First Appointment NEED ADVICE


I just had my first ketamine therapy session this morning and I’m quite baffled by the experience.

I thought of nothing. The whole experience just felt like I was wading through mud. I didn’t see anything. I was told to not set any “intention” for the first round but now I’m really anxious about round two.

It was bizarre, oddly exhausting and left me a bit bewildered. It almost felt as if I was just stuck in the dark. No lights, no visuals, just muddy heaviness and coldness.

Is every treatment different? Can I expect a different experience next time? How do you set an intention? I’m so confused!! Help!

@Jackiehilltx What kind of treatment was this? IV or IM?

My guess (and of course I am not a doctor!) is that your dosage was much too light - not enough for you to disassociate but just enough to make you feel weird. That would be pretty awful. And it sounds like you could use a blanket, too. Mine was light my first time. Although I did disassociate I kept popping in and out due to distractions, etc.

Yes, every one is different and it’s REALLY important for you to communicate your experience to your clinic before the next infusion. They will definitely want to make an adjustment to your dosage. And yes, I imagine if they get that straightened out it will be a very different experience!

How to set an intention: That’s the relatively easy part. An intention is just an idea you focus on while relaxing before treatment kicks in. It can be a specific treatment goal you’ve discussed with your therapist. It can be something as simple as reassuring phrases like “I am healing”. “I am safe”. When you’re in the middle of an infusion it can be helpful to have that phrase or word to fall back upon if you start feeling scared or confused. Sometimes just a word, like “Love” can be surprisingly powerful and grounding in a good way during treatment.

Hope this helps - I’m sure the rest of the community will have some excellent input and advice.


Thanks for the reply. Yes it was an intramuscular injection!

I definitely was distracted throughout the session. At one point I could hear workers outside the building and that took all of my focus off of the session.

I go back Friday but I kind of felt like canceling. I will go now and let them know that it just felt muddy and strange. I actually told my husband I need a blanket and noise canceling headphones!!

Thanks for the advice:)

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@Jackiehilltx I’m glad if it helped. I don’t have any experience with intramuscular treatment - that’s why I asked. But of course there are similarities. Don’t give up yet! Maybe @Deb can chime in - I think she does IM.

@Jackiehilltx oh and I forgot to mention many of us also like to use eye coverings - ones that block the light but allow you to open your eyes. But a warm blanket and headphones make a big difference! :blush:

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@Jackiehilltx Your first experience sounds very similar to my first session (IM Injection) In fact, mine had me feeling so strange I became very hypervigilant (PTSD) and kept trying to get up and leave. My therapist was with me and helped to keep me from leaving (I worked with my therapist for almost 6 months before we tried Ketamine (she a trained in Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy) so having her in the room with me is actually very comforting.
After discussing my results with the MD at the clinic it was determined the dosage was much to low. They increased the dosage and the next session was better however, it took one more increase in dosage before I was able to relax and work with the experience. As @Shepherdess said the intention can be very simply a positive word or phrase e.g. I am healing, I am loved. My Dad died when I was 11 months old so my goal/intention is to try and create a connection with him. As my therapist advised an intention is important however, also be willing to go where the Ketamine takes you is also important.
Honestly, I cannot say any two experience have been the same. I have some reoccurring scenes however, every session has brought new images. I am not as experienced as some of our friends on this site (I have had 6 IM injection sessions and will be going in soon for my 7th). With that said, the eye mask, blanket (in fact a weighted blanket has been very successful for me) and carefully chosen music is essential for me (if my therapist was not in the room with me I would use noise cancelling ear buds).
One of the things I have/am learning is to be patient. Ketamine is a process and does take time. My therapist reminds me there is many years to process.
I would encourage you to try again and work to articulate as clearly as you can your experience with your clinic.
As @shepherdess said, this an incredibly supportive group of people who all have a distinct element in common. We are here for you. I am so happy you shared today and asked questions. Please don’t hesitate to use the site with questions, concerns or simply a need for encouragement. We’ve got your back!


What a wonderful response!! Gosh I feel overwhelmed at how supportive your answers have been.

I am going to speak to the NP who administers the injunctions and describe the void where I seemed to just be stuck. At one point I was calling out for God and it was nothing but background noise. Not in a scary way calling out but more of a curious unsure if I’m in the right place kind of way… Like you-hoo is anybody out there?! Haha!

After a bit it sounded like I was in a noisy restaurant but still I could only see rolling black. Just a bizarre space.

I will be taking my favorite weighted blanket, headphones and an eye mask on Friday. My injection is not until 7 PM so I’m looking forward to being able to go to bed straight away. This session has left me feeling like I was treading water for an hour straight. And I’m pretty snappy this evening because I felt confused about the therapy.

Your insight is amazing. Thank you for the encouragement. I really am praying this therapy works!


@Jackiehilltx Let us know how Friday goes. My thoughts and prayers will be with you.