OCD

What Causes OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a situation where someone has intruding thoughts that compels them to perform certain actions. This mental health condition manifests itself in repeated actions that are sometimes unnecessary.

For example, someone might be stepping out of the house and continuously think that they haven’t locked the door when in fact they have. This repeated doubt can make the action of double-checking the door a ritual.

A common thing with people who suffer from OCD is that when they try to block the intrusive thoughts and overcome the obsession, they have little success. While the condition is usually associated with both obsession and compulsion, experts say that it can be either or both

Causes of OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder has not been pinned down to a specific cause. However, there are conditions that can contribute to as well as aggravate the condition. Some of these factors include:

Genetics

Obsessive-compulsive disorder seems to run in some families. When an ancestor has suffered from the condition, somebody in the following generations may be more likely to develop OCD. This is why medical health practitioners would require family history to understand the cause of certain conditions, including OCD.

Brain abnormalities

Abnormalities in the brain and thought process can also lead to OCD. For example, excessive activities in the front part of the brain have been recognized to be a contributing factor to the causes of OCD.  

Environment

Some environmental factors like trauma, stress, abuse, and even dirtiness can contribute to causing the condition.

Life experiences

People who have experienced life challenges like bullying, neglect, abuse, or bereavement are most likely to develop OCD.

Underlying conditions

People with underlying health conditions like anxiety, depression, and addiction are prone to developing OCD.

People who are anxious about situations and what can happen next can develop obsessive behaviors. This happens when they perform actions they intend to make them avoid the obsession but only leads to more obsession. Addiction to things or behaviors can also lead to obsession.

Personality traits

People who are highly critical of themselves and others are more prone to developing OCD. People who are also methodical and meticulous in their activities are also prone to developing the condition.

Symptoms of OCD

Symptoms of obsessive thoughts can include:

  • Being anxious about safety such as the fear of contracting a disease
  • Fear of having things fall apart or get out of control
  • Doubting having performed an action. In severe situations, continuously needing to reconfirm things.
  • Thinking of avoiding situations that can lead to obsession

Symptoms of compulsion can include:

  • Constantly checking, for instance, on their baby 
  • Recounting things and numbers
  • Strict adherence to specific routines
  • Repeated cleaning and washing
  • Mandatory orderliness. Preferring things to be in a specific order.

These obsessions and compulsions may occur to different degrees in different people. Some people experience the condition in their teenage years but it can also occur in adults as well as in childhood years. 

People who suffer from the condition usually notice the symptoms gradually, although some have records of sudden occurrences. Obsessive-compulsive disorder can last a lifetime. People can have severe conditions, mild manifestations. Some conditions can be severe to the extent of crippling.

To avoid severe cases of OCD and the possible complications that can arise from untreated cases, it is advisable to seek medical help if early signs of it are noticed. The best approach is to contact a professional healthcare provider to ensure you get the right treatment and advice. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a widely recommended management option.

Self-help is also effective as it involves tracking the triggers and responses to aid avoiding their occurrences in the future. Patients can also learn to resist the compulsions. This calls for self-will and motivation. If done consistently, you will record positive changes in no time, even in cases where the compulsions have become rituals.

Ketamine is also helpful in treating OCD. This modern method provides fast relief from symptoms a few hours after it is administered. The effect of the drug can last for up to two weeks for some patients. This treatment is highly recommended for its efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Conclusion

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a condition that can be aggravated by different circumstances including genetics, brain abnormalities, life experiences, underlying conditions, environment and personality traits. However, time and   the condition. Ketamine is helpful in calming the symptoms of OCD and is effective within hours of being used.

Suicide

Which Psychiatric Disorders Can Cause Suicidal Ideation?

Many things can cause suicidal ideation in people – from the feeling of lost hope and life difficulties to psychiatric disorders. Suicidal ideation does not happen by chance – there are always underlying causes that make people start thinking of suicide.

What are the psychiatric disorders that can cause suicidal ideation?

Psychiatric disorders are medical conditions that affect behavior, thinking, and mood. The following psychiatric disorders have a common link with suicidal ideation:

  • Bipolar disorder 
  • Depression 
  • Schizophrenia 
  • Anxiety disorders (this includes post-traumatic stress disorder and panic disorder) 
  • Personality disorders 

Depression

Depression is a psychological health issue marked by persistent sadness and loss of interest. Even though most people who suffer from depression do not commit suicide, being depressed increases the risk of suicidal ideation compared to people who do not suffer from depression.

The severity of the depression has a link with the level of suicide contemplation by people who are depressed. While approximately 7% of men with a history of depression may think of committing suicide throughout their lifetime, only 1% of women with a depression history contemplate suicide.

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is connected to severe mood swings – ranging from extreme highs to depressive lows. Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression. A psychiatric medical report states that the majority of individuals with bipolar disorder experience suicidal ideation at least once in their lifetime.

Medical studies also suggest that suicidal ideation mostly happens in people with major psychological disorders like bipolar disorder. According to the study, most people who committed suicide lived with suicidal thoughts for a long time.

These are some of the factors proven to increase the risk of suicidal thoughts in patients who have bipolar disorders:

  • The early stage of bipolar disorder
  • Family history of mood disorder and suicide 
  • Long duration of untreated mental illness
  • A history of previous suicide attempts
  • Aggressive and impulsive traits
  • Frequent hospitalizations 
  • Unemployment and occupational problems
  • Adversities in personal history, like childhood trauma

Also, people with bipolar disorder usually harbor thoughts of committing suicide just after being admitted to the psychiatric hospital, the time after the clinical psychiatrists discharge them from the psychiatric hospital, and the early years after they are diagnosed with the medical condition.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

According to the National Health Service (NHS), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric medical condition that describes an extended response to a disturbing event or situation of a destructive or threatening nature. Medical psychiatrists postulate that PTSD can cause suicidal ideation in people with PTSD, especially when their condition has become severe and they are not getting the necessary help they need.

The risk of suicide or suicidal contemplation is higher in people with PTSD and poorly controlled anger, pre-trauma psychiatric conditions, distressing trauma memories, bad impulse control, and concurrent depression. In addition, people with PTSD are likely to be unable to express feelings, increasing the chances of them experiencing suicidal ideation.

Final Thoughts

Reports show that a higher percentage of patients with cases of attempted suicide have psychiatric disorders. People with psychiatric disorders are more prone to think of suicide as a way to end their condition than patients with simple disorders. However, ketamine infusion therapy has been shown to decrease suicidal ideation across mood disorders. If you or someone you know is suffering from suicidal ideation, contact us today to learn about how we can help.

PTSD

How To Deal With PTSD Triggers

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric condition that occurs in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. These traumatic experiences could include sexual violence, natural disaster, or war. About 3.5% of adults have PTSD every year in the United States.

Although, note that not everyone that experiences a traumatic event experiences PTSD later in life. It is not yet sure why some people suffer from PTSD and others don’t. But a pattern has been studied as to why some people have PTSD. They include:

  • Lack of enough social support
  • Not being mature at the time of the traumatic experience
  • Having a history of other psychiatric conditions
  • Experiencing more traumatic experiences in addition to the initial trauma, such as losing your job or a loved one
  • Sustaining injuries during the event or watching others sustain injuries

Before you can be diagnosed as having PTSD, you must have experienced some of these symptoms:

  • Intrusion: This is when you get occasional flashbacks, memories, or thoughts of the shocking event.
  • Avoidance: You always want to avoid everything that brings back memories of the traumatic event.
  • Cognitive and mood changes: This is when you’re unable to recall specific parts of the shocking event or when you have thoughts or feelings that make you see yourself or others in a bad light.
  • Changes in arousal and reactivity: You begin to display violent behaviors, have angry outbursts, and even have difficulty sleeping.

To be fully diagnosed with PTSD, you ought to have had these symptoms for a month or more. Also, these symptoms must have affected your relationships or daily activities.

The PTSD symptoms listed above can be caused by anything uncomfortable or stressful or things that bring back memories of the past. It’s essential to get familiar with the things that spark your PTSD symptoms so you can cope with them.

Kinds of PTSD Triggers

PTSD triggers can be classified into two categories: internal and external triggers. Internal triggers are what you feel in your body, including thoughts, emotions, or bodily sensations.

External triggers are things you see, people you meet, or situations you face while carrying out your activities. Below are some examples of internal and external triggers.

Internal Triggers

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling abandoned
  • Feeling lonely
  • Feeling out of control
  • Feeling vulnerable
  • Frustration
  • Memories
  • Muscle tension
  • Pain
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Sadness

External Triggers

  • An anniversary
  • An argument
  • Certain smells
  • End of a relationship
  • Holidays
  • Seeing the news or hearing a sound that reminds you of your traumatic event
  • Seeing someone who brings back memories of your traumatic experience
  • A specific place
  • Watching a movie or listening to a song triggers memories of your traumatic experience.

Identifying Your Triggers

Take some time to figure out when your PTSD symptoms hit you. To know about your triggers, ask yourself questions like: 

  1. What kind of situation do you find yourself in? 
  2. What is going on around you? 
  3. What are you thinking about? 
  4. What are you feeling?  

It would be easier to identify your triggers if you jot them down and study the pattern. 

Coping With Triggers

The best way to manage and cope with your PTSD triggers is to steer clear of them. But this can prove to be quite tricky. How do you avoid your thoughts, emotions, actions, or feelings? You can’t possibly try to control these internal triggers.

Coming to external triggers, you can still manage to control them because, to an extent, you can prevent yourself from going to certain places that will trigger you. But you can’t control all the events around you. For instance, you can suddenly run into someone that reminds you of your traumatic event, or you could perceive a smell that brings back bad memories.

Because you don’t have total control over your triggers, the only solution is to devise ways to cope with them. 

Check out tips that can help you to manage your triggers and reduce their effects on you:

  • Deep breathing
  • Expressive writing
  • Grounding
  • Mindfulness
  • Relaxation
  • Self-soothing
  • Social support

These are just suggestions on things you can do to cope with your triggers. You can find out more coping strategies on your own. The more you can develop healthier ways to cope with your triggers, the more you can prevent yourself from indulging in unhealthy preventive measures like drug and alcohol abuse.

Also, when you become aware of your triggers, you can control your reactions when you feel a particular way. You no longer get out of control because you can already predict your response and are ready to handle it.

Depression

How To Help Someone with Depression

Your partner has been moody lately and lays in bed for hours every night, unable to sleep. You’ve noticed other problems, too, like changes in appetite and weight, sadness, irritability, and generally self-isolating from yourself and others. What’s going on? Your loved one may be depressed, but fortunately, you can help them get better.

What is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder resulting in a persistent feeling of sadness and a lack of interest in once-enjoyable activities. It’s also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, and affects your feelings, thoughts, and behavior. At its worst, depression can lead to many emotional and physical problems and interfere with daily life while convincing you that life isn’t worth the effort sometimes.

Not to be confused with a typical bout of the blues, depression isn’t your fault or something you can make go away by snapping your fingers. It’s serious and may require lengthy treatment, but that’s ok. If you have depression, there’s a good chance you’ll feel better with certain treatments like antidepressants or ketamine, psychotherapy, or both.

What Are The Symptoms?

The symptoms of depression are different for everyone and can vary in frequency and intensity. They could happen quickly and last for days or gradually before reaching their peak – then suddenly disappearing. Common symptoms to watch for include:

  • Sadness or low mood
  • Lack of interest in something that was once enjoyable
  • You sleep too much or not enough
  • Low energy or more tiredness
  • Doing more pointless physical activity (unable to sit still, pacing, shaking your hands) or talking or moving slowly – all observable by someone else
  • Feeling guilty or insignificant 
  • Problems thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death, self-harm, or suicide

Know The Causes

No one knows for certain what causes depression, but it could be triggered by:

  • Biological differences and physical changes in the brain. The importance of these changes is mysterious but could help determine causes and inform treatment options.
  • Brain chemistry could be a problem. Neurotransmitters like glutamate play a critical role in moods, emotions, reasoning, and pain processing – all of which can be disrupted and lead to depression. More research is needed, but it’s believed that neurotransmitters have a significant role in depression and its treatment. Medicine like ketamine may strengthen weakened or faulty chemical messengers and reduce symptoms of depression.
  • Hormonal changes can trigger depression, especially during pregnancy or in the weeks or months after delivery.
  • Thyroid problems, menopause, or other conditions.
  • Genetics. Depression tends to run in families and can be passed down between blood relatives.

Helping Someone with Depression Is Hard, But Not Impossible

The stigma and misunderstanding about the cause and effects of mental illness are two of the biggest reasons why people with depression and other conditions don’t get the care they deserve. But if you know someone who’s depressed, you know how difficult it can be to watch that person fight their illness alone. Thankfully, there are ways to help.

  • Learn the symptoms of depression and what their triggers may be.
  • Encourage your friend or loved one to get professional medical help. This may be difficult but explaining the facts of depression and how it can harm someone is a step you must take. 
  • Be prepared to start a conversation about depression and understand that it may not be pleasant. One of the things to keep in mind is to always be compassionate and an engaged listener. The conversation is about the other person, not you, and should focus on their needs and worries. By recognizing the warning signs of depression and letting your friend know you’re supportive, you’ve taken a crucial first step in helping that person get better.
  • Be aware of the risk of self-harm or worse. Almost 46,000 people in the U.S. died by suicide in 2020, so it’s critical to watch for warning signs and act if needed. 
  • Compassion and continuing support are essential. If your friend or loved one agrees to get help and sees a counselor or other mental health professional, your role is to stay in that person’s corner. There are days when your friend won’t want to see a therapist, so be encouraging and steadfast. Professional help may involve antidepressants or medicine like ketamine.
  • Set boundaries about what help you can provide, and remember to take care of yourself.

Depression is often a life-long illness, but your friend or loved one can get better and regain control of their life with perseverance.

Neuropathic Pain

Where Does Neuropathic Pain Occur?

You’re overweight, you’ve been warned about A1C levels and the threat of diabetes, and now you have frequent pain in your hands and feet. You don’t remember getting hurt or being sick recently, so what’s going on? You may be experiencing the warning signs of something called neuropathic pain.

What is Neuropathic Pain?

You may feel neuropathic pain if your nervous system is injured or not working properly, and the pain sensations can radiate from any part of it, like your brain, spinal cord, or peripheral nerves. Sometimes, the pain can come from more than one and spread throughout your body. Thankfully, the discomfort can be treated.

What Are The Symptoms?

Neuropathic pain symptoms may include:

  • Gradual numbness and tingling in the hands or feet, which can spread to your legs and arms
  • Pain that’s sharp or burning pain
  • You may have intense sensitivity to being touched
  • You may feel pain when you normally wouldn’t, like placing your feet under a blanket
  • Poor coordination and falling
  • Weakened muscles
  • Hands or feet as if they’re wearing gloves or socks when they’re not
  • Immobility if motor nerves are injured

What Causes Neuropathic Pain?

Neuropathic pain can be caused by illness, medicine, or certain medical procedures, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Alcoholism
  • Facial nerve difficulties
  • HIV infection or AIDS
  • Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, or other central nervous system disorders
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Shingles (severe rashes)
  • Chemotherapy drugs like cisplatin, paclitaxel, vincristine, and others can trigger nerve pain
  • Radiation therapy
  • Amputation and phantom pain
  • Spinal nerves get compressed or inflamed
  • Trauma or surgeries causing nerve damage
  • Nerve compression or tumors

According to the United States National Institutes of Health, neuropathic pain may affect between three and 17% of the general population in any given year, including men, women, and children. It’s a significant cause of suffering.

Where Can You Feel Neuropathic Pain

Because pain results from problems with the nervous system, you can experience the discomfort of neuropathic pain anywhere in your body. Your brain and spinal cord route messages back and forth, making it not uncommon to experience the pain in multiple locations, often more than one, and at the same time.

  • Bodily organs such as your heart, blood vessels, intestines, and others are critical for breathing, digestion, and gastrointestinal functions. One study pointed to the possibility of using heart rate variability as a diagnostic tool for neuropathic pain. Some people also experience vasculitis neuropathy, or inflammation in the blood vessels.
  • Arms, chest, and shoulders may be a hot zone for neuropathic pain, resulting in the diagnosis of a condition called brachial neuritis. This refers to damage to the brachial nerves and can also affect the hands.
  • Fingers can also experience neuropathic pain, primarily because of nerve compression in the wrist, hand, and fingers. 
  • According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, it’s not unusual to experience typical neuropathic pain symptoms in your legs or toes.
  • You can also experience neuropathic pain in your neck. In this case, mild to severe pain goes from your neck to the back of your head, and is described as cervical radiculopathy.
  • If you twisted your lower back funny or otherwise experienced a minor injury, you may eventually get neuropathic pain in this part of your body, too. It’s often the result of a pinched nerve or damaged lumbar discs.
  • Muscles throughout the body.
  • In some cases, you could be diagnosed with geniculate neuralgia or, more rarely, glossopharyngeal neuralgia, which can result in neuropathic pain in the ears.
  • The hips are critical in how mobile you can be, and excessive compression or stretching of the nerves can trigger nerve pain which is uncomfortable and hard to treat. According to the U.S. National Institute of Health, this can result in sudden pain in the hips, buttocks, and thighs.
  • The spine is a vital part of the nervous system, meaning if nerve pain can happen anywhere, it’s here.

Fortunately, most symptoms linked to neuropathic pain can be treated with medicine, physical therapy, and novel options, including ketamine delivered intravenously through licensed specialty clinics.

Find a Specialty Clinic for Treatment

If you’re experiencing neuropathic pain, it’s essential to see a healthcare provider for diagnosis and to learn about treatment options. An existing illness or condition which causes pain may be treatable, with certain medicine or therapy being recommended based on the specifics of your diagnosis. You may also seek out expertise from a clinic specializing in ketamine infusion therapy to treat neuropathic pain symptoms.

Anxiety

What Does Anxiety Feel Like?

Anxiety is a normal emotion that is just a natural part of the human experience. How it feels, however, is unique to each person. Some people seem to be able to just glide through their life without anxiety, while others face debilitating fears. If anxiety is preventing you from living your everyday life, it might be time to seek treatment.

What Is Anxiety?

Most people experience fear or even a brief alarm when faced with a threat. Under those conditions, you may realize you’re undergoing a physical reaction, like a pounding heart, problems breathing, or a lump in your stomach. Anxiety’s like that but is a reaction to an imagined threat, not something immediate.

What Does Anxiety Feel Like?

Anxiety Symptoms

The different kinds of anxiety disorders can feature various symptoms and are unique to everyone. But generally, all have something in common:

  • Anxious beliefs or thoughts that are difficult to manage. They may trigger feelings of restlessness, tension and hamper daily life. They don’t go away and can worsen over time.
  • The presence of physical symptoms, which may include a throbbing or fast heartbeat, mysterious aches and discomfort, dizziness, and temporary breathing troubles.
  • You or someone else may notice changes in behavior, like if you’ve begun avoiding something that you used to enjoy participating in.

Many of these symptoms can be treated with a combination of strategies, including therapy and ketamine infusion.

Anxiety in their own words

The stigma surrounding mental illness has been a driving factor in people not seeking the medical care they need. Think back to your own family – have you ever heard your grandparents or an elderly family member talk about anxiety and depression? Probably not. But recent global awareness of the causes and consequences of mental illness have made discussions – and seeking treatment – more possible than ever.

“In the beginning, it was just sort of speeding and a kind of numbness and going from one thing to the next thing to the next thing. I will tell you when I realized that I thought, ‘All right, if I don’t calm down, I’m gonna be in serious trouble.'” – Oprah Winfrey during a discussion with ABC News.

“I’ve had a lot of issues with depression and anxiety, and I’ve been very vocal about it, but it’s not something I feel I’ll ever overcome. I want to make sure I’m healthy. If that’s good, everything else will fall into place.” – Selena Gomez, quoted in Harper’s Bazaar.

But you don’t have to be a celebrity to get care for anxiety. Talk to someone you trust and ask a doctor or mental healthcare specialist about treatment options.

Diagnosing & Treating Anxiety

If you’re experiencing anxiety and are worried it could morph into a chronic disorder, the best way to begin managing the symptoms is through diagnosis and treatment.

How do you diagnose anxiety?

  • Through a medical exam, where a doctor will try and find an underlying cause for your symptoms. This may involve blood tests and other diagnostic procedures.
  • Through a psychiatric assessment. In this case, a mental healthcare specialist will delve into any personal or family history of mental illness and want to know your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. You may be asked to fill out a mental health questionnaire, and your doctor may also want permission to talk to family and acquaintances about your symptoms.

In either case, your healthcare provider will compare your symptoms to criteria in other diagnostic tools. One of the most popular ways to assess your mental health is by referring to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

Besides psychotherapy, symptoms of anxiety can be treated in other ways.

  • Ketamine infusion therapy. Ketamine was created as an anesthetic but has been used to treat mental health symptoms for decades. 
  • Stay physically fit. Even low-impact exercise two or three times a week can be beneficial. Try going for a walk or basic stretching routines, but also set a schedule for yourself.
  • Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and recreational drugs.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of stress management techniques. A doctor may recommend meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises.
  • Get enough sleep for your age group and stick to a healthy and nutritious daily meal plan.

Final Thoughts

These symptoms are probably familiar enough to every person, but for many of us, the symptoms are too much to continue with everyday life. Know that treatment options are available that can help you find relief.

At Exodus Health, our vision is to help as many individuals as possible achieve freedom from mood disorders. It is our desire to be a light in a dark place and provide an avenue for restoring hope. Contact us today to get started!

Ketamine Therapy

How Long Do The Effects Of Ketamine Infusion Therapy Last?

One of the main advantages of ketamine for clinical use is that it has a rapid onset of action which means a significant reduction of symptoms can be achieved within a very short period. Generally, the effects of a ketamine infusion can be felt within hours of treatment, and the peak effects are usually achieved within a few hours to a few days. But how long does the therapeutic impact of ketamine last?

What is Ketamine Therapy?

Ketamine therapy is a new and promising treatment for a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicidal ideations, as well as various chronic pain conditions.

While the exact mechanisms underlying ketamine’s therapeutic effects are not fully understood, it is thought to work by modulating the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including glutamate and GABA. This action helps to enhance the strength of synaptic connections between neurons.

Ketamine has also been shown to increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that plays a vital role in synaptic plasticity and neuronal survival. This further suggests that ketamine’s therapeutic effects may be due, at least in part, to its ability to promote neuronal growth and connectivity.

The Ketamine Infusion Process

Ketamine is typically administered intravenously (IV) in a clinical setting, although it can also be given intranasally (IN) or orally. When given as an infusion through an IV line, a single treatment session normally lasts between 40 minutes and one hour.

The ketamine treatment process generally consists of a series of infusions given over several days. The number of infusions will vary from person to person, but most people will need at least 6 to 8 infusions to experience partial or complete remission from their symptoms.

The dosage will also be individualized, based on factors such as the person’s weight, age, and condition being treated. After the initial treatment phase is completed, some people may need to have maintenance ketamine infusions every few weeks or on an as-needed basis to sustain the therapeutic effect and keep the symptoms at bay.

What Conditions Does Ketamine Help Manage?

Ketamine infusion therapy has proven to be an effective treatment for a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and suicidal ideations.

In addition to its mental health applications, ketamine has shown great promise as a treatment for chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic regional pain syndrome, and neuropathic pain. It is also being investigated as a possible treatment for other conditions such as eating and substance abuse disorders.

Although ketamine therapy is still an off-label treatment, the research on its efficacy has shown great promise, with many people reporting significant improvements in their symptoms after just a few infusions.

How Long Can The Therapeutic Effects of a Ketamine Infusion Therapy Last?

It is important to note that everyone responds to ketamine differently, and therefore the duration of the effects will vary from person to person. Although the medication can completely leave the system within hours of treatment, its therapeutic effects can last much longer.

Ketamine metabolizes quickly in the liver and is mostly excreted through the urine within 10-12 hours. However, its therapeutic effects can last several days, weeks, or even months. 

It is thought that the length of time that ketamine’s therapeutic effects last is due to its ability to promote a “healing effect” on the brain. This means that ketamine doesn’t just provide temporary relief from symptoms but actually helps to “rewire” the brain and correct the underlying imbalances that are causing the symptoms in the first place.

The Bottom Line

Although more research is needed to fully understand ketamine’s long-term benefits, available evidence suggests that it can provide rapid and often long-lasting relief from severe and treatment-resistant mental health and chronic pain conditions.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health condition or chronic pain, ketamine therapy may be an option worth considering. Talk to your doctor or a qualified ketamine provider to see if it could be right for you.

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 & Cardiovascular Health

Commonly referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D3 is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role in many bodily functions. It is especially critical for maintaining strong bones and muscles, boosting mood and immunity, and preventing inflammation. Recent evidence also suggests that it may have significant benefits for cardiovascular health.

But given that we live in a fast-paced world where we spend most of our lives indoors, it’s not surprising that vitamin D3 deficiency is quite common. And while oral supplements may be helpful, there’s evidence that IV therapy may be even more effective in raising vitamin D3 levels in the blood.

What is IV Therapy?

IV therapy is a treatment where nutrients and vitamins are delivered directly into the bloodstream via a small intravenous (IV) drip. This allows them to bypass the digestive system and get absorbed more efficiently by the body.

IV therapy has been used for decades to help people with conditions that make it difficult to absorb nutrients from the digestive tract, such as Crohn’s disease or gastrointestinal cancer, get these essential nutrients. But in recent years, IV vitamin therapy has become increasingly popular as a way of promoting overall health and wellbeing.

Why Vitamin D3?

Although vitamin D is available in two forms (D2 and D3), vitamin D3 appears to be the most effective at raising vitamin D levels in the body. This makes it ideal for people looking to boost their vitamin D levels.

Benefits of Vitamin D3 for Cardiovascular Health

Helps Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for heart disease, so anything that can help lower it is good news for your cardiovascular health. And there is some evidence that vitamin D3 may be able to do just that.

A study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences found that vitamin D supplements can help lower blood pressure, among other potential cardiovascular benefits. Vitamin D3 supplementation may also help lower oxidative stress, which has also been linked to high blood pressure.

Prevents Stroke

Stroke is another serious complication that can arise from vitamin D3 deficiency, according to a study published by the journal for Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases (NMCD). Luckily, getting enough vitamin D3 – either through diet, supplements, or IV therapy, may help reduce your risk of suffering from this potentially debilitating condition.

Vitamin D3 is vital in producing nitric oxide, a chemical substance involved in the relaxation of blood vessels. This chemical helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels and prevents the formation of dangerous plaque in the arteries.

Promotes Healthy Blood Vessels

An Ohio University study showed that vitamin D3 can help repair blood pressure-induced damage to the endothelium or the thin layer of cells that line the inside of the heart and blood vessels. This helps maintain a healthy blood circulation system.

Prevents Diabetes

Research shows that vitamin D3 supplementation can help prevent type 2 diabetes and deter the transition from pre-diabetes to diabetes. You may be wondering, how does cardiovascular health fit into all this? Type 2 diabetes is a common risk factor for heart disease, and by preventing diabetes, vitamin D3 may also help reduce the risk of heart-related complications.

Helps Reduce Cholesterol Levels

According to several randomized clinical trials, Vitamin D3 can help lower cholesterol levels and promote a healthy lipid profile. This is good news for your cardiovascular health, as high cholesterol levels are one of the leading risk factors for stroke and heart attack.

Final Thoughts

Vitamin D3 is an essential body nutrient that may benefit your cardiovascular health in many ways. So if you are looking for ways to improve your cardiovascular health and reduce your risk of heart disease, IV vitamin D3 therapy may be worth considering.

Vitamin C

What Can Vitamin C IV Therapy Do For You?

You’re in a hurry before leaving for work, so instead of eating a full breakfast, you grab a few sips of orange juice. Of course, you’re busy the rest of the day, so lunch and dinner turn into fast food. This pattern repeats for a week or so, and you notice you’re tired, and have headaches and cold symptoms every day. How come? It’s possible you have vitamin C deficiency, but there may be a way to replenish it to fit your busy lifestyle – IV therapy.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is an antioxidant, a nutrient that all humans need to survive. Unlike animals, we don’t produce it naturally, so we need to acquire and replenish a stock of it through fruits and vegetables and, in some cases, vitamin C IV therapy.

Vitamin C IV therapy is a process that’s much faster than getting vitamins by eating fruits and vegetables. When you eat, food is digested and eventually converted to energy, which is then distributed throughout your body. But this takes time, sometimes as much as several hours. But with IV therapy, you bypass that process, and instead, liquid vitamin C and other nutrients are dispensed via a needle in your arm, with the needle attached to a flexible hose and a drip bag.

Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency

If you’ve ever heard your healthcare provider mention scurvy, they’re talking about one of the worst-case scenarios you can face due to low vitamin C levels. Scurvy, which primarily affects older adults, is rare in the United States but manifests itself as anemia, general weakness, gum disease, and skin hemorrhages. But there are other warning signs of vitamin C deficiency.

  • Tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Mysterious muscle and joint pain
  • Loose teeth
  • Hair that’s dry, fragile, and corkscrew-shaped
  • Your skin may become dry, rough, and scaly
  • Fluid in the legs
  • Anemia
  • Infections that don’t heal
  • Potential bone growth impairment in infants

Some of these can be treated with supplements, better eating habits, or even ketamine therapy.

According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, anyone can get vitamin C deficiency. Males more so than women, 14% compared to 10%. Men 25 to 64 years old have the highest rate of 17%, males 12 to 17 years old the lowest, 6%. Women 25 to 44 years old have the highest rate for their gender, 12%, and females 12 to 17 the lowest, 5%.

Recommended Amounts

As mentioned before, vitamin C doesn’t happen naturally in people, so we need to acquire it. To help maintain overall health, the recommended amounts are:

  • RDA, or Recommended Dietary Allowance. For adults 19 years old and older, the daily amount is 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women. For pregnancy and lactation, it’s 85 mg and 120 mg daily, respectively. If you use nicotine, you need even higher levels and should add 35 mg past the RDA to be safe.
  • UL, or the Tolerable Upper Intake Level. You shouldn’t get more than 2000 mg daily of vitamin C; anything beyond that amount could trigger gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea. In some cases, higher doses may be required for medical purposes as determined by your healthcare provider.

The Benefits of Vitamin C

There’s a good reason for needing vitamin C, whether you get it by eating healthy foods and vegetables, or more quickly through vitamin C IV therapy. This vitamin plays a critical part in controlling infections and healing wounds, and acts as a powerful antioxidant to neutralize harmful free radicals. “Free radicals and oxidants play a dual role as both toxic and beneficial compounds since they can be either harmful or helpful to the body.” 

We need vitamin C to make collagen, a fibrous protein in connective tissue throughout the body – it powers the critical systems: blood, bone, cartilage, immune, nervous, and others. Without collagen, for instance, your skin becomes brittle, and you could lose muscle mass. The vitamin also helps make numerous hormones and chemical messengers used to transmit signals from the brain to nerves throughout your body. If these neurotransmitters are weak or damaged, there could be problems with how you perceive pain, leading to a whole range of mental and physical conditions. Sometimes, ketamine therapy can help repair damaged neurotransmitters.

If you’re feeling tired, irritable, or have problems fighting off cold symptoms, you may be experiencing vitamin C deficiency. Your healthcare provider may recommend different treatment options, including IV therapy.

OCD

Can OCD Cause Depression?

Of the millions of people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, many are also diagnosed with depression. It’s a double whammy that many are challenged by, and a common question arises as to whether the first is caused by the second.

What is OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is mostly known for patterns of unwelcome thoughts and fears (known as obsessions) that force you to perform repetitive behaviors (known as compulsions). Each of these – obsessions and compulsions – can interfere with daily life and lead to significant distress.

Trying to ignore or halt your obsessions isn’t a good idea, as that kind of strategy only boosts distress and anxiety levels. Eventually, you feel compelled to do compulsive acts as stress relief. They’re relentless, even with efforts to ignore or rid yourself of troublesome thoughts or urges. But more ritualistic behavior happens, reinforcing the dangerous cycle of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Symptoms may include:

  • Fear of pollution or dirt
  • Problems with uncertainty
  • Needing things arranged and symmetrical
  • Handwashing until the skin becomes red
  • Checking doors constantly to ensure they’re secured
  • Checking lights repeatedly to make sure they’re off
  • Counting in specific patterns

What is Depression?

Depression (sometimes referred to as clinical depression or major depressive disorder) is a widespread – affecting more than 17 million U.S. adults – but grave mood disorder. For someone with depression, it’s not uncommon for the most severe symptoms to affect how you feel, your thoughts, and how you deal with daily chores like sleeping, eating, or going to school or work. Diagnosis depends on the symptoms being present for two or more weeks.

Typical symptoms may include:

  • Sadness or experiencing a depressed mood
  • Lack of interest in something you once enjoyed
  • Changes in eating habits and weight loss or gain not linked to dieting
  • Problems with sleeping
  • Low energy or more fatigue
  • You do more purposeless physical actions (for example, you can’t sit still, your pace, or wring your hands constantly) or have slower movements or speech – all severe enough to be observed by someone else
  • You feel worthless or guilty
  • Problems thinking, focusing, or making decisions
  • Preoccupation with death or suicide

OCD and Depression

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is one of the most widespread psychological disorders and among the most individually distressing and potentially disabling. OCD can be chaotic for interpersonal relationships, restrict leisure activities and school or work obligations, and generally affect how satisfied you feel about your life. In many cases, OCD is often linked to depression.  

Yes, OCD is a depressing issue, and it’s plain to recognize how you could be diagnosed with clinical depression when daily life is filled with unwanted thoughts and urges to perform irrational and excessive behaviors.  Medicine and science tell us this to be true. Studies suggest that 25% to 50% of people with obsessive-compulsive disorder also fit within the diagnostic criteria for a major depressive episode. This includes continually low moods for a few weeks or longer, problems with once-enjoyable activities, self-isolation, having trouble with eating, sleep, intimacy, and more crying, hopelessness, and worthlessness.  

Most people diagnosed with OCD and depression report that their issues with OCD began before their depression symptoms, suggesting that depression happens due to the suffering and devastation linked to OCD.  Less frequently, depression and OCD start simultaneously – meaning that depression occurs right before the onset of OCD.

People with both conditions may be perplexed, which is understandable. What’s the importance of having depression and OCD together? As it turns out, severe depression significantly interferes with the power of the most successful treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder – different kinds of psychotherapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and, in some cases, ketamine therapy.

Diagnosis & Treatment

If you think you have OCD, depression, or another mental health issue, the first step in getting treatment is to see a healthcare provider for a diagnosis. Determining if you have either condition depends on a physical examination, a psychiatric assessment, and reviewing diagnostic criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Either examination aims to discover the cause for your symptoms – such as personal or family mental health issues, illness, a medical condition, thoughts, behavior, or feelings – and decide on different treatment options.

To treat OCD or depression, your healthcare provider will consider many factors which could affect the outcome and present the best course of action. Treatment may include different kinds of psychotherapy, antidepressants or other medicine, diet or lifestyle changes, or even ketamine therapy.

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