Each patient experiences ketamine infusion therapy differently. Here, we share one patient’s experience during her sessions, and how she has found relief, comfort, and a higher quality of life through this safe and effective treatment.
Seeking Out Treatment for Prolonged PTSD
Julie had been taking medication and undergoing therapy for major depression since the mid-2000s. In 2010, she was diagnosed with PTSD and started using SSRIs and undergoing more intensive therapy. While the medication and therapy was helpful, she didn’t feel completely healthy. She was still reactive to triggers, numb to feelings, and incredibly fatigued, despite sticking to a normal sleep schedule. Julie heard of ketamine infusion therapy through a friend and did some of her own research. After discovering that it was safe and had success in treating PTSD, she decided to give it a shot in hopes that something would finally work.
A Successful Start Derailed by COVID-19
Julie began treatment just before the pandemic in February 2020. She had six treatments in the span of three weeks, then discontinued ketamine infusion until March 2021. During the first few weeks of the pandemic, Julie was able to roll with the punches.
“I had some feelings of uncertainty but it could have been so much worse.”
Unfortunately, symptoms crept back in during the latter part of 2020. She wasn’t taking medication because she needed the energy to take care of her child. When she returned for treatment in March 2021, she felt balanced for a month, then returned for another dose. She wanted to be cognizant of how her body and mind were feeling to ensure she really needed the treatment.
Minimal Side Effects
Julie experienced some initial side effects that included dizziness and nausea. She followed our protocols and instructions, and was able to mitigate any drastic symptoms. As her body adjusted to the treatment, the side effects lessened.
Experience During Treatment
Our clinic provides a blanket, eye pillow, and music – a curated playlist that has been given great feedback. Julie suggests bringing other comfort items if you are particularly nervous to help you relax even more during your first few treatments. A medical professional will take your blood pressure every 45 minutes to 1 hour. Julie fasted six hours prior and had no food or drink.
“The staff is amazing and laid back, very relaxed. There is no undertone of judgement or condescension. They are very accommodating and wonderful.”
Current Outlook on Life
“Ketamine therapy really changed my outlook on life. There’s no such thing as feeling normal, but I don’t have to feel hypervigilant all the time.”
After the first few sessions, she was blown away by being able to actually “feel” her feelings. She has lived with PTSD for years after developing it due to childhood and adulthood traumas. Through ketamine infusion, Julie was able to have a more objective outlook on life, which wasn’t possible prior to her treatments.
“It took a while to get used to that. It was very life changing. I was able to take steps to go beyond the treatments and therapies to start my life again. I didn’t have a stable childhood or adolescence, so I never learned what was normal and healthy. I learned how to value myself, how to stay calm, how to deal with triggers. Ketamine has helped me have the courage to make better changes in my life.”
*quotes have been edited and condensed for clarity.