top of page
  • Writer's pictureLisa McJunkin, LMFT & COO

Ketamine Therapy: A New Hope for OCD Management

Daydream MD Integrative Health & Wellness

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (more commonly known as OCD) is a mental health condition that includes, among its many symptoms, obsessive thoughts and repetitive behaviors. It may be challenging to understand for someone who doesn't suffer from OCD. Still, for those who have to battle with this condition, it can massively impact daily life, even preventing the person from holding down a job or a relationship in some cases.


People who have OCD will generally find themselves falling into a vicious cycle of intrusive thoughts and compulsions that make it hard to function in a normal way. Although there are traditional treatments like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), some patients are treatment-resistant. They desperately want and need help for OCD.


That's where ketamine therapy can be beneficial – studies are ongoing as to exactly how it can and should be used. Still, various breakthroughs are happening all the time when it comes to mental health disorders like OCD, and ketamine infusion therapy might just be the answer. Read on to find out more.


What Is OCD?

It's a good idea to get an understanding of precisely (or as precisely as anyone can be when it comes to a mental health condition) what OCD is and why it's so important for patients to get good and effective treatment for it.


OCD is a very complex mental health condition that can take over a person's life in a negative way. The challenging thing about OCD (and why it can be difficult not just to treat but to diagnose in the first place) is that there are various types of OCD. They can vary widely, including contamination OCD, which means the patient has a fear of germs and contamination; symmetry OCD, where patients need to arrange objects in a specific order; and intrusive thought OCD, which is when disturbing thoughts take over.


When mental health professionals know what type of OCD their patient has, they can tailor the right treatment plan for them, making sure that the patient's needs and symptoms are taken into account. The good news is there are plenty of treatment options available, including ketamine IV therapy, so there are many avenues to explore.


Traditional OCD Treatment Options

In the past – and many places currently – OCD has been treated with a combination of SSRIs and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). For some patients, that kind of exposure and response prevention technique truly does work and does a great job at helping them get their lives back on track and their OCD under control.


The problem is that some OCD patients don't get the relief they need from these treatments, which is why other ideas have to be considered, and one such idea is ketamine treatment. It is still being researched, but there are excellent signs that it could be an ideal way to help those in need. So, if you are diagnosed with OCD and find that traditional treatment options aren't enough, this could be the next step for you.


Ketamine was once only used as an anesthetic, and it did gain some notoriety because it was used as a party drug (illegally, of course!). However, with strict guidelines in place and lots of focus put on patient care and safety, the truth is that ketamine could have many fantastic benefits as a psychedelic treatment. It works differently compared to other traditional antidepressants because it directly targets the brain's glutamate system instead of taking the serotonin pathway – this can mean that those who didn't see any effect with the standard drugs and treatment might find some relief with ketamine treatment instead.


The Effect Of Ketamine On OCD

Ketamine is a fascinating and potentially hugely beneficial medicine, so it's no wonder that there's a lot of research going into the effect of ketamine on various mental health conditions, including OCD. The results are very promising so far, and studies show that ketamine infusions can quickly reduce the symptoms of OCD and give patients significant relief, especially if they've not responded well (or at all) to other treatments they might have tried.


It's all about ketamine's unique ability to actually target different neurotransmitter systems, making it so effective in treating OCD, depression, and a whole range of other mental health conditions and disorders. It could be precisely the thing that will make all the difference in the world to your life and your future, particularly if you have treatment-resistant OCD, as it can get your obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors under control.


Potential Side Effects

As you can see, ketamine therapy for OCD does show a lot of promise, and it's an exciting thing to take note of and research as much as possible. However, it's also important not to get carried away without being aware of the potential side effects that might come with this kind of treatment. Although it's key to remember that most, if not all, medications come with side effects, and that doesn't mean they're no good; it just means it's wise to know what they are, and you'll be able to make good choices when it comes to your own health as a result.


The best thing to do is to discuss ketamine with your healthcare provider to find out what the side effects are and how they might specifically affect you. Some of the common side effects of ketamine include increased blood pressure and heart rate, nausea, and potentially dissociation, so it might be that this OCD treatment wouldn't be a safe option for everyone, and that's why a professional must always be involved in any ketamine IV therapy treatment.


Supporting Someone With OCD  

If you have a loved one who has been diagnosed with OCD, it's important to understand how to offer support and understanding. One good place to start is by learning about the condition so you know about the symptoms and how your loved one might be feeling. While you won't be able to empathize directly if you're not going through it, learning what you can will definitely help.


You can also learn specifically about how to help someone with OCD. One thing you can do is encourage them to explore various treatment options, including ketamine infusion therapy if that would be something that could work for them. By being there to listen and guide your loved one, you can make a huge difference in their OCD treatment, recovery, and even their lives.



Ketamine therapy really could be an amazing and ground-breaking new treatment for OCD and other forms of mental health problems. For treatment-resistant people who haven't been able to find any relief in any other way, including more traditional treatments, ketamine infusions could be something to try – they might change your life for the better.


Although ketamine does come with potential side effects and there's a lot to consider, the fact that it works so fast and uses a different method compared to other treatments means that it can be highly effective in treating OCD. If you think it might be something that could benefit you, please don't hesitate to get in touch and discuss your OCD treatment with us. 

Ketamine Therapy a New Hope for OCD Management - Daydream MD.

10 views0 comments


bottom of page