Ketamine just may be the miracle drug that we’ve all been waiting for. Recent studies show rapid improvements in depression and even PTSD symptoms in as little as 24 hours, as opposed to an average of 6 weeks on SSRIs (the most common type anti-depressant medications). When paired with psychotherapy sessions during the Ketamine therapy treatment, known as Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, the effects may be even more profound and long-lasting.
what is ketamine?
Ketamine is a non-traditional psychedelic that has short acting effects, typically less than 2 hours. It behaves in a more predictable way than other psychedelics such as LSD and psyilocybin, or ayahuasca. Accessing a psychedelic state allows you to experience a different vantage point from your usual experience of consciousness. In this state, individuals feel a sense of weightlessness and floating. From here, negative core belief traumas can be more easily accessed and healed.
ketamine therapy studies
A 2020 study by Salloum et. al (Published in Journal of Affective Disorders) demonstrates the antidepressant effects of Ketamine therapy lasting 3-4 weeks on average, without psychotherapy. Adding CBT extended the effects to 12 weeks in a 2017 study. Study after study shows that Ketamine is a solid choice for what is called Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD). TRD is a form of depression that does not get better despite trying one or more antidepressant medications.
Personally, I have been excitedly watching the literature for updates regarding the use of psychedelics such as MDMA and Ketamine in treatment of PTSD. As a long-time C-PTSD sufferer myself, I’m fascinated by the promise that these non-traditional therapies may offer for faster, more long-lasting benefits. A few years ago when I was in dark throes of depression due to my trauma resurfacing, I would have paid anything to be able to access one of these therapies. Unfortunately, at the time they were not yet approved. Today, MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD is currently in Phase 3 of clinical trials as described on the MAPS website, with expected completion in 2022. Ketamine, however, is already approved for treatment-resistant depression, PTSD, and anxiety and can be received as an at-home treatment.
ketamine-assisted therapy sessions
I’m excited to announce my partnership with Miami, Florida based Ketamine clinic called My Ketamine Home which specializes in providing concierge at-home oral ketamine experiences. These experiences are much more affordable than the IV infusion therapies, while still retaining clinical efficacy (ie. the treatment works). Study after study demonstrates that when you add psychotherapy to a Ketamine experience, the results can be even more powerful.
While many of my trauma clients have experienced breakthroughs in therapy using somatic methods such as EMDR and trauma-sensitive yoga, as well as breath- and body-work, these modalities typically take months in order to first establish the therapeutic relationship and then slowly break apart the various traumatic memories. Even then, the strong barriers of resistance and protective ego states often block the complete deeper healing. My hope is for clients to have another choice for finding deep, lasting healing from complex trauma.
do your research!
Choosing a medication is a highly personal decision, and it’s well known that psychedelics have a bad rep due to the club drug scene and the potential for abuse. My suggestion is to do your research, which I always recommend to anyone regardless of what it is you’re considering adding to your diet or lifestyle. Please don’t just take my word for it. Read the literature, which is plentiful. My Ketamine Home also has a lot of information and research linked on their website.
Here are some articles for further reading:
Are psychedelics something you would try, if SSRI medications were not working for your depression or anxiety? Why or why not? I’d love to hear your response in the comments!