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How Ketamine Relieves Anxiety


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Anxiety is a complex mental health condition that affects millions of people. In fact, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness diagnosed in the U.S.1

About 19% of adults experience some form of anxiety in any given year. Within the Los Angeles metro area, that means an estimated 2.5 million people may be dealing with anxiety.

Anxiety is often misunderstood, and available treatments for anxiety even less understood. This article explains anxiety, the most common types of anxiety, and why ketamine is an ideal anxiety treatment that provides exceptional relief from anxiety.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is the body’s reaction to stressful situations or thoughts. Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and everyone feels anxiety at some point. However, anxiety disorders amplify these normal reactions to stress, such as feelings of nervousness or anxiousness, and escalate these normal responses into excessive fear or persistent anxiety.2

Because stress is part of everyday life, an anxiety disorder can present significant difficulty in navigating normal life situations by inducing a heightened sense of fear or anxiety onto common situations. This can include stressful workplace encounters (such as a performance review), school (an upcoming test), personal relationships, and even enjoyable activities that induce some level of stress.

 Types of Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety is classified into several different types of anxiety, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), specific phobias, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and other classifications.

Specific phobias: Specific phobias are the most common anxiety disorder, impacting between 8 to 12 percent of adults at any given time. Specific phobias are an excessive fear of a specific thing, such as flying, spiders, or public speaking.

Social anxiety disorder: Social anxiety disorder is an extreme fear or anxiety of being embarrassed, rejected, or belittled in a social situation. People with social anxiety disorder typically avoid social situations altogether, if possible. When required to attend social situations, they are endured but not enjoyed, accompanied with high anxiety throughout. Around 7 percent of adults experience social anxiety disorder.

Panic disorder: Panic disorder is characterized by recurring panic attacks which often have physical symptoms such as pounding heart, sweating, trembling, chest pain, or shortness of breath. Panic disorder affects 2 to 3 percent of the population.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a persistent and excessive worry that interferes with normal activities. The worry often focuses on specific things such as job responsibilities, chores, appointments, or family members. This persistent worry can cause physical symptoms such as restlessness, fatigue, sleeping issues, or difficulty concentrating. About 2 percent of adults suffer from generalized anxiety disorder.

Anxiety Treatment

Traditional treatment approaches, including therapy and medication, are effective for many patients and are often a first-line treatment for anxiety. However, many individuals do not respond adequately to these conventional treatments, leading to a search for alternative options.

Ketamine as an Anxiety Treatment

Ketamine has become increasingly popular for its potential in treating mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety. Research suggests that ketamine may have rapid-acting antidepressant and anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects, making it a promising option for individuals who have not responded to other treatments.3

How Ketamine Works in the Brain

Ketamine’s mechanism of action is different from traditional antidepressants. It primarily interacts with the glutamate system, a neurotransmitter associated with learning, memory, and mood regulation. By modulating glutamate, ketamine induces changes in neural circuits that contribute to mood regulation. This mood regulation has proven highly effective at reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Benefits of Treating Anxiety with Ketamine

Rapid Onset of Relief

A particular advantage of ketamine is its rapid onset of action. Other treatment methods, such as therapy and antidepressant medication, have a time to efficacy measured in weeks to months. Ketamine, on the other hand, has been demonstrated to provide relief within hours or days of treatment. This is especially beneficial for individuals experiencing severe anxiety symptoms that are severely diminishing quality of life.

Personalized Treatment Plans

Every individual is unique, and so is their response to treatment. Ketamine treatment allows for a personalized approach, with dosage and frequency tailored to each patient’s specific needs. With ketamine infusion therapy, these factors can be precisely controlled during treatment, producing the optimal patient response..

Complementary with Other Mental Health Therapies

Ketamine treatment is often integrated into a comprehensive mental health care plan. This may include therapy, lifestyle modifications, and other evidence-based interventions to address the root causes of anxiety. Ketamine integrates well into a holistic approach to mental health care, enhancing the overall effectiveness of the treatment plan.

Ketamine Treatment for Anxiety in Los Angeles

Limbic Medical is known as the premier ketamine clinic in the Los Angeles area because we use scientifically-backed innovations combined with evidence-based treatments, and patient-reported outcomes to achieve better results. Our patients benefit from our whole care, functional medicine approach to treating depression, anxiety, and other mental health illnesses.

Ketamine treatments are a key ingredient in helping patients with anxiety, but it’s not the whole story. Where you receive ketamine treatment makes a difference.

In Los Angeles, Limbic Medical is the preferred choice for patients seeking rapid relief from depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions, while supporting long-term changes through interdisciplinary functional medicine integration. Contact us today to learn more about our personalized approach to patient care.


1. “Anxiety Disorders – Facts & Statistics.” Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA, 28 October 2022

2. “ – What are Anxiety Disorders?” American Psychiatric Association

3. “Anxiolytic effects of acute and maintenance ketamine, as assessed by the Fear Questionnaire subscales and the Spielberger State Anxiety Rating Scale.” PubMed