Depression and taking Ketamine

I tried Ketamine yesterday.

I had been in a depression episode that lasted through all of September, which is a very long episode for me. This is problematical, because while many of the antidepressants have some effect in preventing me from getting depressed, none work to actually get me out of depression.

So there I was, with my parents getting ever more worried about me. I really was doing nothing – staying at home and sitting in front of the computer reading Fark.com and Cracked.com articles all day. That’s all I did. All day. Literally.

Well, I fed the dogs too, but they were also upset because for the entire month I took them out walking perhaps three times. They are used to going for walks twice a day.

The Ketamine was a sort of a desperation measure, but there was a bit of method in the decision. Since regular antidepressants don’t work while I am depressed, trying one that I had never yet used didn’t make sense for me – I figured it would follow the same fairly useless pattern as all of the past ones.

That of course didn’t stop my parents from encouraging me to do that – which led to some fairly heated arguments between us when I said no. Meanwhile, Ketamine has been making the news recently.

I did do my homework – Ketamine is not a magic drug, but it is claimed to have one feature that none of the previous drugs had – it alleviates depression within hours. So I figured – “hey look, if I can get a drug that gets me out of depression, I can probably sort the rest out.”

Which gets me back to my parents. Amidst the arguments, I said if I was going to try a drug, I want it to be Ketamine. They helped me in my efforts to get some – which is important, since I was not in any position to initiate any action to do that (I was depressed, remember).

Here are the results.

I took 20 mg injected into my thigh. I got high within the first 5 minutes – did I mention that Ketamine is used as a recreational drug. After about an hour, the over the top effects dissipated and left me, well, not depressed. I’d say very slightly manic, but without any of the irritability or coordination issues or muscular tension that usually accompanies mania. So fairly close to normal. And, according to the people around me, I was acting normally.

More to the point, Ketamine is rapidly metabolised, so 12 hours later, the effects should have worn off. However, the depression hasn’t returned – I am still feeling normal / functional / able to focus.

So apparently Ketamine does pull one out of depression. Though if I had to describe what happened, I wouldn’t say that it alleviated depression – that sounds too smooth. For me, a closer description seems to be that it yanked me by the hair and dragged me out of depression. Yeah, it felt that rough. But hey, I’m currently not acting depressed.

I’m too cynical / weary to think this is a magic drug. Every drug I have used to date has worked to some degree, but not over any period of time. For me, to test Ketamine properly, I will see what happens over the next three months. This is early days.

But yes, although I don’t know how long it lasts, Ketamine apparently does get you out of depression immediately.

A few warnings. The effect when you take it is fairly intense. Ketamine is what they call a disassociative – and if you take it for the first few hours you will feel as if you are not quite in your body. If you try it, have someone physically present to keep an eye on you, because the sensation can be unsettling. Set aside at least 4-6 hours of doing nothing when you try it. Do NOT try driving – you WILL get in an accident.

Will follow up on this as it evolves over the next month or two. Meanwhile, got to restart my life. Again. Sigh.

UPDATE: It appears that Ketamine may be pushing my blood pressure way high. I’m currently keeping an eye on this. Meanwhile, I recommend that you check your blood pressure before injecting the Ketamine,  checking your blood pressure an hour after taking it, and then every two hours after that.

4 thoughts on “Depression and taking Ketamine

  1. I clicked send button before ending my writing…
    I wanted to say it is nice to see you coming back.
    And about your entry… Ketamine seems to be a strong drug! I am glad it took you out of depression but I hope it doesn’t have bad side effects in the long term.

  2. Daniela,
    Thanks for your well wishes. Will be checking on side effects over the next few weeks, and will update this post as I find out. Meanwhile, it’s good to be able to think again.

  3. I suffer from bipolar depression and work in the anesthesia department. We have ketamine in 10mg/ml and 50 mg/ml. Are you injecting the ketamine intramuscular yourself at home? I would think that ketamine should be injected into a patient by a health care proffesional in a health care setting. Like ECT. A small amount such as 20mg IM to be honest is fairly safe, however 20mg Iv can cause confusion, disorientation and you can hurt yourself while buzzing. Not realizing what you are doing. Ketamine rarely causes respiratory depression, however at larger doses can cause apnea.

    I read about ketamine and bipolar depression before but thought it is still experimental. I didn’t know doctors are prescribing it now.

    Your posts on ketamine are interesting, I am not passing judgement or anything but ketamine in my opinion should be giving in hospitals for treatment of depression.

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