Ketamine For Anxiety Guide
Ketamine, initially synthesized in the 1960s, is a dissociative anesthetic agent utilized in medical procedures to manage severe acute and chronic pain. Shortly after its synthesis, it found its way into medical settings for this purpose and gained approval from the (FDA) Food and Drug Administration in 1970. It remains a valuable means as an induction agent for anesthesia, a procedural sedative for young age and adults. It is also widely used in the field of veterinary treatment.
Ketamine usage has extended beyond its originally FDA-approved purpose as an anesthetic. It is now occasionally prescribed to alleviate moderate to severe acute and chronic pain, and its role as an antidepressant has been growing, particularly for patients with anxiety and depression who haven’t responded to other treatments.
However, like many other psychoactive drugs, ketamine has the potential to be habit-forming when used improperly or excessively. It is essential to use ketamine only under the supervision of a qualified medical professional and by prescribed treatment protocols to minimize the risk of developing addiction or experiencing adverse effects.
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What Is Ketamines For Anxiety?
A study on using ketamine for anxiety demonstrated promising results, with patients experiencing rapid relief from anxiety symptoms within hours of treatment. The study involved a single therapeutic dose of IV ketamine, showcasing its potential as an effective intervention for anxiety disorders, even in cases where traditional medications have failed. These findings suggest that ketamine may offer a breakthrough treatment option for individuals struggling with anxiety.
Ketamine Anxiety Treatment Research
Research on ketamine has demonstrated its effectiveness in treating various anxiety disorders, including (SAD) social anxiety disorder, (GAD) generalized anxiety disorder, and (PTSD) post-traumatic stress disorder.
Ketamine for Social Anxiety and GAD Treatment
Ketamine For Anxiety Study
In a small study involving 12 patients with GAD and SAD, three increasing doses of ketamine were compared to midazolam, with each dose administered at one-week intervals, and midazolam dosing was balanced across patients. The results showed that ketamine led to dose-dependent improvements in Anxiety Questionnaire scores. Moreover, the impact of ketamine on reducing theta frequency in specific frontal areas, as assessed through electroencephalogram (EEG), was comparable to that of traditional anxiolytic medications.
Another study investigated the effectiveness and safety of ketamine in 12 individuals with treatment-resistant GAD and SAD who were not currently experiencing depression. They followed an ascending single-dose regimen at weekly intervals. Patients reported reduced anxiety within one hour of receiving the ketamine dose, and this reduction persisted for up to seven days.
In a follow-up to this study, the effects of ongoing maintenance treatment with ketamine were assessed in a group of patients with GAD and SAD (comprising 20 individuals). Remarkably, 18 of the 20 patients reported sustained social and work-related functioning improvements throughout the maintenance treatment. As a result, the researchers concluded that maintenance therapy “could potentially serve as a therapeutic option for individuals with treatment-resistant GAD/SAD.”
What makes this study particularly noteworthy is the prolonged duration of the impact of a single ketamine infusion, which persisted for an impressive 14 weeks. This suggests that individuals with anxiety disorders may experience more enduring response maintenance compared to those with major depression, where the response typically lasts for only one week. 
Ketamine for Anxious Depression
Ketamine For Anxiety And Bipolar Depression
The research concluded that in a study involving patients with both anxious and non-anxious bipolar depression (with 21 individuals in each group), significant antidepressant responses to ketamine were observed in both groups. Interestingly, the nervous, depressed group did not display a distinct disadvantage regarding antidepressant response compared to the non-anxious group. This finding is noteworthy because anxiety is typically associated with a less favorable treatment response in bipolar depression when traditional treatments are employed. Consequently, these results emphasize the importance of further research into the unique role of ketamine in treating anxious bipolar depression.
Understanding Anxiety Disorders
The National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH) states occasional anxiety is a natural aspect of life. It’s normal to experience anxiety when confronted with workplace challenges, before taking exams, or when making significant choices. However, anxiety disorders go beyond transient worry or fear.
For individuals with anxiety disorders, the anxiety persists and can escalate over time, emphasizing the importance of seeking anxiety treatment promptly. These symptoms can disrupt daily functioning, affecting job performance, academic tasks, and interpersonal relationships. Anxiety disorders encompass various forms, such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and different phobia-related conditions.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Individuals with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) consistently experience heightened anxiety or excessive worry for at least six months. Their concerns often extend to various aspects of life, including personal health, job-related matters, social interactions, and everyday routines. This fear and anxiety can lead to substantial challenges in multiple areas, including social interactions, academic performance, and occupational functioning.
Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms include:
- Excessive Worrying: Constant and uncontrollable worry about various aspects of life.
- Restlessness: Feeling on edge or agitated.
- Fatigue: Tiredness, even after adequate rest.
- Muscle Tension: Persistent muscle tension leads to physical discomfort.
- Irritability: Easily becoming irritable or on edge.
- Sleep Problems: Difficulty falling, staying, or experiencing restful sleep.
- Difficulty Concentrating: Trouble focusing or experiencing mind going blank.
- Physical Symptoms: Various physical complaints, such as headaches or stomachaches, without apparent cause.
- Excessive Planning: Overthinking and excessive planning to cope with anxiety.
- Avoidance: Avoiding situations or activities due to anxiety.
Not everyone with GAD will experience all these symptoms, and their severity can vary from person to person. It’s essential to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment if you suspect you have GAD.
Ketamine Abuse Warnings
While pharmaceutical ketamine is typically administered as an injectable solution, illicitly produced ketamine often takes the form of a powder or liquid. In recreational contexts, the powder is commonly divided into lines and either snorted or smoked on its own or combined with marijuana or tobacco. Liquid ketamine may be injected or mixed into beverages. Illicitly obtained ketamine is frequently adulterated with other substances, including methamphetamine, amphetamine, Ecstasy (MDMA), and cocaine.
Depending on the method of consumption, the drug’s effects can manifest within a matter of minutes. Users may encounter distortions in their perception of sight or sound, along with a profound sense of detachment from reality.
Hallucinations are common while under the drug’s influence and can persist for approximately 30 to 60 minutes. Moreover, users may experience a sensation of being disconnected from their own body, often referred to as entering the “k-hole.”
Other associated effects encompass feelings of restlessness, melancholy, cognitive difficulties, memory lapses, and even loss of consciousness. Users may become unresponsive to external stimuli and exhibit involuntary rapid eye movements, dilated pupils, excessive salivation, tearing, and muscle rigidity.
Ketamine For Anxiety And Depression
Some common uses of ketamine:
- Anesthesia: Ketamine is a general anesthetic in medical procedures and surgeries.
- Pain Management: It can be used for pain control, especially in severe or chronic pain cases.
- Depression Treatment: Ketamine is being explored for severe depression, mainly when other treatments have not been effective.
- Anxiety Disorders: Some studies suggest ketamine may potentially treat certain anxiety disorders.
- Veterinary Medicine: Ketamine is frequently used as an anesthetic agent in veterinary medicine.
Ketamine should always be under the guidance and supervision of a medical professional due to its potential for misuse and side effects.
Ketamine For Anxiety Side Effects
Ketamine can have side effects when used for anxiety or other medical purposes. Some common side effects of ketamine use may include:
- Nausea and Vomiting: Ketamine can cause stomach discomfort and nausea.
- Dissociation: Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic, and some people may experience a feeling of detachment from their body or reality.
- Changes in Perception: Users might experience alterations in their perception of time, space, or surroundings.
- Increased Heart Rate: Ketamine can lead to an elevated heart rate, which can be concerning for individuals with certain medical conditions.
- Dizziness: Some users may feel dizzy or lightheaded.
- Confusion: Ketamine can cause confusion or disorientation.
- Elevated Blood Pressure: It may temporarily increase blood pressure in some individuals.
- Blurred Vision: Vision changes, such as blurred vision, can occur.
- Psychological Effects: Ketamine can induce vivid dreams, hallucinations, or other psychological effects.
- Dependence and Addiction: Prolonged or misuse of ketamine can lead to dependence or addiction.
Ketamine should only be administered by trained medical professionals in a controlled clinical setting. Self-administration or misuse of ketamine can lead to serious health risks and side effects. Always consult with a healthcare provider before considering ketamine treatment for anxiety.
Ketamine Drug Interactions
It’s crucial to inform your healthcare provider about all medications and substances you are taking to ensure the safe and effective use of ketamine. This list is not exhaustive; interactions can vary depending on individual factors and dosages. Always seek professional medical advice when considering ketamine treatment.
- Alcohol: Combining ketamine with alcohol can increase the risk of adverse effects and respiratory depression.
- Sedatives: Other sedative medications alongside ketamine can intensify sedation and respiratory depression.
- Antidepressants: Certain antidepressant medications, especially monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), can interact with ketamine and lead to adverse effects.
- Opioids: Combining ketamine with opioids can increase sedation and respiratory depression, which can be dangerous.
- Antihypertensive Medications: Ketamine may counteract the effects of some medications used to lower blood pressure.
- Stimulants: Combining ketamine with stimulants like amphetamines or cocaine can increase the risk of adverse effects.
- Antipsychotic Medications: Some antipsychotic drugs may interact with ketamine, potentially leading to increased side effects.
- Muscle Relaxants: Using muscle relaxants alongside ketamine can enhance muscle weakness and sedation.
- Tramadol: Combining ketamine with tramadol, a pain medication, can increase the risk of seizures.
- NMDA Receptor Antagonists: Other drugs that affect NMDA receptors, such as memantine, may interact with ketamine.
Ketamine Therapy For Anxiety Vs. Other Medications
Ketamine for anxiety offers several critical differences compared to traditional medications. Firstly, ketamine tends to work more rapidly, with some individuals experiencing relief within hours, whereas many conventional medications for anxiety can take weeks to show effectiveness.
Ketamine may be effective for individuals who have not responded well to other treatments, offering hope for those with treatment-resistant anxiety disorders. However, ketamine therapy typically requires periodic sessions and may not provide a long-term solution. Also, the potential for misuse and side effects, including dissociation, should be carefully considered, and ketamine treatment should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified medical professional.
Overall, ketamine therapy represents an alternative approach to anxiety treatment, especially in cases where standard medications have fallen short.
Different Types Of Ketamine Treatment For Anxiety
There are primarily two types of ketamine for anxiety. Both forms of ketamine treatment have shown promise in alleviating anxiety symptoms, especially when traditional treatments have not been effective.
- Ketamine Infusion Therapy: In this approach, ketamine is administered intravenously in a controlled medical setting. Patients receive a series of infusions over several weeks, and the effects are closely monitored. This method is often used for severe cases of anxiety.
- Ketamine Nasal Spray (Esketamine): Esketamine, a derivative of ketamine, is available as a nasal spray under the brand name Spravato. It is used in conjunction with an oral antidepressant and is administered under medical supervision. It is typically prescribed for treatment-resistant depression but may also have potential benefits for anxiety.
How Fast Does Ketamine Work For Anxiety?
Ketamine can often provide rapid relief from anxiety symptoms within hours of administration, making it a potential quick-acting treatment option for specific individuals.
Ketamine is a complicated drug regarding pharmacodynamics or how it works in the brain. Ketamine doesn’t just affect one type of chemical or receptor in the brain; it works in multiple areas of the brain. For that reason, it’s very complex and can have a wide variety of effects. Ketamine’s impact on the brain is primarily attributed to its interaction with the neurotransmitter glutamate. Glutamate plays a pivotal role in brain function as it enables communication between nerve cells, serving as a fundamental component in the brain’s functioning.
In high doses, ketamine can block glutamate all over the brain, which slows down nervous system communications. This is why ketamine is helpful as a sedative. When your brain’s communication networks slow down, you feel sedated or fall asleep. However, ketamine’s effects on glutamate seem to be dose-dependent, which means the amount of the drug you take can change specific impacts. In low doses, ketamine can increase glutamate levels, facilitating more connections between neurons. This can cause many different effects and side effects.
One of the effects may be to help alleviate problems that are caused by poor communication between neurons. Depression may be one of those problems. Chronic stress and mood disorders like depression can cause you to lose certain neural connections. This may be why people with depression lose interest in activities, isolate themselves, and become more apathetic about their world. However, ketamine may increase communication and help people with depression recover those lost connections.
However, increased glutamate may also contribute to dissociative symptoms, hallucinations, and psychosis. While using low dose ketamine for anxiety and depression seems promising, it may also have some uncomfortable and disturbing side effects.
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How To Find Ketamine For Anxiety Near Me?
Always consult with trained medical professionals and thoroughly research your options before pursuing ketamine therapy for anxiety. To find ketamine therapy for anxiety near you, follow these steps:
- Consult a Healthcare Provider: Discuss your anxiety symptoms with your primary care physician or a mental health specialist who can guide suitable treatment options.
- Ask for Referrals: Request recommendations from your healthcare provider for centers offering ketamine therapy in your area.
- Online Search: Utilize online search engines, mental health directories, or dedicated websites to search for ketamine therapy providers near your location.
- Read Reviews: Read patient ketamine therapy anxiety reviews and testimonials to gain insights into the experiences and outcomes of individuals who have undergone ketamine therapy.
- Contact Clinics: Contact the clinics or practitioners you identify and inquire about their services, availability, and whether they offer ketamine therapy for anxiety.
- Insurance Coverage: Check with your health insurance provider to determine if they cover ketamine therapy, and if so, inquire about in-network providers.
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Efficacy Of Ketamine Therapy For Anxiety
Anxiety disorders rank among the most prevalent mental health challenges in the United States, affecting individuals of all ages. These disorders encompass a broad spectrum, including phobias, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other psychiatric conditions characterized by distressing anxiety symptoms. Fortunately, anxiety disorders are treatable, often through a combination of medication and psychotherapy, which can effectively alleviate associated symptoms.
Regrettably, a significant portion, around 30-40%, of individuals grappling with anxiety find no relief from conventional therapeutic approaches despite trying various treatments. Still, the field of mental health treatment continues to evolve, with some off-label medications and therapies showing promise. Ketamine treatment is a prime example. Initially FDA-approved as an anesthetic, ketamine is now gaining recognition for its role in managing symptoms of treatment-resistant depression. More recently, it has demonstrated potential in addressing anxiety as well.
Ketamine Treatment For Anxiety And Phobias
Ketamine is thought to help reduce phobias by modulating brain activity and neurotransmitter systems. It acts on glutamate receptors in the brain, increasing synaptic plasticity, which can help individuals confront and process their phobic triggers.
Ketamine’s ability to induce a dissociative state allows patients to disconnect from their physical selves and become more in tune with their emotions and memories, aiding in understanding and confronting the origin of their phobias. Moreover, ketamine’s rapid onset of action can quickly relieve phobic symptoms, offering a potentially practical approach to phobia treatment, especially in treatment-resistant phobias.
Ketamine Social Anxiety And GAD Treatment
Ketamine has shown promise as a potential treatment for social anxiety disorder (SAD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Research suggests ketamine can rapidly reduce anxiety symptoms in individuals with these conditions, often within hours of administration.
It mainly benefits those who have not responded well to traditional medications. However, ketamine treatment should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified medical professional in a controlled clinical setting.
Ketamine Infusion Anxiety And OCD Treatment
Ketamine infusion therapy is a non-standard utilization of ketamine to address mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and OCD. The term “infusion” signifies that ketamine is administered intravenously rather than in pill form. This therapy gained traction in the United States before FDA-approved medications like ketamine for this purpose became available. Although ketamine infusion therapy was legally permitted due to its FDA approval as an anesthetic, its off-label use for OCD and depression treatment was often not covered by insurance.
The effects of ketamine infusion therapy typically lead to an initial reduction in depression symptoms within four hours, with peak effects occurring around 24 hours. However, these effects may diminish after about seven days, necessitating patients to return for therapy approximately every ten days to two weeks. While a single infusion provides longer-lasting benefits than a single dose of a conventional antidepressant, it requires outpatient clinic visits for each session. Consequently, infusion therapy resembles maintenance programs. FDA-approved ketamine, available as Spravato, offers the convenience of home treatment options.
Ketamine infusion is also employed in managing chronic pain symptoms. In hospital settings, ketamine is utilized among individuals experiencing challenging-to-treat pain. It may be used with substances like morphine or other opioids, but it can also be employed as a standalone treatment.
Ketamine For Anxiety Reviews And Facts
Microdosing Ketamine For Anxiety
Microdosing ketamine involves taking tiny, sub-therapeutic doses of the drug over time. Some individuals have reported using microdoses of ketamine for anxiety management, as it may provide subtle mood-enhancing and anxiety-reducing effects without causing dissociation or impairment.
However, the safety and effectiveness of microdosing ketamine for anxiety are not well-established, and it should only be considered under the guidance and supervision of a qualified healthcare provider.
Ketamine is classified as a Schedule III controlled substance in the United States according to the Controlled Substances Act.
This means it has a recognized medical use but also carries the potential for abuse and dependence. As a result, its use is tightly regulated, and it can only be administered by licensed medical professionals in approved clinical settings, mainly when used for treatments such as anesthesia or ketamine infusion therapy for mental health conditions.
Ketamine Results For Anxiety
Ketamine has shown promising results in reducing anxiety symptoms, particularly in individuals with treatment-resistant anxiety disorders. Research suggests that ketamine can provide rapid relief from anxiety, often within hours of administration, faster than many traditional medications. “Ketamine cured my anxiety.” Many have testified. However, while the short-term effects are encouraging, the long-term safety and efficacy of ketamine for anxiety treatment are still being studied, and it should only be used under the guidance and supervision of qualified medical professionals.
Benefits Of Ketamine Infusion For Anxiety
Experience symptom relief within hours, not weeks. Studies have revealed that a single therapeutic IV ketamine dose can induce an antidepressant and anti-suicidal effect within just 4.5 hours, which is particularly beneficial for individuals who have not found relief through conventional medications. These positive effects persist 24 hours after administration, with 40% of participants reporting continued benefits seven days post-infusion. This starkly contrasts SSRIs, which typically requiring weeks to achieve a therapeutic impact.
Unlock insights into disordered thought and behavior patterns. Ketamine, classified as a dissociative anesthetic, can induce a mild, trance-like state in users, creating a sense of detachment from their physical bodies. While this may sound intimidating, many patients describe the sensation as calming and less psychedelic than one might assume. However, the benefits of this dissociative state go beyond the surface experience. It allows patients to disconnect from their physical selves, enabling a deeper connection with their emotions and memories. This enhanced connection aids individuals in comprehending and addressing the root causes of their symptoms.
Ketamine Therapy Cost
The cost of ketamine treatment for anxiety can vary widely depending on several factors, including the type of treatment (infusion or nasal spray), the number of sessions required, and the location of the treatment center. Ketamine infusion therapy sessions typically range from $400 to $800 or more per session, and a full course of treatment may involve multiple sessions. Nasal spray formulations like Spravato can also be costly, with prices averaging around $600 to $900 per treatment session. It’s essential to discuss the specific costs and payment options with the treatment provider and check whether insurance coverage is available.
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Ketamine And Anxiety Statistics
Ongoing research and clinical trials are exploring the efficacy of ketamine in various psychiatric conditions, including depression, PTSD, OCD, and more. However, despite its medical uses, ketamine has a history of misuse and recreational use, leading to concerns about its potential for addiction. The safety of ketamine administration, especially in clinical settings, is a critical concern, and guidelines have been established for its responsible use.
Anxiety disorders in the US were estimated to affect over 40 million adults.
Ketamine addiction in the US remains low, as 1% or less of the population abuses ketamine.
Around 30-40% of individuals grappling with anxiety find no relief from conventional therapeutic approaches despite trying various treatments.
Ketamine For Depression And Anxiety
Ketamine has effectively alleviated symptoms of depression and anxiety, making it a promising treatment option. Research suggests that it may positively affect anxiety disorders, particularly in cases of treatment-resistant anxiety. While further research is ongoing to establish its long-term efficacy and safety, ketamine therapy offers hope for individuals struggling with these challenging mental health conditions.
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A significant portion, around 30%, of individuals diagnosed with an anxiety disorder may prove resistant to conventional treatments like SSRIs. This becomes particularly noteworthy given that over 40 million adults in the United States alone grapple with anxiety. In contrast, ketamine has demonstrated efficacy as a treatment option for those without relief through traditional medications.
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Reclaim Your Life From Anxiety and Ketamine Addiction, Co-Occurring Disorders
When an individual receives a diagnosis encompassing both a psychiatric and a substance use disorder, it signifies the presence of co-occurring conditions. While these conditions can exist independently, their coexistence within the same individual often amplifies symptoms associated with both diseases.
It’s not uncommon for someone with co-occurring conditions to experience more severe signs and symptoms compared to someone dealing with only one of these disorders. One person’s simultaneous psychiatric and substance abuse diagnosis characterizes a co-occurring disorder. We Level Up mental health and addiction detox rehab offer professional and safe care to address these co-occurring disorders, ensuring comprehensive treatment for you or your loved one.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us to talk with one of our experienced counselors. We can provide relevant information about your condition, and our specialists are well-equipped to empathize. Rest assured that every call is free and treated with the utmost privacy and confidentiality.
Overcoming Ketamine Addiction and Anxiety. Find the Support You Need.
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Top 4 Ketamine For Anxiety Dose FAQs
Does ketamine help with anxiety?
Ketamine has shown promise in reducing anxiety symptoms, particularly in individuals with treatment-resistant anxiety disorders. Research suggests ketamine can provide rapid relief from anxiety, often within hours of administration. However, more extensive clinical trials are needed to establish its efficacy and safety for anxiety treatment.
Can ketamine cause anxiety?
While ketamine is being explored as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders, it can also induce anxiety as a side effect, particularly during the “come-up” phase when individuals may experience heightened heart rate, confusion, or hallucinations. It’s essential for individuals considering ketamine treatment for anxiety to consult with qualified medical professionals who can assess their specific condition and closely monitor their response to ketamine therapy to minimize the risk of adverse effects.
How does ketamine help anxiety?
Ketamine is believed to help alleviate anxiety by modulating brain activity and neurotransmitter systems. It acts on glutamate receptors, promoting synaptic plasticity, which may facilitate the processing and resolution of anxiety-inducing thoughts and emotions. Moreover, ketamine’s ability to induce a dissociative state allows individuals to disconnect from their physical selves, potentially aiding in exploring and understanding the root causes of their anxiety.
How much is the cost of ketamines for depression and anxiety?
The cost of ketamine treatment anxiety and depression therapy can vary widely based on factors such as the type of treatment (infusion or nasal spray), the number of sessions needed, and geographical location. Ketamine infusion sessions typically range from $400 to $800 or more per session, and an entire course of treatment may involve multiple sessions. At the same time, nasal spray formulations like Spravato can also be costly, averaging around $600 to $900 per treatment session. It’s crucial to discuss the specific costs and payment options with the treatment provider and check whether insurance coverage is available.
The best treatment for anxiety often involves a personalized approach tailored to an individual’s specific needs. This typically includes evidence-based therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps individuals learn effective coping strategies. Medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) can also effectively manage anxiety.
Still, the treatment choice should be made in consultation with a qualified healthcare provider who can assess the individual’s unique situation and preferences.
Do you have questions about ketamine addiction or anxiety treatment in general? Call our helpline 24/7.
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Search We Level Up Ketamine for Anxiety Detox, Mental Health Topics & Resources
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 Mental Health Conditions: Depression and Anxiety Management- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/depression-anxiety.html
 Prevention and Treatment of Anxiety, Depression, and Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among College Students – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
 How To Manage Anxiety? Mental Health and Mental Disorders – Healthy People 2030 Available from: https://health.gov/healthypeople/objectives-and-data/browse-objectives/mental-health-and-mental-disorders Ketamine for Anxiety-related topics.
 Anxiety Disorders – Office of Women’s Health Available from: https://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/mental-health-conditions/anxiety-disorders
 Anxiety Management – VA Mental Health – Veterans Affairs Available from: https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/anxiety/index.asp
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