Ketamine Therapy Explained

December 19, 2021

Nue Life

Nue Life

Top points

  • Ketamine offers an effective alternative to common antidepressants, which don’t work for about 40% of people.
  • Small doses of this safe, psychedelic drug build new neural pathways in the brain, encouraging a healthier, more positive mindset.
  • Ketamine therapy provides fast relief for symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health conditions.

Ketamine therapy may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it’s actually a medical treatment for mental illness that is becoming more and more common today.

The fact is that people are getting tired of the status quo of treatment for mental health. For around 40% of people struggling with mental health, SSRIs, the most common type of antidepressant, are often ineffective.

So, a growing number of people are turning to psychedelics for treatment. The most common? Ketamine therapy. So today, we’re going to take a look at this form of treatment and who stands to benefit from it.

What Is Ketamine ?

Ketamine is a psychedelic drug. There are plenty of taboos around it due to its illegal use recreationally, specifically in the party scene. But it wasn’t always that way.

Ketamine was created in 1962 as an anesthetic. In the 70s, ketamine was approved for clinical practice to be used. Back then, scientists were studying ketamine for its mental health benefits and ketamine has taken a back seat until recently.

In the past decade or so, scientists have looked into ketamine once again, and they have discovered that, when used medically in a controlled way, it can be an effective treatment for people with major mental illnesses.

What Conditions Can Ketamine Help?

Ketamine is surprisingly effective at treating multiple different mental ailments. Part of this is due to the overlap in symptoms and experiences that come from the disease. But it’s also because ketamine affects the body and brain in various ways.


Ketamine is most commonly used to help support treatment for depression. Specifically, people who have struggled with long-term, treatment-resistant depression can gain so much from this psychedelic drug.

In fact, ketamine actually became the first psychedelic drug to ever be FDA-approved. In 2019, the FDA-approved esketamine nasal spray was considered effective in supporting treatment for severe depressive disorder.


Ketamine can also be very helpful in treating anxiety. Anxiety is a difficult struggle due to its ability to damage the neurons in your brain. This damage takes place in the part of your brain that regulates your emotions.

Ketamine works in the brain to promote new synapses and new neural pathways, effectively helping to reverse the effects of anxiety.


PTSD is another highly common mental illness. Ketamine is particularly interesting in PTSD because of how well ketamine outperforms other treatments when tested.

In fact, in a study comparing ketamine with midazolam, ketamine had over twice as much success as midazolam. So as you can see, ketamine is currently making a major impact on how we treat these types of mental illnesses.

When Did People Start Using Ketamine In Therapy?

People began using ketamine in therapy in the 1960s. During this time, there were plenty of scientific studies on the benefits of ketamine, among other psychedelic drugs. But, for various reasons, ketamine was still deemed illegal by the FDA.

It wasn’t till around 2006 that people in the United States began studying ketamine again. Fast forward to today, and we now see one form of ketamine that is FDA approved and is being used to treat a growing number of patients who need psychotherapy.

How Does It Work?

Ketamine works in a variety of different ways. The most significant is the effect that ketamine has on various receptors in your brain. Ketamine binds to NMDA receptors. Once that happens, there is an increase in the amount of a specific neurotransmitter called glutamate.

Glutamate is essential in neuron communication. It activates another type of receptor called AMPA receptors, which release brain-derived neurotrophic factors. This helps your brain create new synaptic connections and pave healthier thought patterns for itself.

Are There Side Effects?

As with any medicine, some potential side effects can arise. Ketamine can potentially cause high blood pressure, nausea and vomiting. But there is another category of side effects.

Perceptual disturbances (hallucinations) and dissociations (out-of-body experiences) can also happen with ketamine. However, many patients do not describe these symptoms as unfavorable. In fact, many people describe these states as joyful, peaceful experiences that can even provide freedom and calm emotions.

Who Should Try Ketamine Therapy?

Older women are among the most likely people to have long-term issues with mental health, so they stand a lot to gain from ketamine. Veterans with PTSD can also find treatment for both of their ailments in ketamine.

Not to mention, ketamine treatment can even potentially help with addiction or relief management.

Of course, as we said before, people with treatment-resistant mental health issues can find incredibly effective treatment through ketamine therapy.

And finally, if you need immediate help with your depression, ketamine may be the treatment for you. Ketamine patients often see results after the very first dose! This is incredibly important, especially for people struggling with harmful thoughts who need help as soon as possible.


Now you know about ketamine therapy. Here at Nue Life, we specialize in ketamine therapy and understand the benefits that people stand to gain from it.

Our founder witnessed the health benefits of psychedelics through the study of Native American ceremonial plant medicine. The long-standing historical use of these natural, medicinal plants has had incredible impacts on those communities, and it inspired us to dig deeper.

At Nue Life, we combine our knowledge of these traditional psychedelic uses with modern medical technology. And we’ve concluded that ketamine can bring healing to a whole lot of people.

If you’re struggling with mental health issues, ketamine therapy could be the treatment that helps set you free. Go ahead and take the next step in learning about ketamine. The power of psychedelic therapy can change your life by bringing you closer to the truest version of yourself


Ketamine for major depression: New tool, new questions | Harvard Health Publishing

Ketamine for PTSD: Well, Isn’t That Special | American Journal of Psychiatry

Ketamine use in current clinical practice | National Institutes of Health

Speaking of Psychology | Psychedelic therapy with Roland Griffiths, Ph.D. | American Psychological Association

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