Safe, effective therapy for treatment resistant depression and chronic anxiety in Plymouth, New Hampshire
What would gaining control of your stress response mean to you?
Can you imagine your life without clinical depression?
Many studies, including those conducted at Yale and the National Institute of Mental Health, have shown that low dose, intravenously administered ketamine can dramatically and rapidly improve symptoms associated with depression and many anxiety disorders. It does this by quelling the maladaptive fight-or-flight response of the amygdalae, giving your prefrontal cortex (the CEO of your thought processes), a chance to regain control of the emotional response. Imagine remaining calm and motivated long enough to:
Program your prefrontal cortex with new habits of mind.
Process trauma without re-traumatizing your neural networks.
Practice new psychologic patterns that you have already been working on by yourself, in community or in psychotherapy.
Comments from clients
“I now have a reference point outside of this despair, this thing I thought was myself is so obviously just, not. I know where to focus my efforts.”
“I know what my therapists and meditation teachers have been trying to teach me all of these years. I totally get it now, I don’t just know ABOUT it. Living beyond my ego doesn’t seem like an unachievable fantasy.”
“I woke up the next day, alive and motivated in a way I had not been in years…I can do this. I can transform.”
Rebecca Brachman’s Ted Talk about ketamine
Time Magazine Cover Story July 27, 2017
More recommended reading
1. Which diagnoses are treated with ketamine?
Chronic (treatment resistant) Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Bipolar Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Partum Depression, and Chronic Anxiety are all appropriate diagnoses for outpatient ketamine therapy.
We have witnessed uplifting results for alcohol abuse and opiate abuse as well. These observations are bearing out in the literature, of course, as it simply makes biological sense.
2. Do I need to be referred by a psychiatrist or other healthcare provider?
We prefer that you allow us to collaborate with your primary care provider, psychiatric care provider and/or therapist. However, as this service is not covered by insurance, no formal referral is required.
3. Will Ketamine Therapy help my treatment resistant depression?
Treatment resistant depression is chronic depression that does not respond to 2 or more medications with or without psychotherapy. Based on searches of major medical centers over the past fifteen years, and in our experience, up to 70% of all patients can expect significant, and fast, relief. Of course, we cannot predict any individual’s results. Our treatment is tailored in terms of frequency and dosage to each person, and we believe it offers your best chance of successful remission.
4. How many ketamine infusions will I receive?
That will depend on your response. Most patients receive a ‘loading series’ of six infusions. Continuation and maintenance plans are developed on a case-by-case basis.
5. What happens after my series of ketamine infusions?
Following the initial series of infusions, some patients choose, in consultation with their clinicians, to begin a maintenance program, returning for single infusions intermittently. The interval between maintenance infusions varies from patient to patient.
6. If ketamine therapy works for me how soon will I begin to feel better?
Some patients will begin to feel better within hours of the first infusion. Patients with thoughts of self-harm often notice those thoughts dissipating first. There can be a dramatic relief of dread and hopelessness. Many patients do not notice a significant mood improvement until they’ve had several infusions. Almost all patients who will respond feel measurably better after the series of six infusions.
7. Will I require ketamine infusions for the rest of my life?
Some patients seem to achieve long-term relief after the initial series of six infusions and others require additional infusions at varying frequencies to maintain relief. Aftercare is an important part of ketamine therapy and Altum Psychiatric Services will work with you to determine the best approach for you to achieve lasting relief.
8. How can I best prepare my mind and body for the ketamine experience?
In the days before your first treatment, practicing good sleep hygiene is the single best thing you can do for your body and mind. Decrease your caffeine intake, turn off your screens by 8 pm, read a book, drink enough water, eat a lower carb diet than usual.
9. What should I expect during ketamine therapy?
Ketamine is administered over a period of 40 minutes. The dose is determined by your weight. The amount of ketamine administered is not enough to cause a loss of consciousness, so you will remain awake. During the infusion some patients experience odd perceptions—like seeing bright colors. Some report an “out of body” experience or entering a dream-like state. Most patients tolerate the experiences with no trouble, and many people find them pleasant. Once the infusion is complete, the dissociative effects of ketamine rapidly dissipate. Patients generally leave the office within 30 minutes following the infusion and feel quite normal. It is important not to drive, operate any dangerous machinery, or make any important decisions until the day after a ketamine infusion.
10. I am bipolar, will ketamine make me manic or hypomanic?
Neither mania nor hypomania has been reported following ketamine therapy.
11. What medical conditions or psychiatric conditions could keep me from receiving ketamine?
Uncontrolled hypertension, seizure disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, acute psychosis, or active substance use disorder.
12. Are ketamine infusions addictive?
No. While it may be possible to develop a tolerance or addiction to ketamine in instances of abuse, the protocols used in Altum Psychiatric Services’ clinical practice, while extremely effective at reducing or eliminating symptoms, do not create an increased tolerance or addiction.
13. Do I need to bring someone with me?
You will need a driver. You do not need to have someone bring you or accompany you during the infusion, but we request that you have someone bring you home. We advise you not to drive a car until the following morning.
14. Can I eat or drink before my appointment?
You cannot eat for the 4 hours prior to your scheduled appointment. You may have clear liquids up until 2 hours before your appointment.
15. Do I need to stop taking any of my current medications before I begin ketamine therapy?
No. You should not make any adjustments in your current medications without specific approval from the prescriber. It is important to note that while there is some speculation related to benzodiazepine and lamotrigine and their effect on ketamine infusions, there is no actual evidence to support adjustments in either in advance of therapy. While these medications may reduce the dissociative effects of ketamine during an infusion, our experience suggests that they have no negative impact on outcomes.
16. Will my insurance company pay for ketamine therapy?
Because ketamine therapy for mood and anxiety disorders is recent and still viewed as experimental, insurance companies do not provide reimbursement.
17. What should I bring?
We ask that you download and fill out our new patient registration forms and bring them with you to your appointment. A link to our forms can be found on our home page.
Consider bringing your own music listening device. We can also play peaceful music of your choice.
18. Do you offer concierge services?
New Hampshire has many wonderful communities in which to recreate. We can suggest activities, amenities and hotels, but ultimately we encourage you to utilize the internet as it is a wonderful resource for developing your New Hampshire itinerary. We do plan to develop relationships with hospitality service providers in the future. New Hampshire was the chosen home of many of America's greatest philosophers. Consider this: in New Hampshire you can hike the same mountains and stroll the same paths as Emerson, Thoreau, Melville, William James and Norbert Wiener.
Altum Psychiatric Services provides convenient, comfortable, safe, outpatient, state-of-the-art ketamine infusion services in our Plymouth, NH office.
Protocols for the use of ketamine for acute suicidality are in the process of validation in studies around the globe, but we are not there yet.
Suicidality is an emergency.
If you feel you are in a crisis, stop now and call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. No matter what you are dealing with, they want to help you. You will be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.
The Crisis Text Line is an alternative, text CONNECT to 741741. You are their priority.
If you are in a medical emergency or suicidal crisis and you cannot connect with those numbers, please call 911.