Feeling really depressed

Hi, I’ve had 3 treatments /infusions so far. After my first infusion within 24-36 hours I started feeling joy again and hopeful and feeling excited for the future which I haven’t felt in years. I’ve had years of traditional talk therapy, 20+ years of being on some sort of antidepressants. Depression anxiety runs in my family. I am a pharmacist (which most people don’t realize is a very high stress job). I work 12-15 hour days without breaks (yes it’s actually legal), we are never given enough help and I’m often working alone expected to fill rxs, answer the phone, cashier, provide immunizations, administer psych shots, answer everyone’s questions, not ever sit down(they threw away our stools) I had to buy myself one after having hip repair surgery (caused by standing for long hours). Yet I’m too embarrassed to even use it as sitting has a stigma. I’ve been robbed twice at the pharmacy at gunpoint and tied up with duct tape.
Anyhow, I’m losing topic after infusion 2 and 3 I’ve been very pessimistic, can’t get myself motivated to do anything, uncontrollably crying, angry, tired, very weepy. Is this part of the process? Anything I should focus on before my next infusion?

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My impression thus far is that it’s impossible to say what’s normal during this process for any of us - but I, too, definitely have experienced a lot of emotional upheaval during this process (I will receive infusions 5 & 6 next week). In my case the emotional upheaval has made me feel pretty vulnerable at times - felt a lot like anxiety.

One of the CNA’s giving me infusions commented that for some if us it seems like when our depression is improved…we feel more anxiety. (My case) And if our anxiety improves we feel more depressed! So sounds like what you’re experiencing is not unusual….albeit NOT FUN.

My psychiatric nurse practitioner warned me that not everyone makes it through treatment because they have a hard time dealing with all the emotions that are stirred up. I was glad to have that warning because at least I knew going in that it might be rough at times. That just because my emotions have been a bit raw… doesn’t mean the treatment (or I) has failed.

Hang in there with your treatment. I have the impression that many of us have been discouraged in the middle of treatment. Thus far after #4 I finally feel like I’m making headway and am more reassured that real healing progress is happening in my brain. Hopefully it will be the same for you!

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Oh - forgot about focus. Maybe try a few words that express what you want to feel? “Love and happiness “ for example. For me, my focuses have been words like “release” “flow” “love” “healing” and reassurances like “I am loved” “I am wanted” “I am safe” - because these are the things I have needed to feel during times of trauma. Hope this helps!! Keep reaching out to the wonderful community here. We are all in this together. :heart:

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It is different for all of us but it sounds like you are working through some difficult stuff! It’s OK to have emotions and to let it out. I believe that is part of the process.

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Thank you all for your advise and taking the time to comment. I have my 4 th treatment today.

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I know it’s cliche for me to say, but “hang in there” and I say this because for me, it took all 6 infusions to REALLY feel the long(er) lasting relief. After the first 3, I too was scared that maybe the infusions wouldn’t help me but by the 5th one, and especially the 6th, I truly felt relief from my depression for what felt like the first time in my life. I’ve been getting infusions now for 4 years (I get a “Maintenance” infusion once every 4-8 weeks) and I can honestly say I feel joy. Life still happens and there have been times I needed to get a couple extra infusions (for example when my best friend passed away I needed to get 3 in a row) but I am living what is starting to REALLY feel like a normal life now that ketamine is in my life. Patience can be hard but give it the full course of 6 before you really assess if it’s working for you

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I’ve done 3 as well so we are on the same ride. After years of being on the anti-depressant train, I have been pretty numb to all emotions other than anger for several years. I noticed after the first infusion that I could ‘tear up’. No cry, but tear up. I feel like this is a step in the right direction. Maybe your infusions are opening a door that’s been closed. Could be it’s doing it’s job opening and reviving the glutamate receptors that have become inactive, thus enabling the flow of emotions.

Before my last infusion, I listened to a motivational speaker and did a short guided meditation for mental clarity right before going in. It put me in a good frame of mind (you know, as good as one can get when perpetually depressed). Once I got settled for the treatment, I put on some nice music for meditation and focused on setting my intention, which was, “I will see joy. I will feel joy. I will be joy.” Joy is not something I feel normally, and can’t say I bounced out of there afterward, but I do feel a lighter weight on my shoulders.

I hope your treatments help you find some joy. :slight_smile:

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Hi Sandy - oh my heart goes out to you. I understand your stress from work as I am nurse and it is similar. I can’t believe I did it but i changed jobs and my new job is so laid back. I do get very depressed btwn some infusions and I try to get right back in for booster. I can feel the sadness and despair creeping in. I hope you find relief :purple_heart:

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What you’re describing fits my experience with the IM and at home lozenges very closely. For weeks I was balling my eyes out in my car on the way to work, at work, and coming home from work. I was having regular breakdowns, and didn’t think I was going to make it through. With the support of my wife I pushed further along the path. I’m not out of the woods, mind you, but I have gotten better at finding my way. The sessions helped with that immensely.

The way I see it is that we are all energy. Everything is energy, and energy needs to flow. I think the tears are apart of that movement. I have gone through bouts of screaming til my voice was hoarse, punching my couch til I was exhausted, and crying til I was dehydrated. Like I said, I’m not out of the woods, but there are clearings along the way, and I’ve been able to appreciate them now.

One thing I’ve found very useful during my treatments is breathwork, meditation, writing my thoughts, and talking out loud about my feelings and recording that and listening to the recordings. Maybe there’s a combo there that could be useful for you as well.

One final thing I’d like to say is that you’re not alone. We don’t know each other, I know, but I love you and each person in the community for having the courage to do what you’re doing. Someone told me once during a very dark moment of my life “you heal, we all heal”. I believe we are all One. When each of us heals, then the collective heals and becomes stronger.

Thank you for your courage each and everyone of you.

Strong! Hopefulsandy. Strong!

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I was still crying hard after my 3rd infusion of the initial 6 series. It made me feel worried that it wasn’t working. But after finishing the series, and now being onto boosters—I can’t even believe how down I used to feel. Some of the answers questions on the phq9, I’m like holy cow, I was feeling like this every day?

I hope you can hang in there for now :yellow_heart:

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I hope it’s extremely enjoyable and beneficial! I can’t wait to get my next infusion; it’s been a rough month!

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Hi Miriam,
I’m 81 and just getting by financially. I’ve had 8 infusions since the last week in June. I loved your post that you had never felt so good after the infusions. It looks like in order to function I’m getting an infusion every two weeks. This is not affordable. Is there any hope?

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I definitely felt worse than ever shortly after my last infusion. I can’t get antidepressants to work for me anymore. I am really starting to think the ketamine has messed me up pretty bad. I’m trying TMS now. I pray it helps. I’ve been miserable and unmotivated for months now since ketamine.

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I’m so sorry Dawna - I hope additional treatment works for you. Just goes to show everyone’s brain is different - no perfect answer/solution.

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Dawna have you ever tried amino acid therapy? I’ve definitely had some luck with them (L-tyrosine, DLPA, etc.) but it was tough to use them/find the sweet spot while still on antidepressants. If you’re not taking any meds, maybe look into that. The book i used was The Mood Cure by Julia Ross but I’m sure there are others. I’m so sad to hear you’re still suffering post ketamine treatments. I haven’t tried ket yet, still doing my research and scared. Anyway, just thought I’d chime in if it helps you any. Sending hugs and light to you.:cherry_blossom::purple_heart:

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Medicaid is covering intramuscular ketamine with about a $30 co-pay.

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Please, make sure to update the group about your results with TMS. Thanks.

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I’m doing much better after TMS. I still have about 12 more sessions, but it’s definitely helped so far. I have more energy, focus, motivation, and much less depression.

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So glad to hear that, I am happy for you and hopeful about having another option if Ketamine doesn’t brings me over my mental ridge. Thank you for that Dawn

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Thanks for your post! I have only had 2 treatments, and expected to feel something profound. Hasn’t happened yet, but I need to learn to be patient with this. Your post is encouraging for those who don’t have an immediate positive response. Good luck! Glad you are feeling better!

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