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The journey

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Ketamine and beyond

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jeffreyd

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Been a little bit since I entered anything, Sept 29th actually.  I had my first (and last) ketamine injection on Oct 1. It was not the spray, it was an injection. Supposed to do at least 4, maybe 8 sessions. Do the shot, experience the effects, then talk about stuff. My doc had me put on headphones with some playlist he thought would help the experience. And an eye mask. About 3-4 minutes after the shot it hit me. No long description here, but I did wonder if I was dead a few times. Not all pleasant, not all terrible, but not something I care to do again. Felt very sluggish and unsteady afterwards, and very nauseous. No profound revelations. No suppressed memories .Just a weird experience. 

Took me at least a day to feel completely normal again. Think I may have felt a tiny bit of depression relief for a few hours afterwards? But it was hard to tell because I was still feeling the effects. Read a lot more about ketamine, and decided this was not for me. I can't tell you the thought I put into that, I was really hoping and praying this was some kind of magic bullet. I know I did not complete the series, but it was just something I was not comfortable with. 

At any rate, now what? I realized today what drugs can do. They can really save your ass, like the 14 years or so of Paxil. Changed my life for the better. Since then, no such luck. Nothing really helping with depression, and then the anxiety kicked in too. There is a drug for everything it seems. Even side effects. I decided to ween off the clonazepam I am taking for anxiety, because I think I am building a tolerance, and do not want to be physically hooked on it. I almost feel like I am already. If I do not take any for some time I get headaches and feel really shitty, plus the anxiety amps up, like rebound anxiety. I also think it makes me more depressed. I can see how people get in this cycle, antidepressants, benzos, alcohol... leads down a dark road. Need to try to clean my head up. I'm trying CBD oil again for now, and weening off clonazepam. 

Realized one of the odd things is how I used to be more confident, and comfortable being alone. There were days I would love to be on my own, nobody at home. Or have a night to myself. Lately I am seeking companionship, connections. Do not like being alone. Feel like reaching out, having someone understand and relate to where I am now. I am not sure where I am on my journey, hopefully getting better. Running out of med options, and am really trying to get better via therapy. These times have been the hardest I have ever gone thru in my life. Keep going, every day. No matter how much it hurts. Got to do it, for my family. For me. I want to appreciate life again.

Just need to find purpose too. Some driving force... something to motivate me that brings me joy. My kids are in college now, so the nest is empty, and that is really hitting hard. I do not enjoy my job, and work from home alone a lot too, which makes me feel isolated. I do not drink really, so looking forward to parties, happy hours, and anything that centered around drinking is not there anymore. Need to work on myself. More self compassion and self esteem. Less worrying, less ruminating. Do stuff, find something that brings you joy. This is my mission. Meds or no meds, it will happen. 

 

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Hi @jeffreyd

I also received Ketamine treatment and like you, wrote a blog about it here on DF. I'm among the fortunate ones who responded to treatment - though it wasn't until the second or third intravenous infusion. I've read this entry and and wanted you to know I that I feel for you and identify with many of the matters you wrote about. So I want to share with you some of my thoughts. 

Your thoughts on finding Purpose resonate with me because I thought I'd lost that capital-P in the years I was barely surviving with MDD and med-resistant. Towards the end of the Ketamine protocol I realized how my life seemed pointless not because I was without purpose but because I'd stopped seeking; I'd ceased to be curious about the world outside but more importantly about myself.

I had been focusing so much on the world, global and local events, far away places and confusing messages. And wondering where I fit into it all, what possible contributions I might offer. I may have forgotten about the inner world, the "world of me", in which there exists marvelous discoveries. Investigation and examination of what is in there reignited my curiosity. In adulthood I believed I knew myself quite well... not so well at all, as it turns out. Some parts of me I'd forgotten, other parts lay waiting to be noticed. This led to growth, change, acceptance of uncertainty, a renewed sense of wonder.

If it turns out my Purpose is just to learn as much about me as possible in the time I have, I will be content. 

Thanks for sharing your experience and giving me some space to share mine. 

 

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Thanks Atra. I just read your journey with ketamine. Very descriptive, that will help many others I'm sure when contemplating ketamine. Glad you are having some positive results. I never really thought about exploring myself more, interesting to ponder. My pdoc really wants me to become an expert in mindful meditation. Guess I'll be looking into that. Still hoping there is a med out there that can help...  Good luck to you!

 

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