What Is a Ketamine Experience Like?

dissociative experience

What Is a Ketamine Experience Like?

The experience of ketamine can vary depending on the dose, mode of administration, and individual factors such as body weight, metabolism, and tolerance. In a medical setting, ketamine is administered intravenously in a controlled environment, and the experience differs from the recreational use of ketamine.


Here are some everyday experiences that individuals may have during a ketamine infusion:

Dissociation: Ketamine can cause a feeling of detachment from one’s body or surroundings, known as dissociation. This can range from a mild disconnection to a more profound sense of being outside one’s body.

Euphoria: Ketamine can also cause euphoria or a “floating” sensation. This can be a pleasant experience for some individuals but also disorienting or uncomfortable for others.

Visual and auditory hallucinations: In some cases, ketamine can cause visual and auditory hallucinations, which can be vivid and intense. These hallucinations are usually short-lived and are generally not distressing.

Changes in perception: Ketamine can alter perception, causing objects to appear distorted or colors to appear more vibrant. This can also be accompanied by changes in body image or a sensation of being larger or smaller than average.

Time distortion: Ketamine can distort time; minutes may feel like hours or vice versa. This can be disorienting for some individuals.

Physical sensations: Ketamine can cause a range of physical sensations, including numbness, tingling, and heaviness in the limbs. Some individuals may also experience nausea or dizziness.

During the infusion, you may have noticed an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure, side effects that can occur while taking ketamine. These side effects, however, are often short-lived and disappear soon after the infusion is finished.

Emotional changes: Ketamine can cause emotional changes, such as feelings of calmness, relaxation, or contentment. However, it can also cause anxiety or agitation in some individuals.

Memory impairment: Ketamine can cause temporary memory impairment, particularly for events that occurred during the infusion. Some individuals may have difficulty recalling details of the experience afterward.

After-effects: After the infusion, some individuals may experience a range of after-effects, including fatigue, headache, or mild dissociation. These effects are usually temporary and resolve within a few hours.

It’s important to note that ketamine therapy is not a recreational drug and should only be administered by a qualified provider in a safe, clinical setting. The experience of ketamine can be highly individualized, and some individuals may not experience all the effects listed above.


Additionally, while ketamine therapy can be highly effective in treating depression, it is not a cure, and individuals receiving ketamine therapy will still need ongoing therapy and medication management to maintain their mental health. It’s essential to work closely with a healthcare provider who has experience with ketamine therapy and to follow their instructions and recommendations for treatment.

What Are the Potential Benefits of Signing Up for Ketamine Infusion Therapy?

Individuals with mood disorders, especially those with treatment-resistant depression, may benefit from ketamine therapy. Some potential advantages of ketamine treatment include the following:

  • Some people report feeling better just hours after receiving an infusion of ketamine, which is evidence of how quickly the drug works to alleviate depressive symptoms. This contrasts with conventional antidepressants, whose effects may not appear for weeks.
  • The response to conventional treatments, such as talk therapy or antidepressant medication, may be enhanced by ketamine treatment for depression. Those who haven’t found relief from other treatments may find relief from their symptoms with this.
  • Ketamine has been demonstrated to lessen suicidal ideation and attempt frequency in depressed patients. Individuals who are suicidal may benefit significantly from this.
  • Although the benefits of a single ketamine infusion can wear off after a week or so, further infusions or maintenance therapy might make the drug’s effects linger for much longer. In the long run, this can help lessen the occurrence and impact of depressive episodes.
  • By alleviating depressive symptoms and boosting patients’ capacities to go about their daily lives, ketamine treatment enhances their quality of life. This can potentially boost happiness and success in social and professional settings.
  • Ketamine therapy can potentially enhance cognitive abilities in depressed patients, including memory, concentration, and decision-making. This can improve a person’s daily functioning and, potentially, their capacity to engage in therapeutic activities.
  • Ketamine therapy has been demonstrated to alleviate not only depressive but also anxious symptoms. People who suffer from both anxiety and sadness may benefit significantly from this.
  • Insight into one’s depression and its root causes may be gained through ketamine therapy. Those who have had trouble recognizing or discussing their depression may benefit significantly from this.
  • Ketamine therapy can potentially lessen the necessity of hospitalization for people suffering from severe depression. This may be especially helpful for people who have not responded to prior treatments and are facing the prospect of hospitalization or other acute care.
  • Individuals who are non-responsive to conventional treatments for mood disorders can benefit from ketamine therapy. Ketamine therapy is also typically a less invasive and more comfortable alternative to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which can have dangerous side effects.


Does Ketamine Impact Suicidal Ideation?

Suicidal thoughts in depressed patients have decreased significantly after ketamine treatment.

Multiple studies have shown that an infusion of ketamine can significantly lessen suicidal ideation and action within hours. Rapid alleviation from depressive symptoms, including suicide ideation, has been observed when ketamine is administered. Individuals who are suicidal may benefit significantly from this.

Treatment-resistant suicidal ideation refers to suicidal thoughts and actions that persist despite receiving many treatments. However, ketamine therapy is successful in lowering this type of suicidal ideation.

Suicidal ideation can be reduced with ketamine therapy, which boosts mood and lessens unpleasant thoughts and feelings. Ketamine improves brain connection, especially in regions responsible for controlling emotions. In depressed people, this may help restore brain function and lessen the likelihood of suicidal thoughts. People who receive ketamine infusions may find they can better deal with stressful situations and unpleasant emotions. The hopelessness that contributes to suicide ideation can be mitigated by ketamine therapy.

Ketamine infusions can potentially reduce impulsive behaviors and increase impulse control, both risk factors for suicide ideation.

Those who suffer from anxiety-related suicide ideation may benefit from ketamine therapy, which has been demonstrated to alleviate anxiety symptoms and depression.

Repeated infusions or maintenance medication may generate longer-lasting effects on suicidal ideation. In contrast, the effects of a single ketamine infusion may only endure for a few days to a week.

Ketamine infusion therapy has shown promise as an alternative to hospitalization for people with severe suicidal ideation. This may be especially helpful for people who have not responded to prior treatments and are facing the prospect of hospitalization or other acute care.



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