Struggling to Manage Bipolar Disorder? Try Ketamine Infusion Therapy

May 09, 2024
Struggling to Manage Bipolar Disorder? Try Ketamine Infusion Therapy
Bipolar disorder is relatively common, and fortunately, it’s also responsive to medicine and psychotherapy. Still, those approaches don’t work for all, leaving many people struggling with symptoms. The good news: Ketamine can help. Here’s how.

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental health disorder that affects about 4.4% of Americans, causing symptoms that can take a huge toll on their quality of life. While medicine and psychotherapy can help many people manage their symptoms successfully, others find little or no relief from these traditional treatments.

At Revival Infusion Madison, Sarah Wilczewski, CRNA, APNP, offers an alternative: ketamine infusion therapy, to help patients with treatment-resistant bipolar disorder finally find symptom relief. Once used as an anesthetic, ketamine is proving very effective in managing mental health issues that don’t respond to treatment. Here’s how it works to help manage bipolar disorder.

How ketamine works to treat bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder involves “mood swings” that range from extreme “highs” (mania) to deep “lows” (depression). These swings can happen within a single day, or each mood change can last for days or longer. Bipolar therapy aims to modulate these abrupt changes and stabilize moods.

Mood regulation depends on a specific “mix” of chemicals produced in your brain. These chemicals support normal nerve communication that controls your mood. If this chemical mix is disrupted, nerve signaling is disrupted, too, leading to symptoms of mania and depression.

While antidepressant medications typically focus on regulating the chemicals serotonin and dopamine, ketamine targets different brain chemicals, including glutamate, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Specifically, ketamine affects both the production and the dissemination of these chemicals effectively “short circuiting” the nerve activity responsible for depression, mania, and related symptoms.

At the same time, ketamine initiates a cascade of effects that trigger a process called neuroplasticity, a targeted remodeling of nerves and nerve signaling. Neuroplasticity helps your brain adapt to stress and other triggers for a more “normalized” response. This same process promotes development of new nerve connections for improved signaling and communication inside the brain.

Ketamine infusion therapy

Ketamine infusion therapy is performed on an outpatient basis and takes about an hour. During therapy, the ketamine solution is delivered through an IV that’s inserted in your arm. 

Throughout your therapy, you’ll be closely monitored, and all you need to do is sit back and relax. Most people find therapy is accompanied by deep relaxation and a “floaty” or euphoric feeling. Afterward, you may feel groggy, and you’ll need someone to drive you home. Grogginess typically dissipates within an hour or two after treatment. 

It’s not uncommon to experience noticeable relief immediately following your treatment. Most people derive maximum benefits from a series of treatments, along with follow-up treatments to maintain those benefits.

Find out if ketamine therapy is right for you

Ketamine therapy can offer rapid and long-lasting relief for bipolar disorder, helping stabilize your moods so you feel healthier, happier, and more confident about your life and your future. To determine if ketamine is a good option for you, call 608-405-6824 or book an appointment online with the team at Revival Infusion Madison in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, today.