After a Traumatic Birth, New Mom Seeks Out Ketamine Therapy
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After the traumatic delivery of her twins, mom Lauren is turning to ketamine therapy. The Doctors examine the use of psychedelic drug therapy to treat trauma and we are with the mom immediately following her first treatment session.
Lauren tells supervising investigative producer Leslie Marcus she has carried trauma with her since welcoming her twins and is plagued with dark thoughts about her children dying and people hurting them. "I would stress myself out like it was happening," she says, explaining she met with a psychiatrist at the Field Trip Health Care Practice who diagnosed her with PTSD. In addition to trauma, Lauren says she also experienced a random seizure a year after giving birth.
Vice president of the Field Trip Health Care Practice Matt Emer explains the process of the treatment, noting after receiving the ketamine, a therapist is with the patient to unpack whatever has been unearthed during the session.
The Doctors are with Lauren after her first ketamine therapy session -- which took around an hour -- and she details how she felt. "I initially experienced death, which was very hard for me. All I could do was focus on my breath... then you go off into the abyss. I was confused on whether or not I was having another seizure and then I also re-lived the trauma of exactly what it felt like right after I had my twins."
At first, Lauren says she could not stop shaking while on the ketamine but then felt a wave of calm. A few hours after her session, she tells us, "I feel very connected to myself." Looking ahead, Lauren says she is unsure how she will react to her past trauma following the treatment.
Back in 2019, Leslie first investigated ketamine clinics that were using the drug to treat issues like depression, PTSD, anxiety, OCD, and bipolar depression. Revisit her investigation, where she found it very easy to gain access to the drug.
Now, Leslie says ketamine therapy -- which is FDA-approved and should be prescribed by a doctor or clinician -- has evolved with inviting and calm clinics and also at-home options like taking a pill and using an app to guide you.
Psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr. David Rabin explains ketamine -- especially low doses -- is usually a safe medication when administered properly. He says the drug allows patients to better self-reflect on how they see themself in the world. Dr. Rabin also notes that ketamine does not have the same kind of side effects that other opioids can have and says it can help with both physical and emotional pain.
Find out more about the use of ketamine and whether it could be an alternative for other prescribed medications from Dr. Rabin.
As always, any medication -- including ketamine -- should only be taken as prescribed and under the supervision of a physician.