Ketamine Treatment for Bipolar Disorder in Southern California

Intravenous (IV) ketamine therapy delivers ketamine, an FDA- approved anesthetic, through an IV to improve a patient’s neural activity and neural connectivity. IV ketamine has been shown to be an effective treatment for a variety of psychiatric disorders, particularly treatment-resistant depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.

What is Ketamine IV Therapy?

Millions of people suffer from chronic and debilitating physical and psychiatric disorders, including anxiety and depression. However, many of these conditions may stop responding to medications, like anti-depressants, and other therapies. IV ketamine therapy is a safe and effective treatment option for people who suffer from treatment-resistant:

 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Acute suicidality
  • PTSD
  • Chronic pain

 

Physicians have used Ketamine for over 50 years as an anesthetic. However, new research indicates its effectiveness in other applications too.

Researchers at Mass General Hospital conducted the largest study of IV ketamine therapy. They found that over 70% of patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression experienced symptom relief with IV ketamine therapy. This study, along with a growing number of others, is a major finding that demonstrates the effectiveness of IV ketamine for those who have tried standard treatments but haven’t responded adequately.

What is Ketamine IV Therapy?

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Millions of people suffer from chronic and debilitating physical and psychiatric disorders, including anxiety and depression. However, many of these conditions may stop responding to medications, like anti-depressants, and other therapies. IV ketamine therapy is a safe and effective treatment option for people who suffer from treatment-resistant:

 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Acute suicidality
  • PTSD
  • Chronic pain

 

Physicians have used Ketamine for over 50 years as an anesthetic. However, new research indicates its effectiveness in other applications too.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Machine at the NeuroWellness Spa.

Researchers at Mass General Hospital conducted the largest study of IV ketamine therapy. They found that over 70% of patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression experienced symptom relief with IV ketamine therapy. This study, along with a growing number of others, is a major finding that demonstrates the effectiveness of IV ketamine for those who have tried standard treatments but haven’t responded adequately.

How Is Bipolar Disorder Treated with IV Ketamine Therapy?

IV Ketamine therapy produces proteins that increases neuronal connectivity and repairs neural connections. This process is known as synaptic plasticity. As synaptic connections are strengthened, our brains are better able to combat stress and depression.

During a ketamine infusion, patients experience the feeling of dissociation. One benefit of dissociating is that it allows the patient to experience the present and past as an objective observer, removed from psychological stress. Also, while receiving treatment, many patients enter a state of deep relaxation as their minds wander without worry.

At Neuro Wellness Spa, our trained clinicians supervise all ketamine treatments. One ketamine infusion lasts approximately 40 minutes during which ketamine is dosed based on the patient’s body weight (0.5mg/kg). The typical course of treatment includes 8-12 infusions over the course of 3-4 weeks.

The drug is administered at a slow and controlled pace to the patient by a trained clinician. Patients do not experience any cardiovascular, respiratory, or hallucinogenic effects during or after the treatment.

In fact, IV Ketamine doesn’t have any long-lasting associated side effects. Although some people may experience sensitivity to light and/or sound and disorientation while the treatment is administered, these feelings subside quickly when the treatment is finished.

Anhedonia is what inhibits people with bipolar disorder from feeling or seeking pleasure. It may take traditional antidepressants weeks or even months to treat this symptom. However, IV ketamine is able to reverse anhedonia, and most patients who have had IV ketamine feel a significant improvement after the first treatment session. This improvement wanes over the subsequent 24-48 hours, but as the IV ketamine protocol continues, the symptom relief becomes increasingly sustained.

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder was previously known as manic depression. Bipolar disorder causes extreme mood swings,  including both emotional lows (depression) and highs (mania). 

There are different types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar 1 disorder: at least one manic incident that may be followed or preceded by major depressive or hypomanic episodes
  • Bipolar 2 disorder: at least one hypomanic episode and one major depressive episode but never a manic episode
  • Cyclothymic disorder: at least two years of multiple periods of depressive and hypomanic symptoms never meeting full criteria for major depression or hypomania

Those who suffer with bipolar disorder may be reluctant to seek out treatment. They may enjoy the feelings of euphoria as well as the increased productivity of hypomanic/manic episodes. However, euphoria may lead to impulsivity or risky behaviors which are often followed by a crash that can leave the patient in a depressed state. 

 

Bipolar Statistics

Approximately 2.8% of the United States population is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The disorder affects men and women equally. Of the people affected, 83% have been classified as severe cases of bipolar disorder.

If standard medications and nonpharmacological interventions don’t work in a patient with bipolar disorder, IV ketamine therapy may be a treatment option. IV ketamine is known for its ability to help relieve therapy-resistant bipolar disorder. Ketamine is “helpful for patients that have exhausted other therapeutic options,” according to The National Center for Biotechnology Information. 

 

Signs & Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder

A person with bipolar disorder may experience a major depressive episode, mania, or hypomania. A major depressive episode would include symptoms that are severe enough to make day-to-day activities noticeably difficult. This can impact one’s social activities, school, work, and relationships. 

A depressive episode may include symptoms such as: 

  • Depressed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in all or almost all activities
  • Fatigue
  • Suicidal thoughts 
  • Sleeping too much or insomnia
  • Feelings of worthlessness

Mania is more intense than hypomania. And although the two are distinct types of episodes, they have the same symptoms. Like depressive episodes, mania causes noticeable problems in daily activities. Both hypomanic and manic episodes may include increased energy. They may also include: 

  • Racing thoughts
  • Impulsive decision making 
  • Unusual talkativeness 
  • Euphoria or irritability
  • Decreased need for sleep

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of mania or depression, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. It is important to recognize that bipolar disorder does not get better without treatment.

How Does Ketamine Therapy for Bipolar Feel?

At Neuro Wellness Spa, we administer low levels of ketamine in a controlled environment.

 

Ketamine can be used an anesthetic during surgery. However, the dosage we use during therapy is much lower. Patients do not lose consciousness or experience hallucinations during their sessions.

 

At such a low dosage, ketamine’s side effects will be very mild. When the drug is abused, individuals could experience a “trip” and hallucinate. However, at Neuro Wellness Spa we use FDA-approved doses and closely monitor our patients to make sure they are comfortable and relaxed.

What can I Expect During IV Ketamine Treatment for Bipolar?

When you are first admitted into a ketamine treatment center,

A physician will begin by reviewing your medical records and consulting with you about your depression. There will also be a physical examination.

A person should be in good health to receive a Ketamine infusion.

However, there are almost no conditions which would prevent a person from being able to receive the treatments. If a patient has high blood pressure or a heart condition, this may need to be rectified before treatment can proceed.

Patients will be asked some important questions.

Such as height, weight, age, medical history and more as part of your treatment assessment. This information helps the physicians and medical staff to prepare your treatment plan. It is important to disclose all information that is requested to ensure a smooth treatment administration.

Ketamine infusions are typically administered on an outpatient basis.

The medication is administered through an IV, and the session lasts between 40-50 minutes.

The environment you encounter during your treatment can have a large impact on your experience of the infusion.

Although it does not affect the treatment outcome, some patients do struggle with anxiety or fright as the drug takes effect. Your physician may lower the lights or take other measures to make the setting more comfortable. You might also choose some relaxing music to help you through the onset phase.

The medication will then be administered through an IV.

Usually inserted into the arm, wrist, or hand. Little pain is involved because the needle is injected very near the surface of the skin. As the ketamine is delivered at the correct dosage, your blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen saturation are all monitored.

You will feel the effects of the ketamine very quickly.

Although you remain aware of the immediate surroundings, you will be unable to do basic things like stand up or hold a normal conversation.

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During the first treatment and perhaps subsequent treatments, patients may experience dizziness, nausea, confusion, loss of appetite, sleeping problems, and even fatigue.

It can be difficult to stand or sit up during or after treatment. If you are receiving outpatient infusion therapy, it is important to have someone accompany you to transport you home after your treatment. A complete list of possible side effects will be provided to you prior to your treatment session. If you experience any side effects, let your doctor know right away.

You may also improve your infusion experience by cultivating the right mindset and emotional state before entering treatment.

Although the side effects are not severe, there is no harm in eliminating as many as you can. Learning how the treatment works can go a long way toward overcoming any anxieties you might have. Also, trust that you have chosen a physician with the training and experience to guide you safely through the process. On a final note, be aware that neither the sensation of treatment nor your mental state during the process meaningfully impacts the therapeutic outcome of the treatment. Research suggests that the depression and anxiety relief arise from long-term physical and chemical changes that take place in the brain in response to the ketamine—not the experience or sensation. This means you will still benefit even if you have some apprehension about the process.

Contact Neuro Wellness Spa

If  you are interested in learning more about  IV ketamine therapy, or would like to speak with one of our experienced psychiatrists, please call us at 1-877-847-3984 or send us a message to schedule a free consultation.

Have unanswered questions or wish to request a consultation?

Give us a call – Our phones are available 7 days a week!

 

1-877-847-3984