Ketamine therapy and its derivative, Spravato®, have emerged as promising treatments for individuals struggling with major depression and other mental health conditions. These innovative therapies offer new hope for those who have not found relief with traditional antidepressants. If you’re considering ketamine treatment, it’s essential to prepare yourself adequately for this potentially life-changing experience.
In this blog, we will explore the key aspects of preparing for a ketamine therapy session, while incorporating insights from Dr. Arif Noorbaksh, a psychiatrist at Heading Health in Dallas, Texas, and Austin, Texas.
Understanding Ketamine Therapy
Ketamine therapy involves the controlled administration of ketamine, a dissociative anesthetic, to induce an altered state of consciousness, which many compare to a psychedelic experience, and interacts with the brain through the glutamate system which is different than many antidepressants which address serotonin reuptake. Spravato®, a nasal spray formulation of esketamine, a variant of ketamine, has been approved by the FDA for treatment-resistant depression specifically.
Ketamine introduces windows of neuroplasticity, even after the immediate dissociative effects have worn off, empowering patients to reexamine thoughts, behaviors, and patterns that are proving detrimental to their mental health. This aspect of Ketamine therapy is one reason why very often those who are seeking Ketamine treatment are also seeing a therapist who understand their treatment and can help them integrate it into their therapy sessions, optimizing results.
Dr. Noorbaksh also explains, “Ketamine and Spravato® appointments typically last a couple hours. Feeling safe, comfortable, and prepared is important for the process.”
The purpose is to promote psychological exploration, facilitate emotional healing, and alleviate symptoms of depression and thus feeling safe, informed, and well cared for during your treatment not only makes the experience more pleasant but it actually aides in the effectiveness of treatment itself.
Creating a Safe and Comfortable Environment
Dr. Noorbaksh emphasizes the significance of ensuring a safe, comfortable environment during ketamine therapy sessions.
He advises, “Some people feel a little queasy from treatment. It’s helpful for a patient to eat earlier in the day to avoid hunger, but also not within two hours before treatment to reduce nausea.”
To enhance your comfort, he suggests bringing along comfort items such as comfortable clothes, an eye mask, a favorite playlist with headphones, and even a pillow and blanket. These items can help you relax and feel at ease as you allow the medication to take effect.
Addressing Coffee, Alcohol, Medications and Other Substances:
Dr. Noorbaksh also highlights the importance of discussing medications and substances with your healthcare provider prior to undergoing ketamine therapy. He shares, “At Heading we have a full consultation to determine appropriate treatment. Also prior to Ketamine and Spravato® treatments we advise patients regarding alcohol and caffeine use, and other medications – including over the counter medications – to ensure safety before, during, and after treatment.”
Open communication with your healthcare provider about your current medications, including over-the-counter drugs, alcohol, and caffeine, is crucial to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the treatment. It is helpful to have your medical history, medication list, known allergies, and a willingness to discuss substance use on hand when connecting with a doctor about Ketamine therapy.
Proper Planning for Transportation
Dr. Noorbaksh stresses the importance of arranging safe transportation to and from your ketamine therapy sessions. He advises patients to make suitable arrangements, as they will not be able to drive after treatment.
“Patients should leave their own car at home, make safe travel arrangements as they cannot drive after treatment, and must get a good night’s rest before resuming normal activities, including driving, the next day,” he explains.
By planning ahead, you prioritize your well-being and the safety of yourself and others.
Ketamine Therapy in Austin, Texas, and Dallas, Texas
If you’re considering ketamine therapy in the Austin, Texas, or Dallas, Texas areas, Heading Health offers comprehensive treatment options including Ketamine therapy, psychiatry and medication management, and psychotherapy.
With the guidance of experienced professionals like you can embark on a transformative journey toward mental wellness with a care plan personalized to meet your needs.