Ketamine infusions are well-known for their role in chronic pain management, but they don’t stop at physical pain. Intravenous ketamine infusions can also help treat mood disorders, including PTSD, treatment-resistant depression, and anxiety.
As a concierge medicine style practice, our team here at Beverly Hills Migraine & Pain Management Institute tailors our services to your unique needs and offers innovative, evidence-based treatments that go beyond traditional medicine — and that includes intravenous ketamine infusions for the treatment of PTSD, treatment-resistant depression, and anxiety.
Dr. Benjamin Taimoorazy, our triple-board certified specialist, expertly administers intravenous ketamine infusions for those struggling to manage these mood disorders. Here’s what you need to know.
Understanding PTSD, treatment-resistant depression, and anxiety
Anxiety and mood disorders affect your emotions and your ability to function in your job, relationships, and life in general. While there are many similarities between these conditions, there are subtle nuances between each type of anxiety or mood disorder.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
GAD is marked by consistent and intense worry. You might also experience headaches, upset stomach, sleep problems, or difficulty concentrating. GAD affects 6.8 million adults, yet only 43.2% of those people receive the treatment they need.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
OCD is characterized by obsessive thoughts that lead to compulsive behaviors — a cycle that can be difficult to break.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder that develops after you experience or witness a traumatic event. PTSD can cause nightmares, sleep problems, and irritability.
Panic disorder can cause panic attacks. Physical symptoms of panic attacks include racing heartbeat, nausea, sweating, and chest pain. You might experience an intense sense of dread.
Social anxiety disorder and other phobias
Social anxiety disorder and other phobias are triggered by specific situations or events, such as speaking in a group setting or flying on a plane.
Like anxiety, depression is a common mood disorder with many types, including postpartum depression, seasonal affective disorder, and major depression. Treatment-resistant depression describes depression that doesn’t respond to the typical medications.
Treating mood disorders
Although there are many treatments for anxiety disorders and depression, including medication and lifestyle changes, none of them work immediately. It takes time to determine the right dose and type of medication, and some — like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) — can take up to six weeks to work. Compounding the issue, as many as 15% of people who take SSRIs don’t respond fully to their medication.
Other medications, such as benzodiazepines, work faster, but these medications are highly addictive. You’re not out of options, though.
Enter: ketamine infusions.
If you’ve already tried medication and lifestyle modifications, ketamine infusions may be your path forward, and it won’t take weeks to feel a reprieve in your symptoms. According to one study, ketamine infusions reduce symptoms of PTSD, treatment-resistant depression, and anxiety in as little as one hour post-treatment, while other studies offer slightly more conservative estimates of 24 hours.
For those who have suffered for weeks, the possibility of relief within 1-24 hours offers real hope.
How ketamine infusions treat PTSD, treatment-resistant depression, and anxiety
While standard anxiety medications (SSRIs) focus on monoamine neurotransmitters, ketamine infusions target a different chemical messenger: glutamate. By tackling an alternate neurotransmitter pathway, ketamine addresses mood disorders in two ways.
First, ketamine blocks overstimulated glutamate (NMDA) receptors, which are known to lower glutamate levels and trigger anxiety. By blocking these receptors, ketamine induces a surge of glutamate and also activates another set of receptors called AMPA receptors. This one-two punch triggers a release of molecules that help neurons communicate effectively again, which improves your mood, thoughts, and cognitive functions.
Second, ketamine promotes the growth of new synapses, which are the electrical and chemical connections between neurons. Over time, chronic stress and anxiety can destroy certain neurons in your brain, causing disconnections and misconnections that contribute to anxiety. But ketamine detaches improper synapses and regrows those you’ve lost so they can reattach in the proper order.
The bottom line is that ketamine can effectively reset your brain and treat anxiety disorders, as well as treatment-resistant depression.
Getting started with ketamine infusions
We offer ketamine infusions right here in our Beverly Hills and Northridge, California, locations. If Dr. Taimoorazy determines that ketamine infusions may improve your symptoms of mood disorder, here’s what you can expect:
- A simple IV infusion
- Careful monitoring throughout your appointment
- Comprehensive care that extends beyond your treatment
As a concierge-style practice, Dr. Taimoorazy and our team support you throughout your treatment and beyond. In addition to IV infusions, we provide lifestyle guidance that can further help you manage the symptoms of anxiety, PTSD, or treatment-resistant depression.
Anxiety disorders can be hard to manage on your own, but with the right treatment, we can help you thrive. Call us at 424-302-0289 or request an appointment online.