Turbulence Encountered, But Clear Skies Ahead

My sincere apologies for the amount of time that has passed since my last post. I had an interesting (from a scientific point of view, not personal) experience with the ketamine and was floundering for a while. About six weeks ago, I took my regularly scheduled dose and it plunged me into a very deep depression. It abated in 24 hours, and just to be sure it was the ketamine, I took my next scheduled dose 3 days later and the same thing happened. I stopped the ketamine and went back on my old SSRI, but the side effects were amplified to such an extent that  it was unbearable and after two weeks,  I went off meds altogether.

I theorized that I had over-saturated my brain with ketamine, which led to it having the opposite effect as well as making the addition of any other meds intolerable. I did some more research and found out that when used as a long- term treatment, doses are supposed to be gradually spaced out, from every 3 days, to every 5 days, to once a week, to once every two weeks, to once a month, and eventually once every two months. This seemed to confirm my theory that I had overdone the ketamine since I had been taking it every 3 days for 4 months straight.
I managed to maintain a depression-free state for four weeks, and last week I started taking the ketamine again after I sank back into my old depression. The first dose lifted me right back up as it had done when I first started it. I am now maintaining at 5 day intervals and after I am sure I am stabilized, I will begin to gradually space them out as per what my research dictates.
It’s been a crazy ride, and absolutely terrifying when I thought ketamine was no longer an option and I was destined to revert to a life of depression after receiving such a miraculous reprieve. The fact that I’m having to figure all this out on my own has made it even more difficult, but I seem to have found a balance again. I sincerely hope the lessons I am learning as a ketamine guinea pig can help others on ketamine treatment avoid some of the pitfalls I have encountered.
Here’s to a standard ketamine treatment protocol!


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Filed under x's ketamine journey

5 responses to “Turbulence Encountered, But Clear Skies Ahead

  1. Brenda

    I loved the title. Very poetic.

    Love, Mama

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Sorry – I reposted this to add the request to be notified by email when I get a response. Also amended with the comment on brain white matter at the end.

    How long did you maintain at each level, e.g. 3 day, 5 day, 1 week, etc.?
    What did you use to decide it was time to advance to the next level?
    You shouldn’t have been forced to be your own guinea pig! The NIMH should have done clinical trials to answer these questions!
    Also – be careful of the amount you take. There was a report in 2010 of frontal brain white matter abnormalities when taking addictive amounts of Ketamine over extended period of time. Author Llao et al. NIMH has been using 0.5mg/kg.

    • Don,

      The NIH is currently conducting ketamine trials, as are other research facilities, to determine efficacy and develop treatment protocols. Several pharmaceutical companies have already developed drugs that act on the the same receptors as ketamine without the negative side effects and potential risks, but they are still in the trial phase and will not be available to the public for several years. In the meantime, after living with chronic depression for 23 years, I decided it was worth the risk to use an intranasal ketamine protocol until the meds are available.

      I took the ketamine every 3 days for one month until I had built up a solid foundation of a depression-free state, then I took it every 5 days for two weeks and I have just transitioned to once a week. I’ve been gauging when to space my doses by how I feel. When I transitioned to once a week, I paid careful attention to how I was feeling on days five and six and when I realized. I was still stable after six days, I switched to a once-a-week dose. The trick is to not get too overzealous and try to space out the doses so far that I crash.

      I agree that using myself as a guinea pig is not ideal, but after weighing the risks, I decided it was better than the alternative. Removing the depression has also enabled me to be much more productive in psychotherapy and make breakthroughs in areas where I was previously stuck.

      I hope the information in my blog is helpful.


  3. Can you provide the original source of your stated schedule, e.g.
    3 days … 5 days … 1 week etc.
    I have not seen this schedule published in any of the research I have done.
    I would like to read this. Thank you.

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