Ketamine is a chemical substance formerly best known as a party drug and anesthetic. In recent years, however, research has shown great promise in using small, controlled doses of ketamine in a clinical setting to treat severe depression. It has been shown to be especially effective at treating depression that has not responded to anti-depressant medication or other forms of treatment. If you are considering trying ketamine therapy for depression, here are three things to keep in mind:
Know What to Expect During Your Session
During your ketamine therapy session, you will relax in a comfortable chair or bed with a soft blanket. The drug acts quickly, and you will soon feel a sense of mild euphoria and well-being. Some ketamine therapy patients also experience a dissociative, out-of-body feeling that most describe as pleasant. There will be staff on hand to help you if you experience anything unpleasant. Your ketamine therapy session should last about an hour, and the positive effects will last long after your session ends.
Make Plans for the Day Of
You may feel groggy and a bit out of it for a few hours or the rest of the day after your ketamine therapy appointment. For this reason, it's a good idea to take the entire day off of work, even though the appointment itself isn't that long. Plan to go home and rest and relax until the next day. It's also important to arrange for a ride home from the appointment instead of driving yourself, much like you would after another medical or dental procedure.
Plan to Save Up For The Treatment
In most cases, ketamine therapy is not covered by insurance, though some people have had luck getting part of the treatment reimbursed afterward. Since this is still a new treatment for depression, most insurance companies have not gotten on board yet with covering it in the same way they might cover standard antidepressants or therapy. Ketamine therapy typically costs several hundred dollars per session, and some people need more than one session. For this reason, it's a good idea to call around for pricing and plan to save up to pay for the treatment yourself.
If you think you are a good candidate for ketamine infusion therapy, start by contacting a ketamine infusion clinic or center in your area. They will be able to walk you through the process of signing up as a patient.