PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) is especially responsive to Ketamine infusion therapy. We have had excellent results with our PTSD patients using Ketamine therapy. PTSD develops after exposure to a traumatic event, such as sexual assault, warfare, traffic collisions, child abuse, or other threats to a person’s safety. People who are victims of assault by another person, such as rape or child abuse, are more prone to develop PTSD compared with people who experience non-interpersonal trauma, such as accidents or natural disasters.
PTSD symptoms may begin right after a traumatic event, or they may not appear until years later. PTSD symptoms can be grouped into four types:
1. Intrusive memories:
- Recurrent, unwanted memories of the traumatic event
- “Flashbacks” – re-experiencing the incident as if it were occurring again
- Recurrent nightmares about the event
- Severe emotional and/or physical distress brought on by a reminder or “trigger” of the traumatic event
- Avoiding thinking or talking about the traumatic event
- Trying to avoid people, places, or activities that bring reminders of the event
3. Negative thoughts and moods:
- Negative feelings about self, other people, or the world in general
- Hopelessness about the future
- Difficulty with relationships; detachment from family and friends
- Feeling emotionally numb
4. Changes in physical and emotional reactions “arousal symptoms”:
- Always being “on guard” for danger (“hypervigilance”)
- Being easily frightened or startled (“fright or flight”)
- Self-destructive behavior, such as alcohol/drug abuse or reckless driving
- Difficulty concentrating
- Extreme irritability, with angry outbursts or aggressive behavior
Historically, treatment for PTSD symptoms has included cognitive-behavioral talk therapy, a special type of intervention called EMDR, and oral medications, especially of the SSRI-type. However, SSRIs have a slow onset, are helpful less than half of the time, and have significant side-effects.
Ketamine infusion therapy (KIT) is a newer but extremely promising treatment alternative for PTSD, with rapid onset, higher success rate, and lower relapse rate. One landmark study in 2014, Efficacy of Intravenous Ketamine for Treatment of Chronic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, demonstrated a rapid reduction in PTSD symptoms from ketamine, compared to active placebo. At our Boulder Mind Care ketamine infusion clinic, we have seen first-hand the incredible power of ketamine in restoring the original quality of life to many PTSD sufferers. One of our patients, whose symptoms included most of the symptoms listed in the four categories above, reported a dramatic reduction in his symptoms within hours of his first infusion. He reports that when his therapist referred him to us, the addition of ketamine to his regimen resulted in new breakthroughs during his weekly therapy. He attributes the combination of KIT and psychotherapy to both saving his marriage and giving him the mindfulness to be fully present with his young children. He concludes that both of these results are “priceless”.
Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) is especially helpful in breaking through the PTSD “avoidance” symptoms which can prevent meaningful progress with talk therapy. KAP consists of combining a talk therapy session (with one’s usual therapist, in-person or by phone) with a low-dose infusion of ketamine. When dosed properly, the ketamine allows the patient to face his/her traumatic material head-on, without feeling fearful or distressed. This allows the patient, under the guidance of his/her therapist, to process and move past these traumatic blockages, resolving many if not all of their PTSD symptoms. One therapist, after a KAP session with one of her patients at our office, described it as “equivalent to 5 years of therapy alone”. At both of our Boulder and Fort Collins offices, we have designed our infusion rooms to facilitate KAP in-person, either with a patient’s own therapist, or with one of the therapists with whom we work. (KAP can also be conducted remotely.)
If you or a loved one suffers from PTSD despite talk therapy and conventional medications, contact us today at (303) 823-4882. You will be glad you did. Here is what one of our PTSD patients has to say:
“I can not encourage you enough to contact Boulder Mind Care if you suffer from PTSD. No matter your PTSD’s cause or date of origin. These kind, talented people CAN help you feel like yourself again.
I personally have lived with my PTSD for 26 years. Thanks to Boulder Mind Care I feel comfortable in my own skin for the first time in over 2.5 decades. I’m finally present for my family. I’m enjoying real quality time with them. Both at home and out on the town. It means everything to me to be with my family. Both physically & mentally. Especially when my PTSD often took me out of the room even if I was still there physically. In many cases I was just going through the motions. No longer.
If you suffer from PTSD and want to feel like yourself again? If you can’t remember what normal reactions to triggers felt like? If you’re paralyzed in any aspect of your life? Going out? Being social? Relationships, friendships or work environments? I’m writing this review today to tell you that you CAN feel normal again. No matter how impossible that seems based on years of nothing working for you. I’m living proof that being at home in your own skin is possible again. You owe it to yourself to contact Boulder Mind Care to schedule an appointment to see how they can help you live & love again.
My best wishes to you on your journey to finding yourself again. It’s a wonderful thing to do. You are so worth the phone call.”
Tom Small, July 2018