Severe Anxiety during second infusion

So my first treatment was Monday the 22nd of this month. I had a great experience overall. I did have some anxiety during the first treatment but only 3 to 4 times. This second treatment it stayed nearly the entire time. I almost wanted to stop the treatment. Has anyone else had a similar experience? My dosage was lower this time and I’m thinking that played a major factor. I meditated before hand, worked out hard in the morning, did my normal thing so no changes to day to day life. I didn’t reach the same self love feeling as the first time. I literally laughed out loud at my depression on my first treatment. Totally different experiences but I feel good! These past two days have been my best head space since coming home from a deployment in 2019. Thanks ahead of time for the replies!

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I’m really surprised your provider decreased the dose for your second treatment. Usually the “loading” doses series allows them to increase the dose and see what works for you. I’d definitely ask to go back to your initial dose next time.

OTOH, ups and downs within the first couple of doses are pretty normal. You might consider adding Magnesium - either into the IV treatment or as a daily supplement. Recent research shows that ketamine and magnesium work together well to produce a better result, and the magnesium is better at reducing anxiety than ketamine. I added it to my routine while in the initial loading doses, and definitely noticed the difference.

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To start, in regards to your reference to deployment:

Thank you for your service.

I have not served, but I have family and friends that have. Thank you.

I have had anxiety during treatments. Mine was related to a ‘bad trip’ 35+ years ago on street blotters. I was a ‘fry baby’. I loved the stuff, until it didn’t love me anymore.

I had a few “Oh, shit” moments during my 6 dose build up. But, based on my bad trip, followed by a flashback, I did my best to not focus on “Oh, shit” and just observe what was happening. It made a big difference.

I have commented that (for me) it is kind of like the difference between being on the beach and letting the waves roll over you, versus sitting in the street and letting a truck run over you. (Not so)Subtle difference, but it works for me. I remember to breathe, and then just observe. I don’t try to fight it, control it, do anything with it. Just observe. It helps that I know that ketamine has a short half-life, so no matter how bad it gets, the worst of it will be over in a half hour or so.

It can be a rough ride, and it isn’t for everybody. I have a friend that started treatment at the same clinic that I go to, and couldn’t/wouldn’t complete the series. He does troches and nasal spray, but not the injections.

During one of my early sessions (during my build up series) I could hear the person in the next room. I don’t recall everything, I wasn’t intentionally eavesdropping, plus I was en route to a vacation to Venus, but something they kept telling/yelling to themselves (along with the stream of consciousness rap) was “I am opening my mind…”

One of the CNA’s where I go told me that he once found himself treating a former superior officer from his deployment. The former officer was having a hard time and told the CNA “I can’t do this…” The CNA told him, “Yes you can. We have been through worse together”

Be strong! To inject a little humor and quote from a song I don’t remember, “What doesn’t kill you makes your story longer.”

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Thank you for the support! I appreciate it greatly. I just always look back at coming home as a huge turning point for my mental health to quickly decline. Everyday has been terrible since but that first treatment rewired my mind to love myself.

I’ve never heard that fry baby saying before. I never got into the psychedelics before other than ecstacy feeling once or twice. Coke once. All in middle school nothing after.

I will do my best to observe if it starts to get funky. I think I need to be at a certain level of ketaminr to truly access that self love I felt. I felt my soul hug itself. So strange but amazing. I love the beach so that’ll be a perfect for me to imagine. Thank you!

That is a good point on not trying to end the treatment. Because as my doctor explained, even if you don’t have the best treatment that day, the medicine is still actively working in your brain.

I never thought of quitting. I quit too many times in life and this fight is for me. I can see why the other applications work for other people though. My mother in law would’ve have rather died than had a needle in her.
Plus I really love my support team there. I relate with the guy who sits in with me. He’s still active duty and working there on his off time which is amazing. He loves seeing the patients get such great help from the medicine. He says as soon as he gets out he’s going to get on it. The military would never let a troop open their mind.

That’s really inspiring and thank you again.

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Thank you for the support! I was but I wasn’t. I was pretty out there and wanted to scream. I was very talkative. But it was good for me. I had been so down in my shell I hadn’t let go in forever. It was amazing. We discussed the dosage after and all 3 agreed to up the dose. I’m kind of worried to ask for my original dose. The doc said I gave them a show lol! That’s a great idea and I will do that! I would’ve never guessed a vitamin could help with anxiety but I belive it! Gotta love the smart people finding all of this stuff out.

Thanks again!

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Thank you for your service. I thought I saw Satan behind the door during my very first infusion. I had no clue what to expect, had never taken psychedelics, and being drugged terrified me. I got over the terror by now holding a religious object during infusions which helps ground me. I find Injections a very unpleasant experience overall but my mental state / prayer helps me get through them.

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Thank you for the support! That is scary! I’m glad you’ve stuck it out and I will do the same. I just have to remind myself that the medicines still doing its thing even if I don’t have a good experience.

Fry Baby…early/mid '80s, I was probably dropping about 2 blotters a week for a year or so. Sometimes more. I would do 2 or 3 days in a row, and learned about short term tolerance. 1 worked the first day, it took 2or 3 the next, I don’t think I ever did more than 4 or 5. Fry was the term my people referred to ‘acid’ as, whether or not it was LSD. Partially in reference to the Reagan era “Just Say No” TV ad of “…this is your brain on drugs…” with the video of an egg dropping into a hot skillet and frying. Hell, I’ve never known what I took. All I knew was that I could get it on a budget, liked it and it really knocked me for a loop. Surrealistic Pillow was profound. Hunting Lodge and Current 93 were prophetic. (“We wandered to far/To far into the wolf hour…”)

I can’t say that I ever saw Satan lurking, maybe directly, in the mirror. I can say that the night that I went over the edge I felt like I was in hell. If you have ever seen “In the Company of Wolves” (Freudian werewolf take on Little Red Riding Hood as menstrual coming of age), my physical sensations felt like the wolf transformation in that movie, snout pushing out through my face, etc. I could run my hands over my face, look in the mirror and see that it wasn’t, but inside, I felt that way for 2 or 3 hours. My mind went into a spiral questioning my sanity, sexuality, familial relationships, mix and repeat. After crying in the dark under my covers (and scaring the shit out of my room mate, also tripping) for 3 or 4 hours, I finally got dressed and walked the mile or so to the nearest hospital and checked myself in to the ER. Not much help. I told them what was going on. They checked vitals to make sure I wasn’t dead, then left me alone in the room and checked on me from time to time. Goddammit. I wanted Thorazine. Bring me back to earth.

A few weeks after that a friend got some good weed, I flashed back and spent 4 hours cleaning my fridge until I came down from that to maintain sanity. After that, I would go to sleep and start dreaming. Dreaming is close to hallucinating. I would get scared (while dreaming) and wake up. Once I was awake I was fine. But I was awake. I went a couple of months not getting more than about 3 hours sleep at a time. I ended up drinking like a fish to get back to sleep.

I guess that has made any rough rides with ketamine tolerable. As I have said elsewhere, knowing that I will at least be able to see the ground, if not stand on it, after 1/2 hour or so after the end of treatment, sometimes during treatment, as opposed to 4+ hours before I even start to come down makes any K discomfort easier to deal with.

Where is this going? Shit, I don’t know. I don’t claim any profound Truth because of any of this. I’m just saying what happened to me. I suppose I can say, no matter how rough it seems at the time, it will come back to reality (whatever that may be). No matter how F**ked up it seems at the time, I have some grasp that it is ‘all in my head’. The drug will wear off, and I will be me again (for better or worse). Once I am no longer “8 Miles High”, I can think about the whole experience, although for me, “Let It Be” seems to work. Trying to apply meaning hasn’t gotten me anywhere. I am looking into finding affordable integrative co-therapy.

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Wow that’s something to do that much acid.
Your story is truly inspiring because you never quit even when at the bottom. Thank you for the tips and tricks. I will have that mindset to let it be for my future treatments. Definitely getting huge benefits already.

@salty, you remind me a little of Richard Alpert before he became everybody’s favorite guru. Until he ran into a guy that took a double dose of his DMT with no effect. It did nothing.

What ever else I might think of him, “Be Here Now” is still good advice.

What, you don’t like gay, overachieving professors that get thrown out of Harvard for dropping acid all the time? Actually, I think it was Timothy Leary that dubbed him “everybody’s favorite guru”, if I recall correctly.

@salty don’t know where you are, but that might have been me next door. I sometimes rap stream of conscious, but my wife says I’m not loud and I’ve said things like that before. I’m sure other people do it too, but I wonder if it was me. Lol