Thank you for sharing this amazing story.
I am diagnosed bipolar and generalized anxiety disorder with OCD tendencies.
I used to use alcohol to treat my anxiety and cocaine for my depression. After going to rehab, trying various antidepressants, antianxiety and even lithium I still experienced days without getting out of bed. The old Joy’s of music were non existent. I tried acid for the first time about a year ago. It changed my life forever. I tripped several times after that. All the pain I felt in interpersonal conflict melted away. I had a great understanding of the walls I put up which kept me from feeling empathy. Even after my trip colors seemed brighter, music was not only enjoyable again but I could relive my trip through songs.
I had been extremely skeptical to begin and very worried I would start a new addiction. Nothing of the sort happened. I have several left in my freezer I take spiratically when the mood strikes me and I feel prepared to go on a journey to self healing.
I did not know ketamine was something similar and being used for this purpose medically. I will speak with my psychiatrist about your article.
I am full of happiness that you were able to experience this and through the mental health community. I hope it continues to grow so that more people can experience the relief and begin to enjoy their lives again!
We deserve to be happy and find joy in life!
Thanks for sharing your story. It will help thousands of people explore this important option.
Thanks for this piece. My history with depression and experience with failed drugs are so similar to yours as is the Ketamine experience almost down to your observations with music. Ketamine saved my life. My suicidality (think its a word) was ever present and growing after 2 year deep depression episode. It wasn’t a matter of if but when. Ketamine infusions wiped away a lifetime of a tangled emotions and impulses. The world was a new calm color and the relief experienced from an entire lifetime with depression being GONE brought me to tears of joy. Almost surreal. In fact if I didn’t have an awesome therapist I don’t know how I would have navigated the new me. The rx follow up for me was Ketamine nasal spray (altho the compounding pharmacy can make sublingual too) as needed. I am three months out of treatment and use Ketamine spray (note NOT esketamine) weekly. I went to an ER doc who does infusions as a side gig. The aftercare is 0. It has been up to me to figure out the spray. Right now I have leveled out- still amazed but can feel ‘the monster’ at my door but the it has no voice. Ketamine gave me the space to keep on a path the of behavioral changes i want to make and new ways of coping (which I never tried just relied on pills for years to mask the crisis) I could write so much more since the experience is so profound.
Just thank you for writing this.
I wish you well. Depression is such a hard battle, especially since it steals away so many of ones normal coping tools. I was especially interested in the finding that drugs such as ketamine may establish new neural pathways. I wonder if this could have treatment potential for Alzheimer’s? Do you know if this has been explored?
Thank you for your thoughtful, well-written article!
I think anything that radically disrupts your normal perspective has the potential to relieve depression and even anxiety. Many hikers that spend time in the wilderness experience this, as do folks who go on long sailing trips. But unless you come back and make significant changes to your habits, of course the effect will wear off.
In my student days in Boulder, CO un the 60’s LSD was available as the 1st recreational drug and widely experimented with even before it was stigmatized by Timothy Leary, Paul Lee and Richard Alpert of Harvard. Sandoz chemical engineer discovered it and was roundly embarrassed by its use for recreation. I was part of a unknowably large groups of students who tried it. One friend dosed for 2 months nearly everyday with no lasting side effects and no habit. My experience was very limited because I found that there was little to be learned by subsequent “trips”. I took my experiences as religious sacraments with no desire to repeat. But I do not have depression, at least not then, and have tried many different substances that are natural, not synthesized. As an organic farmer, I harbour a prejudice against synthetics and did at that time as I became an inveterate label reader at supermarkets. We are all simply anecdotes as individuals talking or writing about our experiences. We all have different reactions to the varous drugs as you can see by reading drug product side-effect labelling. At 73 years, I can tell you that I have no regrets and value my psychedelic experiences of 50 years ago.
Here are the conclusions of the 60s sub-culture; what was taken as axiomatic to get the most out of psychedelics.
1. Avoid synthetics and go for the naturals that have long history of ethnobotanical use.
2.Have a good relaxed and experienced, comfortable companion; “trip guide” to help you keep on track. Is your husband a candidate, or a sister to share your fascinations and sense of discovery?
3. Be a day tripper, daylight hours in a enjoyable natural envirnoment, Lake, mountains, good weather.
4. Be prepared to experience visual patterns and emotions of your earliest childhood. I never had, nor did my acquaitances ever ‘see’something that was not there, not what I would consider a halicintion in that sense, just intensified concentrations of emotions & vision. LSD can trigger some negative emotions that never happen with the naturals.
Naturals: Amanita muscaria mushroom called Soma by some cultures. (side effect vomit at beginning)
Psilocybin spp. avalable in Oregon Willamette Valley at beginning or Fall rainy season. Buy from a mycologist.
Peyote, cactus family, bad tasting and begins also with vomiting as sied effect. Like Ayuhuasca, peyote requires cultural guide, Native American Church
Qat from western Asia, Tajikistan, Kazakstan region. Very mild.
You are worried about experimentation? Anxieties can be set aside, perhaps once you realize that you have been doing dangerous experimentation with the many synthetics you have already tried. Think about how childbirth environments have changed since the 1050’s, for example. Did you recognize you broke some of the rules that I listed? I cannot imagine tripping in such a sterlie place as the one to which you have been subjected. My condolences are no comfort but when you expereince the naturals, you will be most gratified. Enjoy yourself, you deserve it.
5. Anticipate the best
Psilocybin,, the active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms is showing promise as a possible treatment for PTSD among returning veterans.
One unfortunate side-effect of the so-called ‘war on drugs’ is that it has made much harder for researchers to obtain these substances to do research with them. We need to at least make them available to scientists, if not the general public, to further evaluate possible benefits for treating mental health disorders.
Thanks for sharing. I’ve been following the reports about ketamine for a while now (I’m a psychiatrist). I’m not optimistic about esketamine, and the costs are much more than your infusions with a much less robust response, as well as mandating use WITH an antidepressant. However…
Some really positive studies out of the UK on psilocybin (the ingredient in “magic mushrooms”) treatment for treatment resistant depression. Good response rate that seems to last months. With recent votes in Denver and Oakland, this may soon be fast-tracked for further study.
All the best to you.
LSD has done the same for me as Ketamine has done for you. I teared up a lil reading how your mind started changing, Things made more sense, you felt happier, etc… LSD is the pretty much the main ingredient to Natural Mushrooms that grow in the ground & can make you high. This is another way to treat your depression, I have mine. It made me think differently forever, better. Now I’m concerned about others & not just myself first. Humbled. A reason to keep on living.
I have never tried real Ketamine, just internet copy-cats when I was younger. But those did change me also. But even though LSD has permanently changed my thinking for the better, I do feel it’s anti-depressant properties do wear off after not taking it for a while. So maybe all these fast acting anti-depressant drugs need to be taken more routinely. I don’t, but I wish there was a legal way that we could. For now I just rely on my THC/CBD. It’s not the best for my type of stress/depression, but it does get me through (It’s not part of the family of psychedelics). I have a medical cannabis card for multiple herniated/bulging discs in my neck, while taking those meds for pain/muscle spasms, I noticed the anti-depression plus that it gave me also. That is another way.
Also have you ever heard of Ayahuasca? I have never tried it, but supposedly it’s the ultimate psychedelic life changing drug out there! Only problem is it’s only legal in a certain country or something, & you have to do a ritualistic spiritistic ceremony. Too weird for me. I have experimented w/ other psychedelics, & I would say that there’s something in each that can cure anxiety/depression in ways we would never imagine!
If you can’t continue in the ketamine treatment, I heard they are also testing LSD as another future anti-depressant drug & are looking for people, only problem for me is I live in Hawaii. We’re always the last of the US States to get things. I hope the best for you in you look for the cure!
LSD is a synthetic substance, the active components of magic mushrooms are psilocybin and psilocin.
Comments are closed.