Ketamine for OCD Treatment in West Springfield, MA
The field of mental health treatment has expanded dramatically in the last ten years. Innovative new mental health treatments are popping up all the time, and treating your mental health disorder is becoming further and further desensitized.
OCD is one of the top 20 causes of illness-related disability, and in the United States, about 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children have OCD. The first step to finding treatment for your OCD is understanding and learning more about your mental health condition.
Ketamine, which some doctors call the most significant breakthrough in depression treatment in fifty years, can provide relief from the symptoms of OCD within minutes, rather than the weeks a typical antidepressant may take. If you or a loved one is suffering from OCD, please call us today to help determine if Ketamine infusion can help you find relief.
Ketamine and OCD
Exactly how ketamine treats OCD, and other mental health disorders is still being researched. The current understanding is that ketamine binds to receptors in the brain and helps increase the amount of glutamate (a neurotransmitter) released. This will then set off a chain of reactions within the brain that affects thinking and emotional regulation.
What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?
Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, is a mental illness that manifests as a pattern of irrational fears and unreasonable thoughts (obsessions) that lead to repeated patterns (compulsions). Repeated hand washing, continually checking to make sure doors are locked, or that you’ve turned the oven off are just a few examples of common OCD compulsions.
These repeated compulsions can even interfere with daily life activities and cause problems at home, work, or school. Approximately one in forty adults in the United States (that’s about 2.3 percent of the population) and one in one hundred children have this condition.
Here are a few other interesting OCD facts according to the National Anxiety Association:
- It affects women and men equally
- It can start at any age
- It may be genetically inherited
- Symptoms may go away, remain the same, or worsen
- Left untreated, the symptoms may continue for years
It is also not uncommon for a person with OCD to have other mental health conditions such as clinical depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, Tourette’s syndrome, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or panic attacks.
Lifestyle Changes That Help OCD
Medication can help treat OCD but is more effective when paired with therapy or lifestyle changes. Here are some examples of healthy lifestyle changes you can make:
Identify what triggers your OCD
Figuring out what is triggering your OCD symptoms can help you anticipate your urges before they happen. If you know what triggers your urges, you can try to ease your compulsions.
Try to resist OCD compulsions
By persistently exposing yourself to the things that trigger your OCD, you can slowly learn to resist the compulsions and rituals. One common exercise is called the “fear ladder,” where you work up to your triggers one at a time (as if climbing a ladder, rung-by-rung).
Challenge your obsessions
When an intrusive or obsessive thought comes across, ask yourself questions. “Is there any evidence that this obsessive thought is true?” or “Will this obsessive thought help protect me from what I am worried about?”
Research has shown that regular exercise (between 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity a day) can be just as effective as medication. Exercise boosts essential “feel good” chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin and endorphins, and triggers new connections between brain cells. Even just half an hour of activity a day can start to improve your anxiety symptoms.
Even people without OCD should strive to eat well – it’s good for physical and mental health. Aim to eat smaller but well-balanced meals throughout the day to keep your energy up and avoid gastrointestinal problems.
Get more consistent sleep
If you are not getting enough sleep, you may find yourself irritable, grumpy, or fatigued. These mood changes can only worsen the symptoms of OCD.
Stress may not directly cause OCD, but it can trigger symptoms or worsen the already present symptoms. Relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga may help you alleviate stress levels.
Are You A Good Candidate for Ketamine Therapy?
Although it has been used for more than half a century as an anesthetic and pain reliever, ketamine is now proving to be the biggest breakthrough in OCD treatment in decades as well. Studies show that up to 70% of patients may find relief from symptoms after undergoing a series of IV ketamine infusions.
If you are interested in learning more about how ketamine treatment for OCD can help you, contact The Wellness Drip today and schedule your free consultation.