OCD Awareness Week: A New Path To Recovery Through Ketamine

OCD Awareness Week: A New Path To Recovery Through Ketamine

Imagine for a moment that an anxious thought pops into your head. Suddenly, you find yourself wondering whether you’ve locked the door or unplugged the curling iron. In order to alleviate your fears, you simply check once then you continue on with your day.

Unfortunately, for the 1 in 40 adults suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in the United States, checking once doesn’t provide any sort of relief. Instead of anxious thoughts being cast out, they claim more and more space until they consume you…and it feels like there’s nothing you can do to stop them from coming.

The Downward Spiral of Intrusive Thoughts

Like any mental illness, OCD is complex and affects every person differently. Contrary to what many think about OCD, it’s more than just wanting to wash your hands or organize your sock drawer. For someone suffering from OCD, the fear network of the brain sends a signal that something is wrong…and needs to be addressed immediately.

These obsessions quickly take over.

People with OCD turn to routines or rituals (compulsions) to help find relief, feel safer, and gain control regardless of how irrational their thoughts or behaviors are perceived. For many, it becomes a vicious cycle of anxiety-provoking thoughts followed by anxiety-relieving rituals that don’t work.

This week, during OCD Awareness Week, it’s time to talk about innovative treatments that provide relief.

New Hope For OCD With Ketamine

These repetitive and intrusive thoughts can consume people and diminish their quality of life. OCD can branch out and being to cause other disruptions in life and relationships. If you or a loved one are dealing with these thoughts and symptoms, it’s important to understand your treatment options.

OCD is generally treated with psychotherapy, medication or both. FDA-approved medications include Anafranil (clomipramine), Prozac (fluoxetine), Luvox (fluvoxamine), Paxil (paroxetine hydrochloride), and Zoloft (sertraline).

Antidepressants known as serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) have also been shown to be effective in treating OCD, although not FDA-approved, including Effexor (venlafaxine) and Cymbalta (duloxetine).

Unfortunately, these medications can take eight to 12 weeks before a patient sees the full benefits.

Ketamine IV infusions are a cutting-edge treatment for difficult to treat cases of OCD. For people who don’t respond to first line medications or psychotherapy, Ketamine can help. The best part about Ketamine is relief of symptoms can be felt after 24 hours of receiving the medication.

Contact COPE for more information about IV Ketamine as a treatment for OCD.