Can Ketamine Help With OCD?

July 11, 2023

While ketamine is approved as an analgesic for medical procedures, many providers have begun using it off-label for treating various mental health conditions. This is because of ketamine’s effectiveness at rapidly improving many common mental health conditions symptoms, such as anxiety and depression. Recently, ketamine has shown promise as a treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), often improving compulsions and other symptoms immediately and with long-lasting effects.

Klarisana provides compassionate ketamine therapy to residents of Colorado and Texas. Read on as we discuss OCD and how ketamine therapy can help reduce its symptoms.


While you may have a picture of OCD that involves vigorously scrubbing countertops, straightening pencils into neat lines, or other repetitive behaviors, the truth is that OCD can present itself in many different ways. The root of OCD is compulsive thoughts and actions, things you cannot help but think or do, even when you don’t want to. While this can present in traditional symptoms such as cleanliness, there are many other common OCD symptoms, including:

  • Intrusive urges and thoughts
  • Shame caused by compulsions
  • Anxious about a lack of control over one’s environment
  • Isolating oneself from others
  • Constant anxiety preventing oneself from completing basic care tasks
  • Difficulty staying in school or keeping a job
  • A secondary, related diagnosis, such as depression or anxiety


According to findings presented at the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) annual meeting, ketamine can be used to quickly alleviate symptoms of OCD in patients who suffer from constant intrusive thoughts. This rapid relief differs from traditional treatments such as medication and therapy, which can often take weeks to months to make a difference in symptoms. Additionally, many patients who receive ketamine therapy find that it helps relieve some symptoms as soon as one hour after the first therapy and drastically improves symptoms and severity two to four weeks after their final treatment.


When ketamine is administered, it can act like rebooting your brain. By temporarily disrupting connections in the brain, ketamine therapy can allow patients to create new, healthier synapse connections, potentially disrupting compulsive thoughts. This can improve your outlook on life by changing the parts of your brain that cause your OCD symptoms or triggers. When undergoing ketamine therapy for OCD, your provider will help determine the number of sessions needed to address your symptoms effectively.


Patients who choose to try ketamine therapy for their OCD usually see improvements in their symptoms rapidly. While effects vary from person to person, many patients report the following improvements:

  • Compulsive thoughts are less likely to become obsessions
  • Immediate shift in outlook right after treatment
  • Decrease in anxiety and fear
  • Finally achieving goals and tasks that were previously too difficult
  • Less shame associated with OCD symptoms
  • Socializing and making new friends is easier


When OCD symptoms feel like they’ve taken over your life, sometimes traditional treatments aren’t enough. At Klarisana, we treat various mental health conditions using ketamine therapy. Ketamine is showing promise at treating many mental health conditions, including OCD. 

If you’re interested in seeing if ketamine therapy can help treat your symptoms of OCD, contact us today to schedule a consultation at one of our locations in Colorado or Texas. Our providers will determine if ketamine therapy is right for you and, if applicable, create a treatment plan to alleviate your symptoms. Regaining control of your life with OCD is possible, and ketamine therapy may help.

Image source: Fox_Ana on Shutterstock

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