Why is Ketamine Therapy Used for Depression? Photo

Why is Ketamine Therapy Used for Depression?

Each of us is a complex being. And, if you’ve ever struggled with depression, you know that your experience is unique to your history, circumstances and personality. In this same way, there’s no one-size-fits-all depression treatment. So if you’ve tried therapies in the past that just didn’t seem to work, that doesn’t mean your journey to depression recovery can’t still be successful.

Over the last few decades, ketamine-assisted therapy (KAT) has emerged as a groundbreaking option for people struggling with treatment-resistant depression. Today, studies by mental health and medical professionals show ketamine to be a safe and effective alternative therapy for numerous mental health conditions.

We know the struggle with depression can feel hopeless at times. But we also know that you already have the strengths you need to overcome it. At The Sanctuary, we offer a variety of therapies that empower you to embrace your gifts and unlock your potential to heal. And if you’re a candidate, ketamine-assisted treatment is just one of the tools you can use to create opportunities for profound change. 

The Sanctuary delivers ketamine-assisted treatment in a very different way from outpatient KAT clinics. Instead of using KAT as a standalone experience, it’s fully integrated into our holistic depression treatment program as part of your complete healing journey. 

Keep reading to learn more about ketamine therapy and how it can help you make the change you’ve been looking for.

Why Antidepressants Don’t Work for Some People

Today, antidepressants are still considered the first-line treatment for depression. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a common type of depression medication. SSRIs (like Prozac and Zoloft) can increase levels of serotonin, a key hormone in regulating mood. 

It’s widely believed that chemical imbalances in the brain decrease serotonin levels. But, some studies report that there’s no evidence that “chemical imbalances” cause mood disorders like depression. And emerging research even shows that SSRIs may actually trigger chemical imbalances by pruning away the brain’s serotonin receptors. So if antidepressant medications haven’t worked for you in the past, this could be a reason why.

Ketamine therapy offers a much different approach than antidepressants. In 2019, the FDA approved a derivative of ketamine for treatment-resistant depression. This opened the door for more people to benefit from this form of therapy. 

When administered in a safe, clinical environment, ketamine can even promote the growth of new neural connections. One recent study on the effects of ketamine in cases of SSRI-resistant depression showed that after a low dose of ketamine, patients had more serotonin receptors in their brains. These receptors allow your natural serotonin to “stick,” essentially helping you feel better.

Now, countless clinical trials and studies continue to test and prove the safety of ketamine therapy as an effective treatment for severe depression. 

Ketamine’s Power to Physically Change Your Brain

The other most common treatment for depression is talk therapy. But people with treatment-resistant depression are often stuck in negative thought patterns that make it hard to progress with talk therapy alone. 

To make the kind of life changes that depression recovery requires, you need to get to the root cause of your problems. These are often formed in your subconscious. Without addressing problems on this level, it’s hard to know what’s actually causing depression, let alone talk about it. That’s where ketamine therapy comes in. 

Ketamine allows you to safely and freely explore your subconscious. This is because it increases access to new parts of your memory and emotions. Part of what makes ketamine unique is that it actually increases our brain’s neuroplasticity. Put simply, neuroplasticity means the brain can change, repair itself and even form new connections. And all of this helps you create new thought patterns to serve you better in life. 

The main issue with outpatient ketamine therapy clinics is that, often, people don’t receive follow-up therapy after treatment. As such, they’re left with a doorway open to their subconscious without an outlet to process their feelings.

We don’t let that happen at The Sanctuary. After every KAT experience, you’ll attend a process group to close the session. And the following day, you’ll meet one-on-one with your therapist to explore what came up for you. Many of our clients find that KAT allows them to get to the heart of their issues. They’re then able to bring those new perspectives into their therapy work. This helps them gain a new perspective, rather than cycling through the same old patterns.

Accelerating Your Depression Treatment with Ketamine

For some, 30 days of treatment may seem like a long time. But the reality is that once you’re in treatment, you’ll find it goes by very quickly. At The Sanctuary, we want to make the most of every moment you spend with us. And to do that, you’ll need to get to the root of your issues. This is what allows you to truly change.

Research shows that people often see transformative results after multiple KAT sessions in a short period (about two weeks). And our clients find that in this time, they can begin to see a way forward, out of their depression.

Ketamine’s potential lies in its ability to catalyze individual transformation,” writes Michael Ziegler, D.Min., in a review of The Ketamine Papers: Science, Therapy, and Transformation. “The primary effect of ketamine seems to be its ability in recipients to shift their awareness from one fixated mind-state or perspective to a new one. Hopefully and usually, this kind of paradigm shift leads to a more enlightened view of their human condition.”

Our clients notice this acceleration, too. In fact, many say that KAT helped them make breakthroughs earlier in the treatment process, and therefore make the most of their time at The Sanctuary. And some even report that they learned what it felt like to love for themselves for the first time. 

The Sanctuary’s Holistic Ketamine Treatment for Depression 

At The Sanctuary, ketamine-assisted treatment can be an integral part of your personalized program. But we don’t just treat it as an add-on. Instead, we synergize therapies so you can reap the full benefits of their combined effect.

If you and your treatment team decide KAT is the right course of action, you will:

  • Participate in sessions in a comfortable, ceremonial space with a small number of other clients receiving ketamine therapy
  • Mindfully set your intentions at the start of each KAT session 
  • Receive your ketamine treatment from licensed medical professionals
  • Be accompanied by additional staff members for physical and emotional support during your experience
  • Join a light sharing circle session to conclude the session
  • Enjoy private meals with your fellow KAT peers 
  • Speak with a therapist one-on-one about your KAT journey

Everything from the setting your treatment takes place in, to the nutrient-dense meal you eat afterwards maximizes the healing benefits of your ketamine experience.

Discover Healing from Depression with Ketamine-Assisted Treatment

Sometimes depression can feel like an endless dark tunnel. But we’re here to shine a light. Other options are available. 

At The Sanctuary, you can now make our integrated ketamine-assisted treatment program part of your healing journey. 

Contact us today to learn more.