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Story Got accepted into a Ketamine trial the same day SN was supposed to arrive

watsonsmith

watsonsmith

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As in the title – my SN was supposed to arrive tomorrow and I got accepted into a ketamine trial. So instead of planning the details for ctb I am packing my bag for another stay at the psych ward (where the trial is taking place).

I tried ketamine last year to manage my depression to no avail. This is supposed to be a new form of treatment, so who knows. I figured it's worth giving a shot.

As background, I have been struggling with anhedonia, depression, DP/DR and horrible somatic issues (akin to thoracic outlet syndrome) for the majority of my life eventually getting the BPD diagnosis. I have been self-medicating with alcohol and MJ and had my first psychotic break at the age of 28 because of cannabis use. The last couple of years have been an up and down rollercoaster between manic and depressive states with a few hospitalisations throughout this period. During my last psychotic break, which lasted 6 months I managed to ruin many relationships, which I held dear (including with the love of my life) and lost a really good job with no prospects for digging myself out of this hole – that's what first brought me here.

For anyone interested I will post here to tell you about the experience.
 
CuddleHug

CuddleHug

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I hope this new treatment works better for you. I'd very much like to hear what it's like and how it affects you. Since Ketamine treatment for depression is so new, it's always interesting to hear first-hand experiences.

Good luck tomorrow! Hugs :heart:
 
Throwawaysoul

Throwawaysoul

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I tried ketamine last year to manage my depression to no avail.
Same here, I'm currently trying to treat myself by making my own nasal spray. Besides getting a little wonky, it's not helping. I wish IV treatments here weren't so expensive.

Good luck !
 
watsonsmith

watsonsmith

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Thanks everyone. I'll make sure to keep you posted.

@Throwawaysoul, I actually did the IV trial last year and it didn't help. This time it will be the nasal spray/oral.
 
AnotherBrick

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This post actually inspired me to take a look to see if there are any trials around me, but they're all too far :( I noticed many of them mentioned placebos, is it possible that's what you received last time?

Either way, it sounds like you've been through a lot and I'm rooting for you. I truly hope you find the relief you're looking for.
 
watsonsmith

watsonsmith

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I’m sorry to hear you can’t participate in these trials. Ketamine does seem promising for treatment-resistant depression. Perhaps something will show up closer to where you live... and also, if you are hopeful about this method, it might be worth it to travel for it?

I definitely didn't get the placebo last year, because of the immediate effects it had on me (getting k-holed pretty much every time). I am willing to give it another shot though.

Thank you for the kind words.
 
wait.what

wait.what

no really, what?
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I've been using the nasal spray version of Ketamine since January. It's hard to say exactly how well it's working, since I live in the U.S. and my country is sliding deeper toward being an absolute dystopian hellhole every day. About 90% of the people I know would probably qualify as clinically mentally ill at this point.

Still--last December I was in one of the worst depressions of my life. Just constant, unremitting agony. Today, even though everything in the world is so much worse, I'm just in your average bad depression. The intensity of the pain fluctuates so I get a little bit of a break sometimes. Is that good? No. Is it what I hoped for? Not at all. But it probably is at least a slight improvement over what I had to live with before.
 
watsonsmith

watsonsmith

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Thanks for sharing. I'm sorry it wasn't the major transformative treatment for you.

I am not getting my hopes up too high... especially that in my country I can't continue using the drug after I leave the hospital yet, so I don't know how much of an efficacy this 2 weeks intensive trial will have.

It does seem like the US is going through all the plagues right now. My ex recently told me how she is keeping a gas mask both for the continuous protests and riots as well as for the smoke that has engulfed much of Oregon where she lives. I'm in my personal hell related to what's happening there, since she remains the love of my life, I am worried about her, but also the thoughts of losing her torment me constantly... Anyway, 2020 seems to be the unwinding of our times in the West.
 
H

HadEnough1974

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As in the title – my SN was supposed to arrive tomorrow and I got accepted into a ketamine trial. So instead of planning the details for ctb I am packing my bag for another stay at the psych ward (where the trial is taking place).

I tried ketamine last year to manage my depression to no avail. This is supposed to be a new form of treatment, so who knows. I figured it's worth giving a shot.

As background, I have been struggling with anhedonia, depression, DP/DR and horrible somatic issues (akin to thoracic outlet syndrome) for the majority of my life eventually getting the BPD diagnosis. I have been self-medicating with alcohol and MJ and had my first psychotic break at the age of 28 because of cannabis use. The last couple of years have been an up and down rollercoaster between manic and depressive states with a few hospitalisations throughout this period. During my last psychotic break, which lasted 6 months I managed to ruin many relationships, which I held dear (including with the love of my life) and lost a really good job with no prospects for digging myself out of this hole – that's what first brought me here.

For anyone interested I will post here to tell you about the experience.
Do you know for sure that you’re getting ketamine and not a placebo? I’m curious how this formulation is different from your previous trial.
 
amnotreal

amnotreal

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I get ketamine through my psychiatrist with a compounding pharmacy and it works for me but when i am in lots of physical pain i stay suicidal or when having bad triggers. i would probably be declined for any trial cuz i have a dissociative disorder but ketamine works really well for helping me want to live and enjoy things. it didnt help me much until i had a really heavy dose also.
 
watsonsmith

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Do you know for sure that you’re getting ketamine and not a placebo? I’m curious how this formulation is different from your previous trial.
Well, I could get into the whole argument about the reality of double-blind trials... it is pretty easy for both the patient and the doctor to discern whether you are getting the placebo or not since ketamine gives some pretty immediate effects when taken in a relatively high dose (which would be my case). I am supposed to get the first dose in a couple of hours. If it's placebo then I'll probably drop out of the trial, unless they figure something else out.

I get ketamine through my psychiatrist with a compounding pharmacy and it works for me but when i am in lots of physical pain i stay suicidal or when having bad triggers. i would probably be declined for any trial cuz i have a dissociative disorder but ketamine works really well for helping me want to live and enjoy things. it didnt help me much until i had a really heavy dose also.
That sounds promising, I'm glad it is giving you some relief. I'm sorry to hear about the physical pain you experience though, I have similar concerns.
 
Throwawaysoul

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I wonder if medical ketamine affects the bladder the same way recreational K does.
 
clayp

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let us know if it works. Considering asking my doc for that.
 
watsonsmith

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Had my first dose. Whilst it was acting (about 1.5-2h) I dissociated heavily and everything in my head slowed down to the point I could do some constructive internal dialogue and felt more hopeful, but since it wore off I am back in my hell. I will have another 3-4 rounds of it over the next couple of weeks and we'll see. At least I know I am not in the control group and I am getting the actual substance.

The immediate relief is great of course, but for now I don't see it as a sustainable solution even if I could use it (get high off of it) on a regular basis after I leave the clinic.

@clayp, it's definitely worth a shot. Even if for the sake of having this experience (drug-induced dissociation) if you hadn't had it before.

I wonder if medical ketamine affects the bladder the same way recreational K does.
No idea. I'll read up on it.
 
watsonsmith

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I had the second dose yesterday. I think I am getting a decent amount of the drug (the dose is also variable in the trial), because I dissociate heavily.

My take on it so far is that ketamine on its own is useless unless taken as an opportunity for introspection and therapy. The dissociative state is conducive to taking a different perspective on life (and death). Unfortunately, here it is treated like a medication that is supposed to toggle a switch in your brain, which in my view is unrealistic. I don't believe that depression and the following suicidal ideation is a manifestation merely of some "chemical imbalance" in the brain. Neurotransmitters certainly play a role, but I am confident all the issues people on this board and elsewhere in the world are struggling with are really diseases of the soul that no drug can ever cure. The medications may help to create an environment where one can face their issues, but they are no panacea for the underlying causes.

I can tell I feel different after the two doses, I did a lot of auto therapy yesterday even if the setting (a psych ward with little to no privacy) is not the best environment for that. The thoughts of ctb and planning are not as intrusive and constant. Ketamine, at least for me, has the effect of both breaking down the ego and distorting the perception of time. This distortion is very profound and whilst its acting (about 1.5-2 hours) I see different parts of my life as separate in a way, where one period is completely separate from the other and the only thing remaining constant is my experience of this one physical body I dwell in. This then creates the opportunity to see that whatever happened recently (a painful experience of the fragility of existence and lack of hope for digging myself out of this hole) is merely another chapter.

It's very difficult to explain, but I will ponder on how to put better this time discontinuity in better words. There certainly is something to it. I experienced similar states when drinking medicinal plants in the jungles of Peru.

I see that I could find a way to stay here in this life, but it would require me to let go of a lot of things I became very attached to. Whilst attachment is not considered healthy, one of those "things" for me is love. There is a woman I have been on and off with for the last 8 years and in my last manic break I pushed her away in my fear and anger. I just can't fathom a future without her. At the same time, I know that unless I make peace with her not being a part of my life anymore I'll never find a way to continue. Love is such a powerful feeling, the memories of her, the things I would still like to experience with her, the joy I would like to bring her... How do you carry on with your life after having experienced this level of intimacy with someone and losing it?

I see that Ketamine helps to gain perspective and dissolve some of the attachment. I will keep posting here, I guess both for myself and anyone who might be curious.
 
watsonsmith

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Had my third treatment yesterday and overall have been going downhill again since my last post. Whilst I am not as tormented by the past to an extent (a few messages from people from my past did lift me up last week, it seems I am not beyond forgiveness, or they are just absolutely amazing people... that they are), no drug will solve life problems that still loom daunting to me.

My last dose is tomorrow and then I will be out of the psych ward. The SN is still waiting with the delivery company for me to get out of the hospital. I'm conflicted... which I guess is somewhat better than outward suicidal. I will post tomorrow or Tuesday after the last treatment.

Still, I maintain that if you can get access to it and feel out of options Ketamine is definitely worth a try. I see how it could work for people and it's definitely better in my view than many other drugs that give severe side effects and whose efficacy is questionable.
 
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Sk1n1M1n

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I am definitely considering ketamine for depression/ bpd I would love to hear your experiences of it, ike you have struggled with depression and anxiety a long time
 
amnotreal

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My last dose is tomorrow and then I will be out of the psych ward. The SN is still waiting with the delivery company for me to get out of the hospital. I'm conflicted... which I guess is somewhat better than outward suicidal. I will post tomorrow or Tuesday after the last treatment.

Still, I maintain that if you can get access to it and feel out of options Ketamine is definitely worth a try. I see how it could work for people and it's definitely better in my view than many other drugs that give severe side effects and whose efficacy is questionable.
I have been able to receive ketamine assisted therapy. first i got it from a famous guy who edited a book of essays about it. he claims he wrote the book on ketamine but it is a book of essays and he is listed as one of the editors. when i had it with him it didn't help me much. it did help my depression but not until i had it a bunch of times and was given a larger dose and then the next time i saw him he undid all of that and how he treated me caused a huge panic attack. since then i have been able to get ketamine assisted therapy I get at home in form of nasap spray sent to me from a compounding pharmacy and it does help me but also i have been able to get in person therapy from someone who first did lots of work with me to make sure i always feel safe with him and he if we think it will help is willing to give very large K-hole doses and that very high dose helps me the most with suicidal thoughts. because of covid and other logistics though I don't see him much right now and am on this site tonight because of my suicidal thoughts.

I don't know if you can get it after you leave the psych ward you are in now or not. in the united states there are a lot of psychiatrists willing to prescribe it through compounding pharmacies now though.
 
Sherri

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Yeah keep us posted, I wanted to ask that to my doc on my next visit.
 
Emily_Numb

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Im late to this thread but PLEASE go on this trial. I am in the UK and have been part of the Ketamine for treatment resistant depression paid for program ran out of Oxford NHS since January. You absolutely have to try it. Had in it had my first IV dose in January, I would almost certainly be dead by now had I not been accepted for treatment. I’ve been having monthly IVs aince January and also oral doses at home every week for the past 2 months. I am currently having a break as I really want to see if it’s still working and if I need to keep doing it. I have been very up and down but I feel things are really starting to improve finally. Quitting alcohol again really helped too.

How is this treatment different to what you had before? I’m really interested to know more when you get the opportunity share. It sounds exciting and I wish you the very best!

I too had a psychotic break from cannabis use at 17 (I’m 37 now). When people say cannabis is ‘totally safe’ it really infuriates me. This absolutely had a massive impact on the rest of my life and has contributed to my C-PTSD. I wouldn’t wish drug induced psychosis on ANYONE. I also have BPD and Bipolar to complicate matters. You are not alone. Our stories sound so similar.

Very much looking forward to your updates.
 
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BipolarGuy

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Im late to this thread but PLEASE go on this trial. I am in the UK and have been part of the Ketamine for treatment resistant depression paid for program ran out of Oxford NHS since January. You absolutely have to try it. Had in it had my first dose in January, I would almost certainly be dead by now. Is your trial in the UK?
Hey, how are you?
I haven't seen you post in a while?

Anyway, ketamine treatment helped?
 
Emily_Numb

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Hey, how are you?
I haven't seen you post in a while?

Anyway, ketamine treatment helped?
Hey Hun. Yeah I’m uh.... slightly hypomanic at the moment so trying my best not to go full blown. My sleep is absolutely appalling. Got some amyltriptaline today... might help. Doubt it though.

I think the Ketamine was great at digging me out the massive hole i was in. You of course have to put some work in yourself and it’s not easy, but in January I was in crisis and I really beleive I would have killed myself had I not had this treatment. The first IV definitely got me out of the black hole I was in.

Some months I found it worked better than others. But I was feeling a fair bit better though come August and felt strong enough to try and put more effort in to feeling better and try and function without the ket. My battle with the booze has finally improved and I’m 3 weeks sober again which has helped soooooooo much. I think the Ketamine has definitely made my brain fire differently. I mean, I still have problems but I’m not suicidal every minute of every day.
 
watsonsmith

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@Emily_Numb Thank you for your post, kind words of encouragement and sharing your experience, I am happy to hear Ketamine helped you. It is always heartwarming when someone can relate to your experiences. I also had an issue with alcohol, but have been sober the last 3 months (and the majority of the last 2 years). Many of my actions and behaviours I most regret are related to it. It's great that you managed to lay off of it, keep it up.

I completed the trial. Had a total of 4 large doses over the span of two weeks. I was feeling better after the second, but after the fourth and last one I seem to be almost back where I started. I am saying almost, because a lot of anxiety related to my past seems to have subsided and these thoughts about what I have done and what could have been are not as intrusive. This is definitely related to the experience I described above – how Ketamine gives you the perspective on things that's unattainable when you are in the cycle of overthinking the past along with the strong emotions attached.

I would imagine it's far more effective if coupled with psychotherapy in a form of more integrative treatment. I recently learnt about a similar approach being taken with MDMA. I think a lot is happening in the area of psychedelics-assisted therapy, but most of the ground-breaking innovation in this area appears to be happening in the US. I would say it is a shame the last 50 or so years of psychiatry have been dominated by the pharmaceutical industry that hasn't left much room for these approaches, I have a lot of faith in them, especially in a refreshed clinical setting.

Overall, I would recommend it to anyone struggling with depression and related issues. I see how it could help, but it was no silver bullet in my case. I definitely see merit in taking it more regularly as a type of long-term treatment plan as @Emily_Numb described. Sadly, I do not have that option. I will now be put on some anti-depressants, because it's all supposed to be a part of the plan that my doctor devised.
 
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