Can Ketamine Cure Your Depression & Anxiety? With Physician Assistant Lauren Swanson

Lauren Swanson

Verywell / Julie Bang

Every Monday on The Verywell Mind Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Amy Morin, LCSW, interviews authors, experts, entrepreneurs, athletes, musicians, and other inspirational people about the strategies that help them think, feel, and do their best in life.

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Meet Lauren Swanson

Lauren Swanson is a board-certified physician assistant. In addition to her experience in family practice, she also has experience in urgent care, cosmetic dermatology, and neuropsychiatry. 

After feeling somewhat burned out by working in family practice, Lauren decided to begin offering Ketamine treatment through Wondermed, an online teletherapy site.

She has training in Ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and is well-versed in mental health. She appreciates how the medication provides so many of her patients with immediate relief from anxiety, depression, PTSD, and chronic pain.

Why Lauren Swanson Is Mentally Strong

When Lauren saw the powerful changes Ketamine treatment had on someone in her personal life, she decided to begin working exclusively to prescribe Ketamine. 

She has learned a lot about Ketamine, mental health, and the benefits patients receive and she works on educating the public about how Ketamine treatment can improve lives and reduce suffering.

What You’ll Hear on the Show

  • Why Lauren believes so strongly in Ketamine
  • The conditions that Ketamine can treat
  • How Ketamine interacts with the brain differently than other medications
  • The benefits Ketamine can offer
  • Case studies from Lauren’s practice and how it affected different people
  • The risk factors associated with Ketamine
  • Who makes a good candidate for Ketamine and who doesn’t
  • The difference between IV Ketamine and oral Ketamine
  • How Ketamine is used at home (the precautions and protocols)
  • How Ketamine interacts with other drugs
  • Integration, breathwork, apps, and journaling 
  • How to get long-term results from Ketamine
  • Typical duration of Ketamine treatment

What You’ll Learn About Mental Health and Mental Strength

It’s clear that the most commonly prescribed treatments for mental health issues aren’t always effective. Antidepressants don’t work for many people. Therapy isn’t always effective. Even alternative strategies, like yoga, don’t always lead to improved mental health.

The emerging research on psychedelics is promising. It’s teaching us a lot about the brain and how we can develop new neural pathways that improve mental health.

If the treatment you’ve tried so far hasn’t worked for you, it’s not a sign of weakness. It just means the treatments you have tried haven’t been a good match for you. 

What works for one person won’t work for everyone. It takes mental strength to keep looking for solutions that can help you think, feel, and do your best.

Quotes From Lauren

Lauren Swanson

If someone is really conditioned in their depression or anxiety to have a negative thought pattern or rumination, or just a very narrow outlook on their situation, ketamine will just immediately take them out of that.

— Lauren Swanson
  • "It's really important with ketamine to also use integration tools, to kind of unpack that session and use what you've learned from it to integrate into what might help you."
  • "The idea is that you get someone on ketamine to get them off. This is a whole different frame of mind than what we're used to. These other medications, Prozac, only work when you're taking them. Ketamine, you use it as a catalyst to really make these changes, mold that neuroplasticity, and then you get off of it."

More About the Podcast

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Reviews and ratings are a great way to encourage other people to listen and help them prioritize their mental health too.

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By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.