My ketamine experience

I am so glad to have discovered this forum after having recently experienced Ketamine treatment. Would love to share my experience and get some input. I’ve had some incredible experiences with Ketamine but never had the feeling that it cured my depression (as I’ve heard others say). I’m curious to what extent my experience is different than others or similar… Were my expectations too high? Do I just happen to be of the small percent that aren’t really helped through ketamine therapy? Or do I just need to embrace the positive experiences I’ve had and accept them as just part of my healing journey?

As I mentioned I’ve had some incredible, profound, cosmic experiences with K. I started with a series of 5 infusions. My infusions were remarkable journeys through other realms of reality, through space, time and consciousness. For the most part, I absolutely loved the experiences. After almost every infusion I felt some degree of “afterglow” for at least a day or at times a few days where I felt somewhat more positive. Like I said I never had an experience that I would describe as my depression being “cured.”

My depression is primarily a very chronic, persistent, mild depression and continuous cycling of anxiety and negative worried thoughts. I would also say to some extent l live with PTSD after some traumatic childhood events.

I’m not sure I ever felt like the haze cleared and I never really experienced the feeling of being “normal” that I’ve glimpsed on a couple of occasions in my life.

I then got prescribed a nasal spray. On a few occasions I’ve taken several sprays, put on a mask and some headphones and had experiences similar to my infusions but in the comfort of my own home and without having to cut it short after an hour or so.

Again amazing experiences during which I’ve had moments of feeling wonderful about my life and myself.

But the feeling always eventually fades and I find myself back to normal, my normal habits, negative spiraling thoughts, insecurities, lack of self confidence, feelings of victimhood, etc…

I did take a small dose from my spray this last weekend followed by an hour long meditation that felt like maybe the best K therapy I’ve experienced so far and am going to try continuing this approach.

Overall just curious about any reflections on my experiences with K and my outcomes. Again were my expectations too high that I was going to go through a few infusions and just magically come out feeling happier? Or is this really happening to people? I’ve written a lot about my experiences and would definitely say I’ve had some valuable insights but again nothing that has profoundly shifted my sense of my self. I’ve also taken a decent amount of psychedelic drugs in my life so not all the insights from my sessions were 100% new. I’ve wondered if I approached Ketamine in the wrong way…did something wrong somehow…should I have done guided sessions with a therapist? Am I just too attached to my negativity fear victimhood etc and afraid to let it all go (as much as I’ve tried to work through it all in therapy)? Or were my expectations reasonable based on what others have experienced? Should I try more infusions for any reason? (Though I have to say it’s hard to justify the cost when I can have such profound and positive experiences using just the nasal spray at home)

Thanks in advance for any input and once again very glad to have discovered this community!

-e

4 Likes

Hello e and AMEN!!!
Really appreciate all of your honesty and openness on all your experiences and thoughts. I couldn’t have said it any better than you and it is as if your thoughts are mine after having just 2 infusions and I loved the first infusion. I think all of the options out there are just tools to help us through the horrible world of depression which in some ways for some of us there may be no real cure/remission. I told my wife that where i was is that K is my last hope as I can’t take it anymore and that I was DONE if I didn’t get some relief. Thank God I did get the much needed relief and now it’s deciding the best route for me to continue on one of the hardest journeys in my life. Jim

2 Likes

I think the experience is not the same for everyone and that yours is as valid as anyone else’s. Sometimes we can try different techniques to enhance the experience. I have lozenges for at home use and will do guided meditations for specific purposes such as letting go of anxiety. Lots of them are on youtube or Gaia. Using guided meditations are sort of like having that therapist there. During my infusions I use playlists but I do meditation beforehand to set my intentions/goals for the deep cosmic meditation that infusions send me into. I try to use lucid dream techniques to move toward those goals during the infusion. If u have had other psychedelic experience and they were in the context of spiritual approach, like Ayahuasca ceremony for example, then u may already be familiar with such techniques and am not sure how u can further enhance your experience. But I’ve approached my treatment this way as much as possible and strongly feel it’s the reason it was so effective for me. In scientific practice, I was trying to take full advantage of the sudden more malleable neuroplasticity offered by these experiences by using these techniques to the fullest extent possible each time, if I was able. Sometimes at home, I get interrupted and then I have to pull out of the meditation and go address whatever it is and then it’s a wierd thing. Not negative per say, but I prefer the meditative spiritual approach as much as possible when I can get it as that has always yielded the most dramatic results. It wasn’t till last week that my depression scores reach zero. But I started this treatment in mid October so some time was definitely needed and I was going back for infusions often. My situation is like yours, with extensive trauma history, etc, so I was prescribed the lozenges for between infusions and that really is what helped me to get totally out of the depression zone. Now I pay attention to when anxiety shows up and use a lozenge accordingly. The PTSD symptoms have significantly subsided, but not in their entirety. There’s still some manifestation of it, but it’s relatively minor in comparison to prior to beginning this treatment.

3 Likes

Morning KetKat,
Thanks for all your valuable insights…I am SO HAPPY for you on your journey/experiences with Ketamine.

2 Likes

I really hope others can get this level of relief. It’s unreal. Too good to be true but it is and I’m amazed. I am fortunate I was prescribed these lozenges. Not everyone gets a k product for between infusions and I think some ppl, like myself, really need them to make it out and actually be ok.

2 Likes

Thanks for the responses here. It really does help me to more graciously accept the benefits of my experiences rather than discounting them as not having met my expectations.

I had an incredible experience this last weekend with my nasal spray and a playlist from the Kriya institute (which is also who led me to this forum).

While meditating and listening to the first playlist linked from their site, I went into one of the deepest meditations I’ve ever experienced. I really felt my mind and my anxieties unraveling and experienced my mind in such a pure and beautiful state. I got the profound feeling that I was awakening. Saw how much of my life and experience is in slumber and unconscious (especially in terms of being disconnected from my true potential). In this awareness I was becoming more connected to the expanse of my truth.

While I eventually came down from the experience, it’s still at least 10% with me and when just closing my eyes and breathing now feel like something more profound is more readily available.

I guess like anything else it’s a step by step journey. At least for me :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Biggest thing K has taught me so far is how massive my potential is while at the same time, that everything in this world is just illusion.

3 Likes

What u have described here is definitely very similar to how I feel about my own experiences.

I’m answering before reading everybody else’s responses so I don’t change what I’m going to say. My change from feeling depressed to normal with very mild depression came around the 18th monthly infusion. I like to think that repeated monthly infusions somehow rewired my brain so the tendency to wallow in the funk of depression receded bit by bit in the 12-18 month session time frame. With regard to your “expectations”. The science has not been done enough for anyone to have expectations. As you’ll read here everybody is an individual and hence different. You need to have a good 5-10 minute dialogue before each infusion and try out different things so you can get your sessions dialed-in to what works best for you. example. In order to alleviate some anxiety at the beginning of my initial 6 sessions, I got hit with some Versed. Worked great for anxiety, but he amnesic effect all but negated the therapeutic effect of the ketamine. Sessions after that it was eliminated and that’s when infusions became more effective. I found the 1 hr protocol just felt way to short. I wasn’t in that dissociative window long enough. Now I do 90 minute sessions. I’m about 180 lbs and 200mg of ket is administered. I only got an afterglow 1 time (the next day). Usually I hate the time immediately post-infusion and the next day. This will subside after a few days. The initial “wow this feels great”, subsides after a few months. It becomes a bit of a chore to do an infusion. The patients and clinicians here are doing ground breaking stuff for which there is currently not much if any science. Understand that paradigm, work with it and contribute what you can here. And as one of my favorite psychiatrist’s used to say at the close of every appointment… “feel better”.

Why do u say no science? I’ve seen the science… The studies show that neurons and dendrites are being regrown, especially for feel good mood neurotransmitters. This was shown with brain biopsies prior to and after ketamine administration. That’s definitely science.

2 Likes

I’ve seen studies regarding the 6 initial sessions but nothing as using it for ongoing maintenance of depression. If you’ve got links to studies please post them. I’d love to read them.

1 Like

Hmm. U r looking for long term studies that lasted several years on depressed individuals? Yea, I don’t think I’ve seen that either. But we do know that the k works and that what is observed by clinics is usually ppl start needing it often and slowly need less over time, meaning infusions r spaced further apart. That seems to be the reported pattern. I agree on looking into this further. But I’m sure the reason anyone returns is that it’s fixing those areas of the brain. Because the other problem is if u r going thru more trauma, it can cause similar damage to occur again due to the brains neuroplasticity. My problem is like that. Ppl keep doing awful things to me so it counteracts the k and hence I was back often and then put on lozenges. Now it’s much easier for me to handle being in abusive situations emotionally. But they still shouldn’t be happening. In all honesty, ppl should just stop being abusive. But that seems to never be targeted unless u r a child. As an adult, Ive observed this is a flaw in the system. No one cares about sending in a gazillion agencies to help adults. Once u turn 18 the system just wants to medicate u and not solve the reasons u ended up like this in the first place.

3 Likes

I know this sounds simple stupid but we need to change the picture in our minds if we want different results. Ketamine is a tool. We are all a little different, so our responses will be different. Let the ketamine help you. There is no magic pill for the grief that comes with life sometimes. It’s normal to be down sometimes. It’s abnormal to be so down that you can’t get out of bed. If you can get out of bed and you struggle before your ketamine is helping.

1 Like

I think people that are depressed can be really hard on themselves. Try to be good to yourself. I definitely am one of my worst enemies!

2 Likes

AMEN!!! My counselor also describes depression as anger turned inward…makes sense.

1 Like

After my first therapy I was very encouraged, felt like it brought an awareness of trauma I had not dealt with completely. However, on the second day after the K treatment I had a severe return to the pain of the trauma. It was incredibly hard to have that short period of relief only to return to the severe characteristics of PTSD e.g. flashbacks, night terror, overall emotional pain. I am trying to encourage myself thinking about the Ketamine as a process like any therapy. With that said, the thought of another K treatment does bring a different kind of relapse anxiety.
Did you have any kind of experience like this description? Do I hear you saying the lozenge helps prevent these types of relapse?

Lozenges definitely help and they are a lighter form of ketamine. However I think they only give you a little bit of relief short term. The infusions is what really helps you. The lozenges definitely support it. You can take one and meditate if you are having a bad day, and it’s a great reset! This is a process and you need to support it with some kind of talk therapy I believe. There are a lot of people here that will support you!

1 Like

Thank you. I see my therapist at least once a week, sometimes twice a week. I am looking forward to the support of folks on this site.

2 Likes

I found that I was getting relief right away. In a year I have gotten my physical depression almost completely under control. Once a month is working really good for me. I think going into it with a good attitude and something you really want to think or work on really helps. I think by my third or fourth infusion I could feel a real difference in my attitude. Like @KetKat said its different for all of us. Even feeling a little bit better helps you to do the work that you need to do. Welcome! This is the best safe place to talk with other people getting ketamine therapy.

2 Likes