As Ketamine is getting embraced by more psychiatrists to treat mental disorders, people are wondering what an infusion is like. Despite the use of what is now a popular party drug, ketamine infusions are typically very calming. Here’s what it’s like to undergo an infusion of ketamine for depression treatment.
Ketamine can be ingested in a few ways, such as taking it orally, intranasally, or through an IV. Most ketamine treatment centers use the IV method, as this is the more reliable way to absorb the drug. The IV will be placed by either a nurse or doctor so there is a limited risk of infection. Most patients find the process of putting in an IV to be mild in pain.
It can take a few minutes for patients to begin feeling the effects of the ketamine. Some patients report a tingling sensation or a sense of “feeling heavier”. Feeling as if you are detached from your body is also common. Part of the reason ketamine became a popular party drug is because of its hallucinogen properties. Ketamine treatments are low doses, so there is very little risk that patients will have a “bad trip” or experience anything too intense. The infusion can be stopped at any point if patients request it.
Once the ketamine starts setting in most patients feel extremely comfortable and calm. Most doctors encourage you to bring items that will bring on a positive state of mine such as calming music or a loved one. Doctors discourage excessive stimulation like talking. Patients will be able to move if needed, but ask for assistance as the ketamine may impair your balance. If you begin to feel any side effects like nausea, faintness, or headaches let a nurse or doctor know.
The patient report an abrupt ending to the dissociative sensations as the treatment comes to an end. It’s common to feel groggy afterward. All side effects should dissipate within 3 hours after an infusion. Let your doctor know if anything persists into the next day.
Most patients begin feeling better within two treatment sessions, with some reporting immediate results. Typically ketamine depression treatments happen a total of 6 times within a 12-day period. A single treatment session typically takes an hour, with a half an hour or so afterward ford observation to make sure the patient is feeling well enough to go home.
Ketamine treatments have been gaining popularity because they work effectively and quickly. The results are minor, although more research and testing are still underway. Undergoing ketamine treatments is a relaxing process that can give much-needed relief to people with mental disorders. If you want to learn more about ketamine infusion for depression, contact us today.
Since 2003, the Delray Center for Healing has provided exceptional psychiatric and therapeutic care for mental health, eating, and substance use disorders. To learn more about our philosophy and treatment approach, download our free e-book, “Psychiatry Redefined,” written by our founder and medical director, Raul J. Rodriguez, MD.