Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a chronic mental health disorder comprised of two separate elements – obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions are recurrent and unwanted thoughts, impulses or mental images that produce deep anxiety, fear, repulsion and/or doubt in the individual experiencing them. They interfere with their daily life by absorbing their time and keeping them from engaging in other activities that they truly enjoy doing. Examples of common obsessions include: the need to have things in perfect order, a fear of contamination, unwanted thoughts of aberrant sexual acts, difficulty determining whether or not to keep or discard items and a fear of losing self-control. Most people with OCD realize that these obsessions are irrational but they are unable to stop themselves from having them.
As mentioned previously, these obsessions produce a number of undesirable feelings. In an attempt to minimize these sensations, many people with OCD perform what are known as compulsions. These are repeated behaviors or thoughts done to momentarily alleviate their obsessions. Like obsessions, though the person suffering from OCD does not want to engage in their compulsions but they are unable to stop themselves. Obsessions are often time-consuming and get in the way of the person’s normal daily activities. OCD requires so much attention that those suffering from this disorder often have difficulty focusing on anything else. An example of an obsession-compulsion would be to repeatedly check the alarm clock (compulsion) to calm one’s fear of it not going off (obsession), thus preventing them from falling asleep. Another example would be to avoid going to the doctor’s office (compulsion) out of a fear of becoming contaminated (obsession), thus, preventing one from receiving the proper medical care.
The obsessions and compulsions experienced by those suffering from OCD can be truly debilitating. The constant anxiety that many people with OCD endure can wreak havoc on their lives. It can impair their ability to work, take care of their family and live their life to the fullest.
Common medications used to treat OCD include certain anti-depressants that increase serotonin levels inside the brain (i.e. Prozac, Zoloft and Anafranil). In addition to medication, a specific type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is widely used to treat OCD. It utilizes a specialized technique aimed at decreasing the anxiety associated with obsessions, ultimately leading to symptom relief. Even with these standardized treatments, however, many people continue to suffer from their OCD symptoms.
Fortunately, there is now another treatment option for people suffering from OCD called ketamine! Ketamine is an anesthetic drug that has been around since the Vietnam War. Researchers have shown that approximately 50% of people suffering from near constant (> 8 hours/day) OCD symptoms found significant relief with ketamine treatments. In addition, these results frequently begin to take effect within hours to days, instead of weeks to months.
RADIANCE KETAMINE CLINIC is proud to offer ketamine treatments for those suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is always recommended to combine ketamine treatment with CBT or ERP because studies show that these therapies complement each other greatly.