Ketamine treatments have already been proven to work for major depression and PTSD. As ketamine becomes more widely used researchers are working to determine what other mental disorders it can treat. Multiple studies have already determined that ketamine could help with anxiety, and now a new study recently published explored how this treatment aids social anxiety disorder.
This study was the first placebo-controlled study of ketamine’s effects on social anxiety disorder. Previous studies were done that found ketamine reduced symptoms of general anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder, but it was not placebo-controlled.
This double-blind, placebo-controlled trial tested the effects of ketamine IV treatments on 18 adults who suffer from a social anxiety disorder. The study concluded that ketamine was effective in alleviating symptoms of social anxiety disorder. While the study was too small to conclusively say that ketamine is totally useful in treating anxiety, the trial did show that there is concrete evidence to suggest that ketamine can be useful.
Like with depression, not all people with anxiety disorders respond to traditional treatment options. Although talk therapy and medications are typically effective, they don’t always help with all symptoms or help enough.
The researchers behind the study are careful to label ketamine as a “miracle” drug. Ketamine is a drug that can easily be abused- there’s a reason it’s known as a party drug. The euphoric and dissociative effects the drugs make it open to abuse. The researchers suggest that ketamine should be reserved for refractory and debilitating cases where talk therapy and traditional medications have failed, for example, adults with severe agoraphobia or kids who are unable to attend school due to social anxiety.
Psychiatrists are hesitant but excited about the possibility of expanding treatment options available to those with anxiety disorders. Research and trials are still needed before FDA approval is granted, but the results look promising. Soon people who are crippled by social anxiety will find themselves liberated. If you want to learn more about ketamine treatments feel free to contact us!
Since 2003, the Delray Center for Healing has provided exceptional psychiatric and therapeutic care for mental health, eating, and substance use disorders. To learn more about our philosophy and treatment approach, download our free e-book, “Psychiatry Redefined,” written by our founder and medical director, Raul J. Rodriguez, MD.