Ketamine as a treatment for chronic depression
I suffered from chronic, clinical severe depression for over 20 years. I tried many many different prescription medications and combinations in conjunction with counseling. I have seen at least a dozen different counselors in my life, maybe more. A few were actually very good and helped me a lot. Many were not, which was very frustrating but all part of the process.
This post is about what finally broke the darkness for me. It was getting Ketamine treatments. It was true Ketamine, not esketamine as I may have previously reported. I contacted my Doctor and I remember he called the drug Ketalar which is the manufacturer’s name for Ketamine. according to my Doctor, and corroborated by my experience, in order for Ketamine to be effective, it should be administered 3 times a week for two consecutive weeks, for a total of 6 initial visits. Subsequently, it would be administered as needed. For me, and for many, that was once every 5-6 weeks. I received the ketamine through IV infusions, while being monitored in the doctor’s office. They monitored my pulse ox, and heart rate. I was given an anti nausea medication beforehand as well as it can cause nausea in many people. The treatment lasts about an hour, and you absolutely cannot drive yourself afterward. The IV drip takes about 45 minutes and then it takes another 15 minutes to “come down”. Another method is to use a nebulizer and the time table is the same. It is almost as effective and significantly less expensive. The head trip is slightly less severe but the results (arresting the depression and getting rid of it) are 90-95% as effective, in my personal experience. After treating like this for about 4 months, I was given the option of using a nasal spray compound at home. Now that I had become familiar with the way the drug feels and the way I responded to it, this option was given to me and it worked out very well. I would use this 1-2 times per week. I used this method for about 7-8 months. Then I reached a point where I no longer felt the need for ketamine. It is a very very strong medication and I was no longer in the throes of severe depression so I ascertained that I no longer needed it. I have since been weaning off of my anti-depressants and am happy to report that I am not clinically depressed, as evaluated by myself and by my psychiatrist. I am still in need of counseling and support but the unmanageable, dark, paralyzing, debilitating depression is truly gone! It is a miracle drug. It has been for me. I am writing this to help anyone out there who may be struggling and maybe feel like they are at the end of their rope. I believe that if used in the way I described, ESPECIALLY AND SPECIFICALLY DOING 6 TREATMENTS IN 2 WEEKS, it can be a real game changer. I don’t think it is nearly as effective doing it here and there. I hope this helps someone. Please feel free to message me for more specific questions. I will try to answer on this thread as well.