US News recently wrote an article regarding PTSD in veterans, where Dr. Rand McClain was given the opportunity to speak to 1 very exciting new treatment option: Ketamine infusions.

Treatment Options for PTSD

For anyone dealing with the symptoms of PTSD, there are several treatment options available to break the cycle of loneliness. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is considered the frontline treatment for PTSD and medications can help some individuals as well.

There are several effective options that can be helpful for patients, especially when combined with traditional psychiatric treatment. Finding people to connect with can be one of the most powerful options for PTSD. Specifically veterans who can find networks or groups with similar experiences allow for a much easier transition to civilian life. Often overlooked, there are several practices patients can take up in their life that can help with their symptoms as well:

  • Meditation, mindfulness, or anything that requires the person to slow down and engage.
  • Woodworking, sewing, restoring cars, or other activities that require repetitive motion.
  • Horseback riding or keeping a service or companion dog also help some patients.

Ketamine Infusions & PTSD

Ketamine was originally approved by the FDA as an anesthetic, though lately studies are showing it’s effectiveness as a fast-acting therapy for anxiety and PTSD.

Although the exact mechanism hasn’t entirely been explained, ketamine seems to help alleviate PTSD symptoms faster than more traditional antidepressant medications. Currently, we think that SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a type of antidepressant medication that boosts levels of the “feel-good” neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain) have been somewhat good at changing the structure of the brain. However, traditional medications can often take several weeks for the patients to feel the effects. Ketamine seems to disrupt established pathways in the brain that are associated with PTSD and helps the brain make new pathways that obscure the trauma.

Often after treatment with Ketamine infusions in conjunction with CBT, we hear patients describing it as “stepping back from your life and being able to look at your problems from a bird’s eye view”which can help them to process the trauma.

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Our team at Regenerative & Sports Medicine is happy to offer these services and many more to help you find relief. Contact our team here or call 310-452-3206.

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