How did you decide to try ketamine

I’m curious for anyone here who has tried treatments such as ketamine, TMS, ECT, or anything else: how did you decide to do this? Did you have a psychiatrist or provider who recommended it? Did you decide on your own - and if so how did you know that it’s time? I guess what did you try beforehand until you decided to do it

I must admit I’m a bit intimidated. ECT seems kind of crazy to me since it’s actual seizures. Ketamine and TMS seem much more palatable but diverging from more traditional antidepressants does seem a bit new to me. My psychiatrist thinks I should continue trying antidepressants so adding an augmenting agent to SSRI now. i hate waiting and waiting and waiting and still feeling the same and i’m getting impatient. He seemed to think ketamine was still fringe. TMS seems more mainstream but I looked into it and the schedule is absolutely nuts. Also my psychiatrist doesn’t think I need to try that yet either

any of your experiences would be much appreciated. have a good long weekend everyone

Aviato, I suffered from profound depression for many years. Traditional antidepressant meds simply did not work for me, and I finally flushed the lot. Probably not the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but in my case it was the right choice. I then just lived with it for nearly 20 years, until it got bad again. I heard about LD ketamine infusion therapy, researched it thoroughly, and decided to try it. Since the regular meds didn’t work, I was approved and went through the initial series of six infusions in February. I’ve since had one follow up.

In my case, the improvement was profound, but this therapy is not for everyone. I almost didn’t go back after the first time, because I wasn’t ready for the intensity of the experience. I am however glad I saw it through. The bottom line is that I do recommend LD infusion therapy for drug resistant depression, but know what you’re getting in to. Try to talk openly and frankly with those who have undergone the experience so you’re better prepared than I was. Hope this helps.

Incidentally, my therapist does NOT recommend ECT at all, and that’s putting it mildly.

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Thank you for sharing your story, Sojourner. I am very glad to hear that you have had great improvement :slight_smile:
What is LD?
This is helpful for me, thanks a lot. If/when I decide to go down this route I will reach out and talk to some people to make sure I am ready.
It is also good to hear what your therapist says about ECT - I had been feeling similarly.
Happy Memorial Day to all :relaxed:

LD = low dose, as in ketamine infusion.

what made it too intense to almost return if i may ask?

@Surfsup, it was just a matter of being unprepared. I had read extensively about the infusion experience, but much of it said that I “might feel a little floaty”, or something similar. One description said that their “hands felt big”. It wasn’t long into my first infusion that I found myself in the midst of a full-blown psychedelic experience that I wasn’t ready for. Full disclosure-I came of age in the ‘60s-‘70s, so I had a little exposure to psychedelic experiences which probably helped, but it had been over 40 years prior. “Feeling a little floaty” does not equate to tripping your @** off. .

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As a person who’s been struggling with anxiety and depression my whole life which was constantly swept under the rug because of my young diagnosis of adhd which my childhood pediatrician never took seriously or listened to how the medication made me feel (I would say it made me feel weird sick and not hungry and he would constantly change or up my dosage making me feel worse and would say I needed to just stay on it and it would eventually help) this later caused me to have an eating disorder that I still struggle with to this day it took me 8 years to finally get treatment and a diagnosis of it after I cold turkey stopped a extremely high dosage of adhd medication that they had put me on since I was 8 years old and had a really bad panic attack that got me wrongfully baker acted with bipolar disorder which I do not have this caused my mental illnesses to spike and gave me extreme ptsd of any type of doctors or health treatment they put me on a handful of different anti anxiety & depression medications all of which didn’t work made me sick extremely angry or counteracted each other (making me too calm and numb causing my depression to spike or making me almost emotionless causing my anxiety to spike giving me flashbacks panic attacks and sleep paralysis) after 2 years I became completely hopeless thinking that there would never be a cure I turned to self medicating with thc n psychedelics this put me in the lowest point in my life which ended up getting me arrested I was mistreated sexualized and threatened by my small town police officers one of which knew me from my childhood (who after getting released asked for a hug in front of all the other officers) I was cavity searched on site in front of friends family neighbors and the whole police station after I told them repeatedly I had nothing on me they continued as I broke down crying begging them to stop and as a sexual assault victim this was the most traumatizing thing it caused me to spiral out of control having panic attacks and flashbacks everyday never sleeping or sleeping too much not eating and extreme thoughts of suicide making it almost impossible to function or even take care of myself I wanted to get my medical card because thc and cbd seemed to be the only thing that kind of helped me but with my criminal record It was not an option I had seen a few articles about ketamine and had heard about it from my sisters friend and he said it help immensely I talked to my family it took a few months of convincing but I’m happy to say im almost halfway through with my ketamine transfusions and am already feeling better I finally see hope and a future for myself

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@Alissaturner I’m so sorry to read some of the things you have gone through :frowning:
Thanks so much for sharing your story and I am sending all my best wishes to you :hugs:
You are strong and brave. There is always hope and you definitely have a future :slight_smile:
Best of luck, stay strong, you can do it :slight_smile:

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hi @Alissaturner I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story, it makes me mad to hear about some of these things that have happened and i wish i could help. thank you for being brave and posting this and i hope you are doing better and that ketamine has been working well for you

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I have a similar trauma history. It boggles the mind that these things happen and even more so when ppl won’t even believe me when I tell them. U r very brave for sharing here.

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My mom was doing some reading and told me about ketamine therapy. I thought it was just a rave drug at the time. I had no idea this medicine would change my life.

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I attempted suicide 3 years ago. Even after that my struggles were real. I cannot count the anti-depressants and mood altering drugs I have been prescribed over 30 years. One particular drug gave me a nervous breakdown when I was at work in Hawaii. A Psychiatrist at the hospital mentioned it to me. I had heard about it in passing, but immediately researched it and started IV infusion after that. It is not a cure all, and I still have so many struggles. Losing my son last summer? I have barely held on. I stopped all drug therapy except Ketamine. Life is still too hard since my son died. I am starting a new Ketamine infusion regimen along with meditating & this APP of course. I am hoping more than anything that I find relief in this God awful disease and pain that I am cursed with.

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I went through 18 ECTs and saw no improvement. What it did do was increase my migraine problem to 10-15 migraines a month and mess up my short term memory. When I brought up ketamine infusions to my VA psychiatrist she didn’t think it would work. Well I did my research and decided to go ahead and pay out of pocket. Its been 16 years of treatment resistant major depressive disorder. I just can’t go through another med change and the ups and downs of each new med. I start my infusions on Monday. I am all in and hoping this works

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I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope that your ketamine therapy helps you to deal with your grief. Helped me with mine. Welcome!

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For me, depression, anxiety, and ADD have been diagnosed problems for almost 30 years. Traditional anti-depressants never had a sustainable benefit, and many of the different insurances I had on different jobs politely and emphatically refused to cover anything but generic Zoloft, Prozac, or super low dose anti-anxiety drugs. And getting Adderall or methyl phenidate to manage ADD has a delightful stigma here in MD. At the beginning of 2021 after the loss of my mother, I found myself alone and miserable.

I decided the Universe was trying to tell me something. The answer I found was to stop trusting the corporate healthcare system. It is a for profit industry. Bottom lines are acutely more important than patient outcomes, IMHO. So they can f*ck right off, twice. I weaned myself off of all the anti-depressants, and since my then doctor was hard to convince that I indeed needed pharmaceutical help to manage ADD, I quit that easily. Ground Zero… Gostaz with nothing but white knuckles, weed, and alcohol… that wasn’t gonna cut it, so what next?

I figured I had a few alternatives. ECT? Nope. Watched a friend endure the treatments, only to take his own life a few months later. And the last few months of his life, he was not himself. Crushing migraines, hallucinations, and zero help from the clinic that zapped him. Hard Nope to ECT.

TMS? I tried to talk to a few clinics about patient outcomes and all I was told was that it works for everyone. I spoke at length with a director of a clinic that was then local to me, and found the director putting off a serious “used car salesman” vibe. Again, corporate healthcare, Hard Nope.

MDMA? I think it has promise, but I am intimidated by the process, and could not find anything reasonably local. Not a Hard Nope, but a Not Yet.

Ayahuasca? Same issue. Nothing local. Not Yet.

Psilocybin? Still learning. Not Yet.

Ketamine. I spoke to the doctor running a fairly local clinic. We spoke for over a half hour. For free. Success rates of 70%? That sounds good but not utopian. I found the doctor to be personable, and felt a true empathic energy from him as he explained what brought him to open a Ketamine Clinic. I was impressed and hopeful. After my 4th infusion, I still have questions and much to learn, but I do feel a positive difference in my life. I am far from “cured”, but there is magic in progress which breeds hope.

Is my journey over? Have I arrived at a stoping point? I truly cannot say. I can, however, say that I have seen progress, and I have hope. And after 30 years? That is priceless.

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Oh my yes, I had the same kind of car salesman attitude with TMS. I got off of my antidepressant after 20 years on ssri’s just recently and I have been crazy anxious hardly able to function sick and so afraid of what is going to happen next. The TMS DR has no compassion at all just go in a hospital which I will not, and at my 2weekmark his PA was really impersonal about my being so anxious that I can barely function so I am not very willing to try TMS. Maybe one day, but probably not. So I’m in the same boat with my white knuckles and a little weed. Good luck on your journey and I’m sorry that you had to endure all of this alone.

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Cannabis is the second best medicine I know.

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