Ketamine Therapy for OCD
OCD is a cruel jailer. It injects uncertainty into the most basic tasks and demands to be the authority on your priorities. Many OCD sufferers struggle to seek treatment because they have been forced to integrate compulsions into their daily lives.
People struggling with OCD frequently deal with inappropriate diagnoses and treatments. Even though the intrusive urges are overwhelming, they don’t reflect a desire. A practitioner that’s not specialized in OCD may try ineffective strategies.
Unfortunately, this fuels many sufferers to not get treatment.
So how can ketamine for OCD help? At Lighthouse Infusions, some of our patients with OCD come in extremely discouraged with their previous treatments. They’re ready to try something new.
Ketamine works differently than the medications they’ve tried. It’s a psychedelic therapy that’s fast-acting and powerful. We see patients improve even after one or a few infusions.
We’ve also had the privilege of hearing patients say things like, “I can control my compulsions after an infusion.”
This remarkable improvement is more than a huge relief to our patients. It jump-starts the strategies they’ve been using to start enjoying life again.
How ketamine for OCD works
OCD is a toxic loop. It’s an anxiety cycle that demands a compulsion for brief relief. Both giving into and fighting urges make both obsessions and compulsions worse.
OCD-focused medications tend to be antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and mood stabilizers. While these focus on the debilitating symptoms of OCD, like anxiety, they don’t touch on the ultimate problem: the unproductive pathways the brain is traveling over and over.
Administering ketamine is similar to a brief brain shut down and restart. It temporarily disrupts the connections, then lets them come back. In high doses, such as when it’s used in surgery as an anesthetic, you may not remember much. In a lower dosage, you’ll have a psychedelic experience.
What’s the effect of ketamine on OCD? The interaction isn’t well-understood. There’s lots of room for more research. But we do know that this reset has shown fast anti-obsessional effects that can last a week or more.
Traditional OCD therapies are slow to work, and often semi-effective. Are you ready to try something that can start working the day you begin it?
Do your OCD symptoms match these?
OCD quickly escalates in severity. It’s also usually accompanied by another mental health disorder, like PTSD or depression.
Do these serious OCD symptoms affect your life?
- You’re overwhelmed by intrusive urges. These thoughts may demand a compulsion for relief (classic OCD) or be a stand-alone obsession (“pure O” OCD).
- You feel a deep shame about your compulsions. Compulsions aren’t logical… and you’re aware. Shame makes it especially hard to seek treatment.
- You’re constantly anxious that you don’t have enough control over your environment. You may be worried that a fear may come true (i.e not being at the house so you don’t know if someone is breaking into it). You may also get stressed when an environment won’t allow you to best perform a compulsion (i.e. there’s nowhere to take a shower).
- You’ve become more isolated. OCD can keep you from socializing–or support an intense fear of being around others (i.e. harm obsessions, sexual obsessions, pedophile obsessions).
- Your debilitating worries keep you from self-sustaining tasks. It feels like a full-time job managing compulsions AND eating, keeping a job, basic hygiene, and more.
- Compulsions are keeping you from getting gold-standard OCD therapy. Agoraphobia, time-consuming compulsions, and intense fear are common roadblocks.
- It’s difficult to hold a job or stay in school.
- A secondary diagnosis is also becoming worse. OCD increases rates of depression.
It’s time to get relief from your symptoms – and jump-start a life that isn’t ruled by intense obsessions and compulsions.
What OCD therapies have you tried?
With compliance struggles and frequent inappropriate treatments, many of our patients with OCD have tried a whole menu of therapy options.
Have you tried any of the following…with limited or no success?
- Talk therapy. Because of OCD’s nature of obsessive thought patterns, talk therapy can perpetuate this symptom, making it an inappropriate intervention.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Not all forms of CBT are appropriate for OCD. You’re struggling to tolerate Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) therapy. It’s the gold standard for OCD. But it can be extremely stressful to tolerate–after all, you have to be exposed to repeated obsession triggers.
- Simply dealing with obsession and compulsions. OCD may not give you logical reasons to comply…but it’s strong enough to make you feel cornered into giving in. The shame of your compulsions may have made you an expert at concealing them in your everyday life. It can be hard to know how much they are disrupting your life when they are so well integrated.
- Isolating yourself. It’s easier to comply with those OCD’s demands when you are alone in a familiar environment.
- Self-medication. The intense anxiety from OCD has many sufferers using depressants, like alcohol.
OCD doesn’t let up on its own–and you deserve relief. Are you ready to try something new?
What ketamine can do for your OCD
Ketamine doesn’t affect serotonin levels (like many OCD medications), so it doesn’t work like SSRIs, antidepressants, or anti-anxiety medications.
Instead of affecting a specific neurotransmitter, the psychedelic therapy affects the actual neural pathways. Patients are amazed at how quickly their intrusive thoughts lose power.
What do we see in these patients?
- They can control compulsions better. Obsessions that come to mind don’t hold the same power.
- They often see a shift right after an infusion.
- They frequently see a dramatic decrease in their anxiety and fear.
- They finally get to the goals they wanted to achieve.
- They usually have much less shame about their OCD.
- Socializing and making new friends become much easier.
How do I start IV ketamine for OCD symptoms?
You’re only a call, text, or email away from getting your questions answered about IV ketamine therapy for your OCD. Eli will be able to answer most of your questions. If you’re ready to consider treatments he can set you up with a free phone consultation. You’ll be speaking with Liana, Lighthouse Infusion’s medical director and nurse anesthesiologist.
During the call, you and Liana will be able to discuss any questions or concerns you have. She’ll also go over your health history. Reviewing your medications, symptoms, and other diagnoses will help us catch whether there are any increased risks in using IV ketamine. If you have a diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder, you may have what you need to start ketamine therapy.
Once you are cleared to begin ketamine therapy, we’ll schedule your loading doses. These are generally 6 infusions over 4 weeks. Infusions scheduled afterward are for maintenance. They’ll depend on how you responded to the therapy, which you’ll be able to track on an app we provide. Booster infusions are usually every 1 to 3 months.
During every infusion, you’ll receive care from Liana. You’ll never be alone if you need a question answered or your dose adjusted.
Let’s talk this week about getting your OCD symptoms managed with ketamine.