There are an endless number of people who are eternally grateful for those who have served our nation. Any type of military service requires a special level of aptitude that not everybody has. If you are a veteran, be proud.

Veteran or not, though, most of us feel the same way about war: it’s tragic, difficult, brutal. Perhaps the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre said it best. “Once you hear all the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat.” To him and to many others, a victory that can only come at a cost to humanity.

When our veterans return home from active combat, they are reintegrated into civilian life. This typically means finding a job, starting or returning to a family, and participating in society. However, for some, leaving the battlefield isn’t that easy. Despite no longer taking orders or being under fire, some are forced to relive the stress and anxiety from their service long after it’s over. When this happens, it can become impossible to maintain a job, support themselves or a family, or to simply function in day-to-day life.

Fortunately for our veterans, there are many benefits to serving. Among these benefits is the option to receive medical treatment at one of the 143 Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centers spread around the country.

These hospitals are just like others, except that they cater specifically to veterans most of the time. They treat their patients for any number of medical illnesses and conditions, just like any other hospital would. However, for the VA, there are numerous veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which causes dramatic emotional instability. Oftentimes, this mental health disorder is brought on by their traumatic experiences while serving.

Usually, PTSD is treated with a combination of talk therapy, selective serotonin reuptake inhibiting (SSRI) antidepressants, and—sometimes—an antipsychotic medication for more severe cases. Unfortunately, though, SSRI treatments alone are usually only effective for about 40% of patients. For the other 60%, the treatment—which usually takes 3-6 weeks before any improvements become noticeable—proves to be ineffective at relieving their symptoms.

For the last decade or so, these remained the only treatment options for patients suffering from PTSD. Some would continue their treatments, despite the fact that they were ineffective…but most would just stop altogether. However, since then, sub-anesthetic doses of ketamine have risen in popularity as a new treatment for PTSD and other mental illnesses.

Ketamine, which acts on the glutamate system, typically acts much faster than a typical SSRI antidepressant. Usually, the patient or their doctor will know if ketamine infusions are going to help within four treatments. For the majority of patients, ketamine is wildly successful, with nearly 70% of them reporting success. Ketamine infusions are the fastest acting antidepressant available to date.

For PTSD, the benefit of ketamine infusions comes from its effects on memory and learning. Research has shown that ketamine allows the brain to replace old spinal dendrites—which are responsible for memory formation—with new, leaner, more energy-efficient ones. These new neural connections, when combined with specialized forms of talk therapy, make re-learning certain behaviors and developing healthier responses to painful memories much easier to do.

Following this, as of December 2018, ketamine infusions were added to the available treatment options for select VA hospitals across the country. This means that many more veterans will be able to receive effective treatment for their PTSD, and will be able to get back to living a normal, productive civilian life. However, for those who live in areas where the VA does not offer ketamine infusions, clinics like ours are widely available.


Vitalitas Denver is one of the country’s most trusted ketamine clinics—since 2015, we have performed more than 10,000 ketamine infusions, and changed countless lives for the better. Our Colorado ketamine clinics are located in Denver and the Boulder/Fort Collins areas. If you are curious about the benefits of ketamine and think you may be a candidate, please contact us using the brief form below. A member of our highly experienced clinical team will contact you to answer your questions and point you in the right direction!

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