Ketamine for OCD Treatment In Pennsylvania
The field of mental health treatment has expanded greatly in the last ten years. Innovative new mental health treatments are popping up all the time, and treating your own personal mental health disorder is becoming further and further desensitized.
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OCD is one of the top 20 causes of illness-related disability, and in the United States, about 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children have OCD. The first step to finding treatment for your OCD is to understand and learn more about your own mental health condition.
5 Symptom Subtypes of OCD
Although OCD symptoms generally fall into one of these five subtypes, it is possible to experience a change in the nature and focus of your symptoms over time.
- Contamination Obsessions with Washing/Cleaning: Those suffering from this symptom subtype will usually focus on feelings of discomfort associated with germs/contamination, and will wash and clean excessively.
- Harm Obsessions with Checking Compulsions: Those experiencing this symptom subtype will often have intense thoughts regarding possible harm, either to themselves or others, and will use checking rituals to relieve their distress.
- Obsessions Without Visible Compulsions: Those experiencing this symptom subtype will often have unwanted obsessions regarding sexual, religious, or aggressive themes. Triggers related to these obsessions are usually avoided at all costs.
- Symmetry Obsessions with Ordering, Arranging, and Counting Compulsions: Those suffering from this symptom subtype may feel a strong need to rearrange objects constantly. It can also involve thinking or saying sentences or words over and over again until one feels it has been accomplished perfectly.
- Hoarding: This symptom subtype involves the collection of items of little or no value until one’s living space is consumed with so much clutter it becomes difficult to live in. This is often accompanied by obsessive fears of losing items that one feels may be needed one day.
Obsessions are persistent and unwanted thoughts, feelings, or images that cause distress or anxiety. Those with OCD may try to ignore them by performing a compulsive behavior. Obsessions typically intrude when you’re going about your daily life, often getting in the way of your personal goals.
Examples of obsessions include:
- Fear of contamination
- Needing things orderly and symmetrical
- Aggressive or horrific thoughts about harming yourself or others
- Unwanted thoughts, including sexual or religious subjects
Signs and symptoms of obsession can include:
- Fear of contamination when touching objects others have touched
- Intense stress when objects aren’t orderly
- Images or intrusive thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else
- Thoughts of shouting obscenities or acting inappropriately
- Avoidance of situations that can trigger obsessions
- Distress about unpleasant sexual images repeating in your mind
Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that you feel as if you have to perform. Usually, these compulsions are in an effort to reduce anxiety from obsessive or intrusive thoughts. However, these compulsions often only provide temporary relief from anxiety.
Someone with OCD may make up rules or rituals they follow to help control this anxiety when having obsessive thoughts. These compulsions are usually excessive and not realistically related to the problem they’re intended to fix.
Much like obsessions, compulsions typically have themes as well, including:
- Washing and cleaning
- Following strict routines
- Demanding reassurances
Examples of compulsion signs and symptoms include:
- Hand-washing until skin becomes raw
- Checking doors repeatedly to make sure they’re locked
- Checking the stove repeatedly to make sure it’s off
- Counting in certain patterns
- Silently repeating a prayer, word, or phrase
- Arrange your canned goods to face the same way
Some factors that may increase the risk of triggering OCD may include:
- Family history. Family members with the disorder can increase your risk of developing OCD.
- Stressful life events. This reaction may sometimes trigger the intrusive thoughts, rituals, and emotional distress associated with OCD.
- Other mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, or substance abuse disorders.
The exact cause of OCD still isn’t fully understood by science. Some theories include:
- OCD may simply be a result of changes in your body or brain’s chemistry.
- While OCD may have a genetic component, specific genes have yet to be identified.
- Some factors, such as infections, have been suggested as a trigger for OCD, but more research is still needed.
There is no surefire way to prevent OCD. Getting treatment as soon as possible can help prevent OCD from worsening and negatively affecting your life. Some people with previously treatment-resistant OCD have experienced great success with the advent of Ketamine Infusions, an innovative new treatment option.
How Does Ketamine for OCD Work?
Exactly how Ketamine treats OCD and other mental health disorders are still being researched. The current understanding is that Ketamine binds to receptors in the brain that increases the amount of a neurotransmitter, glutamate, is released. This will then set off a chain of reactions within the brain that affects thinking and emotional regulation.
To put this in simpler terms, the brain reacts to Ketamine in a way that triggers hormones that help create more positive emotions. This can occur within minutes after a person receives their infusion, but some people may need several treatments before they experience the highest level of benefits.