I want to share what I’ve learned about ketamine because over the last few months ketamine treatments have revived my 17 year old from a deep depression that has been disabling him since he was 14. Now Cole is like a doll that has come to life. My gentle, intelligent, thoughtful, compassionate, kind, witty, wise old soul is coming out of the woods. It’s a relief to this mom.
Chronic illness like Cole has experienced is exhausting and it can be scary sometimes. Just like a lot of other illnesses. I think that’s just personal. Just like treatment is personal. It is just different for everyone. Anyone can become sick and sometimes people really do need medical treatment. And sometimes you need to try something different. It’s all scary. That’s because it’s unknown.
What I’ve found is that there is a lot of misinformation and a lot of stigma about medical treatments like ketamine. These are a product of fear and ignorance, which can prevent people from looking into it for themselves and their loved ones. I think that’s a shame so I’m taking a shot at helping you to feel brave and maybe even hopeful by sharing a bit about our experience with ketamine. Please do your own research. That’s what we did after Cole’s father learned about this project by veterans https://www.invictusproject.org/program-ketamine-infusion-therapy/
The following are some of Cole’s thoughts about his ketamine treatment that he has written himself.
Ketamine is most commonly known as a dissociative anesthetic, but it can also be used as a painkiller and a bronchodilator. It has been well established as a drug in the medical community. But recent studies have shown ketamine might have purpose as an antidepressant, and although these studies are few, they look to be quite promising.
I’ve been struggling with depression for as long as I can remember. Around four or five years ago I was at my lowest, so I asked for help. Therapy and conventional medication only lessened the strain it put on me. I got more and more fed up with pills, and constantly going to doctor’s appointments. I was constantly tired. Maybe it was being fed up with it all that allowed me to take this risk.
Ketamine is still experimental, but there was a clinic I could go to. It was a leap of faith honestly, I knew it was risky, but I was tired of just being like this, day in day out, waiting for drugs that didn’t even help much to fix me. They told me I couldn’t eat for something like half a day in time, and I couldn’t drink either. I went in and they had this big reclinable chair, with pillows and blankets. They hooked me up to an IV and blood pressure machine, and put some electrodes on me. The lights were turned off, and everything was quiet. My mom was sitting close by and so was the nurse.
They told me that it’d start to set in in about seven minutes. My body felt dead, like that numb feeling you have when you don’t have gloves on on a snowy day. I was aware and awake and could talk normally, but I felt peaceful. Like nothing in the world really mattered for the moment, and that was great. Everything I could see looked far away. Everything looked simultaneously blurry and incredibly detailed. So I just closed my eyes and relaxed. An hour and ten minutes passed and it was time to go. It was hard to stand and walk, I felt dizzy, but the first benefit I noticed was that happiness and peace remained. Mom drove me home and I talked the most I felt I had in ages for the rest of the night. I actually chose to interact with people instead of shutting myself away, because for once I had energy and I didn’t wanna waste it.
I’ve gone back several times since then for maintenance, but I can say without a doubt it’s done me a world of good. I know some people are skeptical of the stuff, but who wouldn’t be skeptical of an experimental mood-altering drug? If your problem with it is potential risks of addiction, it’s been said to me by them that the treatment is not addictive. If it’s the fear that it might cause more harm than good, then I’d say that may be possible, but don’t entirely rule out its benefits, and even then you can always just try it out once and move on. This stuff has really helped me and was the primer for all those years of therapy and trying to suddenly make a massive difference in my life. So if you’ve heard about it and can’t ignore the possibility of relief from treatment-resistant depression, I’d say go for it. I hope it benefits you.
Cole began ketamine treatments in November 2019. His depression is now in remission. #endthestigma