I can remember my depression from as early as the age of 6 or 7; playing games where I pretended I was dead in order to feel peace and fall asleep. As the years went by I still didn’t realize just how much my depression affected my life. I had difficulty finding friends, forming relationships, and finding pleasure in anything. I felt completely alone and completely hopeless.
When I was in my mid 20’s I tried anti-depressants for the first time. Over the course of 8 years I went through over 20 different medications. These ranged from SSRI’s to antipsychotics to anti-seizure medications. By the end I realized the drugs were making me feel even worse than I was when I began them. In addition to this, I had undergone just about every side effect they list on TV and then some. There was even a time in which I lost my near-sighted vision almost completely while trying a new medication and another time where everything looked and “felt” green.
I had sporadically felt suicidal throughout most of my adult life and experienced extended periods of suicidal ideation. After all the medications that had been prescribed to me I felt suicidal constantly and the only thing that brought me any comfort was the ideation. After I was hospitalized my psychiatrist recommended I receive electro-convulsive therapy. I knew the side effects of this procedure and couldn’t handle one more drop in quality of life in order to combat my depression.
That is when I went online and did some research looking desperately for anything that would help. I came across the research that was being done with Ketamine and was beyond fortunate enough to find a place in the valley, Ketamine Wellness Centers, that did the procedure and felt hope for the first time in years.
This was almost three years ago now and my life is a completely different one. When I came home from my second treatment I felt something so profound I will never forget it. I felt no depression for the first time in my life. I remember weeping and weeping with the relief that came with it. It was something that cannot be described. The only way I can think to convey the feeling is through an analogy. It feels like you’ve been in a very small, dark, and suffocating cage your entire life and then to have the door to the cage swing open to reveal a beautiful sun filled sky.
At the time of my treatment my psychiatrist had me on seven medications. Over the course of the next three or four months I went off all of them but two. My energy increased dramatically as well as my mood and I was able to return to college and finish my degree in biology at ASU.
At the same time I realized that there were personal issues that I had not been able to deal with directly due to my depression and that the depression in itself had created some faulty beliefs on my part. This meant that I had a new sense of freedom, and with that an ability to address the issues in my life that were holding me back in other ways. Working with a therapist and going to groups has helped me even further. With the aid of this treatment, I am more content, focused, and centered than I ever thought possible.
To the staff at Ketamine Wellness Centers- Thank you for the compassion, personal care, and education that you have provided me. I felt incredibly vulnerable walking through those doors for the first time and you have consistently made me feel welcomed and cared for.