Ketamine Changed My Life

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KetamineChangedMyLife Says:
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I am a 35 year old woman who has lived with anxiety and depression most of my life. I think it is both genetic (100% of my family members have some sort of mental illness or depression) and caused by life experiences (growing up with a bipolar father and borderline mother in an unstable home).

Since the age of 15, I have been on and off almost every kind of anti-depressant and other assorted drugs. Some helped, but never enough. Nothing stopped me from hitting bottom on a regular basis. I've also been in and out of therapy: most of it was pretty useless.

Four years ago, I went off all meds for pregnancy and breastfeeding for about a year and a half. I was ok-ish, but not great. I ended up having to stop breastfeeding so that I could go back on meds because things got so bad.

Since the meds never do as much as I hope, my doctors would just keep switching them and increasing them in circles. Earlier this year I was on Ambilfy, Lamictal, Lexapro, and Adderal all at the same time. Sometimes I would be fine and other times I wouldn't.

In the spring, I slowly tapered off all meds to try to get pregnant again. Things became unbearable: I cried for hours a day and thought about suicide constantly. I could barely get myself to eat and lost 12 pounds in three months and couldn't stay asleep at night. Waking up each morning was torture as being awake was pure pain. I had no desire to live even though I have a wonderful husband, an amazing daughter, a great job, good friends, and an overall lovely life. Nothing bad was happening in my life, but I was unbelievably miserable, so it is clear that I have a chemical imbalance of some kind. Yet it was just so frustrating to think of going on meds again just to become ok-ish again after weeks/months of waiting.

My husband basically had to force me to try ketamine because the cost seemed insane, but now I am SO glad I listened to him.

So far I have had 6 treatments (intravenous infusions): August 12th, 13th, 16th, 18th, 23rd, and September 23rd of this year at Ketamine for Life in San Diego ($400 per session). The first 5 treatments were 30mg and the last was 40mg (I am 120 pounds - just a note since dosage is based on body weight).

The morning of August 12th was horrible as I was in the pit of depression as I had been all week. I did my first treatment that afternoon. It was an odd experience, but pleasant. I basically just felt drunk-ish for an hour.

I walked out of the doctors office a changed woman. It was like nothing I had ever experienced. The "euphoria" wore off after about an hour, but the depression was just completely gone. The horrible, horrible pain that was always there was just gone. The absence of pain was astounding. My husband could tell immediately and said "welcome back" and we celebrated. I was calm, happy, smiling, and felt zero depression or anxiety. I hadn't felt that way in years.

The next morning, the depression was still gone, but the anxiety was back. I was a bit disappointed that I didn't feel perfect anymore, but I was still much, much better.

I did five treatments within two weeks and found my new normal: zero depression, zero crying, zero suicidal thoughts, some anxiety, enjoying life. I was eating and sleeping normally again. It was a miracle. Life is entirely different for me now.

About a month later, after a visit from my brother (which is triggering), I started to feel a bit of depression again. I went back for another treatment the next day.

Today is October 19th, over two months after my first infusion, and I have been feeling great. Not perfect (still some anxiety), but happy, normal, calm, and enjoying life again. The ketamine just wiped the depression out. Going from thinking about suicide hours a day to never having those thoughts at all in the span of a one hour treatment is unbelievable.

I am having fun at work again. My daughter has her mother back and we are having a blast together. My husband has his wife back. I am happy inside! I can't believe it and I can't believe how fast it worked. And with basically zero side effects.

I wish there was more research on ketamine so that I knew how often I needed to go back for additional treatments to maximize the effects (my doctor estimates once per month), but I am just so grateful that I found this miracle treatment. I also wish that insurance covered it, but for those who can find a way to pay for it, it may be totally worth it - it absolutely is for me and I am incredibly cheap. If you can't afford a ketamine clinic, look for a ketamine study. There are many going on right now. And maybe insurance will start paying for it soon, especially if we all start harassing them to.

Ketamine changed my life to such an incredible extent. I hope it catches on and becomes more accessible for everyone.

I browsed some of the other personal stories and had a few things to add that people may have questions about.

1) I didn't fast at all. I also had no nausea.

2) During the infusions, I listened to relaxing music on my headphones and looked at pictures of my loved ones on my phone. I tried to stay as positive and relaxed as I could. I highly recommend this.

3) I seemed to get better effects from the treatments when I was able to stay positive and relaxed. During the couple of sessions that I was more stressed, I didn't feel as good after.

4) I didn't have a "hangover" like some people have mentioned. I was maybe a little more tired for the rest of the day after treatments, but that was it.

5) I was told not to drive for 24 hours after each infusion and I didn't, but I probably would have been fine to drive after a few hours. I went to work four hours after one of my infusions and was actually a lot more productive and focused than normal.

6) My husband and daughter dropped me off at each appointment and then stuck around nearby and did errands in the complex while I did my treatments so that they would be there for me right after I was done. I recommend this. It made me feel safer to know they were there. It might have been nice to have someone in the room with me (my daughter is 3, so I didn't want her to see me getting treatment), but it was also nice to just relax with music.

7) The intravenous infusion experience was mild for me. Sometimes the doctor and I would talk during my treatments and I was able to hold perfectly normal conversations. The room did look a little blurry and I did feel weird, but never in a bad way. When I was given 30mg, I was even able to answer emails and texts and did that some (but I don't recommend it, since it wasn't relaxing and it took longer than normal). When I was given 40mg, I was no longer able to read properly (but probably shouldn't have been trying to anyway).

8) After each infusion, I had to wait 5-10 minutes before trying to walk or I would feel like I was going to fall down. After a couple of the infusions I wanted to lay down for 20 minutes afterwards because I felt a little wobbly and out of it. But it cleared up quickly.

9) If you are in, near, or can travel to San Diego for treatment, go see Dr. Jake Hollingsworth at Ketamine for Life. He's the best and I highly recommend him. He is also one of the cheaper providers.

10) I don't know how much saline was in my iv bag, but infusions took about 45 minutes.



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Colette Says:
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My Dr gave me oral Ketamine.By that you need to find a compound Pharmacist.
I had bottles of it with syringes.I drew up the amount and put it in my juice.It has no taste.I can't say anything about anxiety, I've had 25 back surgeries and had horrible neuropathy, leg pain down both my legs.I k ow it would be cheaper and my Ins
Company paid for it.I think it would be worth a try.Best wishes for a healthy life.
Colette

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will chill Says:

Wow, your story is what I've been looking for. Yes, I've heard that ketamine is like a miracle for people. I'm going to have an infusion for three days because I have chronic pain in my feet. I've also had depression for a good part of my adult life. The depression is related to situational, environmental factors. I can't wait to get started. Thank you very much for your testimony.

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Jewels Says:
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HELP ME! I have no life! Fear! PTSD. PERMANENT PAIN.

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