Male, 48 years old at the time of this writing diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) treatment refractory and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Mental Illness runs in both sides of my family, my mother was diagnosed but her mom wasn't and while she died before I was born, by all accounts she was 32 flavors of effed up. For treatment, I've gone through the most popular categories in the antidepressant alphabet soup– SSRIs, NDRI, SNRI, Tetracyclic and Trycyclic experienc
I Wanna Feel Everything
You know the feeling of not having had enough sleep. Reduced cognition, lack of alertness and awareness, all the soft-headed sensations. I suffer from chronic insomnia so that's my baseline most days but on this day adrenaline from the 2 mile walk and anticipation of getting the needle compensated. I met with the doctor and nurse and they explained the procedure and answered my many questions. They took vitals, then put me in a soft leather reclining chair and placed
[If you listen to Maxence Cyrin's piano version of "Where Is My Mind", notice that the piano's pedal noise is picked up and amplified. It didn't occur to me this could have an effect on the context].
My analytic mind dissolved into the song and the image of a grand piano in an empty room appeared in my head. The keys were being played without anyone sitting in front of them, no hands touched them. All sense of my physical form gradually dissolved until my body was
Make Me A Believer
I really hate indoctrination. But hey, any port in a storm, right? There are lots of reasons to be skeptical about Ketamine treatment but nevertheless, I decided to set aside my doubts and buy into the notion that it could help me rewire my brain. This began with accepting that depression had a physical impact on my brain, developing neural networks strengthened by frequent use which were rather unhealthy and I wanted to alter them. But how? I read up on neural plasticit
After three Ketamine infusions, what if any improvements to my condition did I notice? To answer that I'll begin with a recap of where I was before treatment.
My baseline emotional state for longer than a year featured many MDD symptoms, such as Anhedonia (loss of pleasure in anything), an acute loss of purpose, despair from lack of therapeutic response to drug treatments and pessimism for my future. I was alive but I wasn't living. The only distinction I drew from ex
"How can you stay outside?
There's a beautiful mess inside
Take a deep breath and dive
There's a beautiful mess inside and it's everywhere
So shake it yourself now deep inside
… deeper than you ever dared
… deeper than you ever dared"
- Far Far by Yael Naïm
Dissociative Experience – Human Relationships and Dependencies
Complete darkness, I was suspended weightless in the vague in-between space of near-unconsciousness. Does this seem familiar to you? It's a “waiting room”
Yoda points, "That place… is strong with the dark side of the Force. A domain of evil it is. In you must go."
"What's in there?" asks Luke, warily
"Only what you take with you."
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
If Hollywood's taught me anything it's that if you see a door slowly creaking open or a strange gap between trees in a misty forest or a dark and creepy-looking cave - you don't go through! Right? On the other side of that entrance there's a heaping pile of dumbsh
At some point at the beginning of the dissociative experience I became distracted by a sensation on my cheek which my brain translated as an itch. My mind returned to my body so that I could lift my right hand to my face and scratch it. My arm seemed to move very slowly and it felt like I didn't have full articulation in either my elbow or wrist. To make this strange state even weirder, my mind told me that my arm from shoulder to hand was made of inflexible blocks of woo
Now that you know
That something's not right
Look at it carefully
In pale logic light
Don't be sorry
If you can't recognize
The errors and faults
In such a perfect disguise
Only illogics can find hidden flaws in a straight logic line
Only erratics recognize errors in patterns of a perfect design
- Erratic Patterns by Carbon Based Lifeforms
Usual pre-infusion protocol. Music playlist a mix of ambient and songs with lyrics in a language I don't understand.
I had a general idea of what might characterize a good playlist and I solicited opinions from several sources to help me form a criteria:
Should be music I like – OK that's pretty obvious
Shouldn't be songs I'm already emotionally attached to – I'm not trying to relive good or bad times
Songs must have no lyrics in a language I know – I want to avoid fixating on subject matter
Favor shorter tracks over longer ones – at least until I know what wo
Dissociative Experience – Buildings Of My Mind
Another visualization of structures, this time of various sizes and shapes. They're drawn in orange light and fill my view. Each structure resembles a building, differently sized and shaped. Intuitively, I know these contain information about all my experiences across my lifetime. I wonder if I can enter them and if so, would they have rooms that I can explore? What might each contain? The image disappears leaving me with the feeling that I cau
Mental Imagery – Tectonic Plates Slip/Strike
I observed two circles positioned such that their edges touched. Like with the other mental images from previous infusion experiences, as I observed them my subconscious would seem to attribute a label and some meaning to what I was “seeing”. The circles became three-dimensional wheels of stone and they spun slowly inward. Where the wheels touched, sparks and bits of stone were ejected. As I contemplated the image, the wheels morphed until they r