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 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.
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.
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?
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!