Understanding Ketamine: Hope for Anxiety Sufferers
Updated: Nov 23, 2020
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.” However, with the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the resulting increased job stress, financial insecurity, and social isolation, the prevalence of anxiety has risen sharply since March. In fact, a report released in June by the US Census Bureau indicated “a third of Americans show signs of clinical depression and anxiety [indicating] these and other mental conditions are becoming amplified during the recent pandemic.
With more and more Americans suffering from anxiety, there is a real need for effective treatment options. While many prescription drugs and therapy approaches prove beneficial for many patients, there is growing number of sufferers who find that they do not respond to common treatment options.
Developed in the 1960s and approved for use in the United States in 1970, Ketamine has been deemed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the most essential medications due to its therapeutic effects and wide margin of safety. Ketamine works by inducing both hypnotic (sleep-inducing) and analgesic (pain-relieving) effects. Ketamine is deemed a complete anesthetic with minimal effects on cardiovascular function, respiratory drive, and airway reflexes. It is used extensively for pediatric and adult treatment in surgery, emergency departments, trauma medicine, and war zones.”
Ketamine works on several brain areas involved in symptoms of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), postpartum depression (PPD), and numerous pain syndromes. It helps with shuttling needed neurotransmitters to where they are depleted, and has been shown to grow new neuronal connections in animal models of depression and anxiety.
Is Ketamine Safe
Ketamine IV infusion treatments for mood disorders and chronic pain are very safe when administered by clinicians, like highly trained anesthesia providers with board certifications. Additionally, Ketamine has a strong body of evidence-based research supporting its use. In fact, researchers have found that ketamine can be highly effective and safe in depression and anxiety, and unlike opioids is physically non-addictive. These are three of the most critical factors supporting its clinical use for mood disorders and chronic pain.
Hope for Anxiety Sufferers
IV Ketamine Therapy has a calming effect on the nervous system and has a demonstrated history of helping anxiety sufferers get the help they need. The ideal candidate for Ketamine IV Infusion treatments is typically a patient that has tried many other forms of treatment without success. Ketamine can often be the difference in a patient resuming a normal and healthy lifestyle, which usually they had not thought possible because of a history of successive treatment failures. For many, Ketamine IV Infusion treatments restore hope. The goal is to add ketamine IV infusions to the patient's current treatment protocol, which will give patients the best chance at finding relief.
How IV Ketamine Therapy Works
With Ketamine IV Infusions, all treatments are done by a licensed practitioner. The standard treatment includes (6) 45-60 minute sessions spread over a 2-3 week period. Research has shown that this regimen is the most effective for the treatment of mood disorders. In general, patients feel effects within the first 4-5 treatments, and are recommended to continue their regular care with a mental health practitioner, as well as their current drug regimen.
If you are considering ketamine for the treatment of anxiety, patients should schedule a consultation with a licensed provider and come prepared with questions.