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Ketamine

Ketamine: Some Observations

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Hello again. This is Susan from MyKetamineStory.com. I have given my subject matter a lot of consideration. I thought I might slowly lead into this sensitive topic but decided I am going to just jump right into deep waters and address an issue I have struggled with once during my last 2.5 years of Ketamine therapy. I feel I might be able to provide insight to others that may have questions about Ketamine treatments and possible pitfalls.

I was recently watching a video on YouTube that another Ketamine user posted about his most recent treatment experience. I have enjoyed watching his videos because they are informative and real. My fellow sufferer, whose name is Jon, typically posts videos praising Ketamine therapy. I was aware that he has been struggling for many weeks now. He was actually pretty distressed and it showed in his video. He had been shaken to the core by the outcome of his last treatment. Like me, this gentleman has been getting Ketamine therapy to help his treatment resistant depression and has remarkable success, too. In his case, he has been receiving Ketamine for the last six months or so. I have been communicating via email with him and his latest Ketamine session has me wanting to address his situation in a blog post of my own. The reason I want to share his story is because Jon has valid concerns I want to address.

I want to respect my friend’s privacy so I will refrain from posting a direct link to his video blog just now. I am sure it won’t be too difficult to locate for those interested in knowing more. There are not too many patients writing or vlogging about Ketamine for depression.

In brief, the topic of the video Jon just posted this week was on how Ketamine failed him during his latest appointment. The anxiety he feels has made it nearly impossible for him not to feel discouraged. I will preface this by saying that prior to this recent post Jon has had phenomenal results with Ketamine therapy. I feel very optimistic that my friend will rebound when he is able to move past his fear.

I believe that when you find Ketamine and respond well to the initial treatments, you may encounter a session that doesn’t feel as powerful as previous Ketamine treatments you’ve had, and flashbacks of all the your previously failed treatment regimens weigh heavily on your mind. I experienced it. Doubt begins to swim in and tug at your toes. Doubt is a persistent nag and soon it has pulled you into its vortex. You want to fight back. You want to kick free and change these damaging thoughts that threaten to consume you. I pushed back. I had no choice. These thoughts want to convince us that we will always be suicidal and profoundly depressed. When Ketamine takes action you know how ridiculous this train of thinking is. I know how bogus these thoughts should be, but when it’s time for another treatment of Ketamine they are not at all absurd.

Those of us with treatment resistant depression are extremely familiar with medication failures. We know what it is like to try to be hopeful and have those dreams dashed by reality. The reality is that nothing in our past has improved the symptoms, and here is yet another treatment that we can add to our rejects list.

I am here to add a tiny bit of comfort. I hope. I feel that if you are responding to Ketamine therapy and getting noticeable relief, your chances of continued success are increased. You may wonder why I feel I can make a statement as bold as that. I can because there is no documentation proving otherwise. I say this with a massive smile on my face. I will also add a more acceptable reason for those that don’t find me at all amusing. I feel I can share my findings and insights because of my personal success with Ketamine. I waited a couple years to make my judgments and feelings about Ketamine public. I have a history of failed medications and treatments. A long history. As of 2015, I have only been using Ketamine to manage my depression. I have privately documented and observed myself obsessively. I would not endorse or boast rashly about treatments. I promise you. I naturally question and research. When I was introduced to Ketamine there was absolutely no information available online. In retrospect, I believe this lack of findings was best for me. I suffer with OCD and could spend hours researching and comparing myself to others. I desperately wanted reassurance that I was okay. I also needed to know what to expect. If I was having a side effect I wanted to know that I wasn’t the only one. I needed to know when I should call a doctor. I would not rest until I was well educated on whatever current treatment my doctors were trying. I will admit to you that I can totally appreciate being oblivious regarding Ketamine. I stopped looking and focused on my own recovery. It helped me focus on me and stopped my compulsive comparing.

I do however see the value of knowing what to expect. I will discuss all aspects of Ketamine therapy in future blogs. I plan to continue having Ketamine therapy for my treatment resistant depression and don’t see that changing anytime soon. For now, it does relax me knowing that it has been over two and half years and I am continuing to improve. I have worked through that doubt monster. I choose to stay optimistic.

I have written before about my anxieties about not being able to afford infusions. I have expressed how uncomfortable the thoughts of being engulfed in darkness again, even briefly, can disrupt my world. It is really no surprise that the depression wants to constantly remind us how it is in charge. Treatment resistant depression is vicious. I know in the beginning of my journey with Ketamine that I was terrified to invest all my hope in a medication that was still in clinical studies.

In early 2015, the information available consisted of vague studies and little else. I spent two years working through all my hang ups with Ketamine while simultaneously getting healthier and healthier. It is undeniable how much centers like The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ have helped provide Ketamine to the public. Information is now available. I have spoken to other success stories too. It has been a pleasure to learn that more people are finding Ketamine and getting relief. We have compared notes and remarkably we all agree Ketamine is like no other treatment we have subjected ourselves to before.

I digress.

I watched Jon’s Ketamine video and couldn’t resist posting a comment. I usually reach out to a person in a more private avenue, such as an email or phone call. The last time Jon received Ketamine, it brought up a lot of unresolved issues and feelings. The pain of his memories and thoughts led him to believe and fear that Ketamine was failing him. Trust is difficult to obtain when our histories have demonstrated that nothing can improve the depressive symptoms. It is easy to assume that once again failure has shown its hideous face again.

I was saddened by his Ketamine video. The painful struggles Jon has been dealing with lately made me want to openly reply. I thought it was important; just in case someone viewed his video and had a less than ideal experience. I did follow my public comment to my friend by reaching out through a more personal email. It was my hope that he might routinely check his email. I wanted to reassure Jon. Plus, I am not sure how often he is online. I thought it might be helpful for him to hear my words.

I want to help others considering Ketamine as well as those in the early stages of treatment. I live in this world of treatment resistant depression and understand. I do. It is a complicated world. The depression filters are strong and incredibly believable. Our mental illness has an ugly default setting. Depression lies to us over and over again. It deceives us in very convincing ways.

I highly recommend getting cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to assist the Ketamine. I recently told my doctor that I felt my recovery needed three things. The first and most crucial is Ketamine therapy. Secondly, in conjunction with the Ketamine I need to practice mindful meditation daily. Lastly, I think we all need a professional to help process these new thoughts and feelings. Our depression has been lifted. It is amazing. We are in a honeymoon phase for months. Ketamine is our hero. We have nothing to complain about because we are too busy living life symptom free for the first time ever. As with any relationship the romance begins to waiver. Our expectations of what Ketamine will do for us long term increases. Ketamine taps into your subconscious and mends. In order to move forward completely the Ketamine may bring up unresolved issues from your past. It makes you very aware of connections between your thoughts and behaviors. It allows you to dig deeper and find the root. Ketamine allows you insights into your psyche.

Ketamine experiences are unpredictable, in my opinion. Even after two years I couldn’t tell you in absolute terms what my Ketamine treatment will be like during my next session because it is never the same. The Ketamine flows through your mind like a dream. Most people can’t control their dreams and Ketamine is very similar. I routinely crawl into bed and drift off to sleep and I am not concerned at all with what I may dream about during my REM sleep cycle. I sleep and have random dreams. There are nights that I have nightmares. I am pretty sure the action of going to bed didn’t cause my nightmare. The subconscious uses this opportunity to process information on a deeper level. Dreaming is often unpredictable and random. We don’t always remember our dreams but we dream all the same. Ketamine treatments are as close to lucid dreaming as you can get. It is similar to having a dream while being absolutely awake. You are aware of your thoughts. You are an observer of your own mind. This is both magnificent and unsettling at times. It is a process. Ketamine is healing but you still have to do the work required to make concrete changes.

I try hard to go into every treatment with faith and hope. I like having that deeper understanding and knowledge that Ketamine has worked repeatedly for me in the past and continues to assist me. I know how hard that is. I have cried and cried. And I was so afraid Ketamine would stop working for me. Ketamine is all I have and if the effects of this fantastic drug stop working for me, I am screwed. But it has. Ketamine has worked where no other treatments have.

I cringe when people mention undergoing electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) aka “shock therapy”. I went through 12 sessions of ECT several years ago. It was by far the worst thing I ever did to myself, and I would never recommend it. Instead, when my friend stated he would have to look into ECT, my genuine and gentle reply was, “please don’t give up on Ketamine. Don’t stop believing in its ability to help.” It is a process.

Ketamine is a process. I personally don’t feel the Ketamine failed my friend, but more so that Jon may not have been prepared for the emotions that the Ketamine treatment brought up.

Sharing is very difficult when you are vulnerable. It is immensely painful at times. Sharing in open forum runs the risk of haters. It is also challenging to be honest with those in your world; it can be pretty high risk if you make a mistake in judgment. I am sharing to educate and to help others like me. I know there aren’t thousands of resources about Ketamine for us to google. My writings are based on my experience with Ketamine and may be different from yours. I believe, after communicating with several Ketamine patients, that we are having similar experiences.

I know from experience with Ketamine therapy that it sometimes takes time to process years of suicidal depression. Depression so profound that leaving your home feels impossible. It is because of this emotional pain that I have found I confused the treatment process with my depression and anxiety disorders.

I watched the Ketamine video and listened to the words. I totally believe that Ketamine allows you to have these intense insights, and often these views into our psyche are depressing and extremely painful. I could relate to the frustrations. For me, I was terrified that Ketamine would fail. It was close to two years before I was convinced I found the right treatment. It took some time for me to stop terrifying myself with thoughts that the depression would return and kill me if Ketamine ever stopped working. I thought about it a lot. I believe it would be hard for anyone suffering with treatment resistant depression and undergoing Ketamine therapy with success. Ketamine helps, but we still have to endure the pain and process on the road to getting healthy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Talk Therapy are wonderful tools for helping sort through the confusion. Depression taints everything.

I have had a similar experience with Ketamine therapy once. I felt so doomed. It was a one time thing and really a breakthrough in disguise. I have touched on the subject in another post. I didn’t want to leave my doctor’s office. I can feel the shift when the Ketamine hits my system. There was one incident where I thought I did not feel any relief from the returning depression and I freaked out. I started catastrophizing. My thoughts latched onto the habitual belief that I will one day end my life because of my depression and lack of successful treatments. I circled the drain. Unlike my friend who has been afraid to return for another treatment out of fear of discovering Ketamine has stopped working, I didn’t want to wait the two weeks to try again. I didn’t want to waste anymore time obsessing. I had to put Ketamine to the test. I had traveled so far away from the permanent state of depression that I refused to accept that Ketamine simply wasn’t going to work anymore.

Ketamine is Hope. It is my hope.

Ketamine allows clarity, and often times it is extremely difficult to feel this turmoil because my depression has numbed most of my emotions and memories of pain. I am constantly frustrated with learning all these new emotions and finding the correct descriptive words for what these feelings are.

I usually leave my doctor’s office feeling uplifted, and I admit, when I thought I didn’t get that relief I have grown to expect during my visit I was super angry. I was crushed. I was so bloody angry. I was also scared. The doubts started ringing between my ears. I was severely depressed by the idea.

Ketamine works in mysterious ways. It has been 2.5 years of treatments now, and I often find myself struggling. I am no longer dealing with the depression but all the baggage left around from trying to cope with chronic depression. It is life. We all have obstacles we must conquer to be whole.

I really feel that the Ketamine allowed Jon to process painful events from his time trapped in the arms of depression, and he was unprepared. I have learned my depression default setting makes suicide seem like a logical solution. When life hits me with overwhelming feelings, my thoughts automatically return to suicide as the only real solution. I wasn’t too excited to learn that snippet of evil. I think once I made this connection, I could exam the bigger picture. It was probably the worst two week period I have had to endure. The doubt monster is full of passion when we are in a weak moment. For me, knowing that Ketamine has given me relief at all, when nothing else has, is powerful!

I am so confident that the next treatment Jon has will give him the relief he is craving and afraid he won’t get. I am. I strongly suggested and highly recommended moving his next appointment up. Jon doesn’t get Ketamine every two weeks like I do. His treatments are six weeks apart; sometimes longer. If he is anything like me, he will probably obsess for the next 6 weeks that the Ketamine won’t work.

It is difficult to need Ketamine. It is painful and utterly uncomfortable. I used to worry obsessively about what I would do if Ketamine stopped doing the job I expect, but I am here over 2.5 years later. I had one experience where the Ketamine didn’t get it right. I laugh because looking back, I realize it did. It was a gift wrapped in pain. It forced me to work harder to figure out why I didn’t respond in the typical way I usually do. I know that it was exhausting. I obsessed on all the pain I caused because of my illnesses and only wanted to die. Life often feels pointless to me. I feel these are my default settings and the depression is a lying bastard that wants to destroy me. I worried about it all.

Ketamine gives me clarity. We may not always be ready for what it shows us. We have been in darkness so long that the sunlight burns. I think that the Ketamine was telling Jon that it was time for him to face these painful feelings of regret.

I think Ketamine gives you a crash course in the grief process. It is frightening, but I know I have to process and push through. Change comes.

The Ketamine will give Jon relief and after his next treatment he will probably kick himself for waiting so long for relief. The ego and illness want 100% control, and I think it lies to keep that power.

I realize that my Ketamine friend is in a bad place right now and if the only thing he can absorb from my ramblings is to make a sooner appointment I am okay with that. I just don’t want him to continue torturing himself unnecessarily. Trust me, I do know. Recovery and healing are not linear. I hope if there are others facing the doubt monster right now that my words will offer comfort and strength to keep striving to get well.

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Ketamine

First-Time to Ketamine IV? Here’s What You Need To Know

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Are you new to the whole idea of Ketamine IV?

Are you looking to find more evidence-based research on how it can help with your Treatment-Resistant Depression, Chronic Pain, PTSD, Postpartum Depression and other mental health concerns?

Do you want to get relief from the impacts of Severe Depression?

This article Ketamine IV sheds light on the following:

Basic information about Ketamine as an aid for
Severe or Treatment-Resistant Depression

Ketamine is used as an analgesic, which relieves pain. It’s also an anesthetic, which induces dissociation and produces relaxation.

Because of these effects, it has been used as a therapy to manage the symptoms of Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD). A lot of studies have been conducted to test the safety and efficacy of ketamine for TRD

One of these studies is a review citing the results of 24 cases published in PubMed/Medline and ScienceDirect. A total of 416 people who suffered from Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD) were subjects of the cases. The review reveals ketamine can be an option as an antidepressant with its psychomimetic properties (Serafini et al., 2014).

In May 2020, a study validated the efficacy of ketamine intravenous infusion therapy for Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD). 

Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden used positron emission therapy (PET) to scan the brains of 30 people who received low-dose ketamine.

For the first time, the researchers identified serotonin 1B receptors as the target of ketamine. Ketamine increased serotonin, a chemical in the body, which is responsible for mood regulation (Karolinski Institutet, 2020).

What Happens in a Pre-Ketamine IV consultation

Before you begin your Ketamine IV therapy, you must first complete a consultation. Our healthcare provider will check your diagnosis, comorbidities and complete a quick exam.

This consultation determines whether Ketamine is appropriate for your individual case and whether Ketamine is a safe choice for you. 

During the consultation, we will ask about your diagnosis, chronic conditions, and medication history.

Listing all of the medications and treatments you have tried is very important in qualifying you for ketamine. During your consultation, we will ask about past medications, their effects, lack of effects or side effects. 

Our healthcare provider will also look into the drug-drug interactions, which is rare with ketamine. Use of lamotrigine or Lamictal and cannabis have been determined to blunt the effects of ketamine. If either applied, we discuss how we manage this during your consultation.

Finally, we will review your medical history and current chronic conditions, if any. Thankfully, ketamine is extremely safe and there are very few conditions that make ketamine unsafe. Uncontrolled hypertension is one of them, so make sure you get your blood pressure treated!

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What Typically Happens in Your
First Ketamine IV Appointment

Ketamine IV is performed by a trained healthcare provider. It’s not only your physical aspect that needs attention, but also your psychological state. You will be presented with baseline and ongoing questionnaires during your therapy.  It is important that you complete these.

  • For your privacy, you will be in a private room or curtained area. The room is dimly lit and we encourage headphones with your own soothing music for a relaxed experience.
  • Your therapy dosage will be based on your weight to ensure its efficacy. The whole therapy session will take about 40 minutes to one hour.
  • You will feel a sense of calm as you receive ketamine IV infusion. But, there is a chance you may feel tired after the therapy. You may be allowed to have a loved one beside you for emotional support and comfort during the procedure.  Many first-timers want this additional support, but eventually prefer to take their ketamine journey alone.  It is important that the loved on understand they shouldn’t talk or engage you during the infusion because it decreases your ability to dissociate.  They should be prepared to sit quietly next to you and only engage if you engage them.
  • Your healthcare provider will be nearby at all times in case you need anything. They are also trained in advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS) if the need arises. This is not to scare you, but to let you know you’re in good hands.

Many studies reveal that ketamine is well-tolerated by the body. One of these studies was about ketamine as an adjunct therapy to Treatment-Resistant Depression. They found out that people who participated in the study did well compared with those who took a placebo (Fava et al, 2018).

  • You will be monitored throughout your ketamine IV therapy session. You may experience dizziness, headache, nausea, and blurred vision. There may also be a tendency for increased heart rate and blood pressure. We are well prepared to manage these common and temporary effects.
  • There is a 30-minute minimum recovery period after your infusion is complete. Most people are alert and ready to be discharged at this time. Some take a little longer. In addition to being alert, we confirm that your vital signs have returned to baseline before discharge. Most people feel fine after and some even go out to eat.
  • Prior to each infusion, we will assess the dose and confirm its effectiveness on you. At this time, you may give your inputs about how you felt about the therapy. Through this feedback, your healthcare provider will have a better evaluation of your progress.
  • A ride home is required and we encourage a trusted friend or family member. However, we do allow ride-shares to take you home. Many of our veteran patients do this, but most first-timers need the additional support of a loved one. At no time is driving yourself after a ketamine infusion allowed.
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The Interventions Combined with Ketamine IV

Look into other interventions combined with Ketamine IV infusion therapy: Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) or ketamine psychedelic psychotherapy (KPP)

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a form of cognitive therapy developed by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams, and John Teasdale. It incorporates meditation and breathing exercises, which draws its origins from mindfulness-based reduction (MSBR) by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979.

Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP)

In a study of 235 patients, KAP was found to be an effective means for ebbing anxiety and depression, especially for the elderly who have severe symptoms (Dore et al., 2019). Moreover, the Ketamine Research Institute (KRIYA), Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies, and the Ketamine Research Foundation have studied the positive effects of KAP.

According to KRIYA founder and psychologist, Racquel Bennet, ketamine acts in three ways (Velasquez-Manoff, 2018):

  1. It serves to relieve symptoms of depression and rids of irritations that negatively affect the therapy.
  2. The “shamanic” approach makes the person’s experience during therapy important to healing.
  3. The combination of both nos. 1 and 2, Ketamine corrects discrepancies in the neurological pathway and gains insights facilitated by a mental health professional.
Research on Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP)
  • In a book, entitled Ketamine Papers, the editor Philip Wolfson elaborated on the use of ketamine therapy for TRD and other related disorders. According to Wolfson in one of the chapters of the book, ketamine induces “euphoric” states. In this state, a mental healthcare professional uses meditations and guided imagery to resolve past trauma or problems that led to depression (Ratan, 2017).
  • A comprehensive review also reveals the effectiveness of ketamine psychedelic psychotherapy, which was meant to guide psychiatrists in their practice (Kolp, et al., 2014). Ketamine has beneficial effects which include promoting positive psychological changes, developing personal growth and self-awareness, and inducing insights about existing problems (Kolp, et al, 2014). 
  • The goal of KAP or KPP for you is to have an effective healing experience. This is by preparing yourself and being able to manage the new experience. At the end of the therapy, you can gain insights that you can discuss with your healthcare provider. It’s best to consult your healthcare provider since higher doses of ketamine are needed to produce these desired effects.

Ketamine IV at The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ

For more information on Ketamine IV therapy, call the Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ at 505-445-4300 or visit our Ketamine page to book an appointment! We would be happy to assist you!

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Ketamine

Ketamine: Addressing Questions And Concerns

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Hello and welcome. It is Susan from myketaminestory.com.

As a brief summary, I write about my experiences and journey with Ketamine Therapy on my website and also for The Injection and Infusion Clinic of Albuquerque. I have a long history with treatment resistant depression and anxiety disorders. My personal mental health care resume includes numerous failed medication cocktails, ECT, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Talk Therapy and hospitalizations. I admit I understand how all of these treatments could potentially help, but they never did for me. It was a little over two and half years ago that I was introduced to Ketamine for depression. I am alive today because of a drug that is raising many questions and concerns from the professional world.

I can confidently state that the fear others have about Ketamine will not stop me from continuing my treatments. I am not afraid of Ketamine. I am, however, terrified at the thought of not being able to afford my therapy. The panic I feel when images of something tragic happening to my doctor makes my Ketamine Advocacy all the more important to me. If I no longer have access to a physician or nurse practitioner willing to administer Ketamine, I am convinced my story would quickly conclude. Why? Why do I believe that my depression would definitely kill me? The answer is crystal clear to me. My depression is continually lifted and I am now capable of living the life I was meant to. I have seen the possibilities. I have had long periods of time symptom free. Would you want to go back to that cave I referred to in my last post? Me neither.

I am speaking up. I want to make sure I never lose the only treatment that has given me hope for a future. I am willing to take on the tough questions and concerns. Ketamine is hope for treatment resistant depression. I am proof. I want to educate. I want others, like me, suffering with TRD to be aware that Ketamine is an option. It has been my only hope. I went 45 years suffering with profound depression and anxiety disorders with no relief from any of the traditional methods of treatment. What I do have are plenty of horror stories to share. I was fortunate to be told about Ketamine back in 2015 and my life has only continued to improve with the aid of Ketamine therapy. There are now more facilities offering Ketamine treatments like the one in Albuquerque, New Mexico at The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ. I often fret over the idea of someone ending their life because they never heard of Ketamine therapy for depression. That could have been my story. It almost was.

My success with Ketamine treatments pushes me repeatedly to write. I am sharing parts of my life that are not at all flattering. It can be extremely uncomfortable. I know that I need to show the depths of my desperation for understanding. Depression is complicated and frequently misunderstood. My primary motivation is to write based on my experiences with the hope of reaching out to that lost soul, I once was, with a life line.

I started my Ketamine infusion therapy with a series of six infusions over a two week period. I responded. I have had no success with any previous treatments for my depression. I was slightly hopeful following my first infusion. I felt, relief. I can best explain the feeling as a small break from the OCD thinking, anxiety and darkness. It was as though someone turned on a nightlight for me. I remember that I was aware of being able to take a full breath with ease. I could truly breathe for the first time. I habitually held my breath. My anxiety made breathing painful and that often created even more anxiety for me. So, when I was left without the discomfort I felt when just breathing, I was actually shocked. It was such a pleasure to have even the briefest glimpse at what might be possible for me if I continue to respond to Ketamine treatments. It has been a frustrating task trying to locate a qualified professional to administer Ketamine at a price I could afford. It breaks my heart that many will never be able to afford the initial 6 recommended infusions. Many of us, myself included, could never entertain long term Ketamine treatments which for me is a reality. The current average price per treatment around the country is $400-$600 or so. It is unrealistic for many.

I am currently having Ketamine administered by intramuscular shots. There are not too many providers offering IM Ketamine shots, so I was thrilled to learn that The Injection & Infusion Clinic of Albuquerque, New Mexico is offering them as well as Ketamine infusions. I have been getting Ketamine every two weeks for over two and a half years. I have had tremendous relief from my depression and anxiety symptoms. I am grateful to my doctor, whom I never worked with prior to my Ketamine regimen, for being open to listening to me advocate this unconventional use of the drug. I am forever appreciative of his willingness to work with me financially. We have learned so much together. My doctor has been able to see my positive progress and it excites us both. He is now treating a couple of his patients using Ketamine with success.

I have a strong desire to answer all these questions I have been asked over the past several months. I am really excited to announce my new Q & A blog series. I will initially be writing a four part question and answer series for a Ketamine Clinic located in Albuquerque, NM called The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ. I was trying to discover a creative method for setting up a question and answer style blog but quickly realized I was once again being self indulgent when I only want to educate. I will draft an interviewer/interviewee style with intentions of making it quick, direct, and worthy of reading.

In my first Q & A series I am introducing my son, Matthew. It was during his Freshman year at Virginia Commonwealth University that his father read an article on Ketamine for depression. We started saving our money so I could try this experimental treatment. I responded to a medication for the first time. Matthew has had a front row seat to my struggles with failed treatments and how they have destroyed me in the past. My depression and anxiety has affected the whole family. That article offered my family hope. I had none. My family, they did a lot of work when I was unable.

Matthew was selected as one of the few freshman to present his finding and have his paper, Ketamine, a Brighter Future for Those in Darkness, published. It was in the beginning of my therapy with Ketamine that Matthew researched Ketamine and wrote his paper. An interview was a necessary component to his class assignment. I decided the best way to introduce my first question and answer blog was to go back to the beginning. My son interviewed me following my first two weeks of Ketamine infusions back in March 2015. I feel his work should be honored in my attempt to raise awareness on the benefits of Ketamine for Treatment Resistant Depression.

The following are the interview questions Matthew Gayhart asked me for his research paper. I should mention these questions were asked of me back in the early part of 2015 and the information about Ketamine use for depression was extremely limited. There were maybe a dozen or less locations offering Ketamine Infusions worldwide. It is because of my experience and difficulty with trying to find a Ketamine infusion clinic that I am constantly updating my Ketamine Provider & Location List located here and on my website. I am dedicated to making it possible to find a Ketamine Provider near you.

I digress.

Back to the topic at hand. This blog series, I want to spend time focusing on the numerous questions I have been asked over the last several months. I decided on approaching the curiosity and concerns in a questions and answers format. My answers are based on personal experience with Ketamine for Treatment Resistant Depression.

The following is the questionnaire Matthew Gayhart used when interviewing me on Ketamine infusion therapy for his research paper; March 2015.

I hope you find it helpful.

How long have you been suffering from depression?

I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression, which is also called Major Depressive Disorder, at the age of 18. However, I feel that I have suffered all of my life, being aware of it at the age of 8. I was also diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder at that time.

Approximately how many different treatments have you undergone?

I first started doing talk therapy at the age of 18. I knew something wasn’t right with me. My depression has led me to having to go into hospitals for psychiatric care; both inpatient and outpatient care, more than a dozen times, over the course of 20 years. Doctors have tried a combination of 3 or 4 psychiatric medications mixtures to lift or alter my depressed state and lower anxiety levels. It was probably in excess of 2 dozen or more combinations, or “Cocktails” as it is often referred to. I also received 12 ECT treatments over a three month period, about 15 years ago. I can regretfully conclude that none of those treatments have ever worked.

How does Ketamine compare to these previous treatments?

Well, (laughs), the first thing is, the Ketamine doesn’t take 4-6 weeks to figure out if it will work. That can not be said about traditional antidepressants. I would know right away if the Ketamine was going to work or not, and I did, within an hour. The anxiety I could never escape was lowered within an hour. I was alert and felt calm for the first time in my life. It was fast acting. My results were very obvious. Clearly I can’t hide the fact that I feel better. You can hear it in my voice.

Do you think that it is worth the money it cost for Ketamine Infusions?

I do! If I were to add up and report all the costs I have accumulated over the years on all the medications, hospitalizations, ECT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, outpatient treatment programs you would be surprised at how the numbers and debt pile up over the years. My balance with insurance coverage was a constant financial stress. What I mean is that just the co-pays have put a strain on my family. It was even more painful because none of the treatments worked. They just added another layer of depression and many of them just made me a zombie. I wish I could have that money back to invest in my future Ketamine infusions.

How much does a Ketamine infusion cost?

For me, it was $450 dollars per treatment. Insurance companies do not cover any of the charges. Ketamine for depression is considered off label use and is not covered. It makes trying this experimental method unrealistic for many. I was fortunate to have our tax return issued. It was so unbearable fighting to survive during the three weeks between filing and my first appointment. The cost made it impossible to try Ketamine as soon as my husband discovered it. This needs to change. It must change. One day (laughs) I will probably be advocating for this treatment. I can express how different I feel.

I do want to add an updated comment about the costs of Ketamine Infusions. I am aware that average pricing ranges between 400-700 dollars per treatment nationwide. However, I know of a few places, like The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ that offer low cost Ketamine infusions that start at $259. I recommend doing your research. Added: 7/15/17

Are there any adverse or negative effects?

None. For me, during the treatment I experienced the effects of Ketamine, but once you have the treatment and it is over you no longer have to worry about traditional lingering issues such as weight gain, liver issues, diabetes. mood swings, suicidal thinking, anxiety, internal discomforts, insomnia, and the list goes on and on. With Ketamine therapy I have had nothing to negative to report. When you leave those “usual” sensations brought on by the Ketamine are gone. They have found no evidence that you will have any medical side effects. I can agree and say that after 3 treatments I have not experienced any of the effects seen with other treatments.

I will add another note on 7-15-17 that after over 2.5 years I have yet to discover any negative or adverse reactions. My only complaint is that I have been known on occasion to vomit during my intramuscular Ketamine treatments, but a small price for 8-10 days being symptom free. It is unpredictable and doesn’t occur during every session. I can’t remember the last time I vomited during my Ketamine treatment. You can take an anti-nausea medication to combat this but I tend to be a purist and strive minimize what I put in my body.

Ketamine is known to be a psychedelic drug, so what have your experiences been with this side of the drug?

When I met Dr. Levine, he shared that he likes to tell his patients what Ketamine is like using the analogy of playing Family Feud. The top five answers on the board of what Ketamine is like are: Strange, odd, weird, intense, dreamlike. I would also have to say it was a very introspective time, spiritually awakening, with out of body sensations; like you literally feel like you come out of your body.

I remember saying to your dad (who was in the room for support) ‘I don’t know where my body is’. I couldn’t see my entire body. I could see and say, ‘Here are my shoulders, but I don’t know where the rest of my body is.’ It was strangest thing, but I was not upset or afraid. I was more curious. Calm. Warm. While I was investigating this feeling, I remember my whole face lit up when I saw my feet. You feel, or I felt, disconnected from your body. It is as though you come out of your body and you are able to wander around the room without moving an inch physically.

It is like lucid dreaming. It is like dreaming, but you are awake. It is like you are in a dream and all of this bizarre shit is happening while you are consciously aware of your thoughts. In this type of dream you are the observer of all around you as well as what is deep in the subconscious.

You are experiencing the world in the third person. It is like you are a separate entity. It feels very spiritual. I wasn’t as critical of myself. I was able to just look at myself and have thoughts about everything and anything without feeling overwhelmed by my own thoughts and feelings. It is like you are a different person and you are watching your thoughts and reactions. It is very profound.

You have, or at least I did, this insight into yourself from a third party point of view. These thoughts are much deeper thoughts than the common superficial levels we communicate. The thoughts are so fast and it is fleeting. It is like a water cascading over you and you have to flow with it, but you just keep going with the thoughts. Easy. No judgments. What a relief.

I could also look at the wood on a door to my room and see the shapes and textures of the wood. I would look at them and give them a story in my mind that made the door appear to come to life. It was as though I was giving the door life. The Ketamine allows you to look at the different things around you with a fresh clarity. I personally didn’t see horrible demons or anything. I didn’t see things appear before me that were not already there when I walked into the room. It was more like my mind was just enhancing the surroundings in a superhuman way.

Were the Ketamine Infusions enjoyable?

Yes, most of the time. Ketamine, it can bring out things inside of you, deep childhood issues and spiritual epiphanies too. I wasn’t ready for the new information and feelings; maybe. I cried in 2 of the treatments, It was bizarre because I almost felt like I was Buddha on a mountain with my insights. (laughs) It can feel a bit intense at times. Dr. Levine reassured me that crying is natural when you have years of stored unexamined emotions. I didn’t understand why I was crying. That was unsettling. How could I feel relief and still want to cry? I understand now that having an emotional release after years of pent up dark feelings can feel so great it brings you to tears.

How long after the infusion starts do you feel the effects of Ketamine?

I really paid attention to the time. I was obsessed. I frequently would ask what time it was. I would ask repeatedly in every session. I wanted to reduce my anxiety level and made mental notes during each session. I also made it a habit to state my observations out loud to my husband so he was pretty aware of my thoughts and feelings during each infusion. I determined that the onset of the effects of Ketamine after IV starts administering it was right around 7 minutes or so,

Could you describe what it feels like to get a Ketamine Infusion?

It felt like I took a couple shots of Tequila. I got all warm inside, giddy, and relaxed. I would then feel many of the dissociative effects I have already mentioned. I did get that “trippy” feeling during several of my treatments but not every single one. The sessions were all different. I can only figure that once the IV needle was in place and the Ketamine entered my system, I was calm. It was shortly after that intoxicated feeling began that I was able to see the textures in the walls and doors; 14 minutes or so. The colors and paints appeared puffed up; like I was viewing the world like a 3D movie. It was not like the hallucinations or color trails associated with LSD and mushrooms. I feel that these drugs change the world outside of you; like the walls are moving and you are seeing things melting. I feel most psychedelic drugs could cause you to believe you are seeing the devil or any objects that are not present or reality. I feel with Ketamine it seems more internal to me; like there are things going on inside of your mind causing the things around you to look the same but enhanced. It just feels differently. It is very dream like. I remember there was a box of tissues in my room and it had a magnolia blossom design on it. The flower was gorgeous during my infusion. I could see the petals in detail and colors so rich it soothed me instantly. In fact, I made sure that tissue box was always present in my treatment room.

Are there any drawbacks to this treatment compared to any treatments you have had in the past?

I think that the major drawback for me is that you never really know what is going to happen during that hour you are being administered Ketamine, even though it is the same type of treatment every time, it has proven to me that it is never going to be the same; the treatments I have had have been very different each time. They definitely follow a well defined path, but they have been so completely different. The only similarity is when things start and when they will end. There may be times when you will not be able to talk to due to the mind activity.

When I asked Dr. Levine if I could have someone in the room he did warn me that I might not be capable of talking to my husband. This was new. To be honest, I didn’t believe Dr. Levine. I was chatting away to my partner about what I was feeling without incident. I don’t know how it happened but suddenly I was pulled into thoughts I wanted to follow. Insights. I mentally raced to catch up so I wouldn’t miss anything. I was unable to talk to my husband. I glanced blindly at him. I wasn’t able to see him through my thoughts visually shaping before me. I was running circles in my mind trying to absorb this gift. A gift. That is how I feel about Ketamine. All my chasing made it difficult to talk. I could hear Dr. Levine’s words in my head saying if it starts to feel overwhelming, just close your eyes. It will help. And it does. All of a sudden, I said to the room, ‘I am not going to be able to talk anymore.’ I wasn’t afraid. I was intrigued. In the end, all of the effects you feel from the Ketamine Infusion are done by the time you leave. I feel like there are no lasting adverse effects from my treatments; just the helpful benefits Ketamine provides for me.

Do you agree with the fact that Ketamine is not an FDA approved treatment for depression?

No. I don’t agree. I think that it is an injustice for those suffering like I am. I hope to one day be healthy enough to be a Ketamine Advocate. Education is critical. I think that may end up being my purpose. I am going to spread the word. Ketamine is hope.

I am going to add a comment here because I feel it is warranted. When I return from New Jersey following my 6 infusions, I had moments of being symptom free for the first time ever. It was incredible for me. I have never responded to medications. My enthusiasm was pouring out of me then and it remains strong to this day. I did not edit this response. I promise. In fact I even told Dr. Levine on my last day of treatment with him that I was predicting that I would one day advocate for this hidden jewel.

How would you have rated your depression on a scale of 1-10; ten being most depressed, and actively suicidal, prior to treatment?

Definitely a 10, I was actively suicidal, with a plan in place if I didn’t respond to the Ketamine treatments. That was on the morning of my first Ketamine Infusion,

And today, how would you rate yourself on that same scale? I understand that it is the mid-point in the treatment. That means you have had 3 infusions this week?

I would say I am around a 4. I go back again Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of next week for the remaining 3 infusions that were recommended.

What led you to pursue Ketamine over another cocktail of medication, or another round of ECT?

I cringe at the thought of ever doing ECT again. I would never allow doctors to do ECT again because it erases big chunks of your memory. I had 12 treatments. I was hospitalized for three months during my ECT. I have absolutely no memory of my stay. I have flashbacks sometimes. I know when I went into the hospital after yet another suicide attempt, doctors started discussing ECT and had me watch video’s to educate myself. I was desperate, so I agreed to ECT against family’s wishes. I have no recollection of anything that occurred during that three months’ time. What hurts the most is the fact that ECT did not help me. The same results with other psychiatric drugs used to treat my depression and anxiety: Failure. There have been many antidepressants I have been asked to try. There has not been one single drug that has worked, I wanted to give up. What could ever make me think that another cocktail would ever work? My psychiatrist has been through every group of antidepressants trying to target different neurotransmitters in the brain, I have been on MAOI, SSRI, tricyclics, etc. with no relief but plenty of new health concerns to address. Why should I have any hope? Why should I deal with the negative side effects. I know the outcome will be the same. History has proven this to me. You can only live in the darkness for so long, you know? I was hanging on my last thread, When my husband and therapist looked up treatment resistant depression, and they found Ketamine as an option, and they seemed to think that this drug was something different. I wasn’t convinced. They told me of the success rate and they were so positive. I thought it was almost too good to be true. My family, you included, Matthew, thought it was worth looking into and so we started to do just that.

In closing, now that you have had the 6 Ketamine Infusions with positive results what now? Will you continue to be symptom free without anymore treatments?

While I was in New Jersey for treatment, Dr. Levine mentioned a doctor that reached out to him interested in administering Intramuscular Ketamine. Intramuscular means it is basically a shot of the proper dosage of Ketamine into a large muscle such as the thigh or shoulder. It was unbelievable, and such a blessing, when Dr. Levine mentioned Dr. Moseley lived in Virginia and gave me his number. His office is only an hour away for where we live. I will give him a call on Monday morning and hope he is willing to work with me. I responded to the Ketamine in a very positive manner. The problem for me is, the time I am symptom free is temporary. I am hopeful that if I continue to get Ketamine administered at a price I can afford, then I will be on the right path in my recovery. I, too, may one day have a success story. My own happy ending.

If you know of anyone suffering with treatment resistant depression, like I do, let them know that Ketamine therapy may be an option worth looking into. It has been and continues to offer me relief from my symptoms. If you or someone you know are considering Ketamine infusion therapy, please visit www.infusionclinicabq.com for low cost ketamine infusion and injection options.

Join me again later in the month when I address questions about the differences between Ketamine Infusions and Intramuscular Ketamine. I also have experience using a prescription nasal Ketamine spray to help me with the time in between shots. I will share my thoughts about the different delivery methods and concerns over what I have been reading in my studies. I will also be answering more questions about Ketamine that many of you have asked me through email or phone calls. Thank you for reaching out.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Redefining Depression With The Assistance Of Ketamine Therapy.

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Hello again. This is Susan from myketaminestory.com. I am once again addressing questions and concerns regarding Ketamine therapies for treating mood disorders and pain. I am writing a four part series answering questions about Ketamine use, based on my experience with Ketamine therapy over the past 2.5 years, for The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ. This is the third post in my Q & A series.

My first blog, Ketamine: Addressing Questions & Concerns focused on my early experience with Ketamine Infusions. In part two of the series, Addressing Questions & Concerns About Ketamine Therapy for Treatment Resistant Depression I addressed questions and concerns about Intramuscular Ketamine verses Ketamine Infusion therapy. Today I plan to be a bit more random. I have had emails with several questions and themes recently. I want to address as many inquiries as I can and decided to approach this current series in a more hopscotch fashion.

I will preface this series of questions with an obvious disclaimer. I am answering all the questions posed in this blog, as well as the two previously mentioned, based on personal experience with Ketamine treatments and my own continued readings. I want to advocate the use of Ketamine for Treatment Resistant Depression because of my results from the therapy. I want to share my success and how I have benefited from the new form of treatment.

It has been through my Ketamine advocacy that people have approached me via email with questions and concerns. I have been fortunate enough to have providers reach out to me asking me about my results and my writings. It is because of these inquiries I am rarely at a loss for writing material. I have appreciated the interest and encouragements. I have enjoyed the offers to write about my story for other websites. I have. I am human. These interactions have not all been pleasant. I am always shocked by how insensitive “professional” people can be. What is even more baffling is the fact they are reaching out to me. Odd. They clearly seem to forget that I am a patient writing and not a doctor or other provider. I am flabbergasted at times. I could share numerous incidents that would surely puzzle the best conversationalist. The demands and expectations have been insane. I will briefly state that I can not simply be purchased and added to your business expenses. I am a human sharing personal experience. Please be respectful.

I need to add a special thank you as a side note. I have been known as a woman that expresses her feelings regularly. If I am overcome with strong emotions, I share them. I work incredibly hard on focusing on positive action and thoughts. If I am impressed or treated well I will make a point of saying thank you for your kindness. I am appreciative to Jason Duprat with The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ for constantly being sensitive of my story and feelings. He repeatedly treats me with respect and honor. Jason allows me to feel comfortable and valued. We work with each other professionally with a twist of mutual fondness I think. I am grateful that his Ketamine clinic strives to bring more affordable infusions. I would love to see more Ketamine centers following his example. It really benefits everyone. If a center is willing to lower prices, then this massively successful therapy could be offered to more individuals suffering with Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD). Think about it. If you charge 500 and, say for example, only 10 people can afford treatment from your clinic each month making your total income 5,000. Now, for sake of easy math, think about charging 200 dollars per session. You can now service and provide hope to numerous of my fellow sufferers. Let’s follow this logic to the end. At 200 dollars per treatment you might book 30 or 40 clients per month giving you 6,000-8,000 in profits. You also get a bonus…. a full heart.

I admire Ketamine providers that understand the desperate need for Ketamine therapy for depression, but clearly care more about patient long term care. It is crucial to keep in mind that the majority of your client base will need to return repeatedly for booster/maintenance Ketamine thus also increasing your bottom line. Remember the 10 patients I mentioned in my first example? They will definitely find it even more financially stressful if not completely unrealistic to return for follow up care. My guess is maybe 1 out of 10 could manage the compounding cost of routine boosters of Ketamine therapy. Insurance companies do not currently cover the charge of Ketamine treatments. The numbers add up.

I once again digress.

I have had friends question my motives for writing for Ketamine clinics, and the motives of the providers requesting my help. To be completely honest, I have to say that I have no issue using keywords and letting the readers know about a specific Ketamine Clinic by name. It benefits everyone involved. However, I am very selective. I ask a ton of questions. I want to inform. I also am not a fool and I realize it is easier to spread your message when you have help. I admit that there are specific answers I am looking for when approached to write about Ketamine for sites other than my own. It means asking tough questions. I need to know the motives, the whys, behind the offer. I want to know how people act and react to my questions. I investigate. I approach each center as a patient and an advocate. I want to build a genuine relationship with my reader. I am writing on a very personal subject matter. A relationship built on trust and honesty is important to me. I also want and see the importance in establishing a relationship with Ketamine providers. We are all important and valuable. We can spread the news about Ketamine and give hope back to those in darkness.

Advocacy is a new adventure for me.

I wasn’t expecting to go on that rant. I apologize. It has been on my mind a lot recently. I do not want to be a bought and paid for direct advert. I definitely don’t want to appear insincere in my writings. Ketamine has offered me life. I want to educate and possibly offer change to those that don’t think their lives will ever improve.

My words, my language, and self expression mean so much to me. Please don’t script my feelings. I want to inform the public. I have my story and my style. If you really want to share my passion to educate the world on the benefits of Ketamine for depression then I suggest not editing my words to serve your hidden agenda. I did not approach you. Please remember that when you are slaughtering my message and find yourself shocked when I opt not to work with your Ketamine facility. I am advocating Ketamine for Treatment Resistant Depression. I am pretty confident that is why you contacted me. Yes? Readers are intelligent after all. They will recognize bullshit. I would.

Ketamine has and continues to breathe life into me. I started my personal website in January of 2017. I wanted to share and advocate the use of Ketamine to treat depression. It has been through my writings I have discovered how truly powerful words can be. In the recent months those words have been reaching more fellow sufferers. It is thrilling to know that more professionals are reaching out to learn more about Ketamine therapy, too. I have learned that I have value when I share and educate. Many times I am consciously aware that my writings are only me ruminating and desperately trying to make connections so I can heal. The idea that I may actually be helping others; that is fascinating and exciting.

I am immensely grateful to have The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ as a platform to educate. They definitely have met all my personal standards for a Ketamine provider. Their Albuquerque, New Mexico Ketamine center is one of the lowest costing Ketamine providers in the nation. The also passed my “must offer” quiz by informing me that they will be offering Intramuscular Ketamine shots to clients at a reduced cost, for those that can’t afford the infusion boosters/maintenance programs. Oh, if I ever relocate!

I will be announcing another exciting development on myketaminestory.com website later this week. I also have a board full of blog topics to discuss and ponder. I am feeling creative and looking forward to writing several articles this month.

Okay, surprisingly I was finally capable of wrapping up that tirade on proper etiquette when asking a blogger for personal writing content for their Ketamine business.

Onward, to the latest question and answer blog; part three in this four part Q & A series. I hope you find it helpful.

What is Ketamine?

My life-preserver! It really is. Ketamine is basically an anesthetic drug that blocks pain. It was first developed in the 1960’s and was used to operate on soldiers during the Vietnam War. In the past, Ketamine, has also been used as an animal tranquilizer. However, in more recent years, Ketamine has been a common theme in nightclubs and parties because of the “hallucination” element users have repeatedly enjoyed.

What do you mean by “hallucination” element?

Well, in addition to dulling pain, Ketamine has been known to allow users to feel like they’re detached from their own body. This sensation is often written and explained as a dissociative effect. These feelings are often associated with a variety of drugs known as hallucinogens. This class of drugs are frequently known to distort perceptions of sight and sound. It produces feelings of detachment from the environment, mind, and self. The reason this can even occur is because the drug is reducing or blocking signals to the conscious mind from other parts of the brain. This out-of-body experience has made it a popular club or party drug, and is commonly called “Special K.”

How is Ketamine given?

If you have done any research on the subject you will probably get this answer; Ketamine is given as an infusion. An IV line is put in place and directly delivers the Ketamine into your vein. The needle is typically placed in your arm or hand. It is reported that this method is the quickest route for the medicine to get to the brain.

You may have also read that most people start with about six doses over a period of 2 weeks, and then they sign up to get booster Infusions once every 3 to 5 weeks.

The facts have alluded to the idea that you may need to continue treatments for a year or more to see long-term results. My experience has proven to me that long term use is absolutely necessary to continue to fight this demon, to recover and lead a productive life.

I agree with these findings, to a point.

Research online misses the fact that Ketamine is also now being given in many other forms. As many of you know, I started out with 6 Infusions and transitioned to IM Ketamine. I get Intramuscular Ketamine shots every two weeks. I do not see this regimen changing any time soon.

I have also used nasal Ketamine spray in an emergency situation. I keep a bottle on hand in case my symptoms show their hateful presence before my next appointment. I appreciate having this option even if I am notoriously known for consistently complaining about this delivery method. I admit that I still find the value of it, and if some horrific event took my beloved doctor away I wouldn’t hesitate to count on the glories of this spray if it meant I could be free of depression for days. I am truly grateful that is not my situation.

There are also pharmacies making Ketamine torches otherwise known as Ketamine lozenges to help patients between their boosters or to extend their maintenance time frame to help reduce costs. I have not yet tried lozenges. I may switch from the spray to torches in the future. However, I am super comfortable with my treatment plan and can’t see convincing my doctor to prescribe the lozenges over the nasal spray. Plus, the lozenges would double my monthly cost because my compounding pharmacy charges more to make lozenges.

How much does nasal Ketamine spray and/or Ketamine lozenges cost?

The cost for the nasal spray ranges between 65-125 a month. My Ketamine spray cost is 65 dollars. The Ketamine lozenges, in my area, cost 125 dollars a month. I had and have to consider my total costs for my maintenance care. This, I imagine, will be the case most of the people seeking help from mood disorders with the use of Ketamine will discover for themselves and adjust.

How does Ketamine work?

Researchers don’t know exactly how Ketamine works to treat depression, but they have some ideas. Unlike antidepressants, which work by shifting the balance of brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, Ketamine is thought to change the way brain cells communicate with each other.

Ketamine blocks a type of receptor in the brain, known as NMDA, thought to play a role in depression. Recent studies find that Ketamine can have long-lasting effects on depression, even though the drug only stays in the body a short time.

Ketamine also acts on other brain receptors very similar to those opioid receptors, which affect pain and depression.

I, personally, accept this but I want to expound on the subject. I am planning to write a blog in the coming weeks on this topic. It is my understanding over the years that depression was linked to chemical imbalances in the brain and that was the cause of all my misery. I am now rethinking my beliefs.

The more I read about inflammation and diseases makes me convinced that depression is caused by inflammation and not an imbalance of chemicals.

I truly believe that the Ketamine reduces the swelling in my mind and on some levels my body. The Ketamine reduces the inflammation in all the damaged areas of the mind and it is, in my opinion, because of this reduction phenomenon that normal brain flow begins and repairs can be made. As I stated, I will be addressing this remarkable belief in my next blog.

How well does Ketamine work?

It works remarkably well for me. I can be in a really bad place emotionally before my Ketamine therapy and a few hours later I am motivated and willing to take on all the challenges life keeps insisting on throwing my way. Unlike traditional antidepressants, which can take weeks or longer to take effect, Ketamine starts working within a few hours. Personally, I can go into a session feeling extremely suicidal and discouraged only to find myself leaving my doctor’s office pondering how I could have felt so desperate only moments ago.

In the past, I can vividly remember, I had an active suicide plan in place as I walked into the building to get my Ketamine Infusion. Depression hurts. It kills everything. It makes believing in possibilities nonexistent. I am a fighter. I push back. I question. I think of myself as pretty open minded and self aware. However, I am still, after over two and half years of routine Ketamine therapy, incredibly amazed that I can walk out of my doctor’s office shaking my head that only a short time ago suicide felt like the best and only solution to this insidious disease that constantly takes ownership of me.

It is frustrating and immensely discouraging to continuously battle for mind control. I know that for people who are suicidal, this rapid effect can be lifesaving. It constantly pulls me away from the edge.

Ketamine is also helping people who haven’t found relief from other more traditional depression treatments. I am one prime example on the benefits this drug, Ketamine, is providing.

My personal experiences have been similar to many individuals that find themselves wanting to try this new treatment for depression. I am no different from others that have been to several psychiatrists, therapist, cognitive modification behaviorists, and have tried half a dozen, to a dozen or more, medication cocktails without success.

It is sadly noted that many people with Major Depressive Disorder have attempted suicide and again I am not unique. I have scars on the outside and even more on the inside. Suicide has always felt like a valid and logical solution to me and I found myself attempting plan after plan mainly craving relief.

I write now, and I get so sad thinking back on those decades of darkness and self loathing. The depression can sometimes still lead my mind to suicidal idealizations. It is uncomfortable. I trust that the Ketamine will win the battle for me, but thoughts can be powerful and habitual. I keep my doctor informed.

What do you notice about your mood after receiving a Ketamine Infusion?

I have been reading that most patients are reporting a lightening of their mood with Ketamine treatments. They feel that the dread they have been carrying for years begins to lift. If there was anxiety before, all of a sudden there is less anxiety. It’s also not uncommon for people to feel like Ketamine allows them to get out of bed and face their obstacles for the first time ever. I can concur. This has been my experience too.

What are the “side effects” of Ketamine therapy?

I laugh at this question. In my mind there are no side effects. What effects the Ketamine causes during the infusion time are not, in my mind, a side effect. It is the medication working. It is Ketamine showing you that mind and body are one and at the same time they are separate. I will explain.

I would say about 7-9 minutes after getting IV Ketamine, I often experienced “dissociative” effects. These sensations were very similar to what I imagine a spiritual awakening would be like. Many people have reported having an out-of-body experience while under the effects of Ketamine. These feeling subside as the drug wears off. It is roughly about 45 minutes where you will probably feel slightly off. I felt fairly “loopy” at times. Textures in the wall, door or clothing appeared to pop; like a 3D movie without the need for the trashy glasses. Things may look and sound a little bit different than they usually do for you.

Colors appeared very vibrant to me. Some people have mentioned that things might look blurred. I feel my eyesight sharpens with Ketamine. I had this amazing peaceful sensation and awareness. I was observing myself without that familiar harsh judgmental mind I detest.

In the beginning, I did have the unusual experience of looking down at my body and not really seeing it. I made a remark to my husband that I will never forget. I glanced nervously at him and shyly smiled and exclaimed, “Where is my body? I can’t see my feet or hands. I am feeling like a fish in a huge aquarium.” I was laughing at the silliness of my thoughts and observations. My hubby reassured me that I was still sitting in my chair; all of me. The next moment I glimpsed down and giggled and shouted, hey there my feet are!

The feeling lasts for about an hour after the IV, and then it should wear off, while the drug’s benefits continue.

The drug can possibly cause a spike in blood pressure and heart rate in the short term. I imagine that for most people, that’s probably not a huge problem. It was never an issue for me. It is something to be aware of.

Doctors don’t know much about the long-term effects of Ketamine because they haven’t been able to study it over long periods of time. However, more and more sufferers are finding relief with the assistance of Ketamine therapy.

There have been studies that are carelessly reporting that they have linked regular Ketamine use to memory issues and other problems related to thinking. I can state with confidence that after more than 2.5 years of Ketamine given to me regularly, every two weeks, I have not had any memory issues. However, I did lose months and months of memories with ECT treatments.

I am speaking with a genuine heart. I have had no side effects worthy of mentioning. I will comment again that in the beginning I had issues with nausea. I could have easily requested an anti-nausea medication but I tend to be a purist about all medications I take now. I honestly feel it is a small price to pay for multiple symptom free days.

The memory loss that has been a concern and reported as a potential reason to never offer Ketamine widely to the public doesn’t seem to be the case with the doses being used to treat depression. Yet, those against the use of Ketamine for Treatment Resistant Depression insist on claiming that it does.

Doctors also worry that the drug might lead to abuse, but this hasn’t been proven either. I have an addictive personality and have a history of becoming obsessed and massively addicted with a number of coping clutches in the past. For example, I am a recovering alcoholic and had been sober for over ten years when I started Ketamine therapy. So, yes, I did worry about addiction. I admit that I did fret about my tolerance level and whether over time I would grow intolerant or need more Ketamine to achieve the same results. My history has made me cynical. I worried unnecessarily. I have never craved Ketamine physically like I did with alcohol or other devices I used to manage my depression and anxiety over the years. I admit that I have heard myself say, “I am in critical need of Ketamine. I want it right now; fast. Please!” I have no doubt in my mind that desire and need is all about wanting to be symptom free again and not an actual feeling that would lead to abuse.

If the Ketamine is administered accurately, I feel the relief for 8-10 days and then I find that my illness creeps back in and takes over again. The return of my depression and anxiety can begins slowly at first. I notice it is harder to correct my thoughts or redirect them. I lose all patience with myself. Decisions become impossible to make. Frustrations and anger. I appreciate the slow build. It is when I go to bed feeling great, and I awake the next morning afraid to leave my house and quickly my resolution drives me straight to suicidal thoughts and plans.

It doesn’t make sense to me. I was fine when I went to bed. Why, oh why? What happened? The OCD thinking takes the wheel and drives my every action. It is days like these that I am forever grateful for Ketamine. I know these emotions and fears are temporary. I also know I have the Ketamine spray for days like these and that helps pacify me. I don’t ever really feel the need to abuse the nasal spray either. I feel and have found for myself that If you are feeling symptom free from that nightmare you thought only suicide could cure, you probably won’t be sticking around the house getting high. You will be out there living the life you were meant to. Having said that, I do understand the risks and concerns. Ketamine is no different to me than Benzodiazepines and Opiates. Doctors write a Xanax script without blinking and trust me I worry more about the abuse with anti-anxiety medications than I ever will with Ketamine.

How much does it cost?

The price can vary based on the doctor and location. Generally, each IV costs $400 to $800.

As of 2017, Insurance companies often don’t cover the cost of treatments. I am aware that Kaiser Permanente has recently started testing a Ketamine program.

There are also more and more centers opening every few months. I have located several offices, such as The Injection & Infusion Clinic, offering Ketamine Infusions for as low as $299 per infusion. I suggest doing your homework.

I would also consider IM Ketamine shots or Nasal Ketamine spray which are both typically more cost efficient.

In conclusion, If you know of anyone suffering with treatment resistant depression, like I do, let them know that Ketamine therapy may be an option worth looking into. It has been and continues to offer me relief from my symptoms. If you or someone you know are considering Ketamine infusion therapy, please visit www.infusionclinicabq.com for low cost ketamine infusion and injection options. If you are not in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area I also suggest approaching a local professional and start educating them on the benefits of Ketamine. It doesn’t hurt to ask for what you need.

You can also visit my Ketamine provider list to find a provider in your area which is located here and on my personal website.

Join me again next month, when I address more questions about Ketamine Infusions and Intramuscular Ketamine in the final blog of my Q & A series. I plan to share my thoughts and experiences about how diet effects mood and possibly Ketamine. I will revisit any unanswered questions about the different delivery methods, the effects of Ketamine, Ketamine Advocacy, and concerns over what I have been reading during my research and studies on the drug. I appreciate all the interest and inquiries. I really do. Thank you for reaching out. I hope others will find hope with Ketamine. I will continue to advocate… Ketamine for Treatment Resistant Depression and Anxiety Disorders. It continues to work its “magic” for me every two weeks.

#Ketamineshot #albuqerqueketamine #abqketamineclinic #newdepressiontreatment #IMKetamine #abqketamine #CognitiveBehavioralTherapy #albuqerqueketamineclinic #ketaminedepression #newmexico #albuquerque #theinfusionclinicofabq #newtreatmentfordepression #theinjectionclinicofabq #whatisketaminelike #ketamineanddepression #KetamineProviderLocationsList #Ketaminelocations #KatamineProviders #infusionclinicabq #TreatmentResistantDepression #abqketaminecliniccom #myketaminestorycom #ketamineinfusions #ketaminetherapy #theinjectionandinfusionclinicofalbuquerque #Ketamineclinics #ketamineforPTSD #ECT #PTSD #CBT #theinjectionandinfusionclinicofabq #ketamineprocess #ketaminefordepression #ketaminetreatment #CertifiedRegisteredNurseAnesthetist #ketaminenewmexico #ketamineinjection #ketaminecenters #wwwmyketaminestorycomresourcesprovider #ketamineinfusion #KetamineAdvocate #depression #wwwmyketaminestorycom #intramuscularKetamine #Electroconvulsivetherapy #ketamine #ketamineforpain

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Pondering Concerns & Questions: The Benefits Of Ketamine For Treatment Resistant Depression

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Hello again. This is Susan from myketaminestory.com. I am once again addressing questions and concerns regarding Ketamine therapies for treating mood disorders and pain. I am writing a four part series answering questions about Ketamine use, based on my experience with Ketamine therapy over the past 2.5 years, for The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ. This is the fourth and final post in my Q & A series.

My first blog, Ketamine: Addressing Questions & Concerns focused on my early experience with Ketamine Infusions. In part two of the series, Addressing Questions & Concerns About Ketamine Therapy for Treatment Resistant Depression I addressed questions and concerns about Intramuscular Ketamine verses Ketamine Infusion therapy. In my last blog, Frequently Asked Questions: Redefining Depression With The Assistance Of Ketamine Therapy, I was a bit more random. I had emails with several questions and themes and I addressed as many inquiries as I could. In my final question and answer dialogue I want to discuss research, clinical studies, and the need for changes to occur within our insurance companies and federal government so that maybe one day Ketamine will not be so difficult to afford or obtain from any qualified professional.

I will preface this series of questions with an obvious disclaimer. I am answering all the questions posed in this blog, as well as the three previously mentioned, based on personal experience with Ketamine treatments and my own continued readings. I want to advocate the use of Ketamine for Treatment Resistant Depression because of my results from the therapy. I am sharing my success and how I have benefited from Ketamine, the new form of treatment for depression.

Let’s jump right into this frustrating topic.

How long have researchers been studying the positive effects Ketamine has on mood disorders?

I am not completely sure. I think I read that in 2000, researchers started studying Ketamine as a treatment for depression. I personally was not aware of Ketamine as a medication used for Treatment Resistant Depression until 2015. I would have loved to have known about Ketamine a decade ago, but I am constantly reminded in my recovery to be grateful that my husband discovered it when he did.

It was over those 15 years that the studies and research have led us to discover that Ketamine improves the mood and does so much faster than traditional antidepressant drugs.

The clinical studies were demonstrating that not only was Ketamine reducing depression symptoms, it was also working for individuals that had exhausted all other options because traditional methods, such as ECT and antidepressant cocktails, had failed over and over again. That has been my experience; my story.

What uses have been found for Ketamine through 2017?

Ketamine has only been FDA-approved as an anesthetic for surgery and diagnostic procedures. That status has not really changed over the last few years, as some might expect, given the fact Ketamine has been featured in medical journals and news magazines.

In 2017, Ketamine is now being successfully used to treat depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, OCD, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), other mood disorders, and nerve-related pain.

So, is Ketamine FDA-approved to treat depression?

No. There is no money in it. It is a very expensive process and the drug companies won’t make any money off the drug if it is reclassified.

However, on a positive note, Ketamine is now being recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as a valid treatment for depression. The reason this is a good outcome is it has been beneficial for those providers already using Ketamine therapy to broaden their client base. I also find it helpful in advocating the use of Ketamine for Treatment Resistant Depression and Anxiety for those suffering, as well as new interest in providing this incredible therapy to more people.

Could you explain why Ketamine isn’t FDA-approved to treat depression?

I will attempt to explain what I understand about the process. In order to approve any new drug, the FDA needs evidence that it works effectively and it doesn’t cause any major harm. Typically, they determine their decision based on evidence from clinical trials involving hundreds or thousands of people.

Most of the clinical studies that have been done using Ketamine so far have been small; 25 to 50 people.

The reason larger research programs on Ketamine haven’t been done in the past is mainly because these type of clinical studies can cost millions of dollars to orchestrate.

The main issue has been that Ketamine is a generic drug. Pharmaceutical companies can’t patent it again and earn their money back from the clinical trials needed to reclassify the drug to include treating mood disorders.

However, companies are developing other drugs based on Ketamine. This is both a positive and a negative in my opinion. The main complication will be creating a pill that is so like Ketamine and continues to have no side effects. Every antidepressant I was ever on had horrific side effects. Pure Ketamine, as it is now, has no side effects. Let me correct that statement by clarifying that after 2.5 plus years of Ketamine use I have yet to show signs of any health concerns. That has never been my experience in the past, with other medications; ever. Before Ketamine, I was a frequent visitor to my family doctor due to illnesses and side effects. What is even worse, I have been in my share of emergency rooms far too many times to remember because of the medications I was prescribed for my depression and anxiety. I will never forget the pain and fear I felt when one medication cocktail had so many side effects that I was no longer capable of urinating! Seriously. It took several attempts to figure out which medication was the culprit. Once again leaving me all the more miserable and suicidal. No wonder I was initially skeptical when my husband mentioned Ketamine to me for the first time.

In August 2016, the FDA put the drug Esketamine on a fast track to approval by designating it as a breakthrough therapy. Esketamine, which is given as a nasal spray, is being tested in phase III clinical trials. Another drug that acts on NMDA receptors called Rapastinel (GLYX-13) also received breakthrough therapy status in early 2016.

My primary fear is what big pharma will unnecessarily add to their new creation when attempting to reproduce the results of Ketamine, which is already being made perfectly and inexpensively without any lasting side effects.

What should people consider before they try Ketamine?

I think the only worry I had when I made the appointments for my 6 Infusions in 2015 was actually a double sided fear. What if Ketamine doesn’t work for me? And the flip side of that obsessive thought was the painful terror I felt at the thought, what if Ketamine helps me and I can’t afford to continue the treatments. I was convinced it would lead me straight to my death if it didn’t work, but what if it is effective will I ever survive without it?

What would life without depression and anxiety even look like? I was pretty twisted by all my thoughts leading up to my trip to New Jersey for my six infusions.

I never believed Ketamine was a miracle cure. Never. It didn’t seem possible that after more than four decades of profound depression and anxiety six treatments could kick that evil. I knew that if Ketamine was helpful, I was going to need to find a provider closer to my home and for an affordable rate for me. I worried this would not be realistic because in 2015 options were limited. So, because of this panic I felt in the beginning, I might suggest looking into follow up care to reduce the anxiety if that is an issue for you, like it was for me.

Do you think that Ketamine therapy is a miracle cure for depression?

No. I feel Ketamine is a tool. It gives you the ability to do the work you need to do. You may have been trying repeatedly to improve your mood and situation wanting only to accomplish wellness and over the years you have failed. I feel Ketamine assists my recovery. I can see progress. When I utilize the cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) tools, I genuinely feel I am learning and improving now.

There should be some emphasis that Ketamine isn’t a quick fix. Although it can have a rapid positive effect, I don’t think enough information is given about the possibility of having to return after the first six infusions for a booster in order to continue to thrive from the benefits of Ketamine on your depression and anxiety.

People are getting the idea that Ketamine is a miracle cure. This is upsetting to me. I believe only a few people are fortunate enough to get one dose and then have their depression go away. I don’t think this is an accurate portrayal of Ketamine. It is likely that even after the six recommended infusions most will need follow up care.

The initial effects of the drug on depression can fade quickly; within 1 to 3 days. Most people need to get repeat treatments over many months or years to see long-term improvements. This has been my story.

I feel adding mindfulness training and constantly utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy tools might help the Ketamine antidepressant effects last longer. It has worked for me many, many times over the past couple years.

I am suffering with Depression and want to try Ketamine. Where can I get Ketamine?

You can get it at a Ketamine clinic. There are more than one hundred clinics around the country now, but the drug can also be administered by a medical doctor, registered nurse, nurse practitioners and physicians assistants just to name a few.

I recommend speaking to a family doctor or trusted practitioner about Ketamine and its benefits. Advocate for your health and mental well being. It will not hurt to ask for what you need. It may be frustrating trying to educate professionals, but it never stops me. This drug is changing lives and you may just find that empathetic provider willing to learn and assist you.

Ketamine is also given experimentally in clinical trials. I suggest googling Ketamine studies or clinical trails on Ketamine for TRD or mood disorders.

I have been generating a Ketamine Providers and Locations list and I update it regularly. The list can be found here and on my personal website. This list may help you find a clinic in your city or state.

In conclusion, If you know of anyone suffering with treatment resistant depression, like I do, let them know that Ketamine therapy may be an option worth looking into. It has been and continues to offer me relief from my symptoms. If you or someone you know are considering Ketamine infusion therapy, please visit www.infusionclinicabq.com for low cost ketamine infusion and injection options. If you are not in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area I also suggest approaching a local professional and start educating them on the benefits of Ketamine. Again, it doesn’t hurt to ask for what you need. ​

Join me again next month, when I plan to share my thoughts and experiences about how diet affects mood and possibly Ketamine therapy. I appreciate all the interest and inquiries. I really do. Thank you for reaching out. I hope others will find hope with Ketamine. I will continue to advocate Ketamine for Treatment Resistant Depression and Anxiety Disorders. It continues to work its “magic” for me every two weeks.

#Ketamineshot #albuqerqueketamine #abqketamineclinic #newdepressiontreatment #IMKetamine #abqketamine #CognitiveBehavioralTherapy #ketaminedepression #newmexico #albuquerque #newtreatmentfordepression #theinfusionclinicofabq #theinjectionclinicofabq #whatisketaminelike #infusionclinicabq #ketamineanddepression #KetamineProviderLocationsList #Ketaminelocations #KatamineProviders #ketaminetherapy #TreatmentResistantDepression #FDA #Clinicalstudies #ClinicalTrails #Ketamineresearch #Ketaminestudies #Ketamine #ketamineinfusions #myketaminestorycom #theinjectionandinfusionclinicofalbuquerque #Ketamineclinics #ketamineforPTSD #theinjectionandinfusionclinicofabq #ketaminetreatment #ketamineprocess #CBT #PTSD #ECT #ketaminefordepression #ketaminenewmexico #KetamineAdvocate #depression #intramuscularKetamine #Electroconvulsivetherapy #ketamineforpain

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Ketamine: discover a new treatment

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Hello. This is Susan from myketaminestory.com. I am a blogger that suffers with Treatment Resistant Depression (TRD), Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I was introduced to Ketamine for TRD in January 2015. I am forever grateful that I was. I spent the first two years focused on my recovery. I now have an excellent treatment plan in place but that does not clear me from obstacles or pitfalls. I journal regularly. I educate and advocate for Ketamine Therapy to help treat depression. I write for The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ, entirely based on my experience with Ketamine therapy over the past 2.5 years,

This blog is a work in progress. My desire is to educate both the general public as well as physicians on the use of Ketamine for treating chronic clinical depression. I was diagnosed with clinical depression and generalized anxiety disorder at the age of 18. I spent nearly 30 years after that searching for treatment to pull me from the depths of suicidal depression, daily panic attacks, insomnia and agoraphobia. I have spent countless times in psych hospitals, often for long periods. I have been prescribed practically every antidepressant on the market at one time in my life. The side effects alone have horror stories that could easily fill an entire 700 page novel. I have felt so desperate to escape the hell I was constantly living in that I tried ECT (electroconvulsive therapy, otherwise known as shock therapy). I believe that after a couple decades of seeking out treatments and several different varieties of therapy to no avail I truly began to believe that maybe it was “all in my head”. However, I could never wrap my mind around that because I was sincerely convinced that I would never willingly choose the world I was suffocating in daily.

Fast forward to 2015, I am once again deep in the pit of depression. I see no hope. I am done fighting. I have attempted to take my life so many times that I can’t recall a number; suicidal depression is always calling your name. January 2015, my light went out. I honestly had no fight left in me. Those of you that suffer know exactly what I mean. Trust me when I say treatment resistant depression is exhausting. I felt like I was fighting an evil so big, dark and all encompassing I couldn’t breathe. I was done. It was my most serious attempt. I left a note that no action should be taken. I apologized, but I could only pray that one day they would know and understand that I loved them and stuck around so, so long for them. The pain, hopelessness and the lack of successful treatment drove me to actions, that unfortunately many understand while others will never get it; to those individuals please be grateful you are so blatantly unaware of the world we were unknowingly and unwillingly sucked into. My last attempt was a serious one. I was so frustrated and angry when I was unsuccessful. My therapist and husband went into research mode and both were equally excited about this new treatment they found for treatment resistant depression: Ketamine infusions. The only problem was that it was a new treatment and insurance won’t cover the cost. I know for many, including myself, the cost of mental health puts a financial burden on the family. We didn’t have extra money to invest in an unknown expensive treatment. I was so angry. Why do we have to put a monetary value on what we are worth? I was at the end. I knew with everything in me I would keep trying to take my life until I was successful because the life I was living was no life at all. My husband and therapist realized I was unreachable. They kept pushing me to give it a try. We used our entire income tax return and traveled to New Jersey (we live in Virginia and at the time there were no clinics or facilities providing Ketamine infusions there) to the Ketamine Treatment Center of Princeton.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/uTOZSUPNVlU

It took everything in me to stay alive until we received our tax refund and could travel to the treatment center. It was the longest five weeks of my life. It was filled with doubt that Ketamine infusions could even help me and that driving desire to end my life. In the end, I had 6 infusion treatments over a two week period. And I am thrilled to admit it changed the direction of my life. I was fortunate enough to learn that a doctor in Charlottesville, Va was willing to start trying intramuscular Ketamine shots. When I returned home to Virginia I was feeling rather strange, but in a hopeful positive manner. When I was asked what it was like I could only compare it to an individual that has been deaf all their life and they undergo cochlear implants. I imagine once they wake from surgery everything in their world is shifted, new, scary and a little shocking. I felt like I was experiencing life from the shoreline instead of under the vast powerful ocean waters. My life, it has not been the same. I have discovered me. It is still a lot of personal growth work and I struggle, but Ketamine has allowed me to see clearly. It gives me the ability to do the work because it pulls me up and out of the debilitating depression. I get Ketamine shots every two weeks now. I want to share my experiences, educate, possibly change a flawed belief system, as well as force insurance companies to pay for the cost of treatment. And trust me, the cost is a fraction of the cost of hospitalizations and traditional methods of treatment. In my blog I plan to document my Ketamine treatments, the effects, how it is changing my life, educate others suffering with treatment resistant depression, discuss changing insurance policies to include Ketamine treatments and if I am effective in my writings I am really hoping to open the eyes of psychiatrist, physicians, and nurse practitioners alike.

In conclusion, If you know of anyone suffering with treatment resistant depression, like I do, let them know that Ketamine therapy may be an option worth looking into. It has been and continues to offer me relief from my symptoms. If you or someone you know are considering Ketamine infusion therapy, please visit www.infusionclinicabq.com for low cost ketamine infusion and injection options. If you are not in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area I also suggest approaching a local professional and start educating them on the benefits of Ketamine. Again, it doesn’t hurt to ask for what you need. ​

I have been generating a Ketamine Providers and Locations list and I update it regularly. The list can be found here and on my personal website. This list may help you find a clinic in your city or state.

Join me again later in the month, when I plan to share my thoughts and experiences about how diet affects mood and possibly Ketamine therapy. I want to send out a special thank you to everyone, from my fellow sufferers to those that love us, that continue to connect with me. I appreciate all the interest and inquiries. I really do. Thank you for reaching out. I hope others will find hope with Ketamine. I will continue to advocate Ketamine for Treatment Resistant Depression and Anxiety Disorders. It continues to work its “magic” for me every two weeks.

Originally posted on myketaminestory.com

#Ketaminestudies #Clinicalstudies #FDA #Ketamineresearch #Ketamineshot #albuqerqueketamine #abqketamineclinic #newdepressiontreatment #IMKetamine #abqketamine #abq #CognitiveBehavioralTherapy #CBT #albuqerqueketamineclinic #abqketaminecliniccom #ketaminedepression #newmexico #albuquerque #theinfusionclinicofabq #newtreatmentfordepression #theinjectionclinicofabq #whatisketaminelike #infusionclinicabq #ketamineanddepression #KetamineProviderLocationsList #albuquerqueketamineclinic #Ketaminelocations #KatamineProviders #ketaminealbuqerque #TreatmentResistantDepression #myketaminestorycom #ketamineinfusions #ketaminetherapy #theinjectionandinfusionclinicofalbuquerque #albuquerqueketamine #ketaminealbuquerque #Ketamineclinics #ketamineforPTSD #theinjectionandinfusionclinicofabq #ECT #PTSD #ketamineprocess #ketaminefordepression #ClinicalTrails #ketaminenewmexico #ketaminetreatment #CertifiedRegisteredNurseAnesthetist #ketaminecenters #Ketamine #abqketamineclinic #ketamineinjection #wwwmyketaminestorycomresourcesprovider #abqketamine #ketamineinfusion #abqketamineclinic #KetamineAdvocate #wwwmyketaminestorycom #depression #intramuscularKetamine #Electroconvulsivetherapy #ketamine #ketamineforpain

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Ketamine Therapy And Diet: Insights on Inflammation And Depression

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Hello and welcome. It is Susan from myketaminestory.com.

As a brief summary, I write about my experiences and journey with Ketamine Therapy on my personal website, The Injection and Infusion Clinic of Albuquerque, and also for The Boise Ketamine Clinic. I have a long history with treatment resistant depression and anxiety disorders. My personal mental health care resume includes numerous failed medication cocktails, ECT, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Talk Therapy and hospitalizations. I admit I understand how all of these treatments could potentially help, but they never did for me. It was a little over two and half years ago that I was introduced to Ketamine for depression. I am alive today because of a drug that is raising many questions and concerns from the professional world.

My question, as I am forever questioning, is which came first: inflammation or depression? If I control the foods I eat, can I reduce my symptoms of depression? Does my depression cause excess inflammation? How does it work? I don’t know. I am investigating.

I have made many observations.

I want to know. I need to know. I am still digging and searching for control of this illness. Does diet plays a part in how efficient Ketamine treatments are? Yes. Fact? I am not sure yet. I am a guinea pig in my own research. I am beginning to think inflammation is key. I wonder, can I help or hinder my Ketamine treatments by eating anti-inflammatory foods? Does eating foods that cause inflammation bring on feelings of depression? If I eliminate these food from my diet will the Ketamine therapy last longer for me? Do I have more inflammation than the normal individual? Is that why I have Treatment Resistant Depression? Is that why Ketamine works for me? Is it why no anti-depressants or other psychiatric medications have benefited me? Does inflammation bring the onset of depression? Does depression lead the body to resist and swell?

I examine.

I think there is a connection.

I will continue my study for years. This is what I know based on personal experience and journaling.

I must honestly state that I have been putting this blog off. I just realized as I sat down to write that the main reason I don’t want to write on the subject of diet and Ketamine and how they work together to combat the symptoms of depression is because as soon as I type my discoveries, I can no longer pretend that I am not aware of the relationship.

I am fully aware.

I resent having to rigidly control and often times restrict so many part of my life because of this silent killer.

I use food for emotional comfort.

Am I not allowed to enjoy anything?

I stay focused for months at a time. I compile and avoid foods that cause inflammation. I am feeling amazing.

I hit a bump in the road. Stress.

Self sabotage?

I have spent the last couple of years paying attention to how sugar contributes to my depression. I have eliminated sugar from my diet for periods of time and noted my anxiety and depression levels. My husband has said for decades that sugar exacerbates my depression. I didn’t want to hear this. I have had to give up so much already due to this horrific illness. I strive for acceptance. I work at appreciating the aspects of this disease I can realistically control and modify. I am art in progress. That is what I tell myself.

I want to be kind to myself. I know I am my worst enemy and critic. We all beat ourselves up for not meeting expectations or goals we set for ourselves. I understand that. I know I am not special or unique in the way I attempt to be a better version of myself. The problem is when I knowingly participate in a behaviors I know will compromise my recovery and health. It is difficult not to splurge when I feel weak. It is even more of a struggle for me not to celebrate successes with my old unhealthy reward systems.

Once I write this, it will be my responsibility to follow my own advice.

Okay, I have dragged my feet long enough. Please understand these are my experiences and opinions and they are based on personal exoerience. I am a patient. I am making every effort to take back my life and heal.

I think the major discovery that I have made over the past year is that sugar is evil. I laugh. It really plays a significant role in my moods. I deny this fact all the time. It is times when I really want a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup that I lie to myself about my findings.

Why do I think that sugar influences the depressive symptoms?

I am now becoming convinced that inflammation is the major culprit in causing Treatment Resistant Depression. I believe swelling in the body during infections wakes depression up and thus compromises our drive to fight back mentally as well. I think this is an accurate assessment I have made since becoming a Ketamine therapy patient and taking notes. I feel that the reason Ketamine is so successful in treating depression is its ability to reduce inflammation. That, of course, allows for growth and regenerates new cells; healthy new connections.

Old habits are hard to break.

An interesting side note to mention is when it occurred to me that sugar is the nemesis to my getting well. Depression is best friends with sugar. Think about it. When you feel sad, tired, or angry what do you reach for? Is it comfort foods? Is it a candy bar? A sugary treat? My guess is we all grab that unhealthy option when we feel we desire it because life is too hard on us. What is mind-blowing to me is that when I started to feel better and free of my depressive symptoms because of my treatments with Ketamine, I started to crave sugar! I would get my IM Ketamine shot and feel amazing for days. It was around day four or five after my Ketamine therapy that I found myself obsessed with wanting chocolates or cookies. Why? I feel great.

Why?

My conclusion to why Ketamine may cause me to believe that I am in a deep need of sugar has two parts. I believe the reason my body craves sugar after Ketamine is partly due to my desperate need to break old patterns and begin learning better coping strategies. I need to make better choices. I feel wonderful so I totally desire to treat myself to this cupcake, right? Oh, the lies we tell ourselves. I want to believe I should be rewarded, but isn’t eating supposed to be about fueling our bodies? My face has a look of disgust right now. I am calling myself out. I must accept responsibility. I don’t want to. I want to not think. I want to eat whatever my heart desires. I earned this……

What did we earn?

If we know specific foods disrupt our body and mind in a negative manner, wouldn’t we avoid those items?

I would hope so. However, that has not been my experience. We love to lie to ourselves. We are masters of persuasion. We tell ourselves whatever is needed to justify our actions. I am guilty. I kid myself each and every time I eat sweets. I know sugar causes inflammation. I am fully aware that I absolutely believe that inflammation is at the root of my depression. Why would I willingly subject myself to the risk of a depressive episode by inhaling a bag of M & M’s? I lie to myself. I manipulate myself. I fantasize that not even sugar can take away the uplift Ketamine provides me with. I uncovered time and again how false statements seem absolutely credible when we stop thinking our decisions don’t have consequences.

Lastly, I admit that feeling anything besides depressed is very new to me. It feels foreign. It feels very uncertain and uncomfortable at unpredictable times. I am afraid to trust in these new emotions and experiences. Do I desire to be happy? Do I know how to live a life without the darkness? I feel like an alien in a whole different way. I worry. When will I lose this sense of well being?

Anxiety.

It is confusing to process all the insights and information available to me. Depression blocks. Ketamine opens all the pathways and reduces the areas that are blocked by depression; aka inflammation.

As much as I have wanted to be symptom free from my mental illnesses, I am also finding it provokes massive amounts of doubt and insecurities. My ego attacks. It wants status quo. The ego rules the game if you let it. I demand control. Susan’s Ego bites back. I like to think that I am bright and self aware. My Ego blindly slaps me when I am overconfident. I am constantly being brought back to reality when I mindlessly partner up and play the self importance role my Ego loves. I bring the Ego into the conversation because it is the second reason I believe I crave sugar when I am symptom free of my depression. It is self sabotage. There is a strong possibility that at the core of my being I truly don’t believe I desire to be content and mentally at peace. I catch my thoughts and I say to myself, of course I deserve to be happy and enjoy life; everyone does. However, if that were absolutely the case, why do I make poor choices. I know what sugar has done to me in the past. Ketamine won’t change how my body processes sugar. Sugar is liquid depression.

The Ego doesn’t want me to be healthy because it is at risk if I do gain the power to silence it. It is after my Ketamine therapy and I am feeling fantastic and confident mentally that the Ego loses ground and control. I believe my cravings are sparked by my Ego’s desire to stay top boss of my being. It is my opinion that we are playing tug of war. The Ego thinks we are playing king of the mountain. Confusing. I want to work together. Not going to happen is my guess. The Ego is tricky. It knows you better than anyone. That makes twisting the facts and perceptions of the world a breeze for the game master.

Ketamine offer insights on many levels if you pay attention. It continues to aid me in questioning. I want to understand. I throw out my ruminations in hopes of obtaining clearer views of myself and the world around me. I may be wrong. I may ascertain more definitive facts later and adjust. I am not used to adjusting. I want to change what my idea of myself is. These beliefs limit me. I am aware. I am clueless.

In short, I need to avoid sugar to keep my happy state of mind. Easy? No. It is a challenge. Every single day it is a final exam I have the question and answers to, but my mind freezes and I fail to select the correct answer. I am average. Our society is addicted to food and I am no different. I use food to feed the emptiness and confusion I feel.

I will say that sugar is my top priority for elimination. An absolute must.

Studies show a link between sugar and depression. In fact, some blame sugar for the onset of depression. The Link Between Sugar And Depression: What You Should Know, speculates that there is a cause and effect relationship between sugar and depression. I agree. I take it a step future by hypothesizing that the reason there is a connection between sugar and depression is solely because of the inflammation sugar produces in the body and mind.

I will switch gears now and touch briefly on my experiences with an animal free diet. In the past few years I have been experimenting with my diet and mood. I have been Vegan in the past. And I must say my goal is to eat a Vegan diet 90% of the time. I love cottage cheese, and I struggle to cut it out of my life once I indulge. I have noticed that I feel physically worse when I introduce dairy back into my life. I have been Vegetarian on and off for decades.. I strive to be Vegan. It is in my best interest. When I first began Ketamine I was motivated to make changes in every aspect of my life. I overwhelmed myself with these expectations of change and progress. I am determined that if I can figure out the triggers that cause me excess inflammation, I can personally reduce my depressive episodes. I have found nothing supporting this, mind you, but I am investigating. I can honestly admit that eating a Vegan diet made me feel lighter and healthier. I also love knowing that I am not contributing to the harm or death of animals, so spiritually I feel stronger being a Vegan.

Recently, in the past week or so, I decided to eat meat again. I want to test whether my animal free lifestyle was affecting my depression and sleep. Was I lacking iron? Was my body missing nutrients? It has been about ten days that I have been eating meat again. And I feel like I can state that I wasn’t missing anything. I don’t feel like I have increased my energy level any. I feel substantially more uncomfortable physically. I will be returning to a Vegetarian diet shortly. Personally, for me, Veganism is my preference. I tried to implement as many anti inflammatory foods into my diet as possible. I want to be known for following my own advice and plan to return to a vegan meal plan for my New Year’s resolution. Finger crossed and lips sealed. I know that was lame. Sorry.

I am always examining my relationship with food and how it relates to my mental illness. If I discover anything interesting I will be sure to address those finding in future blogs.

There is something to the saying, you are what you eat! I want to know where the life satisfaction tree grows. How about you?

If you are interested in educating yourself on Ketamine therapy for Treatment Resistant Depression, check out the four-part series I wrote answering questions about Ketamine use, based on my experience with Ketamine therapy over the past 2.5 years, for The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ.

My first blog, Ketamine: Addressing Questions & Concerns focused on my early experience with Ketamine Infusions.

In part two of the series, Addressing Questions & Concerns About Ketamine Therapy for Treatment Resistant Depression I addressed questions and concerns about Intramuscular Ketamine verses Ketamine Infusion therapy.

In my third blog, Frequently Asked Questions: Redefining Depression With The Assistance Of Ketamine Therapy, I was a bit more random. I had emails with several questions and themes, and I addressed as many inquiries as I could.

In my final question and answer dialogue, Pondering Concerns & Questions: The Benefits Of Ketamine For Treatment Resistant Depression, I discussed research, clinical studies, and the need for changes to occur within our insurance companies and federal government so that maybe one day Ketamine will not be so difficult to afford or obtain, from any qualified professional.

I hope these personal blogs from a patient that suffered for over four decades with treatment resistant depression will be helpful in convincing you why Ketamine could help you. Also, if you would like to become a provider of Ketamine Therapy try enrolling in The Ketamine Academy’s online Ketamine Infusion Therapy training course; it is an excellent decision. The Ketamine Academy online program will surely benefit you and the mental health community.

In conclusion, If you know of anyone suffering with treatment resistant depression, like I do, let them know that Ketamine therapy may be an option worth looking into. It has been and continues to offer me relief from my symptoms. If you, or someone you know, are considering Ketamine infusion therapy, please visit Jason Duprat’s Ketamine clinic at www.infusionclinicabq.com for low cost ketamine infusion and injection options. If you are not in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area I also suggest approaching a local professional and start educating them on the benefits of Ketamine. Again, it doesn’t hurt to ask for what you need. ​

I have been generating a Ketamine Providers and Locations list and I update it regularly. The provider list can be found here and on my personal website. This list may help you find a clinic in your city or state.

Feel free to visit The Ketamine Academy to enroll in your dream today. If you are fascinated, but not yet ready to commit, I recommend the free trial to help you determine whether you want to invest in yourself and in this is new online ketamine infusion training course. Just think, if you enrolled in The Ketamine Academy your new clinic could easily be added to my directory for the grand opening!

#ketamineforpain #ketamine #Electroconvulsivetherapy #intramuscularKetamine #depression #KetamineAdvocate #wwwmyketaminestorycom #ketamineinfusion #abqketamine #abqketamineclinic #ketamineinjection #abqketamineclinic #wwwmyketaminestorycomresourcesprovider #Ketamine #ketaminecenters #ketaminenewmexico #ketaminetreatment #ClinicalTrails #ketaminefordepression #ketamineprocess #PTSD #ECT #theinjectionandinfusionclinicofabq #Ketamineclinics #ketaminealbuquerque #albuquerqueketamine #theinjectionandinfusionclinicofalbuquerque #ketamineinfusions #ketaminetherapy #TreatmentResistantDepression #myketaminestorycom #ketaminealbuqerque #KatamineProviders #Ketaminelocations #albuquerqueketamineclinic #KetamineProviderLocationsList #ketamineanddepression #infusionclinicabq #whatisketaminelike #albuquerque #ketaminedepression #newmexico #abqketaminecliniccom #albuqerqueketamineclinic #theinfusionclinicofabq #CBT #abq #IMKetamine #abqketamine #albuqerqueketamine #TRD #Ketamineshot #Ketamineresearch #Academy #ProviderTraining #abqketamineclinic #Ketaminestudies #Ketaminecourse #Clinicalstudies #CertifiedRegisteredNurseAnesthetist #ketamineprovidercourse #Ketaminetraining #neuropathic #theinjectionclinicofabq #newtreatmentfordepression #clinicsetup #newdepressiontreatment #CognitiveBehavioralTherapy #neuropathicpainconditions #FDA #neuropathicpain #ketamineforPTSD #KetamineAcademy

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Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, And the Sweet Relief of IV Nutritional Therapy

IV Nutrional therapy

The plush skin of youth, more energy than they know what to do with, and better resilience when flu season rolls around? That may sound like nothing more than a lovely little fantasy for your Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis patients, but it doesn’t have to.

Don’t worry. We’re not talking about some magic elixir, or the mysterious Fountain of Youth. We aren’t even going to suggest one more obscure home remedy to add to the long list of concoctions the internet has already peddled and pushed at patients with gut issues trying to find relief wherever they can.

If you’re looking for the best balance to prescribing treatments for your Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease patient, better health is possible for them through incorporating IV nutritional therapy into their treatment plan.

A Good Kind of Cheating

Healthy diet options that make perfect sense to someone with a normal digestive tract can be the downfall of your patients. So, according to the direction you’ve given them, your patients have learned, adapted and grown towards eating habits that work better for them. Unfortunately, that means they’ve had to cut corners in obtaining ‘balance’ in this whole ‘well-balanced diet’ business.

IV nutritional therapy can help fill some of the nutritional gaps that result from a more selective diet, and can help keep a more vulnerable body healthy and strong.

Perhaps one of your patients as hit a wall in their health, and even the thought of eating a full meal makes them feel exhausted. It happens. IV nutritional therapy is a wonderful way to help their body pick back up and keep going strong whenever they’re dealing with a dreaded flair-up, especially when digestion or nutritional balance are more severely out of step.

Supplements That Get To the Source

If your patients are taking your best advices, they’ve been taking vitamin supplements regularly and haven’t skimped on sticking to such a routine. If your patients are your average busy human beings, they’ve more likely been forgetting this step in their routines altogether.

Which poses a problem, as you know that your Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis patients naturally struggle to absorb the full range of nutrients from anything that they eat. It’s the nature of the beast, especially when enduring the joys of a “flare up” season. As a result, malnutrition can be a natural and common side effect—even when their eating habits are clean as a whistle.

IV nutritional therapy being administered intravenously means that there’s no barrier between the body and those nutrients that it needs. Your patients get to give their gut a rest, but still get the goods their body needs successfully into their system.

IV Treatment Over Steroid Shots or Oral Medicine

As a medical professional, you know that there’s a time limit on the effectiveness of treatment options. It’s expected that oral drug treatments for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s will only work well for a season, and then patients need to transition to something else.

Self-administered steroid shots are one alternative to oral drugs—but not everyone does well with sticking themselves with a needle on a regular basis.

Remicade is also an alternative option. This drug is administered intravenously, and has shown success in treating ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, as well as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and ankylosing spondylitis. It’s a good option for if your patient is in a place where their gut really isn’t effectively taking in the medicines your taking.

Some patients would prefer not to go to a hospital every time they receive this drug, though. Instead, it’s as simple as having them schedule regular appointments with a local IV therapy clinic. Your patients can get those needed medical Remicade IV infusions in a much more relaxed and low-stress setting.

Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s patients who are recovering from illness, overcoming a “flare up,” are pregnant or wish to become pregnant, or are trying to improve their overall health could all benefit from IV nutritional therapy. As a responsible medical professional, it’s beneficial to consider if and when IV nutritional therapy is the right choice for providing the most balanced care for your patients.

It’s important to always emphasize your patients consult with you first before beginning their IV therapy treatments, and also to highlight that such treatments are never meant to be a substitute for pursuing a healthy and well-balanced diet alongside of receiving treatment.

Consider how IV nutritional therapy can help best meet the needs of your Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis patients.

 

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The plush skin of youth, more energy than they know what to do with, and better resilience when flu season rolls around? That may sound like nothing more than a lovely little fantasy for your Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis patients, but it doesn’t have to.

Don’t worry. We’re not talking about some magic elixir, or the mysterious Fountain of Youth. We aren’t even going to suggest one more obscure home remedy to add to the long list of concoctions the internet has already peddled and pushed at patients with gut issues trying to find relief wherever they can.

If you’re looking for the best balance to prescribing treatments for your Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease patient, better health is possible for them through incorporating IV nutritional therapy into their treatment plan.

A Good Kind of Cheating

Healthy diet options that make perfect sense to someone with a normal digestive tract can be the downfall of your patients. So, according to the direction you’ve given them, your patients have learned, adapted and grown towards eating habits that work better for them. Unfortunately, that means they’ve had to cut corners in obtaining ‘balance’ in this whole ‘well-balanced diet’ business.

IV nutritional therapy can help fill some of the nutritional gaps that result from a more selective diet, and can help keep a more vulnerable body healthy and strong.

Perhaps one of your patients as hit a wall in their health, and even the thought of eating a full meal makes them feel exhausted. It happens. IV nutritional therapy is a wonderful way to help their body pick back up and keep going strong whenever they’re dealing with a dreaded flair-up, especially when digestion or nutritional balance are more severely out of step.

Supplements That Get To the Source

If your patients are taking your best advices, they’ve been taking vitamin supplements regularly and haven’t skimped on sticking to such a routine. If your patients are your average busy human beings, they’ve more likely been forgetting this step in their routines altogether.

Which poses a problem, as you know that your Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis patients naturally struggle to absorb the full range of nutrients from anything that they eat. It’s the nature of the beast, especially when enduring the joys of a “flare up” season. As a result, malnutrition can be a natural and common side effect—even when their eating habits are clean as a whistle.

IV nutritional therapy being administered intravenously means that there’s no barrier between the body and those nutrients that it needs. Your patients get to give their gut a rest, but still get the goods their body needs successfully into their system.

IV Treatment Over Steroid Shots or Oral Medicine

As a medical professional, you know that there’s a time limit on the effectiveness of treatment options. It’s expected that oral drug treatments for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s will only work well for a season, and then patients need to transition to something else.

Self-administered steroid shots are one alternative to oral drugs—but not everyone does well with sticking themselves with a needle on a regular basis.

Remicade is also an alternative option. This drug is administered intravenously, and has shown success in treating ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, as well as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and ankylosing spondylitis. It’s a good option for if your patient is in a place where their gut really isn’t effectively taking in the medicines your taking.

Some patients would prefer not to go to a hospital every time they receive this drug, though. Instead, it’s as simple as having them schedule regular appointments with a local IV therapy clinic. Your patients can get those needed medical Remicade IV infusions in a much more relaxed and low-stress setting.

Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s patients who are recovering from illness, overcoming a “flare up,” are pregnant or wish to become pregnant, or are trying to improve their overall health could all benefit from IV nutritional therapy. As a responsible medical professional, it’s beneficial to consider if and when IV nutritional therapy is the right choice for providing the most balanced care for your patients.

It’s important to always emphasize your patients consult with you first before beginning their IV therapy treatments, and also to highlight that such treatments are never meant to be a substitute for pursuing a healthy and well-balanced diet alongside of receiving treatment.

Consider how IV nutritional therapy can help best meet the needs of your Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis patients.

A Side Note For Medical Professionals:

If you are a medical professional interested in learning more about providing IV nutritional therapy to your patients we have created an internationally renowned online course that will teach you exactly how to safely prescribe and administer IV nutritional therapy.

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     $899.00

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Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a severe mood disorder, is characterized by mental health and physical symptoms in the week before the onset of menstruation and affects millions of women worldwide[i]. It is a much more intense form of PMS.

Emotional and mood related symptoms include:

  • Mood swings, tearfulness, sensitivity to rejection

  • Irritability or anger

  • Marked depressed mood, hopelessness, self-depreciating thoughts

  • Anxiety or tension

  • Loss of interest in usual activities

  • Lack of energy

  • Changes in appetite

  • Changes in sleep

Physical symptoms include:

  • Breast tenderness

  • Breast swelling

  • Bloating

  • Water retention

Most women experience the greatest severity of symptoms from 3-4 days prior to onset of period to up to 3 days’ post-period onset. Symptoms are absent in the post-menstrual week.

Why do some women get this disorder? The etiology is still unclear. Many experts believe it is a combination of genetic factors, stress, and the hormonal fluctuation that lead to most of the symptoms.
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What Hormonal Fluctuations?

Estrogen exerts potent effects on the brain and is involved in regulating mood, cognition, sleep, eating, and other aspects of behavior. The fluctuations of this hormone during the menstrual cycle, especially during the luteal phase (after ovulation through onset of period) when the levels steadily decline, could be a key factor in the etiology of PMDD[ii].

Estrogen has many beneficial traits such as:

  • Increasing serotonin and number of serotonin receptors in the brain

  • Modifying the production and effects of endorphins- the ‘happy’ hormones

  • Protecting nerves from damage, and possibly stimulating nerve growth

Right after ovulation, your progesterone levels acutely increase and then suddenly fall with menstruation.Research shows that chronic progesterone exposure followed by rapid withdrawal may be another one of the key factors in the etiology of PMDD[iii].

How is PMDD treated?

  1. First line of treatment for PMDD are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)[iv]. Unlike with other mood disorders, patient’s with PMDD experience rapid onset of action from SSRI (as opposed to the typical 2-3 week onset time)[v]. Therefore, people with PMDD benefit from intermittent dosing. Administering the medication only during the luteal phase, from the time of ovulation until menstruation onset alleviates many of the symptoms[vi].

  2. Hormonal therapy: Some women with PMDD respond well to oral contraceptive. In 2006, YAZ, an oral contraceptive, received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the treatment of PMDD in women desiring oral contraception. Not all women respond to oral contraceptives and not all oral contraceptives improve symptoms. Please speak with your gynecologist regarding the best options for you.

  3. Psychotherapy: A study showed that cognitive-behavioral therapy, one type of psychotherapy, was associated with increased use of effective coping strategies and shift in perception of premenstrual symptoms[vii].

  4. Supplements: Calcium was shown to improve PMDD[viii] along with Vitamin B6[ix] and Magnesium[x].

Unfortunately, many women with PMDD do not respond to the traditional treatment options. PMDD can cause substantial signs of depression for days or even weeks every month and millions of women are forced to cope with a crippling condition that is very difficult to treat.

Recent research shows that Ketamine administered at the onset of PMDD may alleviate the treatment resistant symptoms.

Why Ketamine may be an option
Recent data shows that Ketamine actually activates estrogen receptors[xi].
Why is this important? As mentioned above, the declining levels of estrogen during the luteal phase may be a contributing factor to PMDD. By administering ketamine at the start of the luteal phase or when symptoms of PMDD become apparent, we may be able to effectively treat one of the big contributing factors.
The same study showed that Ketamine works with estrogen to increase glutamate levels.
What is glutamate? Glutamate is a neurotransmitter (chemicals that transmit signals in the brain) that may be uniquely central to the biology behind major depression. The lack of glutamate in certain regions of the brain has been strongly linked to depression[xii]. Ketamine has been shown to activate glutamate transmission in the brain and is thought to be a key mechanism in its anti-depressant effects[xiii]. Ketamine may have direct impact on mood and other signs of depression if administered at the onset of PMDD.

This is an exciting time as more information becomes available regarding the benefits of Ketamine. More research needs to be done to find definitive answers, but the data we have so far gives us hope that Ketamine may have a beneficial role in the treatment of PMDD.

Disclaimer: Dr. June Lee is the medical director of Optimum Ketamine Center. Optimum Ketamine Center website does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Dr. Lee’s blog is not intended for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this website is intended for general consumer understanding only. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. For medical advise or assistance, readers should consult their healthcare professional.


[i] Dennerstein L, Lehert P, Heinemann K. Epidemiology of premenstrual symptoms and disorders. Menopause Int. 2012;18:48–51. [PubMed]

[ii] Shanmugan S, Estrogen and the prefrontal cortex: towards a new understanding of estrogen’s effects on executive functions in the menopause transition. Epperson CNHum Brain Mapp. 2014 Mar; 35(3):847-65.

[iii] Smith SS, Ruderman Y, Frye C, Homanics G, Yuan M. Steroid withdrawal in the mouse results in anxiogenic effects of 3alpha, 5beta-THP: a possible model of premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2006;186:323–33.

[iv] ACOG: ACOG Practice Bulletin Premenstrual syndrome. Clinical management guidelines for obstetrician-gynecologists. Int J Obstet Gynecol. 2001;73:183-91.

[v] Steinberg EM, Cardosos GMP, Martinez PE, Rubinow DR Rapid response to fluoxetine in women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Depress Anxiety. 2012;29:531-40.

[vi] Freeman EW. Luteal phase administration of agents for the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder. CNS Drugs. 2004;18:453-68.

[vii] Kleinstauber M Witthoft M. Cognitive-behavioral and pharmacological interventions for premenstrual syndrome or premenstrual dysphoric disorder: a met-analysis. J Clin Psychol Med Settings. 2012;19:308-19.

[viii] Thy-Jacobs S, Starkey P Calcium carbonate and the premenstrual syndrome effects on premenstrual and menstrual symptoms. Premenstrual syndrome study group. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1998; 179:444-52

[ix] Kleijnen J, Ter Riet G et al. Vitamin B6 in the treatment of the premenstrual syndrome- a review. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1990;97:847-52.

[x] Khine K, Rosenstein DL et al. Magnesium retention and mood effects after intravenous infusion in premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Biol Psychiatry 2006;59:327-33.

[xi] Ho, Correia, Ingle Ketamine and ketamine metabolites as novel estrogen receptor ligands: Induction of cytochrome P450 and AMPA glutamate receptor gene expression. Biovhem Parmacol. 2018 June;152:279-292.

[xii] Murrough JW et al. Targeting glutamate signaling in depression: progress and prospects. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2017;17:472-86

[xiii] Abeallah et al. The effects of ketamine on prefrontal glutamate neurotransmission in healthy and depressed subjects. Neurpsychopharmacology 2018. 43, 2154-2169

#infusion #premenstrul #premenstrualdysphoricdisorder #pms #PMDD #ketamine #ketamineinfusion #ketamineinfusions

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Ketamine Nasal Spray and Treatment Resistant Depression, Anxiety, PTSD and Chronic Pain

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A recent study found that a single dose of IV ketamine can have a quick antidepressant response in patients who have had difficulty treating their depression with other antidepressant medications. The antidepressant effects lasted about a week for the patients, and had fewer side effects than other forms of medical treatment.

This is great news for patients who have experienced treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, PTSD, or chronic pain and have been searching for a way to relieve their symptoms. Many antidepressant medications offer serious setbacks for patients, including taking a long time to start working and low rates of success. But ketamine offers new promise for people suffering from depression or other conditions, especially those who have had trouble finding a drug that worked for them.

“The discovery of ketamine and its unique mechanisms heralds a new era with tremendous promise for the development of novel, rapid, and efficacious antidepressant medications,” wrote Ronald S. Duman, a psychiatrist from Yale University who analyzed the study.

Nasal Spray Adds New Possibilities

Currently, a patient would receive an infusion of the drug from a provider via IV drip. However, one pharmaceutical company, Janssen, has reformulated a derivative of ketamine into a nasal spray form. The drug is molecularly different from ketamine and only contains the L isomer of ketamine.

According to some early trials, Janssen has reported their drug to be an effective antidepressant in nasal spray form. So far, researchers have found that esketamine (Spravato) is not significantly different from ketamine in terms of its effect on depression. But because it would be a patented drug, it offers a more lucrative option to pharmaceutical companies who would want to be able to recuperate the costs of clinical trials in studying its effectiveness and obtaining FDA approval.

Currently, compounded ketamine nasal spray (with both isomers) is available through a prescription. Compounded medications are FDA-approved drugs in other forms or doses.

Injected Ketamine Likely More Effective
The Injection and Infusion Clinic of ABQ is keeping its eye on esketamine as it makes its way to market. While Janssen and other pharmaceutical providers have high hopes for the new nasal spray, Spravato, it’s important to recognize that it is unlikely to be the cure-all that Janssen is promoting it to be. Janssen has not yet announced whether their esketamine nasal spray (Spravato) will be available for at-home administration or if it will be restricted to clinic-only settings. Ketamine and its derivatives are a controlled substance. As such, there are risks when taking it, especially when offered as a take-at-home medication.

Still, if you have treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, PTSD, or chronic pain that has responded to IV ketamine infusions, adding nasal spray could be part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Not all patients are eligible, nor is it recommended in all cases.

In the meantime, low-dose ketamine IV infusions are known to be extremely effective and safe. And while nasal spray likely has its place, it will unlikely be the cure-all Janssen has been promoting it to be.

For more information on this exciting new treatment for depression or to book an appointment, get in touch with us.

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