This winter the dark and cold brought with it the worst depression I have ever known. It was a palpable. Enough force that I could hear and taste it. And a pervasive enough force that I named her The Darkness. Every morning for months I would wake into her gapping maw an endless void of despair and every nigh I would fall asleep crying clutched in her frigid hands. Each day, the Darkness took a piece of me. She razed all my interests and stole from me all the things I cared about leaving only fantasies of death. Finally, at March’s end I followed one of those fantasies and The Darkness into a freezing lake with the intent of never having to suffer or surface again. I survived my suicide attempt. I had my first Ketamine treatment shortly after, because I realized that having a will to survive is starkly different than having a desire to be alive.
The first treatment felt completely pointless and only accomplished making me sadder. I was, however, determined to defeat The Darkness and continued receiving treatments. Each treatment did get slowly & progressively better. I began to enjoy spending time with the patients and friendly anesthesiologists and the effervescent receptionist. Each treatment also brought with it subtle improvements, such as no longer day dreaming about Duct taping over my mouth and nose and then leaping from all the tall buildings I passed on the way to and from Dr. Henderson’s’ office. Then, I started to do more things with my day – like cook and socialize. I even returned to a place I had abandoned for two bleak months. A place that with a few more treatments I would come to realize, without the veil of darkness over my being, brings me immense euphoria. Then, one afternoon a week or so before my last treatment it struck me that I was….happy, an emotion I was slow to recognize because it had been so long since I had felt it. I went ahead and received my final Ketamine treatment though it felt wholly frivolous. I am currently doing well and am staggered by how distant the feeling has become that I was a shadow sewn into a corpse cursed to shuffle through the mausoleum of my former life. There are even days that I cannot wait to get out of bed and live.
P.S. Thank you Dr. Henderson, Dan and Ralph (the anesthesiologists), and Stefa (the receptionist)!
Seeking to save my life my father sought out therapeutic solutions including eventually coming across a ketamine infusion clinic in Denver Colorado. The first three infusions were done one weeks apart. During these first three, I did not see much obvious improvement and began doubting the process. I was still deep in an extreme depression and couldn’t see my way out. By the fourth infusion I started to feel better, my moods seemed to improve and it seemed harder and harder to remain in dark unbearably painful moods for days at a time, I started to feel somewhat normal. At the same time the doctor running my ketamine infusions was fixing my diagnosis and corrected it and started me on the correct medications to treat my neurological pain disease known as “Complex Regional Pain Syndrome” (CRPS). Although depression is a side effect of CRPS, the extreme depression seemed like a separate and extreme disease. I did not believe it would be possible for anything to completely cure the depression and thought that it would be something I would have to live with for the rest of my life. Much to my surprise, by the time we got to the 4th and then 5th infusion, I was finding that I still would have some minor depressive episodes, but that in general I was no longer depressed, and felt mostly like a normal person does who is not living with depression.
When I’d heard about the newly discovered Ketamine infusion therapy for medication-resistant depression, I was so inspired for those in need. Boy was I surprised later to realize I was one of them.
I’d been plodding along with anti-depressant medication changes/adjustments for so long and my quality of life continued to circle the drain. Although the infusion costs (not yet covered by most health insurance plans) were initially daunting, I was so impressed with how quickly and successfully they worked.
I went to Neuro-Luminance for Ketamine infusion therapy for depression. During years of trying many oral medications, my depression intensified badly. It had me so far down that I had given up on meds and didn’t know where to turn. I had read good research reports on Ketamine for depression so was encouraged when Dr. Henderson’s clinic opened. He explained the process clearly, including his belief that Ketamine may repair brain structure, considerably improving the effectiveness of oral meds.
Relief came within 24 hours of the first infusion. With each subsequent infusion my mood improved more and backsliding diminished. Upon seeing this improvement, he initiated discussion about oral meds as a longer-term treatment. His in-depth knowledge in this field convinced me to give them another try. The results have been so good that I’m not sure whether I’ll ever need periodic “maintenance” infusions.
Every day I realize how much relief and improvement I’m enjoying since entrusting my care to Dr. Henderson. He and his clinic staff are very caring and professional. My experiences with the infusions were calm and relaxing, with him and a board-certified anesthesiologist monitoring me at all times.