Treatment Resistant Depression - Ketamine Round 2
Updated: Sep 21, 2019
I couldn't help but wonder, "Was it a bad sign that the ketamine wore off so quickly after round 1?" My anxiety quickly popped up and I asked the dr. He said not to worry, some people don’t even notice anything until their 3rd treatment. He told me the fact that I felt any sort of reaction at all was a good sign that the ketamine molecule just might work for me. I was encouraged by his response.
Ketamine administration round 2 went very much the same way. A little spritz in each nostril over the course of a few minutes. This time each spray contained a little more medication than treatment 1. This was in the hope that the positive effects would last longer than that of the first treatment. Throughout the treatment I felt the same sort of “heavy high.” Definitely not alert enough to go and drive a car but never feeling out of control or having any sort of out of body experience. We talked through the session which, in total, lasted about 1 hour again. I slowly got up with my legs feeling slightly heavier than the previous time but no real difference than before. I did notice a slight lift in my mood and a reduction in my anxiety.
To my dismay, again, the effects wore off after about 3-4 hours. I then became increasingly depressed. Thankfully, that night I had a therapy session so I was able to discuss it with my therapist. He told me that he thought my increased depression after the treatment wasn’t so much an actual symptom of my bipolar depression but a reaction from the let down of feeling good to going back to “normal.” Let us pause for a moment: Holy shit, I'm having a feeling. The reaction explanation made a lot of sense to me. Having been stuck in a depressive phase for so long, having 3 hours of feeling good brought on a sort of longing and fear for me. I just had 3 hours where I didn’t feel the crushing blows of depression. When will this happen again? is this a feeling I won’t experience again for months? Years? It is a mentality that I must fight but it is not necessarily an easy one. When your brain has been beat down and let down so many times, how do you get it pumped up enough to believe that maybe it is possible for you to feel good for an extended period of time? Maybe I am not doomed for unrelenting depression for the rest of your life. It’s a nice thought to entertain. One that I hope with continued ketamine treatments and self-care/depression-fighting lifestyle, my brain will jump on board with and help bring into fruition.