Sustain Ketamine Treatments Through The Holidays

Lone Star Infusion

The holidays are here. The holiday radio stations are playing their full-time programing, and the season of sales is in full swing. This time of the year is magical and fun, except that it often isn’t.

On average, across the country and the world, people are generally happier around the holiday season. However, that’s on average. Some people really dread this time of year. And even for people that may like it, there are many pitfalls that may contribute to or worsen episodes of depression, anxiety, or PTSD.

The unrealistic expectations of familial joy and peaceful togetherness, the financial stress, work stresses, the shorter days, the holiday parties (or our inability to have parties during a global pandemic) - it can all add up to worsening mood symptoms. At Lone Star Infusion, the holidays are always busy.

We strongly encourage people to come in for a ketamine infusion booster treatment, if needed. And we also encourage our patients to remember the many little ways to help sustain the benefits of their treatments:

1. Avoid toxic family. If they make you feel small or leave you fuming it is ok to steer clear of them.

2. Avoid benzodiazepines and alcohol. These appear to decrease the effectiveness of the ketamine treatments and they are depressants themselves.

3. Keep taking vitamin D. Seasonal affective disorder is real and corresponds to decreasing sunlight. If you aren’t in full sunlight with arms and legs exposed for 15 minutes a day your levels can fall within a month.

4. Keep taking zinc. Not only does it have mood benefits but it helps the immune system knock out colds and flus – and being sick can negatively impact mood.

5. Keep going outside. As much as possible, keep exercising for natural dopamine and serotonin and for the simple joy of getting out into nature.

6. Avoid social media. There is a lot of hype that comes with glorifying the day. The holiday is another day. One foot in front of the other. Even though other some people may post fancy pictures with matching outfits that does not mean that’s how their life really looks, and it doesn’t mean everyone should have amazing photos to post.

7. Keep taking L-methyl folate. When it is cold out people eat less leafy greens and the L-methyl folate can help fight a deficiency that leads to worsened mood. Cerebral folate deficiency has been found in 1/3 of patients with severe treatment resistant depression.

8. This is a great time of year to find comfort in ritual. Turn to your religion, or to ceremonies such as greeting the winter solstice and the return of lengthening days. The end of the year can include healthy traditions of coziness, mindfulness and gratitude.

9. Self-care is both necessary and allowed this time of year. Make time to go for a walk, do yoga, sit quietly, or something else that helps you feel better.

10. Watch happy movies and tv. Avoid the unhappy stuff. There are lots of “feel good” things playing this time of year. It is definitely ok to use those to lighten your mood a bit.

These things aren’t meant to replace medical treatments, medications, therapy or other interventions that may be appropriate for you. They are meant to help you be the best you can be. You can think of these items as parts of your mental health tool box.

Holidays can be joyous times, but not always and not all the time. The items in this list may help to maintain the effects of ketamine treatments at this time of year. And if you need more help, please ask for it. We’re here for ketamine infusions and there are lots of talented professionals ready to help with other good options.

 

About Me, Dr Allison Wells: I started Lone Star Infusion, here in Houston, to provide ketamine infusions for depression, anxiety, PTSD, CRPS and other mood disorders and pain conditions. I am a licensed, board-certified anesthesiologist. I am super passionate about being a partner in helping people feel their best with evidence-based medicine.

An Important Disclaimer: The information in this and other blog posts represents my informed opinion or the opinion of others, and does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied upon to make decisions regarding medical care. To address the specific details of your medical conditions and treatments please speak with your doctors.

Author
Dr. Allison Wells, MD

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