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Is ketamine an effective treatment for bipolar disorder?
July 18, 2022 at 7:00 AM
A girl who has been treated with ketamine for bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is notoriously one of the most difficult psychological illnesses to treat. Sufferers often try several different combinations of pharmaceutical drugs and therapeutic methods before finding an adequate treatment plan. However, given the neuroprogressive nature of this illness, it is difficult for researchers to determine effective, long-term treatment options.

In the past several years, ketamine has gained a tremendous amount of attention in the world of healthcare. After decades of using the drug strictly as an anesthetic, researchers have finally begun integrating this cyclohexanone into the treatment of various mental health disorders. Evidence has pointed to the potential of effectively treating disorders such as chronic depression, anxiety, PTSD, and bipolar disorder with small, periodic doses of ketamine.

Our team at Long Island Ketamine Infusions is passionate about providing safe and effective treatment options for those battling with bipolar disorder. Continue reading to learn what the research has to say about ketamine as a treatment method.

Treatment objectives

The main hypothesis behind using ketamine infusions to treat those living with bipolar disorder is based primarily on its ability to instantaneously relieve feelings of depression. Upon receiving a small dose of ketamine via intramuscular or nasal infusions, many patients experiencing suicidal thoughts have found immediate relief from this mental state. These effects are due to the euphoric and dissociative sensations that arise after the drug is administered. Depression is one of the hallmarks of bipolar disorder, which explains why researchers have begun giving merit to ketamine as a possible treatment option. By triggering a short-lived, dissociative experience under the supervision of a clinician, sufferers appear to reach a state of mental clarity that drastically reduces the likelihood of future depressive or manic episodes.

Success rate

While there have not been many controlled studies on the use of ketamine to treat bipolar disorder, a small amount of testing has indicated that approximately 50% of patients respond to periodic infusions of ketamine. Participants in these studies have reported an immediate reduction in feelings of depression and thoughts of suicide, as well as increased mood stability in the days following the infusion. Due to the extremely low dose of ketamine administered during these research trials, side effects have been incredibly mild, if at all present.

Psychoactive properties

One of the ways in which ketamine has proven to aid in the treatment of bipolar disorder is with the onset of controlled, psychoactive experiences. Depending on the dose of ketamine used to treat patients, it is possible to bring individuals into a higher state of consciousness with a combination of the substance itself and psychological support from a physician. Many patients have reported long-term effects after intense dissociative experiences, where they are able to find a greater sense of calm and rational thinking in everyday life. Developing these emotional resources is an excellent tool for sufferers of bipolar disorder.

The future of ketamine

The body of research surrounding the use of ketamine in the treatment of mental health disorders is growing at a rapid rate. At Long Island Ketamine Infusions, our team is proud to be at the forefront of an exciting breakthrough in the conventional approach to mental healthcare. As it currently stands in the United States, ketamine along with other psychoactive substances have a certain stigma attached, which has prevented further research from being done. This however, is slowly changing, which means that patients will likely have greater access to ketamine as a treatment option for bipolar disorder in the coming years.

Have you been struggling to find an effective treatment for your diagnosis? Contact us today to find out if ketamine infusions are right for you.