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Hi all,

I've been bipolar with treatment resistant depression since I was 20. I'm 46 now.

My life has been destroyed by MI, frequent hospital stays, welfare $, lost every job, lost every gf, no education.

It's been 36 years in hell, alone, I was suicidal for the longest time.

One year ago my doctor, having tried everything, suggested Ketamine treatment. I'm in California where it's possible.

I've been going in for infusions once a month and have had a few taker home doses.

For the first time since I was a child I feel part of the world and I am able to appreciate things where before i was numb.

The ketamine makes me feel human, I didn't remember.

It's been a year and i feel i am on to something. Maybe I have a few good life years left.

My Q:

Does anyone else have experience with Ketamine? I am curious about other peoples journey.

For me, I can see that life isn't misery, that on the horizon there is beauty and goodness.

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@whendovescry Congratulations on the positive improvements. I've been wanting to try ketamine for some time, but it's too difficult to access. Does your insurance cover it? Did you feel an immediate shift right away?

There are people here that have tried it, but I don't know how effective it was, or whether the benefits lasted for them. What is your treatment protocol? Must you continuously do monthly sessions in the office every month or is it like ECT where you have a certain number of sessions/doses and then you're good for decades?

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I tried ketamine infusions in the fall of 2018. The plan was to do twice a week for three weeks, and then scale back and get to once every three to four weeks. I didn't have a lot of response until about the fourth dose, and then it was pretty incredible. I was suicidal in the morning, almost didn't go to my 2:00 pm appointment, finally made it in, and by 11:00 pm that night I was my old self again. It was an amazing day! I had been, and still am, being treated with meds and therapy, so I had lots of things in my system besides ketamine.

I'm glad it's been working for you. Unfortunately, it didn't last for me. Over the next month or two, it eventually had no effect at all so I stopped. My pdoc who I also see weekly for therapy remarked that my mood seemed up and down during that time. I also had one evening of the worst agitated depression I've ever had. I was drinking some tea in the Starbucks parking lot and realized it would be way too dangerous for me to drive, especially since the place I wanted to go the most was the Wal-Mart down the road and buy a gun and shoot my head off. I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin. I probably sat in my car for about three hours before I trusted myself enough to drive. 

As someone who graduated from high school in 1977, I used to get high a lot and if you were around then, you know we weren't too picky about the substance. At first ketamine made me high as hell, and I loved it because you could be absolutely ripped for an hour, and an hour after that you'd be as sober as a judge. If I had my eyes open it felt terrible, all jerky and jumbled, but if I closed my eyes I had amazing visions. I could feel myself turn upside down in the chair and fly backwards, and the world was so colorful! The pdoc at the infusion place said that most of his patients didn't have as much experience with drugs as me so a lot of them didn't like the trippy part. My best advice is to use headphones and listen to some upbeat music - Earth, Wind and Fire was great. 

When the ketamine quit doing anything for my mood the visions also stopped at the same time, which was really disappointing. I haven't done drugs in years and years since my industry does random drug tests, so it was a nice time for me to be able to get high again legally. : )  In one way, though, I'm secretly relieved because it was $500 per infusion and insurance didn't cover any of it. Now I guess they have the nasal version which I think insurance pays for.

My miracle treatment has turned out to be ECT, which I started this February. I've had a really good response with it and I can't recommend it enough. I wish you luck and am glad the ketamine is continuing to work for you. I've also been through the job loss, bankruptcy, etc. cycle and know how awful it is. 

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On 10/12/2020 at 8:39 AM, Blahblah said:

@whendovescry Congratulations on the positive improvements. I've been wanting to try ketamine for some time, but it's too difficult to access. Does your insurance cover it? Did you feel an immediate shift right away?

There are people here that have tried it, but I don't know how effective it was, or whether the benefits lasted for them. What is your treatment protocol? Must you continuously do monthly sessions in the office every month or is it like ECT where you have a certain number of sessions/doses and then you're good for decades?

thank you. my insurance does not cover it. I have funds from an inheritance. it's expensive.

I felt a shift under the influence the first time, then it went away and i thought it was a waste.

But after 7-8 infusions over some months, the world slowly came alive for me. I saw the beauty in things for maybe the first time.

my protocol is 3 infusions a month and 4 take home doses. I do this for now. I will continue as long as it seems to work.

I don't know if i will ever be "cured" , not need it for me sanity. One day at a time.

stay well, friend.

  

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21 hours ago, Catnapper said:

I tried ketamine infusions in the fall of 2018. The plan was to do twice a week for three weeks, and then scale back and get to once every three to four weeks. I didn't have a lot of response until about the fourth dose, and then it was pretty incredible. I was suicidal in the morning, almost didn't go to my 2:00 pm appointment, finally made it in, and by 11:00 pm that night I was my old self again. It was an amazing day! I had been, and still am, being treated with meds and therapy, so I had lots of things in my system besides ketamine.

I'm glad it's been working for you. Unfortunately, it didn't last for me. Over the next month or two, it eventually had no effect at all so I stopped. My pdoc who I also see weekly for therapy remarked that my mood seemed up and down during that time. I also had one evening of the worst agitated depression I've ever had. I was drinking some tea in the Starbucks parking lot and realized it would be way too dangerous for me to drive, especially since the place I wanted to go the most was the Wal-Mart down the road and buy a gun and shoot my head off. I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin. I probably sat in my car for about three hours before I trusted myself enough to drive. 

As someone who graduated from high school in 1977, I used to get high a lot and if you were around then, you know we weren't too picky about the substance. At first ketamine made me high as hell, and I loved it because you could be absolutely ripped for an hour, and an hour after that you'd be as sober as a judge. If I had my eyes open it felt terrible, all jerky and jumbled, but if I closed my eyes I had amazing visions. I could feel myself turn upside down in the chair and fly backwards, and the world was so colorful! The pdoc at the infusion place said that most of his patients didn't have as much experience with drugs as me so a lot of them didn't like the trippy part. My best advice is to use headphones and listen to some upbeat music - Earth, Wind and Fire was great. 

When the ketamine quit doing anything for my mood the visions also stopped at the same time, which was really disappointing. I haven't done drugs in years and years since my industry does random drug tests, so it was a nice time for me to be able to get high again legally. : )  In one way, though, I'm secretly relieved because it was $500 per infusion and insurance didn't cover any of it. Now I guess they have the nasal version which I think insurance pays for.

My miracle treatment has turned out to be ECT, which I started this February. I've had a really good response with it and I can't recommend it enough. I wish you luck and am glad the ketamine is continuing to work for you. I've also been through the job loss, bankruptcy, etc. cycle and know how awful it is. 

thank you for sharing your story. I relate. I know what you're saying about diminishing effects and am worried.

I was also a drug user in my youth, coke and oxy but never Ketamine.

wishing you all the best.

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8 hours ago, whendovescry said:

thank you for sharing your story. I relate. I know what you're saying about diminishing effects and am worried.

I was also a drug user in my youth, coke and oxy but never Ketamine.

wishing you all the best.

I had great results from a course of 6 in a month. Worked well and better than ECT - I didn’t do continuation because it was spring turning to summer and I usually go hypomanic then as a matter of course, so we left it at see how I feel and go back if necessary. Never went back but I totally would if depression got out of hand  

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I have also wondered if I restarted again now that a couple of years have passed if I would get the same good effect that I did when I first tried it. While it worked, it was amazing. I don't know if I would say it's better than the results I've had with ECT, but it was definitely less of a hassle since you don't have to go to the hospital, meet with an anesthesiologist as well as a pdoc, change clothes, etc., etc. Plus in my particular case the ECT hospital is 1.5 hours away and the ketamine place is only 20 minutes. 

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