sexual assault, or other violent situations.
Most people who go through these kinds of horrendous situations experience shock, fury, worry, and dread. These are natural reactions and usually go away as time goes on. Some individuals, though, will develop PTSD and severe depression.
Major depression is an incredibly dangerous illness that affects millions of people around the world. According to the World Health Organization, depression ranks third on the World Health List. This could increase social costs due to disabilities. PTSD has been listed as one of the major causes of depression and anxiety.
What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?
- Intrusive thoughts or memories of the event
- Avoidance of things that remind you of the event
- Changes in your mood and emotions
- Hypervigilance (on constant “red alert”)
- Difficulty sleeping
- Irritability or outbursts of anger
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek help from a mental health professional. PTSD can be treated with medication, therapy, or both.
At ShaMynds, we have seen patients who have been taking antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), getting great results from Ketamine and Psychotherapy.
Is There Proof of People Recovering from PTSD After Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy?
Yes. One notable case is a 37-year-old female originally diagnosed with PTSD in 2004 following a serious car accident. The woman had been involved in a number of car accidents prior to the one that caused her PTSD, but this was the first time she developed the condition.
She was treated with a combination of medication and talk therapy, but her symptoms persisted.
In 2016, the woman began treatment with Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP). After just four sessions, her PTSD symptoms had resolved completely. She no longer experienced intrusive thoughts, nightmares, or flashbacks. Moreover, she was able to sleep through the night without waking up in a panic. The woman’s depression and anxiety symptoms also significantly improved.
This blog post shows how one of our patients with PTSD and depression used Disney characters to support his story after he had successfully recovered with the help of ShaMynds’ Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy.
Chris’ story is another wonderful example of someone fighting back from the brink of depression with ketamine therapy at ShaMynds. What’s truly remarkable about this story is that the doctor who referred him was utterly blown away by Chris’s transformation.
How Is the Brain Affected by Ketamine?
Some neurons involved in mood use an amino transmitter called glutamate for communication. It was observed that the brain cells of some people with depression are less excited by glutamate than they used to be. It appears that glutamate receptors are deactivated or degraded.
Ketamine works by rapidly increasing levels of neurotransmitters, promoting communication between brain cells. This can help lessen the symptoms of PTSD by reducing the negative emotions associated with the traumatic event.
Thus, KAP is considered a game-changer in the field of mental health because it can offer fast and long-lasting relief from PTSD symptoms. A single dose of ketamine can reduce or eliminate PTSD symptoms for up to two weeks, though typically, patients undergo at least 6 treatments.
It’s worth noting that everyone reacts differently to the treatment. So, it is important to only visit a ketamine clinic you can trust like ShaMynds.
Here is a testimonial from one of our clients:
“Just walking in the ShaMynds Healing Center you can feel a sense of peace and calm. I often found myself staying after my appointments to finish reading an article or book because the space is so inviting. The staff is wonderful, both helpful and caring in their words and actions. The treatment options are vast for all kinds of healing and healthy living. I recommend anyone seeking wellness to stop by and try out one of their Intravenous nutraceuticals. I have done this several times and feel so replenished and energized afterwards.” Tanya Breitenbach
How Does Psychotherapy Assist With the Psychedelic Effects of Ketamine on Patients?
One theory is that the action of psychedelics could help break the cycle of negative thinking and re-experiencing symptoms that can be associated with PTSD. Combining ketamine and psychotherapy could help patients process their trauma more effectively, allowing them to move on from their experience.
Anecdotal reports from patients who have undergone KAP treatment suggest that the experience can help reduce the symptoms of PTSD. One patient reported that after just one session of KAP, her flashbacks and nightmares stopped completely. Another patient said the treatment helped him finally forgive himself for something he had been feeling guilty about for many years.
While strong anecdotal evidence shows that KAP is an effective treatment for PTSD, more research is needed in this area.
Is There Evidence That Ketamine Is Better Than Traditional Antidepressants?
A study published in 2006 found that ketamine was more effective than the antidepressant medication imipramine in reducing symptoms of depression. In the study, patients who were given ketamine had a significant reduction in depressive symptoms within two hours, while those who were given imipramine did not show any improvement until after four weeks of treatment.
Another study published in 2010 found that ketamine was more effective than the antidepressant medication mirtazapine in reducing suicidal thoughts in patients with treatment-resistant depression. The patients who were given ketamine had a significant reduction in suicidal thoughts within 24 hours, while those who were given mirtazapine did not show any improvement until after two weeks of treatment.
There is also some evidence to suggest that ketamine may be more effective than traditional antidepressants in treating PTSD. A study published in 2014 found that ketamine was more effective than the antidepressant medication sertraline in reducing PTSD symptoms. In the study, patients who were given ketamine had a significant reduction in symptoms within two hours, while those who were given sertraline did not show any improvement until after six weeks of treatment.
Clearly, with these different studies, it can be said that ketamine is a more effective treatment for depression and PTSD than traditional antidepressants.
What Are the Side Effects of Ketamine?
The most common side effect of ketamine is dizziness. Other common side effects include nausea, vomiting, headache, and blurred vision. These side effects are usually mild and resolve within a few hours.
There are also some rare but serious side effects associated with ketamine use. These include high blood pressure, heart arrhythmias, and seizures. Ketamine can also cause an increase in the risk of developing bladder problems. For this reason, it is essential to find a qualified practitioner who can closely monitor your ketamine use.
Ketamine is a powerful psychedelic drug with many potential side effects. This is why it is important to approach ketamine with caution and care.
If you are considering KAP treatment for your PTSD, finding a qualified practitioner with experience administering this type of therapy is crucial. Make sure to ask about their success rate and ensure they have a good understanding of your case. KAP is a powerful treatment that has the potential to change your life. But to reap its benefits and ensure your safety, get your treatment from a trusted ketamine clinic.
Are you suffering from PTSD, depression or anxiety? Why don’t you try ketamine-assisted psychotherapy (KAP) treatment? Book your free complimentary consultation now.