For many, the experience of pain is very personal. Pain can feel isolating, and many times, the brain and body can get used to pain and it can become more of how you see yourself. For many, unrecognized pain is the fuel for addictions, compulsions, unhealthy relationships with self and with others.
Pain in its most basic sense is your body’s response to a negative stimuli. I recently was cutting something for dinner and I accidentally sliced my 5th finger. It shocked me when it happened as I was being careful, but it happened and I had to take time to stop, notice the pain, control the bleeding, be present in the pain, until I could take care of myself enough to cover the wound, and change the dressing daily and continue to monitor it for any signs of infection. Today, my finger is functional again, healed up, but the memory of that pain sticks with me. I have not used that kitchen tool since that time and for sure when I do use it again, I will have the memory of my injury and I may even notice that my brain remembers the pain that I experienced.
All in all, my cutting accident is part of life, sometimes accidents happen, injury happens, whether that is physical, emotional, or spiritual, and in the best scenario, the pain is recognized and nurtured towards healing by self, or assisted by others in your life.
The worst case scenario happens when pain is experienced, and there is no help for self, or an ability to get the help you need. Then the negative impacts of that experience may further cause you to isolate, feel alone, believe that you can’t get the help you need, and that you are somehow not worthy of getting the help you need.
One approach we can utilize to alleviate emotional pain is Ketamine assisted therapy.
Ketamine-assisted therapy is a therapeutic approach that utilizes ketamine, a medication, in combination with psychotherapy to help alleviate emotional pain, particularly in individuals struggling with conditions like depression, anxiety, PTSD, or chronic pain. Here’s how it can be beneficial:
1. Rapid Relief: Ketamine has the potential to provide rapid relief from emotional pain, often within hours or days, compared to traditional antidepressant medications that may take weeks to show effects. This quick relief can be life-saving for individuals in severe distress.
2. Neural Pathways: Ketamine may work by impacting certain neural pathways and receptors in the brain associated with mood regulation. It can help “reset” these pathways, which can alleviate symptoms of depression and other emotional issues.
3. Enhanced Therapy: Ketamine-assisted therapy combines the medication with psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. The altered state of consciousness induced by ketamine can make therapy more effective by allowing individuals to explore and address underlying issues more openly.
4. Breaking Negative Thought Patterns: Ketamine may help individuals break free from negative thought patterns and ruminative thinking, allowing for a shift in perspective and a reduction in emotional pain.
5. Neuroplasticity: Ketamine may promote neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to reorganize and form new connections. This can lead to a more positive outlook and improved emotional well-being.
It’s important to note that ketamine-assisted therapy should only be administered under the supervision of trained medical and mental health professionals. It’s not a standalone treatment but rather a tool used within a comprehensive treatment plan. The effectiveness of ketamine may vary from person to person, and it may not be suitable for everyone. Always consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment approach for your specific needs.