What is Ketamine Treatment?

You’ve heard of psychotherapy and medication management to treat depression and anxiety, which can be highly effective. These reliable treatment methods have been used for a long time and for good reason. But sometimes, you need more than that to reduce your symptoms. 

That’s where ketamine treatment comes in. 

While ketamine treatment for depression and anxiety is relatively new, ketamine itself has been around since the 1960s. Initially used as an anesthetic to treat front-line soldiers during the Vietnam war, its usage for additional purposes evolved to become a highly effective treatment for mental health concerns.   

Ketamine Treatment in San Diego

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What is Ketamine Used to Treat?

Ketamine treatment for depression is the most common usage, but it can be used to treat many other psychological issues. That said, ketamine treatment for depression isn’t necessarily right for everyone suffering from depression. Typically, after you’ve tried psychotherapy and medication and find it’s not as beneficial for you as you’d like, your clinician may recommend ketamine treatments. In other words, ketamine treatment is typically used in cases of severe depression and treatment-resistant depression.

Ketamine treatment is also proven effective in treating: 

  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • bipolar disorder
  • suicidal ideation

How Effective is Ketamine Treatment for Depression?

depression treatment

Although ketamine treatment for depression is relatively new compared to other treatment methods, it’s been studied for over two decades. The first randomized trial to prove the effectiveness of ketamine as an antidepressant was completed at Yale in 2000. The study revealed that just a small dose, less than given for anesthesia (one of its original uses), dramatically improves symptoms of depression in less than 24 hours.

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That certainly got the attention of the medical community. 

A 2012 study focusing on ketamine treatment for unipolar depression resulted in 85% of the participants experiencing at least a 50% reduction in depression symptoms.

After several more years of research and trials, ketamine treatment for depression became more viable for use. In 2019, the medication became FDA-approved to effectively treat depression.

While ketamine treatments are highly-effective for treating depression, it’s important to understand it’s not a cure for major depressive disorder (MDD). However, it can reduce debilitating depression symptoms for several weeks or even months. Ultimately, its effectiveness depends on your biological makeup and needs.

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What Is a Ketamine Treatment Like?

The idea of an injection treatment for depression may seem like a foreign idea, but as illustrated in the effectiveness studies above, you can see it’s been proven effective. At BOLD Health, we ensure your ketamine treatment experience is as comfortable as possible. 

Our ketamine specialist, Dr. David Printz, MD, will greet you at our welcoming facility and answer any questions and concerns you may have. 

During your treatment, which typically takes around 90 minutes, you’ll lounge in a comfortable recliner with several customizable accommodations. You can use pillows, blankets, a light-blocking sleep mask, and listen to soothing music. 

Ketamine treatments shouldn’t be painful. Of course, you’ll feel a pinch when you receive the injection, but other than that, many people who’ve received ketamine treatment say it’s actually a relaxing experience. 

what is ketamine treatment

You will likely feel the effects of the medication during your treatment. Ketamine has been described as giving a feeling like you’re floating. (In a pleasant way, not a scary one.) This is entirely normal and will pass.

After your ketamine treatment, you’ll probably still feel the effects of the medication. Again, this is normal. For this reason, you’ll be monitored for roughly 90 minutes, after which you can go home. Keep in mind that you will not be allowed to drive home. You should either arrange a ride home with a friend or family member or get a ride-share.

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Benefits of Ketamine Treatment in San Diego

Because Ketamine treatment for depression is a newer, more specialized treatment method that requires additional medical training, there aren’t many mental health facilities offering it. Here at BOLD Health in San Diego, we have a wide range of highly-experienced clinicians who specialize in many different areas. Dr. Printz has extensive years of experience treating individuals using advanced treatment methods. That means you’re in good hands at BOLD Health. 

There are several benefits to ketamine treatment in San Diego. The most notable include:

  • It works quickly. Perhaps the most impressive benefit of ketamine treatments is how fast they work. Unlike depression medications, which can take weeks to be fully effective in fighting symptoms, ketamine infusions work almost immediately. You’ll feel light and floaty during your treatment. You’ll also feel fewer symptoms of depression within hours after your first treatment as the medicine metabolizes in your system.
  • Very few side effects. Dr. Printz will ensure you’re an ideal candidate for ketamine treatments in San Diego. If you are, you’ll experience few adverse side effects. The most common side effect is feeling “loopy” or “out of it.” But if you experience this, these feelings should subside within hours after treatment. 
  • Decreases suicidal ideation. If you have recurring thoughts of suicide, you need to get help immediately. Because ketamine infusions work so quickly, they are incredibly effective at significantly reducing suicidal ideation. Rather than waiting weeks for prescription antidepressants to do their job, you can feel relief almost immediately.

In fact, one 2020 study showed that within 90 minutes of receiving a ketamine infusion in the ER after a suicide attempt, 88% of participants had no thoughts of suicide.

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Why Partner With BOLD Health For Ketamine Treatment in San Diego

Whether you are specifically seeking ketamine treatment in San Diego or want to know if it’s the proper treatment method for you, BOLD Health is your best bet. Our mental health practice is physician-owned and operated and utilizes only science-backed treatment methods to treat depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and many other mental health disorders. 

We take the time to get to know you and what brought you to our door because we believe everyone’s treatment plan will look different. You won’t receive a cookie-cutter depression treatment plan. Instead, your clinician will recommend the ideal treatment for your specific needs. Your depression treatment may include:

  • individual therapy sessions
  • group therapy
  • ketamine treatment
  • medication management
  • enrollment in our IOP in San Diego
BOLD Health

Whatever your plan looks like, you’ll receive top-notch mental health care. Contact us for more information about our ketamine treatment, IOP in San Diego, or any other treatment method we offer. Our goal is to help you take charge of your life. With our help, you can.

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