Ketamine for Anxiety Treatment
People with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) display excessive anxiety or worry, most days for at least 6 months, about a number of things such as personal health, work, social interactions, and everyday routine life circumstances. It can impair your ability to perform tasks quickly and efficiently because you have trouble concentrating, it takes your time and focus from other activities, drains your energy, and/or increases your risk of depression. It can also lead to or worsen other physical health conditions, such as digestive or bowel problems (irritable bowel syndrome or ulcers), headaches and migraines, chronic pain and illness, sleep problems and insomnia, or heart-related issues.
Anxiety disorders are generally treated with psychotherapy (talk therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy), medication, or both. Medication does not cure anxiety disorders but can help relieve symptoms. The most common medication for anxiety is benzodiazepines, but the major drawback is people can build up a tolerance to them if they are taken over a long period of time and they may need higher and higher doses to get the same effect. Some people may even become dependent on them.
Between 30% and 40% of patients will not achieve remission, despite 3 or 4 different traditional agents, and even with evidence-based nonpharmacologic therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Without any great current strategies available for these non-responders, ketamine infusions are accumulating an evidence base as rapidly effective for an array of anxiety disorders, including social anxiety disorder (SAD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Ketamine infusion therapy can be highly effective for the treatment of anxiety without the side effects of prescription medications. It is very possible to eliminate the need for medications completely after ketamine infusions. Most clients notice relief by the 3rd treatment of their six infusions. Progress after the first infusion may be subtle, gradual or intermittent over several days. Many clients know whether the treatments are a good option for them after the first infusion. In some cases where a client is unsure, we suggest proceeding through the 3rd infusion before a decision to continue or stop treatments.
When used in a safe, controlled environment under proper supervision, ketamine can provide near-immediate relief from emotional and physical pain, while helping to look deeply into one’s self. With the support of a trained practitioner, these experiences offer an expanded perspective that can help you reframe complex problems and heal from chronic and intractable symptoms.