Scottsdale Ketamine Clinic
Located in Scottsdale, AZ
Ahwatukee Ketamine Clinic and Drip Lounge
Located in Phoenix, AZ
When a person experiences a shocking, dangerous, or traumatic event, it may result in long-lasting repercussions. A devastating experience can lead to flashbacks, anxiety, and changes in mood and cognition. Someone who suffers from these symptoms for months is said to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
At Ahwatukee Ketamine Clinic and Drip Lounge in Phoenix, AZ, we’re committed to helping patients break free from the lingering, disruptive symptoms of PTSD with ketamine infusion therapy, a breakthrough PTSD treatment in Phoenix.
Many patients who have struggled with PTSD symptoms for years have finally found relief through ketamine for PTSD.
What Is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic medically used as an alternative to general anesthesia. It has also been used as a recreational drug. Low doses of ketamine may decrease occurrences of depression and anxiety and alleviate symptoms of PTSD.
Doctors discovered the benefits of ketamine as a PTSD treatment during the war in Iraq. Injured soldiers who underwent surgery with ketamine as the method of anesthesia were less likely to develop PTSD. Those whose surgical procedures used other forms of anesthesia developed the disorder at an expected rate.
How Does Ketamine for PTSD Work?
Ketamine treatments specifically target glutamate, one of the major neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are messengers from the nervous system that pass communications between the nerve cells and the brain. Glutamate is essential to the brain’s function and serves several vital roles.
For example, it fosters learning and memory, regulates the sleep-wake cycle, provides an energy source for brain cells, and manages the body’s pain response. Stress can severely impact glutamate transmission, and overproduction of glutamine may lead to PTSD.
However, ketamine is a glutamate receptor antagonist, inhibiting overactive glutamate in the brain. Ketamine infusions can restore balance to glutamate levels and activity. In addition, ketamine infusion therapy may offer anti-inflammatory properties and stimulate the restoration of certain neurological connections, effectively rewiring the brain.
How Is Ketamine Different from Other PTSD Treatments?
One of the exciting aspects of ketamine for PTSD is how it works differently compared to most traditional PTSD treatments. In the past, the only treatment options for those with PTSD were psychotherapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, and medications, specifically selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). While these treatments are effective for some patients, they have significant drawbacks.
For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy for PTSD often relies on exposure-based treatments that can be traumatizing and frequently result in patients dropping out of the treatment before they can benefit from it. Similarly, the SSRIs prescribed as a PTSD treatment often have adverse side effects before the patient experiences the therapeutic benefits, leading to early discontinuation. Ketamine infusion therapy works differently.
It has been shown to change the brain circuit function and alter the behavior of depressed mice within three hours. Then, over time, the treatment stimulates new synapse growth around 12 to 24 hours after treatment. As a result, ketamine treatments avoid the common pitfalls of other PTSD treatments, which require patients to endure triggers and side effects before experiencing the benefits.
Additionally, SSRIs target monoamine neurotransmitters, like dopamine and serotonin, while ketamine targets glutamate. Researchers believe this different approach will allow patients who tried SSRI medications in the past but still didn’t experience symptom relief to find respite through ketamine.
What Is PTSD?
The psychiatric condition PTSD may develop after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. For example, natural disasters, serious accidents, mass casualty events, war or combat, and domestic abuse may all cause victims and survivors to experience symptoms of PTSD.
The American Psychiatric Association reports that up to 3.5% of adults in the United States experience PTSD symptoms each year. A PTSD diagnosis requires direct or indirect exposure to a disturbing event. For example, a victim who suffers from a disturbing, violent attack or the police officer who responds to it might develop PTSD.
What Are Symptoms of PTSD?
Typically, the symptoms of PTSD present within three months of the inciting event. For a doctor to diagnose the condition, these symptoms must persist for longer than a month, be unrelated to other illnesses or medications, and be severe enough to interfere with daily life.
The symptoms of PTSD fall into four categories. Someone with a PTSD diagnosis must experience one to two symptoms from each category for over a month.
Re-Experiencing or Intrusion
These symptoms include reliving the traumatic events. Someone with PTSD might physically react to something that reminds them of the incident, or they might have recurring dreams about the event.
They may have distressing flashbacks that keep them from going about their daily life.
Symptoms of avoidance include changing routines and avoiding places or events that can trigger reminders of the incident.
Cognition and Mood
Those with PTSD symptoms may be unable to remember important details of the traumatic event. They may have distorted or negative beliefs about themselves or their degree of fault in what they experienced.
They may also have ongoing fear, anger, or shame about the event and themselves. Cognition and mood symptoms may result in social isolation, loss of interest in previous activities, and difficulty experiencing positive emotions.
Arousal and Reactivity
Arousal and reactivity symptoms include:
- Angry outbursts
- Reckless behavior
- Self-destructive behavior
- Trouble sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
In addition to the above symptoms, patients may startle easily and become overly watchful and suspicious of their surroundings.
Learn More About Ketamine Infusions at Ahwatukee Ketamine Clinic
At Ahwatukee Ketamine Clinic and Drip Lounge in Phoenix, AZ, we’re committed to helping our patients find relief from their PTSD symptoms with ketamine for PTSD. Contact us online to secure your appointment today.