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Breaking the Depression Cycle with Ketamine Infusion Therapy

I remember when my world changed: when I felt something that I couldn’t understand what I was feeling or why. I was on the school bus coming home when I was 15 years old. While the bus was stopped, I heard a radio commercial asking, “Do you feel sad for no reason, have you lost interest in things you love to do, and have those feelings lasted longer than two to three weeks? You may have depression…” 

Even though I was in a bus full of loud teenagers, everything seemed to stop — my world stopped. I remember the exact bus stop. That moment is frozen in time like a scene from a movie that had been playing and instantly someone paused the movie. I realized I had depression. But who could I tell? Would people think I was crazy? Why did I have it? Can’t I just snap out of it? A million questions were going through my head. That’s the day my 20-year battle with this disease began. 

That same year I also learned that there were people who cared about me and would help me. I wrote a suicide note and gave it to my friend asking her not to read it, but to give it to a teacher if I was not at school the next day. Well, I’m so glad my friend didn’t listen to me. She read it, and the next thing I knew my mom checked me out of school to take me to the hospital. She saved my life. 

During the span of 20 years it’s been an up and down battle. The medications worked, but only for a short time and then I’d have to start the process over again. This has affected every aspect of my life. It is partly responsible for a divorce and for my severe postpartum depression. 

I never wanted my son to see me in a depressed state, so I would have a family member take him during the low times, which broke my heart. I felt like I was failing as a mom. My son is almost 12 and I still continue that practice. I don’t want to burden him with taking care of his mom, he just needs to be a kid. It still breaks my heart, but I know it’s best for him.

Through the years, I grew tired of the constant roller coaster of depression and changing medications. I was tired of fighting the daily suicidal ideations, which I had experienced this entire time. I was sick of going to hospitals, none of which actually helped. Life had to be better, this couldn’t be why I existed. 

I had researched ketamine infusions for treatment in the past, but hadn’t started them. Now was the time. I was desperate, for me it was life or death. The darkness seemed like it was swallowing me. Through miracles from God and friends, everything I needed to start ketamine infusions all fell into place. My support group was (and still is) amazing. The weekend before my first infusion, they were with me nearly 24/7 to make sure I was safe and let me know they loved and supported me. These friends have families with kids and yet they dropped everything for me! They coordinated my rides to and from the treatments, made sure I had meals, and most of all, made sure I knew I was loved!

After my third infusion, I called my mom at 2 a.m., freaking out and having an anxiety attack. When she asked why, I said, “Because those thoughts aren’t there!!” She asked me what thoughts, and I replied “My suicidal thoughts. They are gone! What should I do?” I kind of started laughing, and that was the other most important, defining day in my journey. 

For the first time in nearly 20 years, I didn’t have a suicidal thought!! It was freeing, yet a little scary. I had learned to live with them, now I have to learn to live without them. I am just fine learning to live without those thoughts!!!

This hasn’t been an easy change, but what I can 100 percent say is that Ketamine Wellness Centers changed my life. These treatments actually gave me a life I wanted to live. Colors seem brighter and food tastes richer. I actually want to care for myself. I feel more connected to my surroundings. I’m even off one of my medications!

There is hope, there is help. KWC truly is a gift from God. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Julie VerHoef is a mom and patient at Ketamine Wellness Centers

Breaking the Depression Cycle with Ketamine Infusion Therapy