Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) causes challenging thoughts and behaviors that can consume your day and take away your ability to enjoy life. Patrick Oliver, MD, at MindPeace Clinics in Richmond, Arlington, and Norfolk, Virginia, understands the difficulties you face due to OCD and offers advanced treatment in the form of ketamine infusion therapy. To learn if ketamine can help relieve your OCD, call the office that’s closest to you or schedule an appointment online today.
People diagnosed with OCD experience obsessions, or uncontrollable thoughts, and compulsions, which are behaviors you feel compelled to perform following an obsession.
Obsessive thoughts create extreme anxiety. Ritualistic compulsive behavior develops in an effort to stop the thoughts and relieve the anxiety.
While compulsions may temporarily stop your obsessions, the thoughts will return. As a result, OCD is an ongoing cycle of unwanted thoughts and the urgent need to act out behaviors.
Some of the most common obsessions include:
Compulsions often follow the theme of your obsession. For example, you may frequently wash your hands to eliminate germs or rearrange items on a shelf even though they’re in perfect order.
When you have OCD, you can’t disengage from repetitive thoughts, and you can’t stop from following through with your behavior. As a result, OCD causes significant distress and takes up a lot of time during the day, interfering with your normal daily activities.
Mental health professionals treat OCD with psychotherapy and medications that target specific symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia. However, conventional treatments don’t always help. That’s when you may benefit from ketamine infusions.
Ketamine is an FDA-approved anesthetic medication, but when it’s infused in sub-anesthetic doses, it can alleviate OCD, as well as the depression and anxiety that often accompany OCD.
Ketamine acts directly on receptors in your brain, where it increases levels of a brain chemical called glutamate. Since glutamate abnormalities contribute to OCD, your symptoms improve as ketamine restores balance.
After an initial consultation to evaluate your medical history and determine if you’re a good candidate for ketamine therapy, Dr. Oliver administers ketamine using an intravenous (IV) infusion.
A series of treatments produces optimal results, so Dr. Oliver schedules you for several infusions a week for about three to six weeks, depending on your individualized treatment plan.
During your treatment, you relax in a reclining chair, while Dr. Oliver starts the infusion and monitors your heart rate and blood pressure. Once your infusion is finished, you’ll need to get a ride home because you can’t drive for 24 hours.
To learn how ketamine can help your OCD, call MindPeace Clinics or book an appointment online. The team serves patients in Richmond, Arlington, Washington D.C., and Norfolk, Virginia.