2020 Articles

Volume 2 Issue 4

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A Ketamine-Induced Episode of Insight: A Case Report

Benjamin J. Nissen, MD; Kelly A. Bisel, DO

Volume 2 Issue 4


Schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness characterized by a constellation of symptoms, often including hallucinations, delusional thinking, and disorganization in thought and or speech, resulting in significant social or occupational dysfunction. One key factor that impairs a patient with schizophrenia to achieve and maintain wellness involves a profound lack of insight into the disease. With an improvement in insight, patients with schizophrenia are more likely to remain compliant with medication interventions and engage in active treatment modalities, including cognitive-behavioral models of change [1]. Given the predominant lack of efficacy in available long-term treatments for schizophrenia, novel mechanisms of intervention, including the use of psychedelics such as ketamine, may result in lasting improvements in insight and provide additional means of helping those with schizophrenia better understand their illness. In time it may be possible for improvements in insight to reduce the likelihood that patients with schizophrenia fail to remain compliant with medication and therapy and ultimately result in shorter and less frequent hospitalizations. The case below describes a 33-year-old male with schizophrenia who benefited from a brief and temporary improvement in insight after receiving a one-time dose of IM ketamine during a period of acute agitation shortly after being hospitalized for active psychosis