3 Reasons Why Ketamine May be a PTSD Treatment Option
Ketamine Infusion therapy is used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Post-traumatic stress disorder is prevalent among members of our military, emergency service personnel, and others who experience traumatic events.
It was 2010 and Ryan Kaono hadn’t slept in more than four days. If he slept, he knew he’d have flashbacks of what he’d experienced during deployments to Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Fighting night terrors and daily panic attacks eventually pushed him to the brink of suicide.
“They were terrible,” Kaono said. “I would wake up screaming and my wife would be scared. Out of desperation, I decided I was going to end it.”
Kaono’s wife, Alessa, said it was difficult for her to watch her husband suffer and not know what to do.
“You feel helpless,” she said. “I described it as having an animal or child unable to speak yet you know they’re feeling something. You see a look in their eyes that they’re suffering but you don’t know what you can do to help them.”
In June 1996, Kaono was working at a gate in Khobar Towers, Saudi Arabia when an improvised explosive device detonated on the other side of the compound. It killed 19 and wounded many others.
“When the actual blast went off, it was chaos everywhere,” Kaono said. “I had to stop and put that part behind me. I needed to focus and ensure that the folks who had been injured or disoriented…were taken care of.”
Kaono was exhausted and experiencing a range of feelings. After swallowing numerous prescription drugs, hoping to not wake up, Kaono finally reached out to his commander for help. He was admitted to the Los Angeles Veterans Affairs hospital for observation and was subsequently diagnosed with PTSD. ¹
Because of US military involvement across the world, PTSD continues to affect our servicemen and women. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs at the rate of 8.7% in the United states ² and is prevalent globally among survivors of rape, military combat, and captivity. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, PTSD has a higher prevalence among military veterans, firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical personnel. ²
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is described as recurrent, distressing memories, reactions, or flashbacks related to a traumatic event experienced by a person. Symptoms often mirror those of major depressive disorder (MDD) and patients may experience negative thoughts, social withdrawal, irritability, sleep disturbances, and self-destructive behavior. PTSD can make it difficult for an individual to maintain overall wellness and to maintain employment. ³
Currently, cognitive-behavioral therapy and antidepressants are standard treatments for PTSD, but still do not relieve symptoms in many patients. Ketamine is a treatment that is discussed and utilized more often for treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (MDD) and is worthy of study for its potential in treating PTSD. ³
Some research indicates that PTSD could be linked to a loss of synaptic connectivity, controlled by glutamate in the brain. Ketamine may enhance synaptic connectivity in these circuits, resulting in symptom relief. ³
3 reasons why ketamine may be an effective treatment for PTSD
#1: Ketamine resets brain circuitry
Glutamate regulates large regions of the nervous systems and is the most prominent neurotransmitter in the brain. When glutamate receptors are over-activated, as in cases of major depressive disorder (MDD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a person may experience depression and anxiety. Ketamine works by blocking glutamine receptors in the brain. Some studies suggest PTSD may stem from a lack of synaptic connectivity. Ketamine infusion therapy works by enhancing synaptic connectivity in brain circuitry, which may provide relief from PTSD symptoms.
#2: Ketamine may be able to reverse the effects of stress
Because glutamate synapses play a critical role in the brain, it is possible that the use of ketamine may enhance synaptic connectivity in brain circuits, ultimately relieving, and even reversing, the effects of stress. ³
#3 Ketamine is an effective PTSD treatment because it works quickly and may work when other treatments have failed
Ketamine treatment may work especially well among patients who are resistant to other forms of treatment like anti-depressants and cognitive therapy. According to the National Center of Biotechnical Information, ketamine is gaining popularity in treating major depressive disorder (MDD) that has previously been treatment-resistant. Although not approved by the FDA, ketamine is also gaining popularity for treatment-resistant MDD, because of the rapid onset of efficacy. ³
Ketamine Infusion therapy is available in Ogden, Utah and can be used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including PTSD, depression, anxiety, and others. Ketamine is a safe drug, primarily used as a painkiller, and is one of the World Health Organization’s essential medicines. It has been used as a painkiller for more than 50 years. Ketamine is effective when administered in a controlled setting and as part of a medically recommended treatment plan. It is given in low doses by licensed medical personnel and the patient is carefully monitored to ensure safe delivery.
Visit http://www.therapyreset.com for more information about ketamine infusion therapy, or visit our office in Ogden, Utah to schedule a free consultation with our licensed clinicians. Therapy Reset serves all of Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, including the cities of Ogden, Layton, Kaysville, Brigham City, Logan, Clearfield, Syracuse, Roy, Centerville, and Farmington.
² American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2013.