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Ketamine Therapy for South Asian Mental Health Treatment in Los Angeles

A monochrome photograph of a woman holding up a mirror to her face, with text overlay stating 'Ketamine Therapy for South Asians in Los Angeles'
Ketamine Treatment to treat depression and negative feelings at Shakti Therapy & Healing Services

A healthy state of mind can help you overcome any life challenges. Nowadays, people hardly find time to share their problems with others or seek help to manage negative feelings that creep up. This has given rise to non-traditional and holistic mental health clinics, counseling sessions, and the sale of increased medications to treat anxiety and depression. However, the South Asian population in Los Angeles, the immigrants from Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh expressed optimism in alternative and holistic treatment options to manage anxiety, depression, suicidal tendencies, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this context, ‘Ketamine Therapy’ has shown notable positive results in managing suicidal thoughts and negative feelings that come with cultural pressures to strengthen mental wellness within the South Asian community.

What Ketamine Therapy

Ketamine, originally used as an anesthetic substance, has gained immense popularity among people suffering from depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. Ketamine was first introduced by the professors of Wayne State University, as a safe anesthetic. Ketamine was used as a powerful anesthetic with patients undergoing surgery, and many of them had out-of-body and psychedelic effects. This expanded the use of ketamine from an anesthetic to a popular alternative for mental health symptoms, especially for those who have not responded to SSRI medications. Ketamine includes a brain chemical messenger called Glutamate which treats both depression and pain. 

According to research by NCBI, the sedative effect of ketamine is effective in reducing suicidal ideation among people diagnosed with anxiety. ‘Since then, doctors have confirmed that this medication has the power to reduce suicidal thoughts and depression’. In simple words, Ketamine is a medication that releases the dopamine hormone, which is associated with a reduction in suicidal ideations. Additionally, Shakti Therapy & Healing Services confirmed that ketamine is effective in treating anxiety, depression, and PTSD. 

Medical Use of Ketamine Therapy in Los Angeles:

1. Anesthesia: Doctors commonly use ketamine with patients undergoing surgery. Ketamine is considered safe and “life-saving” as reported by sixteen surgeons according to ReseachGate

2. Pain management: The numbing effects of ketamine have been proven to be effective for patients with high tolerance to opiates, in terms of reducing acute pain. As reported by the National Library of Medicine, low-dose ketamine was compared with morphine in terms of pain-relieving effect.

3. Depression, anxiety & PTSD: Glutamate, produced by ketamine is a neurotransmitter correlated with mood regulation. This indicates a synaptic connection with the brain and the release of dopamine hormone that helps improve cognitive function and mood. In a survey conducted with 14 patients diagnosed with depression and endorsing suicidal thoughts, ketamine was seen to be effective in reducing suicidal ideation, leading to improved mood, focus, concentration, functional ability, and clarity of thought, as stated by Chris Griffiths.

Current Mental Health Trend of Ketamine Treatment with South Asian Communities in Los Angeles

A bar chart displaying the distribution of ketamine clinical trials by phase for various mental health conditions. Most trials are in Phase 1 for Depression, with a significant drop in subsequent phases. Other conditions like Suicidal Ideation, Anxiety, Substance Use Disorder, and PTSD have fewer trials, mainly concentrated in Phase 1.
Number of clinical trials with mental health symptoms using ketamine

As reflected by survey results, depression, treatment-resistant depression (TRD), major depressive disorder (MDD), and suicidal ideation are the main reasons to take advantage of ketamine treatments. The increase in depression and anxiety among South Asians has been on an all-time rise. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), a more than 34.1% depression rate was found among 37,437 participants in South Asian countries. The most notable countries to have higher rates of anxiety and depression were India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Though these studies do not reflect the United States, they are an indicator of repressed traumas with South Asian populations regardless of country.


Shakti Therapy & Healing Services, a Los Angeles-based and South Asian-supported psychotherapy practice, provides customized ketamine therapy to treat anxiety, depression, and PTSD, which has resulted in noticeable improvement among South Asians. You can schedule a complimentary consultation if you’re ready to make changes that last and allow happiness to be your foundation through the website. 

The Reasons for South Asians in Los Angeles to Go for Ketamine Therapy

General checkup to get prepared for Ketamine treatment

Image: Canva

1. Particular Aspects to Consider

South Asian clients in Los Angeles have culturally particular challenges such as family dynamics, economic status, generational expectations, and religious beliefs that impact mental wellness. These are significant influencing factors for this community to face depression and anxiety, leading to suicidal thoughts. As per the 2021 census, Los Angeles is the home to 1.48 million South Asian people which amounts to 15% of the total population. Therefore, it is important to consider specific issues associated with the cultural context of this population to treat mood disorders with effective treatments like ketamine. 

2. Cultural Context among South Asians: Find Ketamine Therapy LA

A few years ago, it was uncommon for South Asians to talk about depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts, and consult professional help for treatment. Covid gave permission to this population to seek support and reach out to manage their mental health. What continues to impact quality treatment is cultural context and language. As a matter of fact, South Asian languages do not have specific words to describe anxiety or depression, not only making it difficult to verbalize but also stigmatizing it. Thus, it is important to measure the awareness among the South Asian community in Los Angeles to assess the mental health stigma South Asians embody. Shakti Therapy & Healing provides the opportunity for one-to-one communication and personalized goal-setting, aiming at empowering the patient to be prepared for culturally competent ketamine therapy. 

3. Language Proficiency for Open Communication

Having the ability to understand the specific language of clients helps therapists earn the trust of their patients. This will help the clients rely more on the therapist and freely share their issues in terms of anxiety treatment. Shakti Therapy offers treatments, regarding ketamine therapy for South Asians, helping people share their inner feelings with the therapists through transparent and open communication, ensuring an accurate and timely treatment.

A series of three blurred images showing a man in states of distress, with his hands on his head and covering his face, symbolizing the turmoil associated with mental health struggles relevant to discussions on South Asian mental health and ketamine therapy.
Ketamine therapy to reduce negative feelings and anxiety

Things to Remember

Remember that ketamine is not a miracle cure, as a matter of fact, it may take multiple sessions to recover from the deep-rooted psychological issue. It should always be done under the supervision of medical professionals to avoid the ketamine therapy side effects. Visit Shakti Therapy to experience the customized ketamine treatment to ensure a positive change in your life. Contact us for a comprehensive insight into the ketamine therapy costs, treatment procedure, number of sessions required, and after-treatment facilities.

Ektha Aggarwal is an experienced licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and Founder of Shakti Therapy and Healing Services.

Shakti Therapy is a holistic & psychotherapeutic mental health clinic. We realize that we are an integral part of the vast and complex web of life - that the health of the whole is intimately connected with the health of the individual. Shakti Therapy combines both ancient Eastern & the most up to date scientific modalities, to create a basis of connection - mind to body, human to nature, individual to community, physical to spiritual, past to present to future.

To learn more about Shakti Therapy and Healing services, please visit


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