For the fifth session, the experience began with a floating sensation. As with the first time, I first felt as though my neural pathways were getting shaken loose. Like the previous two sessions, it had a Zen quality to it, and I thought about how trying to get accustomed the worst-case scenario for a given thing was actually contributing to my depression. It also felt much longer than the previous two sessions but not as long as the first. It was still long enough for me to get bored with the experience, though.
The main thing I thought of during the fourth session was Fantasia (I was listening to Beethoven's Sixth for what it's worth). The experience seemed to have a certain Zen quality to it that made think of the importance of being in the present.
It had less impact than the third time, and I seemed to recover remarkably quickly.
I have been persuaded to have more ketamine sessions even though the last one had hardly any effect. I'll be sure to continue putting up the descriptions of my earlier sessions.
This blog was a bad idea. The effects of ketamine have worn off completely. It's as if I'd never had it at all. My seventh from two weeks ago had no effect. My depression cannot be cured. There is no hope.
For the third session, what was most remarkable was how unremarkable it seemed compared to the first two times. I felt much less of an impact than I did even the second time. However, I feel I had a breakthrough. I realized that trying to get accustomed the worst-case scenario for a given thing was actually contributing to my depression.
It also seemed much shorter, yet the recovery time felt longer despite actually being shorter than it was the first two times apparently.
Whereas the first time felt like a journey, the second time felt much more introspective. I started wondering how much of philosophy is really about human psychology such as the proper way to live. The overall impact of the second time, though, was a lot less than the first. I may be building a tolerance to it.
As turned out, listening to The Four Seasons, my music of choice, didn't affect the experience as much as I thought it might.
The following is what I wrote soon after I had my first ketamine session several weeks ago:
My first ketamine session was kind of strange. It was similar to what I imagined taking LSD would feel like based on what I've read and heard about it. I first felt as though my neural pathways were getting shaken loose, and my preconceived notions were being let go of. I then felt as though I was emerging from some primordial ooze in the water and then crawling out toward some light in a cave on land as I started wondering, "What's it all about? What are we? What's arbitrary and what isn't?"
I later felt as though I was going toward some starry expanse in the sky and felt lost. I eventually wanted to feel grounded on Earth again.
After experiencing various sensations and such, I eventually grew bored of the experience and wanted it to be over.
Although the experience seemed to last closer to an hour and a half, when it was, in fact, over, the nurse administering the treatment remarked on how quickly I had recovered. She said I must be very healthy and perhaps should have a greater dose next time. When I mentioned that I felt bored at some point during the treatment, she said that too might be a result of having too little of the drug.
I forgot to bring my own music for the session, so I listened to something made just for ketamine patients. I plan on listening to something completely different to see what difference that makes.
Ayelet Waldman has suffered from serious mood disorders for years. She’s tried just about every medication or therapeutic treatment that’s available, but nothing was working, and she felt like her marriage — and her life — was crumbling. So she tried one more drug, almost as a last resort. In a series of tiny doses, she took LSD for one month — and the result was almost miraculous.
I can definitely relate. Even though I'm not married and even though I feel a lot of the effects of ketamine have worn off since my initial set of ketamine sessions, I feel ketamine has done for me what LSD did for Ayelet Waldman, the wife of author Michael Chabon. (You may know him as the author of Wonder Boys.)
I came to know about ketamine from my parents. They'd heard about Waldman and her experiments with LSD as a therapeutic drug. They told me even though LSD wasn't available as a therapeutic drug, ketamine (which they said was called "the poor man's LSD") might be before long.
Several months and a lot of hassle later, I finally got my session of ketamine transfusion.
This blog actually started life as a few e-mails I sent to those close to me about my ketamine treatments. It then later became a Word document as what I wrote about my sessions kept getting longer and longer.
At the recommendation of my family and friends, I've decided to turn that Word document into a blog. The reason for this is two-fold. First, it'll serve as a record for my thoughts while they're still fresh. And, second, it may offer insight or hope to those who suffer from depression and may wonder what ketamine has to offer them.
As of the time of this writing, I've had six sessions so far, so my next seven posts will be a recollection on my introduction to ketamine, followed by six posts for my six sessions.