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Can You Treat OCD With Ketamine?
November 30, 2022 at 6:00 AM
Ketamine for OCD is the latest treatment method causing immediate results

If you or someone you know struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), you have likely seen the debilitating effects that this mental health condition can have on one’s life. From repetitive behaviors to irrational fears, OCD can present itself in a multitude of different ways. Although there are some long-standing pharmaceutical and therapeutic treatment options for OCD, these methods often fail to adequately address the issue. For those who do not respond to said treatment options, it can be difficult to imagine a way out of this disorder.

At Long Island Ketamine Infusions, we have helped many sufferers of OCD find relief through our alternative treatment method. As is the case with disorders such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and bipolarism, OCD is highly treatable by way of ketamine infusions. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about treating OCD with ketamine.

What is obsessive compulsive disorder?

Obsessive compulsive disorder is a mental health condition whereby intrusive thoughts cause frequent, irrational compulsions. Examples include constantly washing one's hands or checking to ensure the door is locked multiple times before leaving the house. Sufferers are convinced that failing to respond to these intrusive thoughts will cause something bad to happen. For example, an individual who feels the need to constantly protect themselves from germs may believe they will become severely ill if they touch something in a public place without wearing gloves. Approximately 2.5 million people in the United States alone suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder. This disorder can range from minor compulsions to severe behavioral issues depending on the person.

Clinical trials

Beginning in the early 2000s, the potential of ketamine to treat mental health disorders like OCD was made clear to the US healthcare community. Since then, there have been a host of clinical trials using double-blind experiments to prove or disprove the effectiveness of ketamine in the treatment of OCD. In these trials, an average of 50% of subjects reported that ketamine infusions stopped their intrusive thoughts in as little as 40 minutes after administering the drug; these effects appeared to carry over into the following weeks. Many participants report that after receiving a dose of ketamine for OCD, they experienced relief from their compulsions for the first time in their lives.

Other treatment options

Common treatments for OCD include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and psychotherapy. SSRIs address a number of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. They work by increasing the level of serotonin in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter that promotes mood stabilization and combats depressive thoughts. This treatment method however, only works on an average of 50% of sufferers of OCD, and can take weeks to take effect. For those who are in need of a more immediate solution, ketamine infusions have proven to work much faster than SSRIs. Psychotherapy can give sufferers of OCD tools to better process intrusive thoughts, however this method can take years to become effective.

How ketamine targets OCD

Ketamine is a glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor agonist. Glutamate is a highly excitatory neurotransmitter that has the power to form new connections in the brain. The dissociative state that patients experience after receiving a dose of ketamine also appears to facilitate the formation of new pathways in the brain. Although further research needs to be done on the subject, these reactions are widely accepted as the reason that intrusive thoughts are immediately disrupted after ketamine infusions are administered.

Are you suffering from OCD and looking for an alternative treatment option? Ketamine infusions may be the key to a higher quality of life. Contact us today to learn more.