Ketamine Therapy For Suicidal Ideation
When it comes to treatment options for suicidal ideation, we’re in a nationwide crisis. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255) is available 24/7, but thoughts of suicide can make reaching out extremely difficult. The pervasiveness of these thoughts demands more than a few one-time interventions.
Plus, suicidal feelings can vary dramatically. Not every person struggling with suicidal thoughts is actively attempting suicide. For many, it can be a persistent “relief option” lingering in the back of their head. Thoughts can be casual or serious, fleeting or constant.
One thing is certain. Whether suicidal thoughts are frequent or far between, strong or mild, following through is permanent. Suicidal ideation, particularly when it grows, should be appropriately treated and not ignored.
At Lighthouse Infusions, suicidal ideation is one of the most common struggles patients come in with. It’s also an area where we see ketamine therapy give patients tremendous relief.
How does ketamine therapy work for suicidal ideation?
Treatments for suicidal thoughts usually focus on the mental health conditions that cause or exacerbate it. That’s why talk therapy and medications for depression, anxiety, and mood stabilization are common treatment options. In emergency situations, inpatient therapy is the go-to for care planning and safety management.
So how is ketamine any different for suicidal ideation? For one, it’s faster. You don’t have to wait several months to see if it will work. Not only can you get treatment relatively quickly — relief often shows up within the first few infusions.
IV ketamine works within minutes, giving you a dissociative experience. After all, while ketamine is an anesthetic, it’s also a psychedelic. It shuts down connections in the brain and boots them back up. That’s why it works so well as a common anesthetic for medical procedures.
Many surgeons and doctors have noticed a remarkable improvement in suicidal patients receiving ketamine for medical treatments unrelated to suicide. In fact, ketamine is showing remarkable promise for acutely improving suicidal ideation.
This is significant—suicidal ideation has had very few options for prompt, effective, and sustainable treatment.
Suicidal thoughts and attempts generally need long-term treatment. And for most people, taking the first steps and staying consistent is the biggest treatment battle. At Lighthouse Infusions & Seattle Ketamine, we see ketamine therapy dramatically reduce suicidal thoughts. It gives patients the mental space to stay compliant and see relief from long-term treatments.
Ketamine may be the right treatment option for you if:
- You’ve always kept suicide as an escape option.
- Thoughts of suicide constantly linger in the back of your mind.
- You think things would be better if you were dead.
- You’re full of hopelessness and despair.
- You believe you’re a burden to your family and/or partner.
- You can’t imagine scenarios where things would be better.
- You’ve ever attempted suicide.
What can psychedelic therapy do for your suicidal ideation?
We’ve had the privilege at Lighthouse Infusions to see how quickly and powerfully IV ketamine works for suicidal ideation. We hear things from patients like:
“This is the only thing that has ever gotten rid of my suicidal thoughts.”
“This is the only thing that kept me alive.”
After their ketamine treatments, we hear patients say they didn’t realize just how close they were to dying until they started feeling relief. Realizing the near-death experience is often jarring. They’d normalized such difficult mental burdens that finding relief finally showed them just how bad their thoughts had been.
Here’s what we see in our patients who came in for suicidal ideation treatment.
- Many see a total resolution of their suicidal ideation. Not everyone experiences this, but patients commonly report that the intrusive and overwhelming thoughts have melted away. Often, the relief of the symptoms starts within a few infusions.
- They’re thrilled that they’re still alive. And even more than that—they’re overjoyed that they want to continue living. Instead of dreading the rest of their lives, they’ve rediscovered their excitement for the future.
- They gain a new confidence that they can deal with any future suicidal thoughts. Patients don’t have to fear relapse. They know they have a powerful tool in their mental health toolbox. If thoughts come back, they can come in for a booster infusion.
Are you ready to try ketamine for suicidal thoughts that won’t go away?
When to consider ketamine infusions for suicidal ideation
Trying to treat suicidal thoughts can be a carousel of treatments—many of which can feel ineffective. Our patients are no strangers to the different options out there.
Have you tried any of the following for relief of your suicidal thoughts?
- Psychotherapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Unpacking mental baggage with a therapist can be very helpful, but the sessions need significant commitment. It’s not clear when sessions will help relieve your symptoms.
- Antidepressants and/or mood stabilizers. It’s standard to treat related depression, anxiety, etc. with medications, but finding an effective fit can be extremely difficult. They take time to test, and they can lose effectiveness over time. Side effects, like increased suicidal thoughts, can make the treatment even more frustrating.
- Self-medication. When prescribed treatments aren’t effective or aren’t affordable, self-medication can be hard to resist. Alcohol, illicit drugs, and street-sourced prescription drugs can temporarily distract from the crushing thoughts.
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation. TMS is a hopeful drug-free option. But the success rate is only up to 60% for significant depression. It’s often another frustrating trial for suicidal patients.
- Electroconvulsive therapy. The hope that ECT will reverse some of the symptoms is founded. Unfortunately, the cost and time commitment can be overwhelming.
- Hospitalization. Inpatient therapy, whether for suicide risk or attempts, can be helpful for reassessing a care plan. The whole nature of it, though, is that it’s temporary. Frequent hospitalization to manage suicidal ideation quickly becomes emotionally and financially exhausting.
- Suicide attempts. Not everyone that attempted suicide totally craved death. For many, they didn’t see that the other options were valid. For most, it was an outreach for help.
After all the patient relief we’ve seen, we truly believe IV ketamine saves lives.
We strongly encourage patients to continue talk therapy sessions while getting ketamine treatments. These infusions are an excellent way to get more out of your sessions with a therapist. Patients report that it helps them look at their situation more objectively, and with less despair or apprehension.
How do I get ketamine therapy in the Seattle area?
You’ve tried other options. You’re looking for relief soon — not in a few months. Let’s get you a consult to see if ketamine IV therapy is a good next step for you.
At Lighthouse Infusions & Seattle Ketamine, we’re happy to answer your questions over text, phone, or email. If you’re considering treatments, we can set up a free phone consultation with Liana, our medical director and CRNA.
During your initial consultation, she’ll be able to answer your medical questions and assess your health history. We’ll also screen you for any potential incompatibilities. There are a few medications and health concerns that aren’t safe with ketamine infusions.
After a consultation, we can schedule the beginning of your therapy. It’s 6 infusions over 4 weeks.
Your treatments are administered by Liana. She’ll stay with you during your full treatments. Feeling something unexpected? Have questions? She’ll be right there to take care of you. You can have the infusion slowed, stopped, or have additional medications if need be.
Once your loading doses are complete, you can come back for any maintenance infusions you might need. These are usually every 1 to 3 months – it’s based on your unique needs and response to the initial infusions.
Ready for a ketamine therapy consultation with Seattle Ketamine?
Let’s explore whether ketamine infusions are your best treatment option. We’d love to set up a consultation. Our phone number is 425-835-2363 , you can send us a text , and our email is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Important: is ketamine good for suicidal emergencies?
Ketamine is an effective therapy option for suicidal ideation, and is sometimes used as an emergency treatment in hospital emergency departments. However, Lighthouse Infusions & Seattle Ketamine is NOT set up to provide emergency services.
If you’re actively having suicidal thoughts, or you feel that you may imminently follow through with a suicide plan, please call 911, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255), or go to the nearest emergency room.