In the overall population, OCD affects 2% of the people. Approximately 50 percent of the time, the symptoms first appear in childhood or adolescence, rarely occurring after age 40.
Treatment can assist you in maintaining control over OCD, which can be upsetting and significantly interfere with your life.
We can use several medications, including the anesthetic ketamine to treat OCD.
Serotonin reuptake inhibitors and exposure and response prevention behavioral therapy, especially when used together, are usually the first-line treatments for obsessive-compulsive
disorder (OCD). Given that recent research indicates that glutamatergic neurotransmission correlates to the etiology of the illness, novel and more efficient treatments are urgently needed.
In these situations, ketamine is an alternative option for treating OCD because it is a potent N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist and glutamate modulator. This article will introduce OCD, its symptoms, a closer look at the treatments available, and how ketamine inhibits OCD and its symptoms.
What is OCD
OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, is a mental health condition characterized by stressful, continuous, obsessive thoughts and repeated compulsive physical or mental behaviors. It is an anxiety disorder. It can seriously impact a person’s well-being and life quality.
An OCD patient typically:
- EExperiences desires, thoughts, or pictures that they feel powerless to control.
- Does not want to experience these bothersome feelings and ideas.
- Feels a great deal of discomfort, maybe accompanied by fear, disgust, uncertainty, or the conviction that something needs to be done in a specific manner.
- Invests considerable time in these obsessions and compulsions, interfering with personal, social, and professional activities.
All types of OCD share the same trigger, which results in intrusive thoughts, distress, and anxiety before leading to compulsive behavior. Obsessions and compulsions associated with OCD can manifest as emotional or physical symptoms. Relationship OCD, pedophilia OCD, and sexual orientation OCD are only a few of the forms of OCD that aren’t covered, but the four that stand out as some of the more frequently observed types are:
- Cleaning/contamination OCD (consistent, overwhelming need to clean and wash)
- Order/symmetry or counting compulsions OCD (repeatedly rearranging objects in specific orders)
- Harm OCD (feeling powerless to stop persistently unwelcome ideas involving acts of violence, such as suicide or hurting other people)
- Hoarding OCD (unable to discard outdated or pointless items)
Symptoms of OCD
Obsessions, compulsive behaviors, or both are symptoms of OCD. These can be upsetting and make it difficult for the person to carry out daily tasks.
While everyone worries, OCD patients may experience overwhelming anxieties and fears, making it challenging to continue their everyday lifestyle.
Obsessions are recurring, undesired, unmanageable, and consistent urges, thoughts, or mental images (such as violent scenes) that appear in the patient’s mind and cause severe anxiety and suffering. Examples include doubts about whether something they have done is good enough or a fear of germs. These concerns can be challenging to eliminate because they frequently appear in patients’ heads. Examples of these obsessions might be:
- Contamination by body fluids, bacteria, dirt, or other contaminants.
- Losing control, such as the anxiety of carrying out a desire to harm oneself or others.
- Fear of losing things, an obsessive concentration on accuracy, or having trouble remembering things are all examples of perfectionism.
- Harm, especially the worry that one might be to blame for a disastrous event.
- Beliefs rooted in religion or superstition, such as a fear of offending God or walking on the pavement’s breaks.
Not all repetitive actions constitute a compulsion. Most people use routines like sleep rituals to assist them in managing daily life.
However, the need to engage in repetitive behavior is strong, recurrent, and time-consuming for someone with OCD. The actions could start to resemble rituals.
Examples of compulsions are:
Handwashing, cleaning, and sanitizing; observing signs and symptoms in the body, tapping unusually; repeating everyday actions, such as rising from a chair; and mental addictions, like revisiting a scene repeatedly.
Several OCD Medications
Did you know that the importance of nutrition in managing OCD is frequently disregarded? The majority of OCD sufferers are unaware that their diet may be contributing to their symptoms.
It is unlikely that nutrition alone will “treat”; OCD. Making certain dietary adjustments, however, may significantly reduce the symptoms of OCD. For instance, following a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables is crucial. It makes sure the body receives the nutrients it needs to function correctly. Furthermore, the person who has OCD should avoid processed foods and sugary snacks, since they can exacerbate OCD symptoms.
It would help if you got enough sleep, exercise, and a balanced diet. These two things are necessary for maintaining the wellness of your body and mind. Thus, you can take steps to manage your OCD by consuming a balanced diet and exercising. We can treat Obsessive-compulsive disorder with several FDA-approved medications, including Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, clomipramine, and ketamine.
Patients with persistent intrusive thoughts can swiftly get relief from the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) with ketamine. Some patients may experience a one- to two-week prolongation of the drug’s effects.
How does ketamine help OCD?
Ketamine is a dissociative drug that alters several brain chemicals to cause detachment from reality and distortion of vision and hearing. Both veterinarians and medical professionals utilize it as an anesthetic.
The biochemistry of how ketamine lessens OCD symptoms is the subject of research. As glutamate levels in the brain are typically higher in OCD patients, inhibiting this neurotransmitter
should diminish the signs and symptoms of this condition. By directly inhibiting NMDA, an essential glutamate receptor, and indirectly blocking AMPA, another glutamate receptor, via a Ketamine metabolite, ketamine moderates the effects of glutamate. The brain’s synapses may rejoin in a non-OCD way due to ketamine’s ability to regenerate them. Professionals give Ketamine at a dose of 0.5mg/kg over 40 minutes, which is identical to the amount used in previous anti-depressant studies of ketamine.
For instance, one study discovered that 10 minutes after being administered with ketamine, obsessions could be reduced or eliminated. According to a different study, persons who receive a single ketamine infusion for OCD can feel better for around two weeks after the injection. This is important for OCD sufferers since ketamine infusions work quickly and effectively to help you better control OCD symptoms. Ketamine’s ability to induce serenity and relaxation in the body and mind at low doses may help lessen or eliminate obsessions.
Some results of ketamine treatment for OCD
Scientists conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with ten participants. All participants had OCD, were unmedicated, and did not have comorbid depression that was
moderate or severe. After that, patients received two intravenous injections, separated by at least a week. Randomization was used to determine which of two infusions—0.5 mg/kg of ketamine in one case and saline in the other—would be administered first.
The symptoms were assessed using the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) at baseline and one week after infusion. After a week, the results revealed that half of the patients had responded to treatment, characterized by at least a 35% decrease in OCD scores on the Y-BOCS. Two weeks after the initial ketamine infusion, the five patients were assessed again, and 40% showed signs of therapeutic response.
Call for professional help if needed
Nowadays, Professionals use ketamine frequently in many mental health facilities to treat OCD in patients. For people who experience severe OCD symptoms, those who have done ERP
unsuccessfully, or those who experience both OCD and severe depression, this may be a helpful alternative. Even if we didn’t treat a person with minor OCD, their symptoms may improve.
However, the symptoms of moderate or severe OCD may not go away without therapy and may even get worse. Although it is a continuous process, ketamine treatment is successful. Anyone
who thinks they might have OCD should get help immediately from a professional. Therefore, don’t postpone; take action now, and call our specialists for professional guidance and assistance.
The first step to living a better life is booking your appointment immediately!