Ketamine infusion therapy

joeylittle

Administrator
Well....I'm trying ketamine infusion, for depression. Specifically, treatment-resistant (refractory) Major Depressive Disorder with dysthymia.

About...two years ago, now - my psych prescribed me a ketamine intranasal spray, to give it a go and see if it helped with suicidal ideation and overall mood. It did help some with the former, but not the latter. And, at that time it wasn't practical for me to pursue intravenous ketamine. So - I retained an as-needed option for a ketamine spray when my suicidal thinking got particularly difficult, and that was that.

I went back to TMS, which always helps a bit - but it doesn't really make a big enough dent.

With the pandemic still keeping me rooted to one city - normally I'd travel for work - I've got some time where my local job is a little less intense, and I'm just here in one place....so, psych and I decided it was worth a try.

The protocol is for two infusions per week, three to four weeks. I have them done at a clinic where they can check blood pressure, monitor heart rate, and be there in case I have a bad reaction.

Today was my first day. The doctor administering it was pretty clear about what the goal was, in terms of level of dissociated state - and also, that she would start today by underusing me slightly, to see how it hit me and adjust up from there.

The infusion itself lasts 45 minutes; then, this clinic has you stay in the prone position still running saline for another 10 minutes before you can start getting up again. That apparently helps with the re-connecting to reality part of it. They kept me for another 30 minutes after that, just to watch me and make sure all was well.

Something I didn't know - they do want the patient to get to the point where they are lightly hallucinating and feeling out-of-body. It was interesting...I don't have a lot of experience with hallucinogenics in general. Today, I definitely went out-of-body, lost all sense of time and location, and had the strange feeling that there was some brightness just around the corner of my mostly black with some purple field of vision (this is all done with an eye mask on, so we're talking mental field of vision)...so it was slightly trippy, but not as trippy as it needs to be, so says the Dr.

I wasn't sure how PTSD-me would react, but so far, so good. I did a lot of advance prep, just to get into a leveled out, relaxed frame of mind.

I'll report back on the experience overall...if this ends up even doing a little bit of good, I'll benefit a lot. And once we've gotten through the basic mood disorder protocol, there's a good chance I'll carry on with it for a few more sessions of guided psychotherapy, to work on some of the more difficult parts of that. But - one thing at a time....

Happy to answer questions.
 

siniang

MyPTSD Pro
I'm following someone on social media who recently (as in: a few months ago) had started Ketamine treatment for severe depression and cPTSD and from what I gathered they reporded promising results.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you @joeylittle and interested in the journey (I'm not in need of it, but always very interested in learning and improving my personal knowledge database)
 

Friday

Moderator
It’s amazing how much windows of relief contribute to overall stability.

If I’m understanding correctly the nasal spray is similar to taking a benzo during a panic attack, but the infusion treatment is a regular thing (ie not crisis management) that works on building a foundation / sort of staircase up? Biweekly treatments over a fairly short period of time, to create those windows of relief / to allow someone to move up in their own life onto more secure ground? Or have I got that totally wrong?
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
Hi thanks for posting. Yes I hope you feel better. I feel out of the loop with these new medications and drugs because is am not doing any psychopharmacology.

Suicidal ideation and depression are my biggest fears along with my freeze response which brings it on. So I really hope it works because anything that helps with that is good.

I read magic mushrooms have held some promise also perhaps with medication resistant depression. Maybe that’s something else to consider . I love mushrooms.

Good luck, I’ll be looking forward to hearing more and I hope you get some relief .
 
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