Ketamine is an anesthetic that can cause psychedelic experiences in surgery. It's been used in surgery for over 50 years. It's also a psychedelic that can cure serious mental health conditions when used under medical supervision. Ketamine can provide rapid relief for depression, anxiety, chronic pain, PTSD, and other conditions.
Ketamine for Depression
Ketamine has many effects throughout the body. There are 3 main effects that bring a psychedelic state to help treat depression:
- Dissociative effects: feeling a disconnection between your thoughts and your body
- Pain relieving effects: ketamine weakly acts on opioid receptors to reduce pain
- Neuroplasticity: the psychedelic state allows ketamine to "re-wire" the brain and change long-term thought patterns
Ketamine's dissociative effect allows us to gain a better understanding of our rigid thought patterns. Instead of living inside these thought loops, we gain a perspective from outside these habit loops.
This expanded perspective is believed to cause new neural connections in the brain. This is called neuroplasticity.
Ketamine's Psychedelic Effect Can Rapidly Treat Depression
Cognitive flexibility is among our brain's most powerful forces. In contrast, cognitive rigidity refers to rigid, inflexible thought patterns: the opposite of cognitive flexibility. Ketamine has the powerful ability to "loosen" rigid thought patterns. Cognitive rigidity can impede our healing from depression in many ways:
- Cause irritability when existing beliefs are challenged
- Impede unbiased introspection
- Make it difficult to explore new experiences
- Avoid growth beyond our comfort zone
- Cause more disease (PTSD, anxiety, etc.)
Perseveration and rumination are the hallmarks of anxiety and depression. These both represent rigid thought patterns that are difficult to escape but can be overcome with ketamine therapy.
Cognitive flexibility is the antidote to most mental and physical diseases
Ketamine Can Help Overcome Diseases of Cognitive Rigidity
Destructive habit loops from cognitive rigidity can lead to numerous health problems and diseases, like:
- Chronic pain
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Eating disorders: anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa
As the mind becomes more flexible, the individual may challenge automatic thoughts and develop new perspectives - Reiff, et al.
Ketamine can foster cognitive flexibility and help uplift us from these rigid thought patterns.
IV Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Depression
While ketamine itself is effective for depression, IV ketamine infusions are the fastest treatments for severe depression. This is because IV ketamine rapidly crosses the blood-brain-barrier to relieve depression.
Combining IV ketamine infusions with psychotherapy is ever more powerful. For 24 hours after a ketamine infusion, the brain can re-wire itself to overcome maladaptive thought patterns. Therapy sessions in this period can reveal powerful insights to treat the underlying causes of depression.
Visit Dr. Kaveh in San Francisco to experience how psychedelic medicine can help you overcome depression, anxiety, addiction, and chronic pain.