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Ketamine Therapy For Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar has some of the highest suicide rates of any psychiatric disorder. It also has notoriously high rates of treatment resistance.

Diagnoses of bipolar disorder have steadily increased over the years. An estimated 2.8% of United States adults have it. Whether it’s becoming more common or simply better understood–effective and more widely available treatments are needed.

Why use ketamine for bipolar disorder? Bipolar is typically treated with medications targeting mania, depression, or mood instability. Many require monitoring and have frustrating side effects.

We find many patients report that they feel that their mania is managed well, but their depression is under-treated. Ketamine–a psychedelic–works differently from antidepressants and mood stabilizers. This offers different benefits that often boost the effectiveness of other bipolar therapies.

How can ketamine for bipolar disorder help?

Unlike classic bipolar medications, ketamine doesn’t aim to balance a certain neurotransmitter. It disrupts connections, allowing them to reset when they reconnect. That’s why it’s used as an anesthetic – and part of why you don’t remember much after surgery.

In small doses, it appears to increase neural connections. That’s why the hallucinatory effect sometimes shows up.

Ketamine works powerfully and quickly, especially in IV form. Within a few minutes of entering your circulation, it interacts with your brain’s connections. It is showing significant promise in rapidly decreasing bipolar’s depressive and suicidal effects.

Classic bipolar treatments can have a distressingly slow effect. With how high the rates of treatment resistance are, the disorder desperately needs other treatment options. While ketamine infusions for bipolar is not an emergency intervention, it’s fast-working and effective.

Do you have these bipolar disorder symptoms?

At Lighthouse, our patients dealing with bipolar disorder speak to familiar patterns. Do you share any of these symptoms?

  • Complex depression is a large part of your bipolar. Your struggle to stay motivated sabotages what you’d like to do in your life.
  • You struggle with persistent and passive suicidal ideation. While you might not feel actively suicidal all of the time, your thoughts often drift to ending things and no longer existing.
  • You’re on mood stabilizers… but still feel depressed. Your medications aren’t giving you the balance you need to take on your daily challenges.
  • You’re struggling with the side effects of bipolar medications. From tremors to sexual dysfunction, weight gain to hair loss, the benefit of bipolar medications often comes with frustrating side effects.
  • The intensity of your depressive episodes and mania is hurting your life. As much as you would like to plan daily activities, the inconsistency of your symptoms stresses you.
  • Life’s regular demands feel too overwhelming. Eating well, holding a job, parenting, going to school, or maintaining basic hygiene feel like they demand more than you have to give.

Things you’ve tried for your bipolar

We frequently hear patients say they feel like they’ve tried everything – or that nothing is working. The journey of simply finding effective treatments is very taxing. It’s understandable why treatment resistance is so high.

Have you tried these common bipolar treatments?

  • Mood stabilizers. They’re a common bipolar treatment, but many sufferers feel their depression goes undertreated.
  • Antidepressants. Unfortunately, they do have the risk of supporting mania.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT can be helpful but has limited effectiveness without pharmaceuticals. Episodes of mania or depression can make it extremely difficult to get to therapy sessions.
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). The treatment is promising for short-term therapy, but less so for long-term therapy.
  • Talk therapy. Like cognitive behavioral therapy, it’s very hard to stay compliant with talk therapy appointments during manic or depressive episodes.
  • Self-medication. An impossible balance: stimulants, depressives, and psychotics tend to worsen manic and depressive symptoms.
  • In-patient or outpatient psychological programs. You may have found yourself in a program after a manic or depressive episode.

It’s time to try something with more promise. Let’s talk about how ketamine can improve your bipolar symptoms.

What ketamine bipolar treatment can do for YOU

  • Lower suicidality. Currently, there aren’t any pharmacological drugs for bipolar suicidality–even though this symptom is the most devastating of the disorder.
  • Help you get more out of your therapy sessions.
  • Help you get more out of your medications. Emerging studies are showing that ketamine and lithium can help each other work better.
  • Ease anxiety about possible episodes or suicidal thoughts. With more excitement for the future, patients are relieved to make plans and feel more confident about upcoming gatherings.
  • Improve your relationships. We find that friends and family are some of the first to notice the improvement after ketamine bipolar treatments.

One of the most profound improvements we see in our patients is the effect on suicidality. Suicidal ideation usually subsides or becomes completely resolved.

Many patients say the ketamine infusions are the only thing that’s ever worked for their bipolar. We’ll hear things like, “those thoughts just go away.”

If you’re struggling with suicidality and bipolar symptoms, we want to get you effective treatment as soon as possible. Psychedelic therapy is very difficult to self-administer therapeutically. But under the care of an anesthesia provider, a psychedelic treatment can give you the re-set you’re looking for.

How do I start ketamine infusion therapy for my bipolar?

Ketamine works quickly–you may see effects from the very first infusion.

If you’re interested in IV ketamine therapy for your bipolar, but have questions, your first step is a call, text, or email to our Lighthouse Infusions office. Eli will be happy to answer non-medical questions. If your questions or concerns are medical, we can set up a free phone consultation with our medical director and CRNA Liana.

With Liana, you’ll get to talk about your symptoms and history. We want to make sure that there aren’t any medications or health problems that would prevent you from having a safe ketamine treatment.

Do you already have a diagnosis for bipolar? If so, you may be ready to start treatments promptly.

After the consultation, we’ll be able to schedule your treatments. You’ll receive a loading dose of 6 infusions over 4 weeks. After that, you’ll only need maintenance infusions. These can range from every 1 to 3 months, depending on your response to the ketamine infusions. We provide an app where you can track your progress.

During every infusion, Liana will be right there with you. She’ll monitor your dosing and response. If you have any questions or concerns about your treatments, you’ll be able to ask her right then and there. She can stop, slow, or increase your dosage as needed.

Ready to see if ketamine therapy is right for your bipolar disorder? You’re only a conversation away. To set one up, call our office number at 425-835-2363 , send us a text , or email us at .

We’re looking forward to meeting you!

An important note about ketamine for bipolar disorder

Ketamine is a psychedelic medicine. At low doses, it can have an activating effect. It’s important to understand that using ketamine for bipolar disorder runs the risk of a manic episode.

At Lighthouse Infusions & Seattle Ketamine, we take precautions to keep you safe. That’s why we require patients with bipolar to also be under the care of a qualified mental health provider before they start ketamine therapy.