In recent years, ketamine has been used for a variety of purposes including medical care and treating depression. What many people don’t realize is that it can also be used to help with stress levels.
What Is Ketamine?
Ketamine is a general anesthetic that has been used in human and veterinary medicine since the early 1970s. It was discovered in 1962 by Calvin Stevens, a North Carolina-based chemical engineer, while he was working with a compound called phencyclidine.
The drug was developed to replace the use of PCP or “angel dust,” which can have side effects such as sedation and amnesia. Ketamine’s discovery led to its induction into American armed forces’ medical kits within two years.
It is also classified as a Schedule III prescription drug when it is administered by a medical professional for short periods of time. The drug produces anesthesia when it blocks signals from nerves that are sent to the brain during surgery or other procedures.
How Does Ketamine Work To Reduce Stress?
Ketamine is an anesthetic drug that blocks the release of glutamate, which reduces nerve cell activity in your brain. This helps to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.
In addition, different people have different reactions to ketamine, so it doesn’t always produce the same effects every time. The drug has been used as a sedative or recreational drug because of its dissociative state and feelings of euphoria.
In clinical settings, patients who are using the nasal spray form of the drug have reported these side effects:
- Dry mouth
- Feeling nervousness and giddiness
Benefits Of Ketamine To Reduce Stress
You may be wondering what benefits ketamine has to offer if you are trying to reduce stress levels. Its quick-acting effects have been reported in clinical settings when it is being used as a nasal spray. Patients who use this form of the drug have also reported that they don’t experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using it.
- Decreases depression
- Helps anxiety disorders
- May prevent suicide in depressed patients with severe, chronic, or recurring depression
The FDA approved esketamine (a form of ketamine) back in August 2018 for treatment-resistant depression. It’s administered by a health provider at an office visit or clinic, and it’s still under review by the FDA.
- Side effects are similar to taking an anesthesia
- Liver damage, memory impairment, problems concentrating, and addiction
- Can produce psychedelic effects causing hallucinations or loss of sense of time
The Negative Effects Of Ketamine On The Mind And Body
The effects of ketamine are influenced by dosage, form, and frequency. When you use the medication to reduce stress levels, these are some of the effects that can be felt:
- Problems concentrating
Some other side effects include temporary loss of memory, blurred vision, or double vision. You need to do your research about all of these side effects before taking ketamine because they could cause serious problems if you have a health condition that makes them worse.
Ketamine has also been known to produce psychedelic effects. Many people have reported feeling detached from their surroundings, seeing psychedelic colors, or having hallucinations or dreams when using this drug recreationally.
Dizziness, tiredness, poor eyesight, and restlessness are all possible negative effects of ketamine. However, you should avoid this while pregnant or breastfeeding to avoid strong side effects. Repeated use of this medication can slow down your ability to sense pain in your body as well.
When consumed in larger doses, ketamine can lead to elevated blood pressure, serious heart problems, blood vessel damage, organ collapse, and in extreme cases, death.
Further Possible Risks Of Ketamine
Before using ketamine to reduce stress levels, you should talk to your doctor about what risks are involved, says KetamineTherapyHQ.com. This is because there are possible dangers that could occur if you take too much of the medication.
- One-third of people who use ketamine recreationally develop bladder problems, such as incontinence or pain while urinating ·
- You could also become dependent on ketamine if you take it more than once a week for four or more weeks ·
- Overdose is possible if someone takes the medication to get high.
What Is The Average Dosage Of Ketamine To Reduce Stress?
The average dosage of ketamine to reduce stress levels depends on your health and medical history. If you’re healthy, you might be able to use this drug without any issues.
However, because different people have different reactions to the medication, your doctor will probably monitor you closely while prescribing it. You should never self-medicate with ketamine — and don’t abuse it by using higher than the recommended dose — because doing so could lead to serious problems. Always follow your doctor’s instructions when taking ketamine.
How To Use Ketamine To Avoid Side Effects?
Ketamine is available in a variety of forms and can only be prescribed by a medical professional. The FDA has granted esketamine (Spravato) a prescription for the treatment of depression only as a nasal spray. It’s for people who haven’t responded to antidepressant pills, have a major depressive disorder, or are suicidal.
They go on their antidepressants and receive esketamine at a doctor’s office or clinic, where a health care provider monitors them for two hours after the dose.
Patients with treatment-resistant depression typically receive ketamine nasal spray twice a week for 1 to 4 weeks, then once a week for the following 5 to 9 weeks.
Can You Use It On Your Own?
Due to the serious side effects of ketamine, it’s not recommended that you use it without a doctor’s guidance. However, you can try some natural remedies that aren’t known to have any negative or dangerous side effects.
Ketamine and Cognitive Therapy: Does It Really Work?
An integral part of cognitive therapy is to teach patients how the way that they think affects their depression. Some people believe that ketamine can work to help change these thoughts.
One study looked at 50 adults who have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder. All of them completed a battery of 3 tests before being given ketamine, which varied from 75mg to 150 mg for each test. The results were surprising because participants experienced mood improvement within 4 hours after taking ketamine even though it takes weeks or months for antidepressants to take effect.
The problem is that many people are still skeptical about the drug’s effects on cognition. Those who have taken other forms of ketamine for a longer amount of time or used it recreationally may also not see this benefit.
As with many medications, it’s still unclear whether there are any long-term effects on cognition. The side effects of ketamine can include drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, and euphoria. It is important to take all these factors into consideration before you decide if ketamine can help reduce stress levels.
Natural Ways To Reduce Stress
Returning your body and mind back to normal is an important step toward reducing stress levels and this is something you can do on your own using natural remedies. To get started:
Drink Plenty Of Water
Drinking more water is shown to reduce anxiety in some people since it helps them feel better overall. A dry mouth and dehydration are both common signs of stress, drinking water may help keep these issues at bay. If you’d like, add a squeeze of lemon or other natural flavors to make it taste better.
There are plenty of physical effects related to stress, which is why exercising regularly can help reduce certain symptoms. Exercising also gives your mind something to focus on rather than the stressful situation that’s bothering you while boosting endorphins and serotonin levels.
Try Meditation or Yoga
Practicing these activities daily or even several times throughout the week can help to lower cortisol levels in your body while increasing serotonin production. Doing so can help to improve your overall mood and reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.
Spending soe time outdoors has all sorts of benefits for both your mental and physical health including reducing stress levels.
Eat Your Favorite Foods
Some people find that their mood changes when they eat specific types of food or if they avoid other types of food entirely. If you’re not sure where to start, try keeping a food journal for a week or two and take note of how different foods make you feel throughout the day.
Noting which ones leave you feeling better can help you keep track of what to avoid in the future while noting the ones that make your mood worse can help point out what foods are worth eating more often.