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Ketamine

Ketamine: Hope for Treatment Resistant Depression

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Hello and welcome. My name is Susan. I am a huge advocate of Ketamine therapy for depression. I write about my experiences with Ketamine treatments on my website, MyKetamineStory.com. I want to introduce myself to you because educating others on this new method of treating depression is so very important to me. I am 100% convinced that had I not been told about Ketamine, I would not be sitting in front of my computer writing this opening. As an introduction, I have treatment resistant depression and anxiety disorder, but that isn’t who I am.

I live in Virginia. I have a passion for writing and photography. I also love sewing and crafting. I basically love the arts. I am at my best when I am creating. I am married and have one child. My husband and son are my major support system; without Geoffrey and Matthew my life would be empty. I enjoy and thrive on learning new things. It makes me feel I have a purpose in life when I am helping others. My intention with this blog is to reach out to others with clinical depression and turn on a light of hope. Ketamine is my life preserver and it may possibly be yours, too.

My desire is to educate both the general public as well as physicians and nurse practitioners on the use of Ketamine for treatment resistant depression. I am writing from my own experiences. I get Ketamine treatments every two weeks and have been for over two and a half years now. It has thoroughly changed my life.

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 without success and plenty of horror stories. My light was out and my expectations that my life would improve didn’t exist when I discovered Ketamine Infusions; which is a form of drug therapy for treatment resistant depression.

My blog is my journey. I pray that others suffering will somehow find their way to my website so I can introduce them to the possibilities of Ketamine.

I traveled to a clinic in New Jersey and started out with six Ketamine Infusions over a two week period. During my Ketamine treatments with Dr. Levine I was fortunate enough to be told about Dr. Charles Moseley from Charlottesville, Va. I was excited because I live an hour from his office instead of the 6 hours it takes to get to New Jersey. I was told Dr. Moseley was interested in Ketamine and was willing to start administering intramuscular Ketamine shots. I have been working with Dr. Moseley since April of 2015. I began Ketamine shots shortly upon my return from the Ketamine Treatment Center of Princeton in New Jersey. Dr. Steven Levine continues to be a valuable asset for me. I highly recommend both of these doctors if you reside in their areas.

I began writing and advocating Ketamine for Depression in January 2017. You may question why I waited so long to start discussing my praise of Ketamine. I know I would wonder that, if I found a blog hyping up a new therapy for depression. In fact, back in 2015, my husband had a lot of convincing to do to get me to believe in Ketamine enough to try it. I have tried numerous treatments, practically every nightmare medication cocktail imaginable, been hospitalized more than I care to admit, I even tried 12 sessions of Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) trying to break free from the suicidal depression I felt. I didn’t want to put my faith into yet another costly treatment only to discover I would never see past the intense suicidal thoughts I had running non-stop in my head. To be completely honest, I was in a very dark place and even with the help of Ketamine treatments, it has been a long journey to the surface. I was profoundly depressed for decades. I am sure anyone that is depressed, and even those fortunate enough not to have a mental illness, can understand that healing takes time. It also involved immense personal growth and even more cognitive work because of default systems that I put in place in order to survive. Ketamine allows me the clarity to do all the behavior modifications I struggled with in the past. I have accumulated many tools over the years for battling this deadly illness but found the tools failed me time and time again because the depression engulfed me. It paralyzed me. Progress was painfully slow, but now I can observe myself and the way I process information. I genuinely know when the depression filters are switched back on. Ketamine gives me a solid 8-10 days of relief before I sense myself sliding and in need of another treatment.. This method of treatment is phenomenal to me. I mean, it is crazy that one drug given every two weeks without side effects is easing my hateful depression. I believe anyone walking in my shoes would want to shout to the world about it. I needed to be emotionally strong in my recovery before I could do that..

In January of this year I felt ready to open up and speak. I struggle. People ask tough questions. People say hurtful comments. I won’t back down. I may pull back to lick my wounds and process, but I will not stop educating. I know now that sometimes people speak out because of ignorance. I also believe that I have met some incredible people because I am sharing my story and remarkably, my words have inspired. I started my website this year and have been advocating anyway that I can find in hopes of finding those people still suffering and at a loss for options.

I had been blogging about my experiences with Ketamine therapy for a couple months before Jason Duprat CRNA, reached out to me. At first, it was to notify me about the opening of his new Ketamine Clinic, The Injection & Infusion Clinic of Albuquerque so I could add his center to my Ketamine Provider & Locations list. I was very excited to hear about his Albuquerque, New Mexico Ketamine center. After our initial contact I continued to write, share and advocate for Ketamine. I know that Ketamine is Hope for Treatment Resistant Depression. I feel it is extremely important to educate our society on the use of Ketamine for depression. This new treatment for depression needs a voice. I want to be one of those voices shouting the loudest about Ketamine Infusions, Ketamine Clinics, Ketamine Centers, Intramuscular Ketamine shots, and how spectacular this “old” drug is at combatting treatment resistant depression. Lately, new evidence is being released documenting how Ketamine Infusions are helping battle PTSD symptoms. It is remarkable. I am proof that Ketamine is playing a massive role in allowing me to live symptom free; even if it means I have to return every two weeks to get a booster shot.

It is because of my website and writings that Jason Duprat, who is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, reached out to me again. Jason explained how he has been enjoying my blog posts and how he too desires to educate others about the uses of Ketamine for depression. There really is a deep need to spread the news about a drug that has been around for decades but is only recently being used to treat PTSD and Depression. It is also being used for a wide variety of chronic pain management issues. Jason and I have spoken on the phone and via texts and emails sharing our excitement about the success of Ketamine Therapy. It was then that he asked me if I would be interested in writing for his website about my experiences with Ketamine. I happily agreed. The way I see it is, the more people discussing Ketamine online the better. There are still so many, many individuals that haven’t heard of Ketamine and if they have, it is probably the club or street version and not as the Ketamine administered by a qualified professional to treat depression. Education is needed. I want desperately to help others who are suffering. I attempt to do this through my musings.

I hope you will join me in learning more about Ketamine by reading my blog posts and sharing with friends and family. I will be posting regularly on The Injection & Infusion Clinic of Albuquerque website, as well as, on my personal website at MyKetamineStory.com. I know what a miraculous drug Ketamine is. I am absolutely confident that I have lived 2.5 years (and counting) longer than I would have if my husband had never discovered an article in 2015, while my body was fighting to survive my last suicide attempt, about using Ketamine for treatment resistant depression. I continue to heal and grow with the help of Ketamine.

We all need a platform to stand on and be heard. I thank Jason Duprat for caring enough for patient needs to request my help. I sincerely want to inform as many people as I can. It is possible that we may all know someone suffering from TRD or PTSD. I believe they might benefit from Ketamine Infusions. I know that I definitely have had, and continue to have, amazing success with Ketamine treatments. I know how frantic I have felt when I had no hope, no light guiding my way. If one person reads this blog and can help themselves or someone they love out of darkness I know from experience how life altering Ketamine can be.

#ketaminetherapy #theinjectionandinfusionclinicofalbuquerque #ketaminealbuquerque #ketamineforPTSD #ketaminefordepression #ketaminenewmexico #ketaminetreatment #ketaminecenters #ketamineinjection #ketamineinfusion #depression #ketamineforpain #ketamine #Electroconvulsivetherapy #ECT #CertifiedRegisteredNurseAnesthetist #TreatmentResistantDepression #PTSD #Ketamineclinics #myketaminestorycom #wwwmyketaminestorycom #wwwmyketaminestorycomresourcesprovider #KatamineProviders #Ketaminelocations #KetamineProviderLocationsList #abqketamineclinic #infusionclinicabq #theinjectionclinicofabq #theinfusionclinicofabq #theinjectionandinfusionclinicofabq #albuquerque #newmexico #abqketamine #abqketaminecliniccom #albuqerqueketamineclinic #albuquerqueketamine #albuquerqueketamineclinic

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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.

#newmexico #albuquerque #theinfusionclinicofabq #theinjectionclinicofabq #infusionclinicabq #myketaminestorycom #TreatmentResistantDepression #ketaminetherapy #theinjectionandinfusionclinicofalbuquerque #ketaminealbuquerque #Ketamineclinics #ketamineforPTSD #KetamineProviderLocationsList #ECT #PTSD #theinjectionandinfusionclinicofabq #ketaminetreatment #ketaminefordepression #ketaminenewmexico #CertifiedRegisteredNurseAnesthetist #ketaminecenters #wwwmyketaminestorycomresourcesprovider #ketamineinjection #abqketamineclinic #wwwmyketaminestorycom #ketamineinfusion #depression #ketamine #ketamineforpain #Electroconvulsivetherapy #CBT #CognitiveBehavioralTherapy #abq #abqketamineclinic #abqketamine #albuquerqueketamine #ketamineprocess #whatisketaminelike #ketamineinfusions #ketamineanddepression #ketaminedepression #newdepressiontreatment #newtreatmentfordepression #abqketamine #abqketaminecliniccom #abqketamineclinic #albuquerqueketamineclinic #albuqerqueketamineclinic

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Ketamine

Ketamine: Trying To Understand New Emotions When Depression Lifts

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Hello again. This is Susan from myketaminestory.com. I have been thinking a lot about my recovery lately. I feel like I am always fighting to keep centered. My desire in life is to feel rooted like an oak tree that has been around for more than a century. I need to feel grounded. I want a solid if not a concrete floor beneath me. I am a very visual person so images help me make sense of the world around me. I know I want to be that tree with roots so deep into the universe that even the perfect storm can’t destroy it. I find I now want and strive to experience all that life has in store for me without feeling like I might snap or break. I am driven to be that strong, flexible tree. I need to be that solid oak that has the ability to bend and sway but remain grounded in its own foundation.

The last several weeks I have been free floating like a balloon that escaped a child’s hand. It has been so unbearably uncomfortable; incredibly difficult. I had numerous situations arise over the past month and a half that I struggled to find my footing. I am constantly reminded that I have a massive amount of work to still do in my recovery.

I think if I had been trapped behind boulders, in a cave filled with a colony of bats, I would expect and allow myself the time to work through the nightmares and pain. I am absolutely positive that even the society I feel rejects me because I have an illness they can’t see would understand and accept that I was involved in a frightening and life altering situation; and to return to life as they know it would be a challenge. There might be an obstacle or two that I have to practice over and over to conquer. I had been trapped in a cave with demons scarier than an orchestra of boogeymen. I am not sure why I thought having Ketamine Infusions or Intramuscular Ketamine shots would also miraculously erase the last 30 plus years of memories. Ketamine administered by a qualified professional definitely allows me the ability to utilize all the coping strategies I learned while enclosed in such a dark world.

I think for me, Treatment Resistant Depression can be described as being trapped in that horrifying cave alone and starving for a way to escape. No one can reach you. Helpers arrive dressed not in firefighter or search and rescue uniforms but lab coats. They are brought in to dig around and remove the monstrous obstruction blocking you from living life in the sunlight, but to no avail. More expert are called in.

Silence. Alone. Fighting.

I have known that cave intimately. I was devastated and trapped. I could often hear people discussing new methods for tearing through the rocks and pulling me to safety. I have been aware of the attempts these search teams have use hoping to release me. They have used dynamite disguised in the form of medication cocktails, ECT and hospitalizations. I still could not crawl out to meet them. I could not welcome the sun.

It was over time and disappointments that I retreated farther into my cave. I accepted my fate. I figured after 30 years of my battling to find people willing to continue to aide me in escaping this life long captivity it just wasn’t going to happen for me. I was finally ready to let go. I shut down completely. I accepted my fate.

My husband on the other hand refused to give up. He did not leave me. In my darkest moments he has been making the calls. He has been doing the research. He has been my voice. I had given up and the bats were feeding on me. My partner of close to 25 years, through his tears and pain, found a single article about a drug called Ketamine that gave him hope. He started shouting through my darkness about this “old” drug being used in new ways. Clinical studies were showing evidence that Ketamine given slowly by IV over a period of time significantly improved depressive symptoms in those that have not responded well to traditional methods. It was being introduced as an option for individuals just like me; trapped and lost. My biggest advocate was calling to me from the outside but his words would not penetrate my dark world. It is an amazing endeavor my husband took on to save me. I am happy to admit that he finally located that one tool that was powerful enough to demolish that hateful blockage before me that was keeping me from living my life. That successful and life changing product was Ketamine. Incredible Ketamine.

It has been over two and half years of treatments and I am still dumbfounded that one drug could accomplish what every other known method of treatment for my depression could not. It has given me sunshine. I get excited to hear about new clinics like The Injection & Infusion Clinic of ABQ. The need for facilities to treat patients safely is going to grow once Ketamine has a stronger voice as a valid treatment for depression.

I think everyone could agree that being surrounded by darkness for decades and then thrown into the light is going to take some adjustments. My eyes burned. My heart ached. Fear and excitement. I was even more aware of all the time wasted trapped in pure and utter misery. I was exhausted from my grueling attempts to stay alive. I was tired from doing the work it takes to push back all the debris. I figured my journey would be easier now that I had my Ketamine light showing me the way out. I was naive.

I have been given a torch. The name of my vessel of light is Ketamine. We all know that a torch burns out and must be lit again to offer you the brightness needed to see your way around. Ketamine therapy is no different. We also know that a torch will flicker and tease. In the past two plus years of my IM Ketamine shots I have responded in such a positive and successful way. I continue to make amazing strides towards being the best version of myself. My anxiety is often uncontrollable out of fear that I may not have access to the spark that keeps my stick in flames. It is an unsettling feeling to have only one tool to do the job. I am grateful that this tool exist, but I must also be honest and say I have worried.

It is immensely important to me to educate others about a treatment that could potentially release them from depressive symptoms that have refused to vacate the mind previously. I finally found that one element to ignite my world with bright vivid colors. I think it was normal to be apprehensive. What if it stops working? What if I can’t continue to afford it? It is not an inexpensive treatment. I know this. It has not been easy to add a costly treatment to the budget. So the questions begin. What if? What if I can’t find a doctor to administer my Ketamine in the future if something tragic happens to my current doctor? My mind went tumbling. Education is absolutely needed so that more providers can learn about the benefits and start offering Ketamine at a more reasonable price. I know that Ketamine is hope for treatment resistant depression. I am proof. My life is worth living fully because I am given Ketamine shots every two weeks and it shuts down the depression for a solid 8-10 days. When I was introduced to Ketamine therapy it was amazing that I actually responded to its effects and was symptom free for the first time ever. I will admit my anxiety increased. I have been plagued with some of the same concerns I have had people ask me about. I have and still do which is why I advocate for Ketamine treatments. I pray change will occur. I am driven and I would love to see more interested professionals reach out to investigate. I truly believe in the benefits of Ketamine and it is desperately needed to help people suffering with chronic clinical depression and have not been helped by traditional treatment plans. Ketamine is the only medication I have responded positively to and that caused me to constantly play the what if game. What if I want to relocate to an area where no one has heard of Ketamine outside a night club? What if it stops working? What if? What if? I have invested time and money into this treatment. I have felt the warmth wrap around my mind and body. I have experienced life without the clouds and rain. I appreciate the clarity and focus Ketamine allows me. I am thankful for the time I am not engulfed in my illnesses. In the back of my tortured mind I continue to analyze. I have been afraid of all these new feelings and concerns. I mean, I spent 30 years struggling to survive. I have become an “amateurish” expert by default. I have acquired many tools for fighting depression. I understand that even with Ketamine that not all of them can be tossed away. They did keep me alive during trying times in my life. They may not have been the sun, like Ketamine, but all the same they were needed. These tools of mine are useful. It has taken time to realize this information.

I want to add that I saw the sunlight with the help of my Ketamine infusions and I danced. I started burning all the baggage I found in my cave. I figured I found my cure. I would no longer have to fight. My work was finished. I thought all I needed was Ketamine therapy and I would be on my merry way. I was so arrogant. I mean, I would think, listen world- I fought for 30 years isn’t it time for a break or long vacation from depression? Why do I need to revisit that cave and make sense out of all the ways I survived. I lived it. I don’t want to swim around in the memories. I didn’t want to do anymore searching. I was finding myself so incredibly hostile. The depression was lifted. Yet here I am still struggling to make sense the world. I needed to understand why I still had so much work to do even though the depression was taking a backseat. I was exhausted. I wanted to leave that part of my life in the background. Be “normal”. My desire was to be like everyone else. Only the problem, and I have painfully discovered this, is everyone is fighting. We all struggle. We all want and need similarly. My depression is just an added filter I see the world through.

I believed the depression kept me from being. I wanted to know why if the depression is no longer present I am so angry. Why do I have to keep moving those damn rocks, stones and pebbles? I felt entitled. Didn’t I desired a perfect life because I have been through horrific living conditions? I was furious. I have been spinning. I have been wanting to run, run and keep running away from all the painful reminders of my time sequestered in pitch black with monsters using words and feelings against me. Have I not been through enough? Am I not amazing just for living through it? I demanded to know if the Ketamine could lift my depression why, oh why, was I still struggling. I was pissed. I wanted Ketamine to be a miracle drug; a complete and uncomplicated solution. Please don’t get me wrong, it is a phenomenal treatment. I am slowly beginning to realize nothing is easy to repair. I was mislead in my belief system. Seriously. I had unrealistic expectations. I was not at all pleased to learn this lesson. In fact, I was livid.

Ketamine has freed me time and time again. It has successfully accomplished its primary goal which is relief from suicidal thinking and depression. It repeatedly pulls me away from that miserable cave I was locked in. I have discovered that unfortunately I now have to learn to live in this new world I found myself in. I thought surviving and escaping was the tough work and once the depression wasn’t filtering my thoughts I would be happy and content. Wrong. I do have moments when I am at peace. I found a place where joyful is exactly what I am. I have more and more opportunities to feel completely. In the midst of feeling centered and able to manage my life I falter and fall. We all do.

My question is why do I, or better yet we, continuously believe in results without the work? We might spend a year or more getting in shape by eating well, exercising, and being mindful of ourselves in order to reached all our personal fitness goals. When the results are present we are immensely pleased with ourselves. Yes? Why do we then begin to snack on junk food and skip the gym yet think we can still keep the trim athletic body we strive daily to obtain? We all know this is not reality. I have realized in the past several weeks, as I was free floating and miserable, I was approaching Ketamine therapy the same way. I figured I spent decades working out and now with the use of Ketamine shots I had it all. I wasn’t going to have to put forth anymore of my time and mental energy dissecting and establishing new goals for myself. I thought it would be easy, breezy. After all, the bloody depression was manageable now. Right? I think many have fallen or will fall victim to this train of thought. I know I did. I believe we all may react differently to this knowledge. Personally, I became full of spite and the rage was causing havoc in my life. I investigated all of these thoughts with my doctor and my best friend. I discovered recently during my Ketamine treatment that my anger has lifted a little. I am beginning to learn acceptance. I am no longer completely angry about doing the work. Maybe I should restate that by say most of the time I am no longer angry about the work involved to get healthy and staying that way. I was often aware of how mad I was but not the whys. I reflected. I paid attention. I listened to me. I heard. I am adjusting.

I will say after my last Ketamine treatment it dawned on me I was starting to make progress. I am growing. I am getting healthier. I find myself proud of all my hard work. In the past few days, I haven’t been as hostile to be around. I accepted that if I want to keep a fit, healthy mind I was going to have to continue to workout so to speak to accomplish my goals. I discovered I was hiding at a metaphoric candy shop pretending to not be diabetic. I was able to fool myself and others for a short time but I wasn’t able sustain it for very long before the effects made themselves blatantly obvious with all sorts of new struggles, old messages and illnesses.

I practice centering with mindful meditation and breathing exercises multiple times a day. I have found myself totally annoyed by how often I need to practice. I used to get so outraged at having to constantly redirect my thoughts. It was difficult for me to understand I had habitually processed information in a frightening cave and they left their own scars. I was inadvertently negatively programming myself. I had some pretty messed up bugs in my system. I know with my programming I will have to find the root of the problem and add new data. I will need to hit run and wait for the next hiccup to occur and address the issue at that time. It is a very intricate system. I will need test it and adjust and retest it again. I am starting to accept that my work is not over and just as a body gains weight and you lose muscles if you feed yourself trash and skip the workouts; the same is true for Ketamine and mental health. I am no longer angry about the work I have to do; most of the time.

A few side notes and announcements:

If you or someone you love suffers with Treatment Resistant Depression, Ketamine could offer help. Ketamine has lifted my depression and allows me to experience new emotions and live the life I was meant to.

My Ketamine Provider & Location List is growing. I am updating it regularly. If you know of a provider not present feel free to notify me. Personally, I know how difficult it was to find a provider in my area. My directory may help others find assistance. That is my ultimate goal.

Lastly, I am excited to announce that I will be working on a new blog series. I am happy to say many people have reached out to me with questions and concerns. I will be addressing many of these inquiries over the next several blog posts. If you find yourself wanting to know more about Ketamine for Depression I am open to answering questions. Please feel free to use the comment section below. I will do my best to answer them during my new Q & A series. All responses will be based on my personal experience with Ketamine over the past two plus years of treatments. It is my hope to educate and advocate on an unconventional method for Treatment Resistant Depression.

 This article was originally posted on myketaminestory.com

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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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