Ketamine Treatment Benefits for Anxiety Relief

For some people, anxiety is a mild nervousness that subsides after a few minutes or hours. For others, anxiety means constant worry, panic attacks, obsessive negative thoughts, and compulsive behaviors to help alleviate the anxiety.

If you have anxiety, you are not alone. In the United States, anxiety is the most common mental health disorder. Over 40 million people over 18 are affected by anxiety. There are various types of anxiety disorders Americans are coping with today, including:

  • 6.8 million with generalized anxiety disorder
  • 6 million with panic disorder
  • 15 million with social anxiety disorder
  • 19.3 million with specific phobias
  • 2.5 million with obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • 7.7 million with post-traumatic stress disorder

Fortunately, all anxiety disorders are treatable and manageable using a combination of medication, therapy, and alternative treatments.

Common Treatments for Anxiety

Anxiety treatment begins with a comprehensive assessment of your physical, mental, social, and familial histories. A licensed mental health professional, either a psychiatrist or psychologist, can identify the areas contributing to your symptoms and create a treatment plan based on your needs. They may recommend one or more of the following:

Self-Management Strategies

There are changes you can make in your lifestyle to help manage symptoms. Examples include lowering stress, healthy diet, exercise, relaxation, and sleep hygiene. 


Working with a therapist, you can learn methods to recognize anxiety triggers and reduce symptoms through cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and variations of this technique. Your thoughts influence your feelings, influencing your reactions to events and circumstances. If your thoughts cause you to feel anxious, you will likely act or react anxiously. Psychotherapy can help you change how you think, feel, and behave.


Antidepressants are often the go-to medicines to control anxiety, not because you are also depressed, but because the medication works on the same neurotransmitters in the brain that cause depression.

The most prescribed antidepressants are serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. Other medications for anxiety include tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines, beta-blockers, buspirone, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors.

What If Common Treatments for Anxiety Do Not Work?

Recent reports state 50% of people with a generalized anxiety disorder will not respond to anti-depressant medicines.

Treatment-refractory or treatment-resistant anxiety occurs for two different reasons, including


Pseudo-resistance anxiety occurs when a person has a treatment plan that may include medication and therapy, but they do not follow through with recommendations. It may also happen if they work with a doctor or therapist who creates an ineffective treatment plan.

True treatment-resistance

Someone with true treatment-resistant anxiety has implemented various combinations of therapies, but their symptoms have not improved. They have likely tried more than one or a combination of two or three with anxiety medicines. They have also tried medication combined with psychotherapies, alternative treatments, and self-management strategies. Yet still no improvements.

There are treatments available for pseudo-resistance and true treatment-resistance anxiety disorders.

Finding the Right Treatment

The key to finding the proper treatment is working with a psychiatrist. Those with pseudo-resistance anxiety can receive a further evaluation of what did not work in the past. Together, you can create a new plan with various techniques. If you need help being consistent with medication, they can create a plan that includes reminders or prescribe medication to take weekly rather than daily. If you need help remembering appointments, they can initiate reminder calls.

Those with actual treatment-resistance anxiety can explore advanced treatments with their psychiatrist. One of the most promising treatments available today is Ketamine.

What is Ketamine?

Ketamine has been around since the 1960s. It was used as an anesthetic for soldiers injured on the battlefield during the Vietnam war. Unlike other anesthetics, Ketamine does not suppress respiratory or heart functions. 

Researchers discovered that Ketamine has more uses than anesthesia. It showed promising outcomes when used in the mental health industry. Unfortunately, people began misusing Ketamine as a party drug, leading to President Nixon classifying it as an illegal substance. 

In recent years, the Food and Drug Administration approved Ketamine as a nasal spray called Spravato for treating depression. Psychiatrists find that most patients prefer Ketamine using intravenous methods. In such cases, doctors can use an off-label version of the drug.

Your doctor will only give you the smallest dose of Ketamine, and they will administer it in a clinical setting, where you are supervised for about an hour until the drug wears off.

Ketamine Treatment Benefits for Anxiety Relief

Ketamine does amazing things for the brain. It can rewire the brain to change anxious thoughts to be more rational and calmer. Other benefits of ketamine therapy for anxiety relief include the following:

  • It regulates the release of glutamate, a neurotransmitter that causes stress and anxiety when released in high amounts.
  • It has minimal side effects that typically go away after an hour or two.
  • It leads to an increased desire to participate in social situations.
  • It reduces anxiety symptoms almost immediately.
  • It improves thinking and reasoning.
  • It improves the effectiveness of antidepressants.
  • It rapidly reduces suicidal ideations.
  • It relieves chronic pain.
  • It is effective for weeks after your treatment session.
  • It can be combined with psychotherapy to prolong the effects.

Are You Eligible for Ketamine Therapy?

While the benefits of Ketamine can change someone’s life, not everyone is eligible for the treatment. To qualify, you must have true treatment-resistance anxiety. Also, you must meet the following:

  • You are not pregnant
  • Your blood pressure is under control
  • You do not have heart disease
  • You have never had a negative experience with Ketamine in the past
  • You do not have a history of psychosis
  • You do not have a history of and are not currently misusing drugs or alcohol
  • You do not have a brain injury that causes pressure to build in your skull (increased intracranial pressure)

To find out if you are eligible for ketamine treatment for anxiety relief, contact the Mental Health Center today. They have qualified psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals who can help you get back to enjoying life.