Once called Soldier’s Heart or Shell Shock, the understanding and treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has come far since being added to the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980. Whatever it’s called, the sleepless nights, disturbing memories and persistent feelings of alienation associated with this condition affect as many as 3.6 percent of people in the U.S., including many veterans. While there are a range of psychological therapies, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) only help approximately 60 percent of sufferers and cause physical and sexual side effects. However, experiments have exposed the incredible potential of Ketamine infusion therapy to offer relief for soldiers and others.
Ketamine’s creation and original applications
Ketamine’s history is linked to another drug, phencyclidine (PCP), which was first synthesized in the 1920s and also used as an anesthetic. PCP caused enduring and intense “emergence delirium” for some users, which included extreme agitation, disorientation, and even hallucinations. PCP also began to be abused for recreational purposes and was discontinued for human use in 1965. Even before this, the medical community had been seeking alternatives that had fewer side effects.
Ketamine was developed by the Parke-Davis Company in the 1950s and 1960s. It was found to have one-tenth the potency of PCP and human trials began in 1964. They found ketamine was effective as an anesthetic, didn’t last too long, and had minimal side-effects, and most importantly, didn’t cause severe emergence delirium.
By 1970, ketamine was approved by the FDA. It proved safer in a number of ways than existing anesthetics, especially since it did not interfere with breathing reflexes. In fact, it was found so safe, reliable and easy to dose properly that it has become widely used for children.
New Uses for Ketamine Discovered
Over time, this unique compound’s ability to help patients with pain, inflammation, and depression were discovered as well. For instance, the use of ketamine has been found to reduce the need for opiates following surgery.
In terms of pain treatment, Ketamine has been found effective in treating pain caused by a such as fractures, amputations, and burns. Research shows promise for its potential to help cancer patients as well as ketamine’s anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties.
Ketamine’s benefits for patients experiencing serious depression, bipolar disorder, suicidal feelings, and other related conditions have gradually grown over the last few decades. Existing medications for these conditions, such as SSRIs, can take multiple weeks before they are effective and require regular intake to remain so.
In contrast, ketamine can offer extremely rapid relief, sometimes in as little as a couple of hours. Further, it’s shown overall to have a fairly high response rate among patients. Though the medical establishment has been somewhat slow in recognizing and adopting ketamine for these uses, the growing body of research is convincing more and more medical professionals and patients to explore this exciting new treatment path.
Ketamine for PTSD
PTSD is a serious problem for the roughly 24.4 million Americans suffering from the condition, as well as for their family and friends. Given the nature of warfare, military service members face an elevated risk of developing such a condition.
Long used on battlefields and military hospitals, the government has now also recognized the drug’s potential in treating the roughly 30 percent of patients with PTSD and depression that who aren’t being helped by other treatments. With suicide now responsible for more military personnel deaths than combat, the government is helping advance the accessibility and understanding of this game-changing treatment option.
Veterans have been receiving such treatment from the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center as well as at other medical facilities around the country. Though ketamine’s potential benefits for PTSD and depression sufferers have been known for years, the medical establishment was initially resistant to this use.
However, the safety, speed, and effectiveness of ketamine are winning over even the staunchest critics. While SSRIs can take as long as a month to kick in, ketamine can offer relief in as little as an hour. A study from 2014 found ketamine infusion offered a “significant and rapid reduction in PTSD symptom severity.”
There is Help
Whether you’re a military veteran or survivor of other kinds of trauma, ketamine infusion therapy offers a new path to relief for sufferers from PTSD and chronic depression that haven’t found help through other therapies. The effects of these conditions can linger long after more visible wounds have healed. While social stigmas and antiquated outlooks having kept many individuals from seeking help for far too long, growing understanding of the physiological underpinnings of these conditions have started to change taboos both within the military, the medical establishment, and the general population.
Science and medicine have advanced much since the days of the first World War. don’t wait for the government to catch up. Seek treatment through a qualified medical facility and see if ketamine can help. the founder of the Pacific Ketamine Institute, Dr. Michael Steuer, has, through is medical clinics, successfully treated tens of thousands suffering from pain and other conditions for over 35 years. As leaders and pioneers of this and other breakthrough therapies, relief can be as easy as clicking this link and setting up an appointment.