*The FDA has not approved intravenous ketamine or NAD+ for the treatment of any psychiatric or pain condition. These articles reference off-label use. Like all medical treatments, the discussed therapies carry risks and benefits. Speak with a doctor at Clarus Health to learn if these therapies may be right for you.

Ketamine Therapy
Nov 27, 2023

Ketamine for PTSD - Here's Why It Works So Well

IV Ketamine Therapy can be powerful in treating the root causes of PTSD, especially when other medications don't work

Ketamine for PTSD - Here's Why It Works So Well

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects millions and often proves resistant to traditional treatments like antidepressants and psychotherapy. Learn how IV Ketamine Therapy can address the root causes of PTSD and offer rapid symptom relief.

Understanding PTSD

PTSD is characterized by persistent, intrusive memories, heightened arousal responses, and distorted cognition, impacting daily life and emotional well-being. Often, patients are in a chronic "survival mode" that causes disorganized and erratic thoughts. Unfortunately, these non-linear thoughts may be misinterpreted as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Understanding the following concepts explains why IV Ketamine can be so powerful in treating PTSD:

  • Memory consolidation
  • Fear extinction
  • Cognitive rigidities and survival mode
  • Comorbid conditions: depression and anxiety

Ketamine can Consolidate Traumatic Memories

Memory consolidation is the process of transforming unstable memories into stable, long-term memories. Traumatic memories may remain unconsolidated for years, and these memories can cause distressing flashbacks and intrusive thoughts. These flashbacks can then trigger hyperarousal and hypervigilance.

Ketamine has a powerful ability to induce consolidation of these traumatic memories. This allows traumatic memories to be "updated" with new, less distressing information or emotional context. This is thanks to Ketamine's powerful ability to catalyze neuroplasticity.

IV Ketamine can Stimulate Fear Extinction

Fear extinction is the process where a person learns to stop feeling scared when they encounter something that used to trigger fear.

For people with PTSD, this can be a major hurdle. Ketamine Infusion Therapy can help with this by making it easier for the brain to form new, healthier pathways without this reflexive fear response. Forming these new neural connections is called neuroplasticity and is a direct benefit of Ketamine therapy for PTSD. This means that ketamine's neuroplasticity can help people with PTSD respond more calmly to things that used to scare them.

Cognitive Rigidity from PTSD's Survival Mode

Cognitive rigidity refers to the difficulty in changing established thought patterns or beliefs.

Patients with PTSD may experience this as being "stuck" in ways of thinking that reinforce the trauma, such as hyper vigilance for danger or a pervasive sense of helplessness. This happens when we are in survival mode for extended periods of time. Unfortunately, this rigidity can make it challenging to adapt to new, safer relationships with traumatic experiences.

The neuroplasticity provided by Ketamine can help "soften" rigid neural patterns in the brain and body. This fosters cognitive flexibility.

Ketamine's Holistic Healing: Treating Co-existing Depression and Anxiety

Many people with PTSD also experience depression and anxiety, conditions that can make the symptoms of PTSD even more difficult to manage. Treating these comorbid conditions is essential for a holistic approach to managing PTSD. IV Ketamine is ideal because it is also highly effective in treating depression and anxiety.

Neuroplasticity + Ketamine: Solving PTSD

Ketamine is believed to help the brain form new connections more easily, a feature known as neuroplasticity. This could help in three ways for someone with PTSD.

  1. It may make it easier to change how a person remembers a traumatic event, making the memory less distressing.
  2. It can help the person unlearn automatic fear responses to certain triggers.
  3. Induce cognitive flexibility.
  4. Treat comorbid depression and anxiety

Start your IV Ketamine Journey to Heal PTSD

Contact Clarus Health for a free consultation to learn if IV Ketamine therapy can help treat the root causes of your PTSD.

Anthony Kaveh MD

Anthony Kaveh MD

Dr. Kaveh is a Stanford and Harvard-trained anesthesiologist and integrative medicine specialist. He has over 800,000 followers on social media and has guided hundreds of patients throughout transformative healing experiences. He is an authority on Ketamine, NAD, and SGB therapies. He is a registered continuing education lecturer in the Bay Area.