Therapy during Ketamine

Has anyone else tried therapy during a ketamine treatment and if so, what are your thoughts?

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I haven’t tried it during. I think it would be too distracting. I might take a troche before my next session. I normally write notes to discuss with my therapist. When I read about Ketamine I think you are supposed to do therapy with it. I think it would be helpful right after while stuff is fresh in your head.

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I have no desire to do therapy so far during sessions. I prefer to experience the medication. I think talking afterwards is a much better idea. I tried to write down things, I can’t write much less talk until 20-30 minutes after infusion is stopped.

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I’ve done it both ways. It is much more productive with a therapist.

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I think the Best treatment from what I’ve read is to use it in conjunction with the Ketamine. I don’t think doing a therapy session while you are under is helpful I think it would be distracting, but I think maybe an hour after would be very helpful. I also get more perspective from troches than IV. I normally talk to my wife about what came up, but it would be nice especially now if we could zoom with an experienced therapist on the subject. Preferable someone who has also experienced it. I think one downfall in the current system is that no one tells you what to expect. Maybe to stay away from certain types of music. How to try to get yourself out of a bad trip. I think Ketamine has changed my life even though I’m struggling right now. I know for a fact it would be worse without Ketamine.

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Definitely think that it’s important part especially if you have unresolved issues if you just have simple depression if there’s any such thing as simple depression meaning it’s not really caused by a traumatic event and or bad marriage I was strongly recommend having therapy

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I don’t think having therapy during a session would allow your brains thoughts to flow in and and out because you would be trying to resolve things I would think vs just enjoying the experience? I do think therapy is beneficial after (a day or few) so you can bring up the things that came to you during treatment. I would just want to relax and not talk to anyone, personally. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Depending on the dose… if my doc is pushing hard that day to breakdown walls with ket, it’s too intense to talk. I can barely remember that I can talk. If it’s a lighter dose day, I’ll talk her face off and she always seems to get to the heart of whatever my biggest current concerns are in life. We haven’t visited my trauma from my past, but I’ve had many realizations about things that I’ve been stressed out about and had no idea.

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My therapist is with me during the Ketamine treatment and we process as soon as I come back around while the visions are very fresh.

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I’ve attempted this… none of my visions are anything that make sense. Do you have visions of things that you can relate to specific events in your life? If that is asking you to share too much, please pardon me for asking. My ketamine treatments aren’t working like they do for most people and I’m trying to make sense of why. Do you think about things intentionally or just let yourself go wherever inside your head? Perhaps the problem with me is that I’m still able to think intentionally about things- even on 130mg over 50 minutes. Apparently that’s a lot and I shouldn’t have much ability to do anything but follow along with wherever my brain wants to go- it’s not that case. Even during the most intense parts of a drip, I can still focus my thoughts enough to “check in” with myself and think of my name, know exactly where I am and what is going on. I have to make a real effort to keep my mind clear of thoughts- which is still thinking and not being able to let go. I want to be able to completely disassociate, close my eyes and not have any coherent thoughts about anything bc it sounds like that is what happens to almost everyone else… how do I ask my doctor to crank up the dose without sounding like I just want to take more drugs for the sake of taking more drugs? The effects of an infusion only last about 6 days and we (the doctor and I) can’t figure out how to make the effects last longer. I’ve been in ketamine therapy since early February. In office infusions only, as my doctor (understandably) isn’t comfortable with unsupervised use at home. Not just for me, but any of her patients. She doesn’t want to be held liable if there is an accident. She told me she read that someone had a home treatment, disassociated and attacked his significant other. The person was okay, but it was enough to make her not want to give anyone prescriptions. I totally understand her hesitation… but I also wish I knew if it would help between sessions.

The way my doc explained it, ketamine does what it does regardless of what kind of trip you have - those are kind of like side effects. Similar to sleep - whether you have good dreams or nightmares, sleeping serves specific functions in the brain either way. That said, every infusion I’ve had has felt at least somewhat creepy and my mind never fully shuts off. I watch soothing nature films with peaceful, ambient music and I’ll still see skulls in rolling hills or flowers that look like blood. I bring my pessimistic thinking with me but I’m able to observe it in a somewhat detached manner. I’ve had terrifying experiences at high doses like my mind was being fed into a giant shredding device, but that was also the most therapeutic infusion I had in terms of symptom improvement. I’ve learned it’s best for me to keep my eyes open to prevent scary visions. And my doc gives me benadryl which helps with the uneasy feeling. My doc also checks in by asking if I’m comfortable. If I say anything other than yes, he slows it down for a few minutes.

I want to talk so bad during the infusions, but sadly it would just be one big stutter fest for me…

I have only had one lozenge and one Ketamine IM injection treatment so I don’t know I really have the experience to comment here but for what it is worth…
I have not reached that complete dissociative state and in fact experienced a lot of flashback visions. The flashbacks are a bit different than when I am not on Ketamine. My therapist stays with me when the Ketamine is administered. In fact, with the IM treatment I kept trying to get up which I believe correlated to the flashbacks (I experience complex PTSD from over 15 years of childhood trauma).
During the treatment I have visions of real trauma and other visions not so real. I see faces of my past and emotions on those faces that can be unnerving. Once I come back from the Ketamine, my therapist helps me process some of those visions. After I am home, I continue to process by drawing the visions and the meaning that seems to be attached. I do have lozenge for home that I can do twice a week if I feel they are needed. After the IM treatment there seemed to be a huge crash when the Ketamine wore off. The reality of flashbacks, dissociative states and night terrors were very strong. It was a distinct indication the Ketamine was doing what it was supposed too. Thank you for sharing. Best of luck💞

You need to let go. I’ve realized it’s not about the mg amount. It’s about your state or mind. You need to let go. Follow the music. If you are too attached to being in control you will never get the full experience. It’s scary to let go. It really is. It was hard for me. My nurse told me to, ever since then I float away most of the time unless I have something on my mind. Get the headspace app and do a meditation before. Make sure to focus on your breath to take your mind off of everything. Also music plays a big part check out Ludovico Einaudi and Cris Derksen “the cusp”.

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