Ketamine Treatment for OCD and Intrusive Thoughts
Intrusive thoughts can be mild or they can be overwhelming. Though they happen to everyone from time to time, when they begin to fill your mind on a regular basis, interfering with normal activities and leading to compulsions, you may be suffering from a condition known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Many joke about someone who likes cleanliness and order as ‘being OCD’, but this is far from the truth. Those suffering with OCD experience a variety of distressing thoughts about different subjects, and these thoughts often create compulsions - repetitive or unwanted actions a person is compelled to take to try to relieve anxiety or the intrusive thoughts.
Sadly, many suffering with undiagnosed OCD don’t tell their doctors or therapists about their struggles. Sometimes, the unwanted, sudden thoughts can be violent or disturbing, causing feelings of shame, self-judgment, and embarrassment. If you’re experiencing distressing thoughts, please speak up. There’s nothing shameful about asking for help. A doctor, therapist, or one of our clinicians, knowledgeable about mental health conditions and ketamine therapy, wants to help.
Symptoms of OCD
Symptoms of OCD can occur on their own or appear alongside other mental health struggles. Other linked conditions are post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, and others.
Generally, OCD is connected to the following categories of intrusive thoughts and compulsions:
- Hoarding - an obsessive fear of losing possessions or items
- Contamination - distressing thoughts about germs and compulsions to clean even after something was already washed or organized
- Symmetry - the need to keep everything ‘just right’ to prevent bad things from happening or relieve anxiety
- Harm - thoughts of violence or hurting yourself or others
- Other Intrusive Thoughts or Compulsions - fixations on death, thinking about inappropriate sexual acts, negative self-talk, obsessing over personal safety or the safety of others
Please remember that intrusive thoughts aren’t warning signs or a reflection of who you are as a person. They are simply thoughts, which can come and go through our minds all day. Problems arise when thoughts become ‘stuck’ and create so much distress that our wellbeing and life is then affected. Even though you may have no desire to act on intrusive thoughts, and may try to resist compulsions, they can take over, hurting your quality of life and relationships.
Help is available.
Online Ketamine Therapy for OCD
Traditional treatment for OCD involves anxiety medications and antidepressants to help regulate GABA and Serotonin levels, hoping this will curb intrusive thinking. But these treatments don’t work for everyone. Generally, less than a third of patients will find relief from traditional medications. Some find relief through counseling, but it can take years of consistent effort to see progress.
Ketamine therapy is one of the newest treatments being studied for OCD. The increased neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to create new neural pathways, may offer help for troubling obsessive and compulsive thoughts and behaviors, especially for those who haven’t found success with other options. Research suggests that those with OCD have increased and persistent neural activity in their brains, a possible source of unwanted thoughts. These recurring thoughts become strengthened in our neurocircuitry, which accounts for the difficulty in deviating from the obsessive thinking patterns. Ketamine treatment may help reset our previously strengthened neural pathways, calming overactive neural activity so patients may finally be able to put unwanted thoughts to rest. At times, OCD symptoms have been shown to significantly decrease after only one or two treatments. If symptoms are very severe, once weekly sessions have been proven to be safe and effective
An additional benefit of ketamine treatment is the comfort and convenience. Online ketamine therapy can be done in your own home with the virtual guidance of a trained clinician, at your own pace. No need to travel to the office, schedule a ride home, or overcome the many mental obstacles we may face with OCD. Prescription ketamine troches will be delivered to your home and treatment all completed virtually.
If you’re ready to explore the options for improving your mental wellbeing and taking a step towards relieving intrusive thoughts and compulsions, start with our simple assessment. See if you're a candidate for our affordable online ketamine therapy. This treatment might finally allow your mind to reset and relax, allowing better thought patterns, better quality of life, and a Better U.
Dr. Sam Zand
Co-Founder & Chief Medical Officer
Touro University of Osteopathic Medicine
Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Sam Zand utilizes expertise in neuroplasticity to help patients address the root cause of their problems and establish new ways of thinking. After initial psychedelic medicine research at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Zand began treating patients clinically with ketamine in 2019. Dr. Zand teaches psychedelic medicine rotations to psychiatry residents, medical students, and is an advocate and spokesperson for the FDA-approved esketamine, Spravato. Training includes: general psychiatry, addiction recovery, psychotherapy, and has a passion for psychedelic therapy, crisis intervention, relationship counseling, and integrated spiritual therapy. He has merged his passions for lifestyle medicine, performance coaching, and entrepreneurship to establish platforms that build leaders and healers in the community. Crisis Intervention Training for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, assisted with developing the Mental Skills department for the San Fransisco Giants, and recently initiated clinical trials at U.C.S.F. Dr. Zand is dedicated to increasing education to end the stigma that surrounds mental health topics, advancing the integration of psychiatry and psychedelic medicine, and making clinically proven, innovative breakthrough therapies more accessible for all.