Treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) with Ketamine

There is a widespread misconception about what obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) actually is and what it’s like for people who really suffer from it. It’s common to see phrases like “You’re so OCD” and “I love a clean house! so OCD”. The truth is that obsessive-compulsive disorder isn’t just an eccentricity or habit. Every time OCD is trivialized another person suffering will decide to keep quiet because others think their illness is nothing.

In reality, obsessive-compulsive disorder is a serious anxiety disorder that affects approximately 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children in the U.S. “Severe OCD takes such a toll on patients,” says Carolyn Rodriguez, MD, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford.

What Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

A medical diagnosis of OCD is the presence of obsessions and/or compulsions that are distressing, feel out of control, and disrupt a person’s daily life for more than one hour a day. Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that cause distressing emotions such as anxiety or disgust. The disruption to everyday life caused by these intrusive thoughts cannot be resolved by logic or reasoning. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that a person feels compelled to perform to prevent or reduce the distress caused by the obsession. In the most severe cases, a constant repetition of rituals may fill the day, making a normal routine impossible.

Doctors aren’t sure why some people’s anxiety disorder develops into OCD. There is no cure, but the right treatment and therapy can help manage the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) typically take 2 to 4 months to work, if they are going to work at all, and often provide only limited symptom relief. However, the SSRIs (for example Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Zoloft, etc.) are still the only medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. If a patient’s symptoms persist then stronger antipsychotic drugs may be prescribed such as Abilify or Risperdal. These too only work in some patients and often carry significant side effects.

Ketamine – Proven Effective in Combatting OCD

In contrast, multiple studies over the past ten years have shown ketamine as a highly effective treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder1. Ketamine infusions work almost immediately and with fewer side effects. These clinical studies conclusively demonstrated the anti-obsessional effects of ketamine infusion and showed relief from a single infusion typically lasting at least one week. This explains why patients receiving the Ketamine Wellness Centers’ maintenance program can finally experience sustained relief from being controlled by their OCD.

 

Find out if ketamine is right for you

Seattle/Federal Way, WA Patient

Living with a rare nerve disease called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, is a challenge on its own. But finding compassionate and caring medical professionals to help sometimes seems absolutely impossible. That’s how I was beginning to feel. Until I walked into the Ketamine Wellness Center, located in Seattle, on March 1st, 2022. I lost hope. …

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Seattle/Federal Way, WA Patient

I have suffered from nearly total body CRPS for over 20 years. I’ve had numerous surgeries and procedures to manage the neurological, blow torch pain. Much to my disappointment, they were only temporary and the CRPS continued to spread leaving me in a wheelchair or bedridden. My quality of life had become sadly inadequate. My …

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Seattle/Federal Way, WA Patient

This is the place to go to! I promise you will have an amazing experience like me. Winston & Tara are very friendly and down-to-earth. They are caring and genuine. They make sure you are comfortable during your session. I was somewhat nervous coming in for my treatment but that quickly went away after I met both …

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Seattle/Federal Way, WA Patient

I came to Ketamine Wellness Center in Federal way as a last resort. I have been experiencing debilitating depression and anxiety for years and conventional therapies were not successful for me. I must say that from intake to the first treatment, I was expertly cared for. I would like to highlight the clinical administrator, Winston …

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Houston, TX Patient

I’m writing prior to my daughter’s treatment to say how wonderful the patient liaison, Chera, has been in setting up the treatments for my daughter. Right from our first call, Chera has been so empathetic and so very thorough in helping us to get authorized for the treatment to address my daughters’ chronic pain. She …

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Chicago, IL Patient

Chera in the AZ office was amazing. She was easy to work with and got all my online paperwork together with the tests, plus the two online web video assessments with medical staff for the prior treatment authorization, all on the same day. All the staff at Naperville KWC are great. They are very kind …

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Mesa, AZ Patient

This is a very professional and caring center. Chera, the Patient Liaison, picked up the phone right away and was so helpful and empathetic when I first contacted her. She was patient and showed sincere concern by following up with an email when I was unsure whether to proceed. With her help, I was able …

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Chicago, IL Patient

From the first phone call, I had to my last treatment session I experienced nothing but compassion, respect, and kindness. My life so far has changed drastically. The treatment for Chronic Pain has worked far better than I could have hoped for! I feel like a different person who has a brand new life. A …

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Tucson, AZ Patient

The kindness and patience of the small staff at this location was simply amazing. They could not have possibly treated me nicer, or with more consideration. This was the third ketamine infusion I have received, and it was by far the best experience. The previous two were with other clinics. I can’t thank them enough …

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Sources:

1Rodriguez, C., Kegeles, L., Levinson, A. et al. Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial of Ketamine in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Proof-of-Concept. Neuropsychopharmacol 38, 2475–2483 (2013).