Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common, chronic, and long-lasting mood disorder characterized by uncontrollable, recurring thoughts and/or behaviors that interfere with daily activities and cause significant distress. OCD has traditionally been treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) — a form of psychotherapy — and multiple classes of medication, including select serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and antipsychotics. But those medications don’t always work, and it can take weeks before you know if they’re right for you. We tackle OCD treatment with a new approach: ketamine therapy.
Ketamine has a successful history of use in the field of medicine due to the drug’s analgesic properties, but clinical trials and research points to ketamine infusions as effective for treating a wide range of mood disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder. For those with OCD, finding successful treatment options can be challenging — our ketamine clinic in Gainesville, FL, offers effective and lasting therapy that can treat a number of conditions that are resistant to traditional forms of therapies and treatments. Contact us to schedule OCD treatment today.
Living With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Individuals diagnosed with OCD may attempt to either ignore or stop their obsessions, which only increases their levels of distress and anxiety. Ultimately, the individual feels driven to perform compulsive acts in an attempt to ease their stress. Despite best efforts, compulsive acts return, which leads to ritualistic behavior and the vicious cycles of OCD. This mood disorder often centers around specific themes, such as the fear of being contaminated with germs. An individual with OCD may ease their contamination fears by compulsively washing their skin until it becomes sore, chapped, and irritated.
OCD causes are not fully understood. Main theories, however, include biology, genetics, and environmental factors. The primary risk factors of OCD include having parents or other family members with obsessive-compulsive disorder, traumatic or stressful life events, and other mental health disorders, such as anxiety disorders, depression, and substance abuse. OCD usually includes both obsessions and compulsions, but it is possible for an individual to have only obsession symptoms or only compulsion symptoms. Those with OCD may or may not realize that their obsessions and compulsions are excessive or unreasonable. Obsessions and compulsions, however, often consume a significant amount of time and interfere with the person’s daily routine, social life, and work, among other aspects of their life.
Among the most prevalent obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms is obsessions, which are repeated, persistent, and unwanted thoughts, urges, or mental images that are intrusive and cause anxiety or distress. Those with OCD obsessions may try to ignore them or get rid of them by performing a compulsive behavior or ritual. Obsessions typically have themes, such as fear of contamination or being dirty, organizing items in an orderly and symmetrical fashion, aggressive thoughts about harming oneself or others, and unwanted thoughts with aggressive, sexual, or religious subjects. Obsession signs and symptoms examples may include the following.
- Doubts that you have locked the door or turned off the stove
- Severe distress when objects are not orderly or facing a certain direction
- Distressing thoughts of recurring sexual images
- Unwanted thoughts about shouting obscenities or acting inappropriately
- Fear of being contaminated or touching objects others have touched
Compulsions are characterized as repetitive behaviors that an individual feels driven to perform. Repetitive behaviors act as mechanisms that prevent or reduce anxiety related to obsessions, but they typically bring no pleasure and offer only temporary relief from anxiety. Patients may have rituals that help them control their anxiety during obsessive thoughts — compulsions are excessive and generally aren’t related to the problem they are intended to fix. Compulsion themes include washing and cleaning, checking, counting, organization, following strict routines, or demanding reassurances. Examples of compulsions include the following.
- Checking doors repeatedly to ensure they are locked
- Checking the stove repeatedly to ensure it’s off
- Counting in certain patterns
- Washing your hands until skin becomes raw
- Arranging items to face the same way
Ketamine Infusion Therapy For OCD
An innovative type of OCD treatment, ketamine infusion works when ketamine binds to the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptors and blocks the receptors’ abilities to communicate with other parts of the brain, treating the primary symptoms associated with OCD and prompting the brain to begin an ongoing repair process. Ketamine targets synaptic brain receptors, mediating the brain’s response to stress and the formation of OCD obsessions and compulsions. Low-dose ketamine infusions are especially effective for treating a wide range of mood disorders, including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression.
OCD Treatment In Gainesville, FL
At Florida Mind Health Center, we strive to provide each patient with high-quality, personalized care. Ketamine infusion therapy is an effective form of obsessive-compulsive disorder treatment that offers long-term results after just a few infusions. Our ketamine clinic offers a complete range of treatment plans that are designed to accommodate an array of needs. If you struggle with an obsessive-compulsive disorder or another type of mood condition, contact us today to find out how you can benefit from treatments with ketamine.