Help ketamine remission last but letting go of bitterness, possessions, and fear.

In past posts, we’ve talked about remission by ketamine, the 50-year-old anesthesia medicine that stepped up to the plate in the last ten years or so… to bridge the gap in the treatment of an array of psychiatric disorders.

And once you’ve achieved remission, you want to help ketamine remission last. You don’t want to return to your same old ways of reacting. Or to the same old stress and risk losing the ground you’ve gained.

So let’s continue. We’ve talked about the growing body of evidence that demonstrates the extraordinary antidepressant effects of this medicine in numerous psychiatric disorders. Illnesses like severe treatment-resistant depression and bipolar depression. as well as its unparalleled impact on PTSD to arrest symptoms and restore peace to the traumatized individual.  

In our own practice, Innovative Psychiatry, we’ve seen ketamine treatment make a dramatic difference with social anxiety, that cruel disorder that creates obstacles between you and financial success, self respect, meaningful relationships, and general fulfillment in life.

Help ketamine remission last by building meaningful relationships.

So that after ketamine treatment, you can effectively interview for the job you want. You can initiate and develop loving relationships. In fact, you can basically BE who you are and at your best. While you contribute to your team at work and your family and community, as well.  So you want to help ketamine remission last.

But it doesn’t stop there. We’ve also seen ketamine treatment relieve OCD symptoms, providing the neuroplasticity for needed changes through therapy.

And then there’s alcohol use disorder as well as crack and other addictions, which ketamine (as demonstrated through the work of Dakwar and others) helps you conquer by weakening or erasing cravings. 

We’ve seen similar positive results in our own practice, though there have not yet been enough studies to validate this benefit across the board… yet.

Then, possibly the most amazing of all is suicidal thinking…no matter what the cause that led to it… can be eradicated, often within an hour, and usually in less than four. We’ve seen extensive positive outcomes of this life-saving benefit in our office.

Your Personal Infrastructure Seems to Play Some Role in Making or Breaking Your Remission

Sometimes people achieve remission with ketamine treatment only to lose it after a few months as the stressors of life wear away at the repair work the treatment accomplished, and the remission is lost… or seems to be.

Interestingly, because stress is such an important cause of the pruning of brain cell connections (synapses) it appears that sometimes when patients receive ketamine treatment while under severe stress, it seems to not work for them.

Then, sometimes it happens that the patient finally begins to enjoy ketamine’s benefits after the stress is significantly reduced. This is something we’ve observed multiple times but lack the extensive research to back up… yet.

So it’s important that we distinguish those benefits we see every week at Innovative Psychiatry from those that have already been validated by peer-reviewed research.

It takes time for research to catch up with the widespread use of ketamine treatment. And it requires multiplied studies upon more studies to establish the reliability of any benefit.

So let’s be clear that the benefits of ketamine treatment we’ve seen at Innovative Psychiatry have already been reported in research studies. But, not with the overwhelming stacked-up body of evidence that stands behind ketamine for depression. Not enough to proclaim them from the housetops without an explanation.

Even so, it’s important that you know these things are happening, and we’re playing a waiting game for the research to catch up and explain what we’re seeing in practice.

Meanwhile, while we wait, we want to let you know that we’re discussing what we’ve found works for our patients. And although we make the disclaimer that this is not individualized medical advice for you personally, we want to share the best of what we’re reading and actually doing. In the name of transparency. And in the name of hope.

Help ketamine remission last by unburdening yourself of self consciousness.

Now to recap…we were talking about how stress seems to undermine the benefits of ketamine…or at least it appears to. And there’s more to stress than meets the eye. Right?

Sometimes the stress is inside our heads…like things aren’t going the way we wish they would, or something we hoped would last doesn’t, or maybe people aren’t doing what we think they should.

Or we like the job but hate the commute and arrive at work ready to rip someone’s head off…or we hate the job and every day is miserable.

…or we have friends who drive us crazy, use and abuse us, but we keep spending time with them.

And that’s where “infrastructure’ comes in. You want to help ketamine remission last. And the rebuilding of your environment, your decision-making, your thinking patterns, and your responses to the challenging moments in life, is part of your personal infrastructure. All of that tries to return you to your former state before treatment…or can establish you in your new peaceful life of joy and productivity.

It’s impossible to cover all those elements in one post, but we’ll attempt to show ways you can tackle certain elements that make up your inner and outer environment over time… here and in some posts to come.

A Full Overhaul Of Your Life, Step by Step, Can Be the BEST Medicine

Help ketamine remission last by overhauling your attitudes, expectations, and responses.

And a good place to start is by taking a look at learning to let go. It’s completely normal and natural to assume that any depression or anxiety you have is the result of the behavior of others. That you just got worn down from it all.

And there may be some truth in that. 

But in exploring the causes, it may surprise you to learn that their behavior may not actually be the cause, as much as your reaction to their behavior that is.

Now understand this. We’re not implying here in any sense that your lack of response to ketamine, or the loss of remission, is in any way your fault, or even within your control.

But it’s important to understand that the best prescription for maintaining stability with remission includes maintaining health in those things in your life and environment that you can control.

Things like your respect for yourself and for other people. Your persistence in pursuing peace in your life and relationships. The development of a kindness-centered approach to yourself and those in the world around you.

…And the evaluation of your life and simplification of the burdens and demands it presents. Ensuring  you have the power to enjoy life’s simplest pleasures…which may include letting go of things that pull you down or hold you back.

These are things that can help ketamine remission last.

So let’s talk about a fundamental skill that can change your life…for the better.

Letting Go

When we talk about letting go, it’s not reserved to only one thing…such as letting go of a relationship. Since relationships can be so important in our lives, and the ending of them can be so painful, letting go of relationships that have died is high on the list.

Help ketamine remission last by reducing relationship conflicts and replacing with harmony.

But there are other issues in our lives that may present themselves as we consider letting go to reduce stress. 

Such as letting go of being right in our discussions at work with our boss or co-workers, and in our discussions at home with those we love most, such as our spouse and kids.

And what about letting go of fighting to get our way, when obstacles are thrown in our path? This may be akin to letting go of being right, but it has a personality all its own. 

Possessions Can Shift from Useful Tools to… Jailer

How about letting go of your pride in your possessions…?  For instance, let’s imagine a teenager sets his icy soft drink can on your dining room table…allowing condensation to mar its flawless finish? 

What goes through your mind when you see it? Rage that a kid with no manners has caused your beloved heirloom table some damage…?  Fear that your spouse will hit the ceiling? Compassion for a young man who didn’t know better… so you pick up the can and set it on a coaster for him? 

It’s ok to enjoy having nice things, but when the “thing” is higher on your priority list than the development and well-being of a person…well that “thing” is controlling you.

Which do you value more: A 19th century mahogany table with a flawless finish that was handed down through your family over a hundred years….?   Or a tall and lanky boy who needs a haircut and a clean t-shirt ?

If you’re honest with yourself, it really might be the table. But if that’s the case, maybe it will help you see the kinds of things you can work on, possibly with a therapist, to improve the infrastructure in your head.

Because anger causes stress. And anger toward that kid is stress you don’t need. Compassion on the other hand doesn’t, and actually supports your remission frame of mind.

Remember…you’re learning to nurture peace… in your head. And to do it means developing a response of gratitude, humility, and kindness.

What If You Lost It All?

Help ketamine remission last by shedding attachments to things and cherishing people you love.

On the other hand, picture your belongings lost in a fire. No one’s fault, really. But it cost you every material thing you own.  How do you feel about that?  Sad?  Sure… all those memories and photos…but the house and belongings?

This is a loss you’ll never fully recover from materially, but does it reach the core of who you are?

Now.  Picture the phone call that makes the world STOP. Your spouse, your three children, and your only grandchild have been in a terrible car accident. No one survived.

What do you feel? What does the furniture or sports car mean to you now?  

My point here is that we have a way of putting people and things on a priority list… and that list can get all mixed up. But this scenario helps to show how those things we think are important lose their glow instantly when those at the core of our hearts are lost.

And that being the case, putting ourselves through unnecessary stress to preserve things that pale in comparison to those we love… well, it’s a waste of valuable moments and energy when we think about what really matters to us.

And therein lies the secret. Rather than wasting our lives by hurting people to preserve things, we find our life is best spent preserving the moments with those we love the most. 

And the things…the houses, cars, antiques, reputation, recognition…none of these things can compete with the people we love the most.

The Greedy Monkey

You’ve heard the story of the monkey who is shown a jar of cookies.  A jar that has a small mouth. He sticks his hand in and grabs a cookie…but can’t pull his hand out unless he lets go of the cookie.  The opening just won’t accommodate anything larger than his open hand. 

Because he won’t let the cookie go, he panics. Swinging the jar around in the air in a temper because it won’t give him the cookie, he finally smacks himself on the head with the jar and it hurts so much, he immediately lets go of the cookie to hold his head.

Sound familiar… at all?  Is there anything in your life that’s pleasurable to you that you don’t want to let go?  And if circumstances prevent you from having it or keeping it…does it make you mad?

If you have any marred tables or unyielding jars in your life, take a moment and breathe…  Think about what trying to protect and preserve that “thing” costs you.  Are your feelings on your cuff?  Do do you snap at people when its security is threatened?  Do you feel panic at the idea of it being removed from your life…?

The Surprise Benefits of Letting Go

The unexpected surprise you can discover by disengaging from “it” is that the angst of control that you’re powerless to perfect is replaced by a growing peace and relief.  And when you have succeeded in reaching that point, that same peace and relief is a signal that you’ve now added a brick to the foundation in your personal infrastructure.  

Help ketamine remission last by showing kindness, sowing seeds of love, and nurturing peace.

That thing, whether it’s your marriage, your shiny sports car, your child who’s supposed to fulfill your dreams….your house, the money you make in your job that prevents you from spending time with those who yearn for your attention…no matter what it is, has been holding you back and isn’t deserving of what it takes from you.

Picture serenity in your life.  Peace.  What has been removed from the picture when you think of it?

An alcoholic wife, an abusive screaming boyfriend, a job that you bring home and work on till you go to bed…? Maybe it’s more house than you can afford, so you’re driven to work three jobs to pay the bills. If it is, that house controls you.  

Life is short. We get the most out of it when we can cherish every moment.  In your daydreams, when you wish for reprieve…what do you erase from your life in your mind’s eye to make room for hope?  Peace?  Love?  Enjoyment?

 Commit to Finding Ways to Let It Go

First of all, in your mind and heart.

This is one facet of the infrastructure in your life that you may need to confront and adjust to make room for remission. 

It will be easier to explore these things after you’ve had ketamine treatments because of the neuroplasticity that results. The ability to think in new ways. To change, and make productive decisions for your life.

So…to get there… you may want to consider ketamine treatment for severe and suffocating depression, your wracking and immobilizing bipolar depression, PTSD that injects traumatic reactions into your days…and your nights. 

OCD that stands in the way of your achievements, and that social anxiety that has plagued and isolated you since you were a child.  And for suicidal thinking that threatens to snuff your life before you even have a chance to recover.

Wanna Help Ketamine Remission Last?  You Can If You Strengthen Your Infrastructure

Strengthening your infrastructure involves ferreting out burdens you can lift off yourself, like excess belongings, excess weight, whatever it is that requires your service and obligation…and prevents you from freely enjoying opportunities with those relationships that matter.

Let it go. Help Ketamine Remission Last

By giving your brain…your inner self…the most optimal environment for healing and growing possible.

It means simplifying the grandness of your life… For you, it might mean living beneath your means so you can travel, write, or volunteer. Or shedding those friendships that demand your time but don’t contribute. It’s shedding the less meaningful to free up time and space for what’s ultimately important.

For this person it may mean letting go of the bitterness he carries toward his ex-spouse for leaving him.  For another, it may mean selling the house to travel the country in an RV and stop and paint when the view is spectacular.

And for someone else, it can mean retiring from the corporate job to teach underprivileged children, or to cook meals in a soup kitchen for the homeless.

For you? Maybe it’s saying no to all those obligations that crowd your life so you have time to spend with those who adore you.

Basically, it’s about pulling weeds in your life to help ketamine remission last, and to preserve your joy. To put the life ketamine helps you find to the very best use.

You know what your strengths are…if you take time to think about it. Those special gifts you have ached to get out.

No one can tell you what it is for you. But that’s the fun of exploring your own infrastructure to find your path for cherishing the moments of life, and enjoying your new found joy.  It’s a painful process that gives birth to fulfillment.  And along that path, you’ll find joy.

Even though we don’t see everyone achieve remission with ketamine treatment, we do get to see that most do. And more and more physicians are learning better and better methods for administering ketamine for the best possible outcomes.

Help ketamine remission last by preserving and cherishing moments with those you love.

The result is that more physicians are reporting higher numbers and better outcomes. The field of ketamine for psychiatric disorders is growing as physicians and researchers collaborate and learn from each other.

Meanwhile, researchers and physicians alike continue to discover more with hopes of bringing relief and remission to those who aren’t experiencing it now.

If you suffer from symptoms that no medicine has helped, call us.  

We’re here to help you experience life the way you’ve longed to live it. 

To the liberating of your best self, 

Lori Calabrese, MD offers innovative psychiatric treatment like IV Ketamine


Lori Calabrese, M.D.
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