This article is reviewed, corrected, and approved by: Julia Weiss CNP| RN | MPH

If you suffer from intense depression, PTSD, or persistent anxiety that remains unaffected by therapy and medication, it's important for you to be aware of the potential benefits of using ketamine. Around 30-40% of depression have treatment-resistant depression after trying multiple medications without improvement.

Ketamine therapy has gained popularity as a mental health treatment, but it's not for everyone. In this post on ketamine therapy, I'm here to shed light on who may not be the best fit for this treatment.

Before we proceed, it is crucial to carefully examine and evaluate the essential elements that must be taken into account before embarking on this journey.

But before you start, test your knowledge about ketamine therapy by solving this quiz.
What is the minimum age for ketamine therapy?
A. 13 years old
B. 16 years old
C. 18 years old
D. 21 years old
People with which of the following mental health conditions are not good candidates for ketamine therapy?
A. Depression
B. Anxiety
C. Bipolar disorder
D. Schizophrenia
Which of the following medical conditions is a contraindication for ketamine therapy?
A. Liver disease
B. Kidney disease
C. Glaucoma
D. All of the above

What is Ketamine Therapy?

The first thing we need to understand is what ketamine therapy is. Ketamine is an anesthetic drug that has found a new purpose in the world of mental health. It's administered in controlled doses to help individuals battling severe depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mood disorders. Ketamine works in a unique way, affecting certain brain receptors and helping reset neural pathways.

How Does Ketamine Therapy Work?

When you experience chronic stress and intense depression, it directly affects the structure of your brain's neurons. These neurons are responsible for communication within the brain. Due to these conditions, the dendrites, which are the small extensions of the neurons, have fewer branches, and the axons, another part of the neurons, become less sharp and shorter.

It rapidly relieves symptoms and promotes synaptic plasticity, which can reverse structural alterations in neurons. Ketamine also restores glutamate balance and improves brain connectivity.

Who Is Not A Good Candidate For Ketamine Therapy?

Ketamine is an FDA-approved therapy, but there is an issue here. Not everyone is good for Now, let's get to the heart of the matter: Who should avoid ketamine therapy.

History of Substance Abuse

In the 80s and 90s, ketamine gained huge popularity as a party drug and was given several street names, including Special K. However, in the late 90s, scientists discovered that glutamate, a neurotransmitter in the brain, could have a significant impact on depression.

So, ketamine has a potential for abuse, and individuals with a history of substance abuse may not be the best candidates. It's crucial to understand that ketamine can be habit-forming for some, leading to a risk of addiction or relapse.

Certain Medical Conditions

While ketamine can be a helpful treatment option for some individuals, it might not fit all. This is because it can affect blood pressure and heart rate, which could pose risks to individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular issues.

However, with careful consideration and consultation with a medical professional, those who may not be suitable for ketamine treatment can explore other safe and effective options for their specific needs.

Unwilling or Unable to Commit to the Treatment Process

Ketamine therapy doesn't provide an instant solution. It usually requires multiple sessions. Those who refuse or cannot dedicate themselves to this procedure may not fully benefit. Consistency is essential in achieving the best results.

Ideal Candidates for Ketamine Therapy

Ketamine therapy can be life-changing for many people, especially those who have tried other treatments with limited success. Ideal candidates include individuals struggling with severe depression, anxiety, or PTSD.

This therapy could provide quick relief in and person's mental situation. It has been found that many psychological conditions can be minimized with ketamine therapy.

Psychological Factors to Consider

Beyond the physical aspects, there are psychological factors to contemplate:

Mental Readiness

A person's mental state matters. To experience the full benefits of ketamine therapy, it's vital to approach it with an open mind and a readiness to delve deep into your emotions and thoughts. You need to be mentally prepared to fully explore the new experiences that may arise during the therapy sessions.

Be open to the journey ketamine can take you on and let go of any preconceived notions or expectations. By doing so, you can tap into the transformative power of ketamine therapy; mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and stress can be relieved with this.

Motivation and Expectations

Ketamine therapy is not a miracle cure. Having realistic expectations and the motivation to actively engage in the treatment process is very important. Unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment and cost money.

Consultation with a Healthcare Professional

Before you start ketamine therapy, it's important to visit and talk with a specialist or registered nurse. They will evaluate if this treatment is suitable for you, diagnose your current condition, and consider your medical history and individual needs. It's also important to have a comprehensive assessment to make a well-informed decision.


Now you are pretty much clear about who is not a good candidate for ketamine therapy. Lastly, I want to say that ketamine therapy can be a game-changer for individuals grappling with PTSD, severe depression, and trauma.

However, it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. That means it may not be suitable for those with a history of substance abuse, certain medical conditions, or those unwilling to commit to the treatment process.

Your mental readiness, motivation, and realistic expectations also play a significant role in the success of ketamine therapy. When considering whether or not ketamine therapy is right for you, it is important to identify whether it would work for you or not.

Key Takeaways

Not Ideal Candidates

  • History of Substance Abuse: Individuals with a history of substance abuse may be at risk of addiction or relapse due to ketamine's potential for abuse.
  • Certain Medical Conditions: Ketamine can affect blood pressure and heart rate, posing risks for those with pre-existing cardiovascular issues.
  • Unwilling/Unable to Commit: Ketamine therapy requires multiple sessions, and commitment is crucial for optimal results.

Ideal Candidates

  • Severe Mental Conditions: Ketamine therapy is beneficial for severe depression, anxiety, or PTSD.
  • Quick Relief: Ketamine therapy can offer rapid relief for individuals struggling with psychological conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Qs)

Q: What does ketamine therapy feel like?

A: The effects of ketamine therapy may be relaxation, dissociation, and change in sensation and thought

Q: Does ketamine therapy make you high?

A: There may be a mild sense of euphoria or a detachment from reality from ketamine therapy, but this is very different from recreational drug use.

Q: How much does ketamine therapy cost?

A: It is possible for ketamine therapy to cost between $300 and $800 per session, and insurance may not always cover it.

Q: Is ketamine therapy legal?

A: The use of Ketamine therapy is legal if it's prescribed by a licensed doctor.