The latest research has shown that ketamine can be a powerful treatment tool in combatting anxiety. Keep reading to learn more about treatable mental health conditions, how ketamine-assisted therapy works, and who might be a good fit for this type of treatment.

What is Anxiety?

People often encounter feelings of worry and stress as a regular part of life. Different people from all kinds of backgrounds can worry about similar factors: family and relationships, work and school tasks, and financial goals or setbacks. But as life changes and certain problems resolve, so should feelings of worry—they should be temporary feelings that eventually go away. If worry becomes difficult to control or gets worse over time, it could be a sign of anxiety disorder.

Symptoms of Anxiety

When anxiety is difficult to “turn off,” it can create intense emotions that cause a range of uncomfortable physical symptoms. The discomfort is so pervasive, it impacts every aspect of life and can even prevent individuals from having important experiences at work or school, participating in social events and milestones, and more.

Symptoms of anxiety can include:

  • Feeling restless, agitated, or on edge
  • Pounding or restless heart rate
  • Feeling faint or lightheaded
  • Getting tired easily
  • Having difficulty focusing
  • Feeling irritable
  • Experiencing muscle tension, aches, and pain
  • Stomachaches, nausea, or other gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Trouble sleeping, including falling or staying asleep

Constantly feeling anxious and in danger significantly interrupts daily life and routines. This continuous state of heightened alertness creates an insistent “background noise” of worry that permeates all aspects of everday activities. From the simplest tasks to more complex endeavors, intense anxiety can take your attention away from important moments of concentration, enjoyment, and relaxation.

If you’re dealing with anxiety, it can be difficult to manage physical symptoms and learn coping skills on your own. You may have no idea where to begin or have been unsuccessful in the past—and that’s why seeking help from a mental health professional is key. They have the tools, skills, and additional resources necessary to help you find personalized treatment that meets you where you’re at and helps get you to where you’d like to be.

Why Does Anxiety Happen?

Anxiety is the human body’s biological response to feelings of stress. When your body senses you’re in danger, certain hormones are produced to prepare you to “fight” (face the danger) or “flight” (escape). This state of high adrenaline increases your sense of awareness as well as your heart rate. It’s designed to be a short-lived reaction reserved for the most serious situations—but for those dealing with anxiety, the “fight or flight” response might be out of proportion to the current problem or could even come on seemingly out of nowhere.

There are several types of anxiety disorders. Some are characterized by general feelings of anxiousness, while others are triggered by more specific situations—such as intense anxiety during crowded social settings or public speaking.

The different types of anxiety disorder include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Phobia-related anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders come in various forms, each presenting its unique set of challenges. Despite their differences, these disorders share a common thread: an overwhelming sense of unease and fear that can significantly impact daily life.

How Does Ketamine Work?

Ketamine, traditionally known as an anesthetic that reduces and manages perception of pain, has shown significant therapeutic potential due to its rapid—and often long-lasting—antidepressant effects.

Ketamine works by interacting with your brain’s glutamate system, a neurotransmitter associated with learning, memory, and mood regulation. By modifying glutamate levels, ketamine helps regulate emotional responses, offering a potential pathway to mitigate anxiety symptoms.

What is Ketamine-Assisted Therapy?

Ketamine-assisted therapy is emerging as an innovative approach to mental health treatment, particularly for addressing treatment-resistant traumatic stress, depression, substance abuse, and anxiety. When paired with psychotherapy (or talk therapy), ketamine can be a powerful tool in increasing the brain’s neuroplasticity, or the ability to change thinking patterns and adapt to experiences.

At Plus by APN, clinical IV/IM ketamine is administered in a safe, comfortable environment with attentive medical supervision. During treatment, patients are administered individualized low doses of ketamine and led through a guided therapy session. Our locations are medically equipped to tailor your experience without feeling stark, cold, or hospital-like.

How Can Ketamine Treat Anxiety?

With its ability to induce rapid relief, reshape neural pathways, and offer enduring effects, ketamine-assisted therapy stands out as a treatment option for those seeking effective and innovative solutions in the realm of anxiety management.

Provides Rapid Symptom Relief

One of the distinctive features of ketamine-assisted therapy is how quickly it takes effect. Unlike traditional antidepressants, which may take weeks to show noticeable effects, ketamine often brings relief within hours or days. This swift response can be particularly crucial for individuals grappling with acute anxiety episodes, providing timely support when it’s needed the most. Additionally, the effects of ketamine-assisted therapy have shown a lasting impact, offering sustained relief beyond the immediate treatment period.

Enhances Neuroplasticity

Ketamine’s unique ability to enhance the brain’s neuroplasticity plays a pivotal role in reshaping thinking patterns and responses to anxiety triggers. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s capacity to reorganize itself, forging new neural connections and adapting to experiences. Through ketamine-assisted therapy, patients can experience a positive transformation in their cognitive processes, fostering resilience and improved coping mechanisms.

Provides Space for Healing and Breakthrough

In the latest clinical research, ketamine-assisted therapy has been shown to reset certain neural pathways associated with anxiety. In conditions where traditional treatments may fall short, such as treatment-resistant anxiety, ketamine introduces a new paradigm by disrupting maladaptive circuits. This reset allows individuals to navigate their anxiety from a different perspective, opening avenues for personal growth and resilience.

Is Ketamine-Assisted Therapy Right for Me?

For those dealing with treatment-resistant anxiety, ketamine-assisted therapy could provide a more comprehensive treatment experience. While ketamine has shown promise in treating various mental health conditions, its appropriateness depends on individual factors such as your specific diagnosis, medical history, and treatment goals.

To determine whether ketamine-assisted therapy is the right fit for you, start by consulting with a qualified mental health provider. Like any other medical decision, open and honest communication with your provider is essential. Discuss your expectations, ask questions about the treatment process, and address any concerns you may have. Your provider can offer guidance based on their expertise, helping you make an informed decision about whether ketamine-assisted therapy is a suitable option for your mental health journey.

More Treatment Options for Anxiety

Anxiety treatments have been closely studied for decades. The leading treatment options focus on addressing symptoms and root causes of anxiety with medication management and guided therapy sessions with a trained professional.


Navigating anxiety often involves considering medication options, primarily anti-anxiety medications, to effectively manage symptoms. These medications typically fall into two main classes: benzodiazepines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

The success of medication-based treatment hinges on finding the right balance. Collaborating closely with clinicians, patients work together to determine the best dosage for your unique situation.


Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, has been proven to foster adaptive thinking and cultivate coping mechanisms, leading to sustained relief and a reduction in anxiety symptoms. It’s no wonder that talk therapy has long been a foundational approach to anxiety treatment.

Skilled therapists collaborate with their clients to address negative thought patterns underlying anxiety. Through targeted interventions, individuals gain practical tools to identify, challenge, and modify these patterns. By working collaboratively with a therapist, individuals can find effective personal strategies to navigate their own unique challenges.

Advanced Treatment Options

In addition to ketamine-assisted therapy, there are more advanced treatments for anxiety that can go beyond the conventional methods, such as medication and talk therapy. From deep TMS to hyperbaric oxygen therapy, these innovative and promising alternatives can complement traditional options and contribute to a more individualized and holistic treatment plan.

Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (deep TMS)

Deep TMS is a non-invasive procedure using magnetic fields to stimulate specific brain areas associated with mood regulation. This technique shows promise in alleviating anxiety symptoms, especially when conventional treatments have been shown to be minimal or ineffective in the past.

Neurofeedback and qEEG

Neurofeedback, also known as EEG biofeedback, regulates brain activity by monitoring and modifying real-time brainwave patterns. This FDA-approved treatment has shown potential in reducing anxiety symptoms by promoting healthier brainwave patterns, offering an alternative avenue for personalized anxiety care.

At Plus by APN, we pair neurofeedback treatment with quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG) brain mapping. With this combined approach, you and your treatment team can measure different wavelengths and create a 3D rendering of your brain—giving us better insight into how your cognitive function progresses and evolves.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing breathing pure oxygen in a special, pressurized chamber. This therapy has served as a reliable treatment for wounds, chronic diesase, and serious infection due to its extensive physical healing effects. For anxiety and depression, breathing in increased oxygen levels may positively affect brain function, making it a safe, effective, and non-invasive treatment option.

Stellate Ganglion Blocks (SGB)

Initially used for physical pain management, stellate ganglion blocks involve injecting a local anesthetic into the stellate ganglion, a cluster of nerves in the neck. Recent studies explore its role in anxiety treatment, especially in individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

SGB works by causing immediate symptom relief through influencing the sympathetic nervous system. These blocks aim to remove the burden of severe physical symptoms that anxiety and other conditions cause.

Find the Right Treatment with Plus by APN

More than ever, there are so many treatment options for anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health conditions. With so many different treatments to choose from, discovering which is the most effective option for you may feel daunting. For a truly personalized and comprehensive treatment plan, connect with a qualified mental health professional who can help you explore all the options and answer important questions.

At Plus by APN, our commitment to your well-being goes beyond a one-size-fits-all approach. We understand that every individual is unique, and so are their mental health needs. Our team of experienced and compassionate mental health professionals is here to guide you through the spectrum of available treatments, helping you discover the tools and resources tailored to your specific situation.

Call 424.644.6486 or complete our confidential online contact form to get started with a free consultation.


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