Flashbacks

During my first IM Ketamine treatment I experienced some intense and terrifying flashbacks. My therapist was with me and helped walk me through the experience. Has anyone else experienced flashbacks? I am diagnosed with chronic PTSD after years of extreme trauma. Do you think the flashbacks indicate to little or maybe to high dose of Ketamine?

From what I have researched, flashbacks are a necessary and desirable component of the ketamine therapy experience. Bringing them to the surface is needed to be able to confront and overcome. I believe the ability to face them gets easier with each treatment. My first infusion was the most difficult as well. But I am on my third and it’s keeps getting progressively better.

Thank you for responding. So have you reached the dissociative state other people report or has it been more a progression of the flashbacks. It is good to hear it has gotten better for you with more treatments.

My pleasure. I have not yet reached the disassociative state yet. I have reached hallucinogenic and incapacitated states though. My APRN said I may get it in one of my next 3 remaining infusions as the dose increases. She said reaching the disassociative state is preferable, but not absolutely necessary. I have found that some form of media, either dream visuals (if you keep your eyes open) that can be found on youtube or a pre-curated playlist of music that is familiar to you with a duration that will last the entire session helps immensely with the experience.

I wear a mask as my eyes seem extremely light sensitive when I am on the Ketamine. I am using IM treatments instead of the infusion. The doctor said he was going to increase the dose next time. I am putting together a playlist more familiar to me than the one I used last time. The flashbacks are so intense however, my therapist was at the session and I feel we did make some breakthrough. Good to hear the familiarity with the playlist should help.

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I can almost assure you based on my experience, that your ability to cope with the flashbacks will get easier as the treatment progresses and your body adjusts to the such a new type of experience. Hopefully the ability to reconcile the conflict comes as result, hence resolving the PTSD. Please keep us posted.

That is so reassuring, thank you. I am working really hard to be positive however, the night terrors and flashbacks have made it extremely difficult to function on a daily basis. I often feel like I am just existing. I am encouraged by the possibilities of the Ketamine treatments and am holding tight to that hope. I will keep you posted. I really appreciate the support.

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