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, 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.
One of the most controversial aspects of Ketamine therapy, and what I think is one of the biggest injustices in terms of information and research, is stating how the Side Effects of Ketamine are the dissociative effects it causes during treatments. I personally want to put an end to these reports on how supposedly horrible this aspect of Ketamine therapy is for a person.
I will briefly state by copying and pasting the definition of dissociation.
Dissociation is any of a wide array of experiences from mild detachment from immediate surroundings to more severe detachment from physical and emotional experience. The major characteristic of all dissociative phenomena involves a detachment from reality, rather than a loss of reality as in psychosis.
Ketamine can make you feel that you are outside yourself. I believe it is this sensation that makes it possible to distinguish that you are not your illness. I am not my depression. I did not cause this to happen. It is real. I feel the difference. I know the world symptom free. I feel the glory in that knowledge. After years of failed treatments, I have wavered on my part in my suffering. Nothing helps. It must be in my head, but not. I have battled with blaming myself for not being able to leave my house. I have been ashamed and confused. I fight to make sense of this hellish world.
How can I want to be in darkness when there are brilliant colors to discover? Why am I doing this to myself?
This is not my fault. I just haven't found the right treatment.
I have tried everything but brain surgery to combat this disease.
I am failing.
I can't win.
Another cocktail of medications. Vacancy. More lost time, and destruction. I shake my head remembering my story.
Gone. I am lost.
Susan hides for years.
Why can't I escape?
I tried many methods of denial.
Yes, now I can heal. Now, I know that, the craziness, it is not me. It is an illness. A silent disease. Killing.
Ketamine is my life preserver.
It saddens me to read articles and frequently asked question on the Ketamine websites stating the effects of Ketamine during treatments negatively. I am here to put an end to the alert. I feel that the dissociation I have felt during several of my sessions has made it possible to break away from the stigma mental illness has had, and the failure I feel repeatedly when in the past medications, ECT, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, talk therapy, art therapy and other treatments resisted my efforts to get well and put my life back together.
I formed unhealthy coping mechanisms.
It is hard to separate your personality with the depression. "I am depressed. That is who I am."
Depression consumes me.
I am depression.
I am my illness.
Ketamine changed that belief.
It was because the dissociation I felt during some of my Ketamine appointments made it obvious I was not this hideous illness. It seems obvious. I would say, "I am not this nightmare," but I had doubts.
It was when I was feeling light and calm during my Ketamine therapy that I felt free. I broke free. I could reach a point where I saw my personal core, Susan. I did not have that tainted with rainstorms and thunder distracting me. I could have cried. I actually have cried. Purging emotions. It is a relief to know the truth. Painful, too. Years of just barely getting by. Trying to survive. Miserable. In pain. "Not worth it" was a common theme. I practiced. I did the homework. I walked through the fires. Nothing.
Ketamine caught me. It was with the aid of Ketamine and this so-called negative side effect known as the dissociative effect that Ketamine Infusions provide. Is it to be feared? Is that necessary?
I personally don't want Ketamine without it. It doesn't happen during every treatment. I have learned that it happens when I most need to escape from the madness. I can get a glimpse of my situation without the hateful comments shouting for control. I get to live the statement I uttered in defeat previously.
I just need to get over myself. I need to get out of my own way. I want to escape. I want clarity and most of all please let me stop with the death wish.
I find the sessions that gift me with the dissociation grant me the biggest uplift from the depression. I feel complete hope. I feel I can make it. I can win. I can have a life. A life outside my house. A life living. A life.
I have not had the luxury of experiencing living with that heaviness and burden. It taints everything. I need to know that there is more to the world, to me. I need to know that if I keep pushing forward I will gain back my sanity. If it is all for nothing, I couldn't bear it.
Ketamine leaves me hopeful.
I believe that it is the experiences I have during my Ketamine therapy that makes it so successful for me. I often feel as though I am being hugged by the most loving universal mother or god. It gives me hope.
Hope has been missing for decades.
I look forward to the intense moments with Ketamine. They give me permission to let go of the guilt and blame I feel. I feel loved. It can be spiritual. An awakening.
I close my eyes and flow. It is dream-like. Freeing. No room for depression to live here. I get to see and feel what Susan could be. I am. I am Susan. I am not this depression that demands the majority of my attention. Ketamine is hope that I can one day be the girl I see.
I don't make it easy for Ketamine. I have had decades of failed treatments. I lost so much during the years battling my way to the surface again and again. I fight my way to catch a glimpse of a dim light trying to guide me; unsuccessfully. I have accumulated an array of unhealthy thinking patterns, and worse, I couldn't respond to attempts to be positive or recognize change. It never felt like I was making progress. I was, on some levels, I suppose. It is drastically different with Ketamine.
I am blessed with the knowledge of absolute reassurance that I am not the depression. It is a difficult lesson to believe in. I waiver. I stumble. Ketamine keeps me standing. I appreciate having faith in a treatment. A therapy that allows my past lessons to excel and propel me forward instead of keeping me stuck.
I can't imagine getting Ketamine without the chance of having it include some element of dissociation. I would not want to, the knowing that I will never experience that freedom and pure relief from the depression and reclaim my hope for a future over and over again. It would sadden me deeply.
I don't understand why there are so many negative articles being written about how Ketamine shouldn't be used for depression because it has the side effect, yes the side effect, of feelings of dissociation. I don't know about you, but I enjoy not feeling the never ending desire to die. I think it is life altering to gain perspective on Treatment Resistant Depression and how it controls all aspects of your life and thoughts. It has aided me greatly. Ketamine has been extremely beneficial for me.
I believe that depression tells lies. I have been lied to for years. Ketamine is refreshing. I gain. I have not lost myself indefinitely because Ketamine reaches down inside the deepest parts of me and offers HOPE. That is fantastic to me. I can resist the lures that make a point of trying to hook me and pull me to the bottom for longer periods of time because Ketamine has made me a personal witness of what could be.
I fear that pharmaceutical companies will change the Ketamine composition too much to be the huge assistance it is today. It will take away that element that lets me gain insights, suppresses the depression and provides me hope. Do I want that to happen? Do I want to risk the added chemicals they will add to eliminate an effect that does not hinder but offers a look at the world in a new refreshing light? Would I risk it? I hope I never have to, to be honest. I know "real" side effects from antidepressant drugs and the damage they cause. I have been in enough emergency rooms and psychiatric hospitals because of the latest combination of medications. I don't want to revisit the past. I shouldn't have to because Ketamine is perfect the way it is.
I end with one question for you to contemplate. I know that medication development is profitable and there is no money in making Ketamine available to the masses. I also know that the professional world is afraid of Ketamine and that is because of lack of education and the risks they foresee Ketamine causing their practices. I get it. Sort of. I don't understand changing what is not broken. I also don't trust. I don't believe a new Ketamine type drug won't be without true side effects and concerns. A drug is already available. No changes needed. I leave my doctors office feeling uplifted. I walk away leaving the depression behind me for a week or more. One drug. Side effects? I laugh and shake my head. Dissociation is not to be feared. It is not to be spoke of so negatively. Yes, it is a different type of therapy but it is successful to many, including myself. In less than an hour of possible surreal experiences, I gain a part of myself I felt died as a child and left me empty, alone, with only a terrorist for a partner and guide. I think one hour every week or two is a small request for what we demand in return; symptom free times ahead. Ketamine is a winner. Just the way it is. I have no complications with Ketamine. I am afraid that once the chemists play around with Ketamine, this will no longer be the case. I could be wrong. I don't think I am. Medications make money. If they make a ketamine-like drug in the future, I won't be standing in line for it because I trust whatever is added to the formula will not be better than what is already making history for Treatment Resistant Depression.
I felt a strong need to address all the negative talk associated with Ketamine therapy and the dissociation many are experiencing. I believe it is difficult to understand how Ketamine works and that makes many uncomfortable. It is unknown. People resist change. In my opinion, I think depression is more an inflammation issue versus depression being a 100% chemical issue. Inflammation. I am becoming more and more convinced that depression compromises all of me. Body and mind. I plan to discuss in a little more detail, in my next blog, how diet, infections and thus how inflammation is key to getting healthy. Ketamine reduces inflammation. Anti-depressant alter chemistry. I believe there is something worth investigating and discussing. I know that I record and analyze every aspect of my care and recovery with the long term goal of being healthy in mind and body. I want control. I pay attention. I want to predict. I want to know. I strive to educate and help others skip these uncertain times I have had.
I have found that when I am physically ill or eat poorly, the assistance I get from Ketamine therapy is limited. Why is that? Inflammation? Maybe.
Join me next week when I review what I have learned about foods and my depression. I have experimented. I record. I hope to adjust my treatment plan with all this newfound knowledge about myself, mental illness, and Ketamine. Diet is important. We can take back a little control of our lives and illness. It can happen.
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!