MD Infusions | Anxiety & Ketamine: Anxiety Treatment in Northbrook, IL
July 21, 2021
According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders affect over 40 million adults in the United States, making them the most common mental health condition. Of those affected, only about 37% seek treatment despite anxiety disorders being highly treatable.
Data from health-research firm IQVIA showed the number of prescriptions for anti-anxiety medications reached 9.7 million in March 2020 in the midst of the pandemic.
Despite millions of Americans using anti-anxiety medications, HelpGuide.org shared the American Academy of Family Physicians found benzodiazepines, a common anti-anxiety drug, lose their anti-anxiety effect within six months of regular use. Further research by JAMA Psychiatry, a peer-reviewed medical journal, also concluded selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors’ (SSRIs) effects are overestimated and that they can cause a dependence (and unpleasant withdrawal) in patients.
Now more than ever, researchers are looking for an innovative, effective form of treatment for patients to successfully treat their anxiety. This has led to breakthroughs in considering alternative medicines — like ketamine — for mental health treatment. Groundbreaking discoveries in ketamine have resulted in it being deemed “a promising novel therapy for anxiety” and “miracle drug.”
Anxiety, Anxiety Disorders and Symptoms
Anxiety is an emotion that involves intense worry and fear. We may feel anxious in certain high-stress situations, but these feelings tend to go away after the stressful event has passed.
However, with an anxiety disorder, the feelings of worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, sometimes without any cause. The severe worry, stress and fear may be so debilitating that those suffering feel unable to perform tasks in our everyday life.
There are several types of anxiety disorders. Some of these include: general anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder and phobias.
*All statistics below are according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Symptoms include: excessive worry, nervousness, restlessness, difficulty concentrating
- GAD affects nearly 7 million (roughly 3%) of adults in the U.S.
- Women have twice the chance of being affected by GAD compared to men.
Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
- Symptoms include: fear of being judged by others, worry of embarrassing one’s self, rapid heart rate, blushing, sweating, trembling
- SAD affects 15 million (nearly 7%) of adults in the U.S.
- SAD is just as common in women as it is men.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Symptoms include: flashbacks of traumatic event, distress, nightmares, heightened reactions
- PTSD affects nearly 8 million (about 3.5%) of adults in the U.S.
- Women have a greater chance of being affected by PTSD compared to men.
- Symptoms include: racing heartbeat, dizziness, sense of doom or danger, difficulty breathing, chest or stomach pain
- PD affects 6 million (nearly 3%) of adults in the U.S.
- Women have twice the chance of being affected by panic disorder compared to men.
- Symptoms include: severe anxiety, fear and panic when thinking about or being exposed to particular object or situation, increased heart rate, sweating, trembling, feeling of doom
- Specific phobias affect 19 million adults (roughly 9%) of adults in the U.S.
- Women have twice the chance of being affected by specific phobias compared to men.
Long-term anxiety can have negative, lasting effects on your physical and mental health, such as impaired immune function, digestive problems, chronic pain, insomnia, depression, substance abuse disorders and suicidal thoughts, according to Medical News Today.
Anxiety Disorders Treated with Ketamine Infusions
Over the years, ketamine treatment has been shown to improve symptoms of anxiety disorders, including GAD, SAD, PTSD, among others.
Researchers studied the effectiveness of ketamine in 20 patients with treatment-resistant generalized anxiety disorder and/or social anxiety disorder and evaluated their anxiety ratings, tolerability and safety of weekly ketamine infusions for three months. Of the 20, 15 met the criteria for GAD; 18 for SAD. They found 18 out of 20 reported “improved social functioning and/or work functioning during maintenance treatment.”
In another study, researchers examined ketamine’s effectiveness in a double-randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial in 18 adults with social anxiety disorder. They found those administered ketamine had a “significantly greater reduction in anxiety when compared to placebo” and “demonstrated a significantly greater number of treatment responders.”
A study testing the safety and efficacy of a single ketamine infusion for PTSD found a “significant and rapid reduction in PTSD symptom severity” when compared to midazolam. They concluded their findings, if replicated, could lead to novel approaches to treatment of those suffering from PTSD as well as chronic PTSD.
How Ketamine Infusion Therapy Works as an Anxiety Treatment
Ketamine has shown immense promise as a mental health treatment; most notably, for those who have tried traditional treatments to no avail.
So, how exactly does it work and what makes ketamine different from traditional medicine?
Ketamine blocks and reverses damaging effects brought on by depression and prolonged stress by targeting synaptic receptions in the brain to improve glutamate release and uptake. Moreover, it helps patients overcome traumatic memories and accelerates new synapse formation to better cope.
Prakash Masand, MD, told Psychiatry Advisor that those with anxiety disorders are treated with a generic antidepressant — typically a SSRI, selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) or benzodiazepine. If there is no improvement in their anxiety disorder, “they get a trial of another or several more.”
He added, “between 30% and 40% of these 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) or mentalization-based therapy (MBT).”
Patients using traditional treatments will experience their effects 6-12 weeks. However, with ketamine, they can start noticing results within just 24 hours — making it an ideal option for people with treatment-resistant anxiety disorders.
Related: ‘How Can Ketamine Treatment Help?’
Ketamine as an Anxiety Treatment Near Northbrook, IL
Anxiety disorders can get in the way of the life you’d like to live. At MD Infusions, we speak with every patient to learn more about their medical history and individual needs to come up with a treatment plan that’s completely customized to them.
Want to break free from the shackles of anxiety? Our ketamine clinic in Northbrook, IL provides concierge-level service to Chicago’s North Shore. Schedule a FREE consultation today or give us a call at (844) 463-8734 to learn more.
MD Infusions is located at 666 Dundee Rd Suite 1903, Northbrook, IL 60062. Chicago’s North Shore community of Northbrook is a suburb known for its luxurious shopping and dining options, picturesque outdoor scenery and natural vibrancy. It is just 25 miles north from Downtown Chicago and is within close proximity to the Northbrook Park District, Northbrook Court shopping mall and the Northbrook Public Library.