Mayo Clinic Connect
Does anyone have any experience with ketamine treatments? Either as part of a clinical trial or otherwise?
MDD is major depression disorder. Most MDD is treatment resistant. I have tried most every drug and every treatment to no avail. The older I have gotten the worse it has become. Honestly, I have zero quality of life and no purpose I can see. My children don’t speak to me. They haven’t in years. No real friends. I merely exist. Mental illness truly can take ones life away.
No I’m not suicidal. Amongst all things I lack….courage is one of them. It just is what it is.
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@marjou The nasal spray uses one of the ketamine molecules while the IV infusion uses two so it is possible that the nasal infusion won't work for you but the IV will. I went with the IV since it was available and had better results. If doesn't require a hospital stay. I go to the clinic with a family member so they can drive me home. I go in, get the treatment which lasts about an hour, and go home. The nasal spray, from what I recall reading, also requires you go into the clinic or doctor's office, be treated, and then driven home. There was some talk about having the nasal spray available for home use but the belief was that people would abuse it like Special K.
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Appreciate this info. Thanks
@dcs3 It's like we're living in each other's lives or body! I understand exactly what you describe! I am going to try medical marijuana but awaiting card. Thank you for sharing!
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I have given thought to weed. I believe I need more mind altering/brain changing medications. I inquired about the nasal spray…my psychiatrist said if infusion didn’t work nasal spray would not work. Or I just need new brain!! Lol I always ask my psychiatrist if my new brain is in yet and he always says it’s still on back order. The few times I actually laugh!
Hi @kelster69, I am sorry to hear they are no longer working. It does sound like the clinic you are going to isn't a good one. That is an issue with insurance not covering this and a lot of doctor's not recognizing that it works for some people. The fact that it did seem to work initially would seem to me like it should keep working though you are going through a real crappy time. My cousin also does the ketamine IVs every three months and then uses the nasal spray in between treatments. That could be an option.
The death of your parents is enough to set anyone into a depression. It's possible that the ketamine is still working for you, but that you are going through a natural grieving process right now which feels just like depression. I'm not a psychiatrist so I could be completely wrong here. I do remember being told that the ketamine will help but if you are going through a lot of stressors, you can fall right back into depression even with the treatments. Are you seeing a therapist or someone to talk to about the grief and other issues? Medication can do a lot but so can talking to people about the problems.
As for how I am doing, I got back with my wife for almost a year and then she was right back to the same crap as before, though with yelling at my daughter for getting a 4 instead of a 5 on her AP global exam. The ketamine is working fine for me still. I am actually handling things better though I still have a lot of down days. Those down days are still so much better than before. I go to a pretty good clinic in Rochester, NY. I do wish that the FDA would approve the treatment but there isn't any money for big pharma so there won't be any trials done.
I really hope that you can find some relief from the depression.
@mandrake70 , thank you for your reply, and I apologize for not getting back sooner. I found a new clinic; I've had four intra-muscular ketamine treatments. I already feel dramatically better. The difference between the two clinics is remarkable. Same price, but this new one really checks in with patients, and adjusts dosing based on how we're doing. I think my brain was broken from all the grief and stressors. I still have a lot of grief, but I can at least get through the day without wanting to kill myself.
I am sorry about your wife. Same crap sounds accurate for relationships; I've been there too. More later. Have a zoom meeting now. Thanks again for your response. All the best, Kelster69
Well you have a good sense of humor. I need to work on that.
@kelster69 I'm glad to hear that the new clinic is working out so much better. I do wish there was some regulation on the clinics but without FDA approval, insurance, etc., I don't see that happening. I haven't tried the IM ketamine, I have just been doing the IV. I do see the articles on it and they have been having great, fast results. I think reducing the stressors will help, though I do completely understand that is much easier said than done. Grief will get better, especially now that you may be able to start dealing with it. Again, I wish it was easier to do than just say. I am still dealing with my father's death and my lack of availability for my mother over the past few years.
I hope things keep getting better for you.
Liked by kelster69
Welcome! Hope things get better for you.
What is Ketamine treatment?
I have taken two ketamine infusions and on-target injections for back pain. My psychiatrist thought perhaps the ketamine infusions would help the depression, but they did not. I have also gone through a serious of 18 shock treatments (9 over a period of two weeks, and then another 9 for two more weeks). I understand from people I talked to in the waiting room that they came once a month for a treatment and they helped them tremendously. I did not find them helpful; only made me very, very sore all over. I always felt like I'd been hit by a bus. A good medical team who actually talk to each other, and apparently the right combination of drugs (I have tried so many that either don't work or have horrible side effects), which I think I finally have is helping a lot. I take Neurontin, which incidentally helps with pain, Lamictal, Wellbutrin and Zoloft. Especially in these troubled times, I have been feeling especially anxious and depressed, but the meds seem to be working. I'm not jumping for joy, but I'm not crawling the walls either. I do understand about the Canadian health care system; my husband, son and I lived in Calgary for a year as my husband was responsible for the Canadian oil production for an American company. We had to wait forever to get in to see a GP, and the company recommended that if we had anything serious, to let them know and they would fly us back to the States for treatment. As far as my back pain is concerned, it has eased a great deal since all of this pandemic and rioting mess has taken hold. I have lost 70 pounds without even trying. I simply cannot eat; it makes me sick to my stomach. And I have to say that my back is much better. So, another 40 pounds and I think my back will be cured. I am fortunate in that I am retired and eligible for Medicare. My health care treatment is the best. I have access to all the specialists I need and a fantastic hospital system, primo in the world. I sympathize with you and the pain; my husband suffers from diabetic neuropathy, and there isn't much they can do for him; they have tried. I do not know what to suggest to you; moving to the States would make you eligible for Medicare, but I don't know what is involved in making such a move. The best I can do is keep you in my prayers and hope there is a solution soon. Keep the faith and stay safe.
@cb772 Ketamine is normally used in sedation but has also been used as a party drug over the years. Several years ago, it was found to help people with severe depression. The initial infusion can help reduce suicidal thoughts and depression very quickly and is often used that way now in emergency rooms. The more interesting treatment, though, is through a series of six or so IV infusions over a two week period. These infusions may or may not work but have about 70-80% chance of helping a person. Most people don't feel any relief for the first few infusions but towards the 5th or 6th, they start feeling better if it is going to work. I felt better after my 5th and much better after the 6th. The idea with this type of treatment is called neuroplasticity and is using the ketamine to help rewrite the neurons in the brain. I go back in for a single infusion every three months. I am not currently on any anti-depressant or anti-anxiety meds. At one point, my psychiatrist had me on an overdose level of Parnate and Olanzapine in addition to ECTs. I am one of the success stories for ketamine. One of the issues with ketamine is that different clinics will do different things. A single dose or two really won't do much long term. You really do need to start off with the series and then have the upkeep treatments. There is a nasal version that was put out recently but I am a little dubious of it since it only uses one of the two ketamine molecules. It is by prescription so that may be a good reason to try it (insurance covers it) but the response isn't as good as the IV series.
@vickimurray, When you say you had two infusions, do you mean single infusions or two series of six infusions? I don't know if having two single infusions would actually do too much beyond a little help while you are getting the infusion and for a short time afterwards. I won't get on my sandbox about how one clinic does things one way and another does it another way.
I mean I had just two infusions. And you are right; they only helped for a short time afterwards. I became disillusioned quickly. Perhaps I should have given them more time to work. I do get inpatient at times. Hope they help other folks.
@vickimurray , the ketamine treatments need to build up, from what I understand. Initially 6 infusions in 2 weeks' time. I am in-between my 5th and 6th treatments at my new clinic. I can already feel the depression bogging me down, and it's only been three days. I scheduled this next treatment too far out. I realize ketamine treatments are ridiculously expensive. It's sad that they are not more accessible for people. I am going to spend my savings until I stop feeling so suicidal.
Thank you, @mandrake70. Grief comes back when I'm feeling low/vulnerable and hits me like a ton of bricks. I'm sorry about the loss of your father. I know my grief has made my depression worse. Having a bad day today; I need to get back in to the new clinic for the 6th ketamine treatment. I don't know what else I will do. I hope you're doing okay.
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