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What Is Ketamine Treatment Like?

Millions of people struggle every day with different kinds of discomfort. Pain from mental health disorders and chronic conditions are just two examples. If you suffer from symptoms of either, one treatment option is ketamine infusion. No longer just an anesthetic, it may help you regain control of your life.


Ketamine is a medicine that was synthesized in the early 1960s and used primarily for anesthesia. While effective in pre- and post-operative settings, the medicine has psychotropic and anti-inflammatory properties which doctors and others soon discovered could lessen symptoms of depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. Though research is ongoing, the medicine has been shown to create neuron growth, improving the function of neurotransmitters in the brain and our perception of many different kinds of discomfort.


Ketamine was approved for use as an anesthetic in the early 1960s and has been widely used since then for medical purposes. A ketamine-based nasal spray was also approved by the United States Food & Drug Administration as a treatment for depression back in 2019.


The medicine’s first use was in pre- and post-operative conditions. It gained widespread acceptance among wounded U.S. combat soldiers fighting in Vietnam and was used to sedate a patient before or after surgery. Today, ketamine’s efficacy in treating other conditions is well known.

  • The medicine is used to treat depression in low doses, often showing positive results within a few hours. Patients who’ve been diagnosed with treatment-resistant depression can be good candidates for ketamine.
  • Ketamine has been shown to reduce symptoms of chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia, headaches, and other conditions.


The ketamine treatment experience is different for everyone, based on factors like overall health, which condition requires treatment, symptoms, and receptiveness to treatment. For people who’ve tried other medications to treat their condition and found nothing works, ketamine has proven effective in low doses. But how would you describe that experience?

In one example, a student at Virginia Commonwealth University wrote an undergraduate research paper on ketamine and used his mother’s experience with the treatment as a basis for the work. She described the experience as positive.

“The anxiety was lowered within an hour for the first time in my life, I was alert and calm for the first time in my life,” she recounted. This isn’t an uncommon reaction; many feel the same.


If you’re experiencing symptoms related to mental illness, chronic pain, or another condition that hasn’t responded to conventional treatment, see a doctor or therapist for a diagnosis. A physical exam and mental evaluation are the first steps in receiving ketamine treatment.


Get help by researching your condition and talking with a doctor or therapist about treatment options, including the use of ketamine. If you or a loved one have questions about the clinical use of ketamine we can help.