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About Ketamine

Intravenous ketamine infusions are a revolutionary and promising new treatment for unipolar depression (MDD), bipolar depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, OCD and tinnitus.  This treatment represents a paradigm change in the treatment of psychiatric disorders, as symptoms are relieved in hours or days, compared to traditional treatments that take weeks to months to have an effect.  There are no other treatments available that have the immediate affect and response rate that ketamine does.  In addition, ketamine has been used extensively as an anesthetic for over 50 years and is extremely safe, with clients typically reporting no side-effects between treatments.

Sequoia Mind Health offers ketamine infusions and injections as an outpatient procedure, administered by Dr. Goodwin, following a complementary telephone consultation with our Nurse Navigator, Heather.  Note that their are several ketamine infusion centers in the Bay Area, but most ketamine infusions are administered by an anesthesiologist.  The advantage to having a psychiatrist treat your depression is expertise in all areas of your mental health, including routine medication management and other interventional treatments (such as deep TMS).

Ketamine has also been used to facilitate talk therapy in a process called "ketamine-assisted psychotherapy."  At Sequoia Mind Health, ketamine can be administered sublingually or intramuscularly by Dr. Goodwin with talk therapy provided by Erika Cole.

Cover of TIME Magazine

A New Hope for Depression

Ketamine Advocacy Network

The Ketamine Advocacy Network exists to help educate clients about ketamine.  It is an excellent resource.

TED Talk on Ketamine

  • Ketamine is an NMDA receptor antagonist
  • It is involved in learning, memory and brain plasticity
  • Ketamine primes the brain for learning and increases neuronal connectivity
  • Major depression
  • Bipolar depression
  • Postpartum depression
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Ketamine is administered in a private outpatient office setting under the supervision of a physician
  • The medication is given as an intramuscular (IM) injection or intravenous (IV) infusion
  • The procedure lasts about 40 minutes with a 30 minute recovery period
  • During the treatment your vitals signs are monitored and a physician or nurse is in the room with you the entire time.  The lights are dimmed due to the light sensitivity seen with ketamine, and music with noise cancelling headphones is offered 
  • Clients describe feeling a sense of peace and joy, that their senses are heightened and sometimes that their mind is disconnected from their body
  • A sense of calm and deep relaxation may be experienced, but ketamine will not put one to sleep.  Some opt to take a short nap
  • Clients typically experience a relief of symptoms within a few hours after the treatment, though some find this response immediately afterwards and others within the following days
  • Studies have shown that a series of 6 treatment over 2-3 weeks provides the most profound and long-lasting effects.  If a client responds favorably to ketamine after 2 treatments (ketamine has a 60-90% response rate, depending on the study one is referencing), then we proceed with the entire series.  The positive effects can last weeks to months
  • Although ketamine works remarkably fast with improvement typically occurring within hours after the first treatment, the effects of ketamine are not as long-lasting as with other treatments.  For this reason we are judicious about making sure there is a plan in place to prevent return of symptoms.  For some this means standard treatments, for others regularly scheduled ketamine maintenance treatments are used, and we have had much success starting with ketamine for rapid response and transitioning to dTMS for long-term response (see "DEEP TMS" tab for details)
  • We act in a consulting capacity to provide this treatment, and we always recommend that clients continue treatment with their outpatient psychiatrist, therapist or primary care provider after the treatment course is complete, though some clients may opt to be treated by a provider at Sequoia Mind Health for ongoing care
  • Treatment with ketamine is a medical procedure requiring equipment and monitoring by a physician and/or staff, and therefore is costlier than a typical office visit and copay
  • Because ketamine is not FDA-approved for psychiatric purposes, it is not covered by insurance 
  • Despite the cost, when factoring in the economic burden of ongoing depressive symptoms, the toll on work and social life and the physical effects of depression on the body, the rapid resolution of symptoms and quick return to baseline seen with ketamine is an exceptional investment in one’s wellbeing
  • A receipt for services is provided at the time of appointment and some clients have had success in obtaining “out of network” coverage to recoup some of their costs

Please contact our offices to schedule a consultation: 707-527-1315