If you struggle with anxiety, you’re not alone: 31% of Americans have an anxiety disorder. Of those, more than half struggle with moderate to severe symptoms that disrupt their lives. Patrick Oliver, MD, at MindPeace Clinics in Richmond, Arlington, and Norfolk, Virginia and Washington, D.C., specializes in alleviating anxiety with ketamine infusion therapy, a proven treatment that often produces rapid results. To learn if you’re a good candidate for ketamine infusion therapy, call the office closest to you or book an appointment online.
Anxiety occurs when you feel apprehensive or fearful about a future event. Feeling anxious serves a purpose because it triggers your brain to release hormones that energize your body.
When the threat is over, your anxiety should go away, but that’s not what happens for everyone. Some people have ongoing anxiety, even when there isn’t a pending threat or worrisome situation.
Everyday anxiety becomes a mental health concern when your anxiety persists, is excessive, or interferes with your ability to engage in your usual activities.
The DSM-5, a diagnostic manual for mental health disorders, recognizes more than eight anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobias.
Each type of anxiety has unique symptoms. As a group, however, anxiety disorders can cause physical and emotions symptoms such as:
Many patients with an anxiety disorder structure their life to avoid whatever makes them anxious.
Ketamine is an anesthetic medication that has been safely used during surgery for nearly five decades. In smaller doses, however, ketamine has been found to relieve anxiety.
Ketamine belongs to a class of drugs called NMDA receptor antagonists. In this role, ketamine boosts the levels of a brain chemical called glutamate that regulates anxiety. As ketamine balances glutamate, your anxiety symptoms improve.
Before receiving ketamine, you need to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Oliver. During your first appointment, he performs a thorough psychiatric review and physical examination. He also explains the ketamine infusion process and reviews your lab work.
If Dr. Oliver determines you’re a good candidate for ketamine, he schedules a series of six infusions. You receive one infusion every other day for two to three weeks.
When you come in for your treatment, you relax on a comfortable reclining chair, Dr. Oliver places the IV in your arm, hand, or leg, and starts the ketamine infusion. Your heart rate and blood pressure are constantly monitored throughout your treatment.
The infusion takes 40 minutes, but your total session lasts about 90 minutes. Many patients notice an improvement in their symptoms after one treatment. However, a series of six infusions over a few weeks produces longer-lasting results.
To learn if ketamine is a good treatment option for your anxiety, call MindPeace Clinics or book an appointment online. The team serves patients in Richmond, Arlington, Washington D.C., and Norfolk, Virginia.