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Had my first Ketamine treatment today


Positivenegative

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I've seen a few people post about ketamine and its use in treatment resistant depression. Today, I had my first infusion. Just to say: This is only my experience, and everyone is different.

So, it wasn't as scary as I thought. Nothing is as scary as the thoughts in my own head anyway. So I did my research, had a consultation, and got the first infusion. For me, it was very intense! I definitely felt dissociation, out of body type feelings, and overall, just weird. But, I didn't panic like I usually would if my body felt that weird. I had my boyfriend with me so that was comforting and the staff were all very awesome. The worst, for me, was the nausea. I still feel nauseous now, ten hours later, and a little foggy, but not bad. I am most surprised that I don't feel anxious or depressed really. Nothing miraculous, but definitely I feel different. I'm supposed to do the second infusion in two days, but with this level of nausea, I might wait a few more days. I'm praying that this works because nothing else has. So yes, I guess I would say I feel a little hopeful. 

Overall, if anyone is thinking about trying ketamine for their depression, my non medical opinion is to try it. I know it's early within my process, but I hope this is the help I have been looking for. 

Again, this is only my personal experience, but I wanted to share. Thank you for listening. 

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The treatments here at the Ketamine Center of North Carolina are $450, which is still a lot of money. However, I can't take medications, TMS failed for me, and hospitals and treatment centers left me worse off. Talk therapy is okay, but doesn't change much.

 I don't really have the money either because I am on disability, but I scraped it together because I don't see any other viable options right now. And, if the first two infusions don't work, then they know you are in the 30% who don't respond to ketamine, and they discontinue everything. It's a risk for sure, but better then giving up  

Hopefully, it works. I have my second infusion tomorrow or Monday. Today I feel like I have a hangover from the first treatment. Nothing too bad though. I feel a little different psychologically, but I think it's still too early to know for sure. 

If this doesn't work, then I guess it is back to white knuckling it, but I guess the important thing is that I tried. Have a great day!

 

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Also for people afraid of needles (infusion) Johnson and Johnson will be coming out with a ketamine nasal spray which should be available in the U.S very soon. Naurex is another company coming out with a ketamine tablet. Lots of other meds with different modes of action coming out too! I know the Ketamine nasal spray is in the last phase of clinical trials and should be fast tracked by the fda.  

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23 hours ago, Positivenegative said:
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I've seen a few people post about ketamine and its use in treatment resistant depression. Today, I had my first infusion. Just to say: This is only my experience, and everyone is different.

So, it wasn't as scary as I thought. Nothing is as scary as the thoughts in my own head anyway. So I did my research, had a consultation, and got the first infusion. For me, it was very intense! I definitely felt dissociation, out of body type feelings, and overall, just weird. But, I didn't panic like I usually would if my body felt that weird. I had my boyfriend with me so that was comforting and the staff were all very awesome. The worst, for me, was the nausea. I still feel nauseous now, ten hours later, and a little foggy, but not bad. I am most surprised that I don't feel anxious or depressed really. Nothing miraculous, but definitely I feel different. I'm supposed to do the second infusion in two days, but with this level of nausea, I might wait a few more days. I'm praying that this works because nothing else has. So yes, I guess I would say I feel a little hopeful. 

Overall, if anyone is thinking about trying ketamine for their depression, my non medical opinion is to try it. I know it's early within my process, but I hope this is the help I have been looking for. 

Again, this is only my personal experience, but I wanted to share. Thank you for listening. 

 that's good news. I did not know about the nausea. I am in a clinical trial that I guess in theory will help the fast-tracking of ketamine drugs for depression. Unfortunately I am almost certain I'm getting a placebo because I had no effect. But hopefully will in a next open-label trial.

 

Re: "However, I can't take medications, TMS failed for me, and hospitals and treatment centers left me worse off. Talk therapy is okay, but doesn't change much."

these are all true for me also which is why I am pursuing ketamine. Good luck to you!

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Hi, 

Standup, Sure I will keep you all updated! I wasn't going to go in tomorrow morning for my second infusion because I was scared and still feeling a little spacey and weird. But I fought through that fear, and I am going to go even though I still feel a little off. I talked to my doctor, and he said most people don't feel as nauseous as I did. Good luck with your go fund me. I really hope you can try it!

Today (I had the first infusion yesterday morning), I felt like I was a little hungover and a bit weak. Nothing major or severe but it was scary. Sleep was affected too. Emotionally, I didn't feel anxious, maybe a tad depressed, but all in all, I am still hopeful. 

My therapist says he has another client who does the ketamine nasal spray. So, I guess it's approved here now? I'm not sure those details. 

Anyway, if I skip a day of reporting on here, feel free to message me.

Thanks everyone for letting me share!

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Hey penguins,

If you do a search for Ketamine and Treatment Resistant Depression, you should get some good results. Make sure you look at the most current articles because science has evolved over the years. Basically, doctors and scientists have found that the drug ketamine (an anesthesic drug, and also a "party drug") may be helpful in regulated doses for people with treatment resistant depression and with chronic pain issues. 

The drug itself is FDA approved for many many years as an anesthetic, but not yet FDA approved for TRD. There are many opinion about its usefulness but many people have found that it relieves suidical symptoms within hours as opposed to waiting weeks for normal antidepressants. They are still researching it, but it does look promising. It's pretty expensive, but for people like me, and many others, the cost is worth it if it works. Right now, it has about a 70 percent success rate but the effects don't last very long. 

They have videos and lots of articles about it. Steven Levine is one of the main pioneers. Maybe Google his name. I hope this helps. 

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1 hour ago, Positivenegative said:

Hey penguins,

If you do a search for Ketamine and Treatment Resistant Depression, you should get some good results. Make sure you look at the most current articles because science has evolved over the years. Basically, doctors and scientists have found that the drug ketamine (an anesthesic drug, and also a "party drug") may be helpful in regulated doses for people with treatment resistant depression and with chronic pain issues. 

The drug itself is FDA approved for many many years as an anesthetic, but not yet FDA approved for TRD. There are many opinion about its usefulness but many people have found that it relieves suidical symptoms within hours as opposed to waiting weeks for normal antidepressants. They are still researching it, but it does look promising. It's pretty expensive, but for people like me, and many others, the cost is worth it if it works. Right now, it has about a 70 percent success rate but the effects don't last very long. 

They have videos and lots of articles about it. Steven Levine is one of the main pioneers. Maybe Google his name. I hope this helps. 

Very good summary.

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49 minutes ago, standup said:

Well said. The FDA is currently fast-tracking approval for depression. I think insurance should start to cover it in about a year or so. My doctor wants me to try TMS, but the success rate for treatment-resistant depression is something like 30-50% while ketamine is something like 70-80%. Meanwhile, she's against me trying ketamine. IMO, TMS is overhyped and overrated. Why is it that I know more about treatments than my doctor? It's really hard to find a good pdoc. At this point, I don't really care what she thinks. She's not the one who has to suffer. If my current med change doesn't work, I'm going for ketamine treatment and I don't care what she thinks.

I couldn't agree with you more.  I know different things are different for different people, but I did TMS and it was a total waste of time and money - and a lot of it.  I had some skepticism when going in.  I read a good bit.  

Frankly, the science is fluffy at best, and I believe it may be almost entirely a placebo (granted some people swear it helped them immensely).

I happen to have been working with the former Director of Human Resources (not a scientist) from Neurostar, which manufactures and sells the major TMS machine in the US and while I believe they are still in business, they had to cut workforce substantially because of lower than expected sales results - and to me this wasn't surprising.  I just had such a bad experience and had no results of any kind whatsoever.  I don't want to hate on something here that may have helped other people, but Jesus I don't think much of it.

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i agree with you gandolf, I tried TMS and it was expensive and did not work at all for me. I think it's because my depression is so treatment resistant, or maybe that's just the way my body is...I didn't like it, but I hope it works for some people! 

I had my second infusion this morning, about 10 hours ago, and this one went way better then the first one. My doc prescribed a nausea patch so I had hardly any side effects, just fatigue. The "trip" itself was very vivid and I just sat back and tried to imagine all my little brain chemicals starting to work. I do feel a little better psychologically now. I know the effects are fast, so I'm hopeful that the ketamine is giving me a boost, and when I finish the three infusions next week, I can really see some results. The main thing for me is that I haven't thought seriously about dying or had any Si in the last few days. Which is huge. I'm still going to remain cautiously optimistic, because I still have three infusions to go, but so far so good for me.

On a side note, I'm actually quite amazed that I didn't have a panic attack while the medicine was being administered because it is unlike anything I've experienced. I'm not a newbie when it comes to experimenting with drugs (mostly back in my college days), but the ketamine causes me to feel pretty euphoric and trippy to an almost spiritual point. Maybe like peyote or something like that, just shorter acting. I told myself to just go with it, and again, so far so good. 

My next infusion is on Monday so I will keep you updated. Thanks all for listening. This is a scary process for me.

P.s. hey, standup, yeah...Who cares what the psychiatrist thinks. Mine isn't happy either but you are right...They aren't the ones suffering so bad. I understand that they have lots of knowledge, but no one really knows your body better then you. IMO, people should be proud that you are even trying! 

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Just an update....Today I felt a little anxious and numb, kinda depressed too. I've had two infusions and the next one is one Monday. I read in a research article that some people experience a bit of a dip in mood after their second infusion, so I'm hoping that's all this is. I also forgot to take my small morning dose of Klonopin, so that may have something to do with it. 

I will let you guys know what happens after Monday. Thanks for listening!

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This topic caught my eye because of personal recreational ketamine use which ended up getting out of hand, but it was during my last major depressive period seven years ago and I was also taking other drugs: smoking garden shrub daily, drinking, ecstasy, mephadrone (NOT methadone) amongst others. 

I always had a big soft spot for ketamine and would definitely feel its anti-depressant effects the morning after getting messed up on it. I was on SSRIs at the time which never did much for me, but ketamine certainly did...even though ironically my recreational drug use was certainly a big factor in my depression. I have vaguely heard of clinical ketamine treatment for depression but I have no idea how widely available it is in Europe.

600 bucks a treatment??????? Whhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaatttttt???????????

Back in the day we used to get it for £20 a gram! You guys are getting seriously ripped off lol!!!!! What's actually the difference between just trying to get it yourselves and the doctor giving it to you? Is it mixed with other stuff or is it just so the pharmaceuticals line their pockets? Plus we just used to snort it, never injected it although I did see people doing so and it was just plain seedy...

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Updating....Had my third infusion today. The doctor said he hasn't seen someone as sensitive as me when it comes to side effects. Nausea, grogginess, fatigue. I can't tell if it's working yet because of the physical stuff. Still not giving up yet. Next infusion is Friday. I have noticed that my SI is much less, and I do have more energy, despite the physical effects. I'm still glad I'm doing this. Now I'm scared though that this may not work. Trying not to listen to the negative talk. I'll know more in a few days. 

Thanks for listening.

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Hi postive negative

 I hope you get along well on it and dont give up. Theres a great website called the ketamine advocacy network and their tons of info on ketamine and a forum for peoples experiences.  Some people dont see any positives until 5-6 infusions which sucks because of $$$. If I were you and you could afford it Id shoot for six infusions before giving up. Atleast then youll know for sure that ketamine isnt for you. Ive also read a thread were  someone had three or four infusions and stopped because he didnt see any positives. 10 days later he noticed his mood lift. Also Im sure your doctor told you but make sure that you dont take the klonopin on days before your infusion it negates the actions of the Ketamine. Good lucck 

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Hi....So tomorrow is my fourth infusion. I absolutely feel worse. I am still experiencing side effects and I have been crying more. I'm going to try this last treatment tomorrow, and then give up on it if nothing happens. I understand that it's not a magic cure, and I need to be patient, but I wouldn't think that feeling more suidical would be a side effect. Damn.....

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Well, I've had had a great success with growing some papaver somniferum and using it to collect raw opium. That stuff works wonders for my depression and is completely free, without any doctors and institutions...

However, I'm from eastern europe where laws are not so strict about planting papaver somniferum.

$ 600 per treatment sounds just plain horrible to me.

Edited by Nisei
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6 minutes ago, Nisei said:

Well, I've had had a great success with growing some papaver somniferum and using it to collect raw opium. That stuff works wonders for my depression and is completely free, without any doctors and institutions...

However, I'm from eastern europe where laws are not so strict about planting papaver somniferum.

$ 600 per treatment sounds just plain horrible to me.

$600 per treatment is steep - it's why I haven't done a Ketamine clinic so far, and instead am about to move from double blind Ketamine clinical trial (where  have absolutely been getting the placebo) to the open lable on Monday where I'll be getting the real thing.

Um, I'm not meaning to sound judgy (I believe in doing what works), but taking opium seems pretty risky as a therapy for depression or in general.  I'm no expert, and I use THC, another natural substance....but I think there is a ton of data showing very low risk from this.  Opium is highly addictive with some pretty unpleasant side effects after time, isn't it?  Please disregard if you have reliable information or expertise to the contrary.

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58 minutes ago, standup said:

So sorry to hear that PN. Maybe things will settle down after a few days after your next infusion? Did they say this happens to other people?

The doctor said it can happen, but rarely does from what he has seen. Some people have gotten worse before better, and a few lucky people see instant results. I think I'm most disappointed because I feel untreatable. If this doesn't work, why try anything else? Also, what else is there to try? Sorry for the rant, I'm just disappointed and upset.

Nisei, I hear you. But Nothing is certain...and who cares about the money. I'd rather be happy then have money. Yeah, it's expensive, but if it works, then who really cares? I would rather not pay $450 per treatment, but I can't take any other meds and all else had failed. 

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39 minutes ago, standup said:

I totally understand where you're coming from. Ketamine will also be my last resort because my doctor is giving up on me. But what if it doesn't work? I will probably feel hopeless again too. But then, I will just have to try ECT and/or get a new doctor who will actually try. I still have never even tried an MAOI.

Does anyone still use MAOIs?  Successfully? 

I've never tried them either - psychs don't even seem to consider them most of the time.  Or Tricyclics.  And maybe for good reasons.

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12 minutes ago, Positivenegative said:

Well, didn't work. I went today and the doctor discontinued the infusions because my body is too sensitive. I'm proud of myself for trying but extremely disappointed. Now what? I can't even think. I'm so sad about this. 

Im sorry to hear about this. I know what its like to put all your hope into something  and then to be let down its so disheartening Ive had it happen to me and its awful. Dont get down on yourself.You are so brave to even be trying. There are many different medications coming out very soon and Im sure there are combination meds that might be helpfull in the meantime. Also at the very least in the next few days youll start feeling better and you ll get back to your baseline pre-ketamine. Also you still may be a responder and could see a noticeable positive shift in mood in the next two weeks or so. Its happened to a few people Ive read on the ketamine advocacy forum. If your someone whos sensitive to meds the treatment might have been alot to handle. Your body may just need a small timeout. Dont give up! 

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On 2/9/2017 at 10:11 AM, gandolfication said:

Does anyone still use MAOIs?  Successfully? 

I've never tried them either - psychs don't even seem to consider them most of the time.  Or Tricyclics.  And maybe for good reasons.

Just an FYI, I started  EMSAM a week ago.... still not sure if it is doing much, but am treatment resistant and doc wanted to give it a try.... the patch apparently helps with absorption, and decreasing food reactions. I will keep y'all posted... Best wishes to all!

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