Alternative Therapies for OCD
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a disorder where intrusive thoughts and obsessions drive a person to perform mental and physical acts to relieve anxiety or stress. It is a subtype of anxiety disorder that can be extremely distressing. Someone who has OCD can become obsessed with the thought of performing a task such as opening and closing a door, washing their hands, or switching a light on and off repeatedly. Individuals with OCD may not respond well to traditional therapies such as antidepressant medication, behavior therapy, anxiolytics, and counseling.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Defined
There are about 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children who have obsessive-compulsive disorder living in the U.S. today. OCD is defined as both obsessions and compulsions that take up about an hour each day and cause severe anxiety and stress. OCD can affect various aspects of someone’s life, including relationships with others and their career. Some experts believe children as young as 6 years old can be diagnosed with OCD. Symptoms of OCD can be observed in children who have a hard time engaging with others or focusing in school followed by repetitive routines or compulsions.
OCD can be caused by genetics and is usually driven by the thought of hoping to achieve symmetry or perfection by performing a certain task over and over again. However, taking the time to perform compulsive tasks can heavily interfere with other parts of a person’s life and get in the way of being able to feel physically and emotionally close to someone as a result. Those who are OCD patients may also have:
- Attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADD/ADHD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Eating disorders
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Tourette syndrome
People with OCD may also have certain disorders that are categorized as being OCD-related including:
- Excoriation disorder – This disorder causes an individual to pick their skin obsessively
- Trichotillomania disorder – This disorder causes someone to pull their hair often
- Hoarding – This is often seen in older people and is defined as someone who obsessively collects items and gets severe anxiety from parting with them
- Body dysmorphic disorder – Someone with body dysmorphic disorder may obsess over what they perceive as flaws with their physical appearance
OCD has been known in the past to be treated by herbal remedies such as St. John’s Wort, which has also been known as a remedy for treating depression. But even herbal remedies have side effects such as possibly worsening disorders like ADHD, Bipolar disorder, mania, dementia, infertility, and others.
Low dose IV Ketamine Therapy has been clinically shown to be an effective treatment of obsessive-compulsive sufferers by calming down the nervous system. It is possible to see improvement within hours after the treatment. Exposure therapy after completing a course of IV ketamine treatment helps restore healthy brain function. If alternative therapies for OCD interest you, reach out today and see what Ketamine Treatment can do for you!
Ketamine OCD and Anxiety Disorder Treatment Protocol
- 1-hour low-dose infusion: 40 minutes of active infusion and a 20-minute active recovery before being released to go home.
- The low-dose infusions typically start around 0.5 mg/kg/hr and may be adjusted to the response of the patient.
- Initial series of 2-4 infusions administered over several weeks.
- Followed by maintenance infusion every 3-5 weeks.
OCD is a subset of generalized anxiety disorders, thus, is treated with the same low-dose protocol. We treat OCD from 13-year-olds and up. The number and frequency of treatments are variable from patient to patient depending on factors such as the severity of the symptoms, the other medications a patient may be on, and the patient’s response to the treatments.