So as most of you may have seen by now, yesterday I was administered my first treatment of Ketamine.
I am very overwhelmed and emotional today and haven’t been able to respond to the outpouring of messages I’ve received (both privately and on social media) since yesterday afternoon wishing me good luck and cheering me on. But I am so grateful for each and every one. They definitely keep me going.
I’ve needed this time instead to reflect on yesterday’s experience and the last few days that have led up to it.
I didn’t get home until after 9 pm last night by which time I was both mentally and physically exhausted, emotionally drained and still somewhat stoned!
I think overall the physical experience went pretty much how I imagined it would go, especially given my past trials and tribulations with psychedelics before.
My body went completely numb (including my lips) almost immediately after placing the tablet under my tongue (it was very bitter tasting). I was told to let it dissolve naturally and the nurse who was looking after me repeatedly told me not to swallow my saliva for at least 15 minutes. She made me very anxious.
I lay in a big comfy recliner, the lights were dimmed. I closed my eyes, wrapped a blanket around me which they had suggested you bring with you and listened to music giving both my body and mind whatever they needed to go through the process freely. Rich sat in a chair across from me, playing Candy Crush and watching Tik Tok videos the entire evening.
I had a complete out of body experience. I felt a disconnect and like I was moving in slow motion. At one point I almost felt as though I was flying right out of my body. I had some muscle pain at times, felt brain zaps quite a bit and experienced some nausea as well. I heard noises that weren’t always there and saw images in my head too, both of which startled me many times during. I was completely conscious yet could not lift my head or move my body for 2 full hours.
As I stated above, I was prepared for what I would experience in a physical sense but mentally and emotionally I was not. Before I began the treatment I spoke with a Psychiatrist briefly. She had been well versed by my own Psychiatrist recently on how depressed and suicidal I’d been for the last while.
She needed to know before we began where my current state of mind was at. I told her honestly, explaining what had transpired late last week not realizing that she would become hesitant about allowing me to start my treatment yesterday given how vulnerable I really was. It actually confused me since this treatment is supposed to help people who are feeling very depressed and suicidal. She also wanted to know about any specific plans I may have of suicide and details of my previous attempts too.
Anyways she did agree at the end of our conversation to begin the treatment as previously planned but made me promise to go to the hospital if I need to at any time between sessions.
I was able to let go of my emotional pain throughout the experience. It was what happened once I got home that terrifies me that this treatment won’t help me and that I will not only let myself down in the process but everyone else as well.
As I mentioned before, I didn’t get home until after 9 pm, still feeling some of the physical effects. I got into bed right away. I was exhausted but couldn’t sleep. I became very emotional very quickly.
Once I did manage to fall asleep probably around midnight it was very disrupted because everytime I felt myself drifting off I also felt myself unable to catch my breath or swallow. Each time this happened I got so scared that I would immediately sit up in order to catch my breath and try and swallow. I went into fight or flight mode and kept hearing the nurse’s voice ruminating in my head, telling me not to swallow. By 5 AM I found myself inconsolable once again. Lucky Rich is such an early riser!
I am scheduled to have my second dose on Saturday afternoon. The nurse told me to expect a call from the doctor today or tomorrow to go over my first experience at which time they will also be deciding whether or not they feel it is safe to go ahead and raise the dose at my next session.
In the meantime I had my weekly scheduled appointment today with my therapist where I was able to reflect even more on my experience, especially given my emotional state right now. It is highly recommended as part of the treatment plan that consistent therapy is also needed.
Like with any individual taking Antidepressants or other such treatments to help their symptoms, therapy helps set the stage for its affects to be more successful and longer lasting.
I can’t say it enough to people how important therapy is for treating mental health disorders alongside their other treatments, even if their current treatment may or may not seem to be helping. Oftentimes it may only be a bandaid without the upkeep of talk therapy/psychotherapy.
I am so blessed to have such an incredible and supportive therapist by my side.
Until next time…
#ketaminetreatment #psychedelics #treatmentresistantdepression #suicidalideations #talktherapy #mentalhealth #mentalillness #mentalwellness #youarenotalone #youareenough #itsoktonotbeok #reflections #thankyou