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Ketamine Treatments for Depression

MrBlue

SF Supporter
#1
Does anyone have experience using Ketamine in a clinical setting for depression? There are treatments available here, kind of expensive and not covered by insurance, so curious. I am quite certain it will help in a rapid way, what I am interested in is how long the effects last? Some claim that it is a cure for a certain percentage of people, temporary in some, and no effect in others. Looking at over $3000 USD for the full series of treatments, so kind of ridiculous if it doesn't work or have lasting effects. Probably $50 worth of Ketamine if one had a non-clinical source.
 

LOSTINSIGHT

Well-Known Member
#2
I'm guessing your in the USA,insurance not cover it in every state?
You can't trust whats in a non clinical setting drug.
Depression really sucks ,,I totally relate to your struggle.
Take care.
 

MrBlue

SF Supporter
#3
I'm guessing your in the USA,insurance not cover it in every state?
You can't trust whats in a non clinical setting drug.
Depression really sucks ,,I totally relate to your struggle.
Take care.
Correct, I am not sure it even matters what state you are in, the insurance will not cover it from what I am told by the clinic. Sounds like they may cover the initial consultation and that some folks have been able to get partial credits if they are persistent and creative in how they file the claims. Like if you have an itemized super bill they may be able to cover certain aspects of the treatment, but that it is not consistent at all. Just going off what I read online.
 
#4

MrBlue

SF Supporter
#5
After a lot of thought and research, I decided to go for the Ketamine treatments! I don't feel like I have much to lose at this point, I guess most people on the brink of suicide don't. The first step a phone discussion with the clinic doctor where he answered all my questions, talked about how the medication works in your mind, expectations, etc. The second step was getting a referral from my GP, she was very open to me trying the treatment and provided it. The third step was a comprehensive in person mental and physical evaluation, this lasted for 1 hour. I did this evaluation on Monday and it went really well, I left his office feeling more hopeful than I have in a looonng time. Step 4, complete 6 Ketamine infusions in 2 to 3 weeks. I did the first treatment today, it takes 2 hours total and you have to have a ride home. Basically, they hook you up on the Ketamine IV, small needle and hardly felt it, sit you down in a comfy recliner, and put on an eye shade and headphones for music. I chose new age music and I think it translates well for a calm and soothing experience. After they start the IV, they gently bring you down into the experience and you ride the somewhat euphoric waves of the Ketamine for awhile, once they stop the IV you gently start to become more aware of your breathing and feel your body again as you come back out. Afterwards, the doctor sat with me as I came back to fully conscious reality and we talked some about my experience. He answered more questions I had about the treatments, what some of the success stories looked like, how long people remained in remission, how to manage meds and/or if tapering off the meds is a good idea and if so, when. I left feeling a bit clumsy and out of it, but fully aware of everything. Now, relaxing at home, feeling a little bit groggy, but good. The whole point to Ketamine treatments is not what you experience or feel during the treatments, although there may be some benefit in that, it is how it causes things to regenerate in your brain and it changes the way your brain works, specifically it can correct things in areas of the brain that are associated with chronic depression...I will not try to explain further as I am not qualified.

I plan on updating this thread as I go through the treatments and advise how I am doing long term. If you have questions, please post them and I will try to answer back as best I can. I plan on focusing on how effective the treatments are in treating depression and anxiety, don't care to get into trying to explain or further discuss the experience itself, there are plenty of places online you can find out about that.
 

MrBlue

SF Supporter
#6
I did a series of 5 treatments, bailed on the last one. I did feel some benefits for the depression, but it didn't touch my anxiety or sleep issues, may have even made them worse. I don't regret trying it, and it may work better for some people, but it isn't a miracle cure or anything like that. Just thought I would follow up with the outcome, even though this thread didn't generate any responses.
 

Sunspots

To Wish Impossible Things
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#7
I'm glad it helped somewhat with the depression but sorry it didn't touch the anxiety.

I'm in the UK and it's not licensed here yet but I know many people are hoping it will be soon. I'm not sure how readily available it will be when/if it does get the go-ahead.

It's such a new treatment so it's good to hear other people's experiences. Thanks for sharing.
 

FlamingoWrangler

🦩🦩🦩🦩
#8
I did a series of 5 treatments, bailed on the last one. I did feel some benefits for the depression, but it didn't touch my anxiety or sleep issues, may have even made them worse. I don't regret trying it, and it may work better for some people, but it isn't a miracle cure or anything like that. Just thought I would follow up with the outcome, even though this thread didn't generate any responses.
thank you. I appreciate the update. I am curious about it too. sorry it wasn’t the change you needed. have you ever seen the American comedian Gary Gulman? he did a skit/special on his depression. Included a ketamine trial. I like that he could share his story.

do you feel like you are in a good place overall?
 
#9
I'm sorry that ketamine didn't help as much as you'd hoped, but I'm glad you shared the update. It might be helpful for other folks who are thinking about ketamine.

I hope you'll be able to find some other treatment method that you like better.
 

MrBlue

SF Supporter
#10
do you feel like you are in a good place overall?
I went through a meat grinder of medications that didn't work and actually caused me really bad side effects. I ended up getting a new Psychiatrist at my GP's recommendation as she was at a loss. She has a doctorate of nursing in Psychiatry, and will be handling the medication and counseling to get me back on track. I have had 3 sessions and am a week in on 5 mg of Escitalopram so far. Having a lot of trouble sleeping and still anxiety, but better than the low point. She just prescribed a low dose of Seroquel for help sleeping and anxiety as I am using more Ativan than we want. This is to be temporary until I get up to 10mg and over a month on the Escitalopram. Overall, I am happy with my progress.
 
#11
@MrBlue
sounds like a good, well rounded approach with your nurse. That is a comfort. Seroquel seems to help some people quickly. I hope you are one. Rest really helps.
its easier to have hope when you’re happy with your progress. 😁
 

Zinnia

Well-Known Member
#12
Does anyone have experience using Ketamine in a clinical setting for depression? There are treatments available here, kind of expensive and not covered by insurance, so curious. I am quite certain it will help in a rapid way, what I am interested in is how long the effects last? Some claim that it is a cure for a certain percentage of people, temporary in some, and no effect in others. Looking at over $3000 USD for the full series of treatments, so kind of ridiculous if it doesn't work or have lasting effects. Probably $50 worth of Ketamine if one had a non-clinical source.
I had to pay for Ketamine with no insurance coverage, but I do have a pre-tax Health Savings Account so that helped. The first series of 6 treatments in 2 weeks really helped. Since then I’ve been on “maintenance” with treatments every 2-3 weeks. It sort of seems to help, but my blood pressure really spikes during the infusion so I have mixed feelings about continuing
 

Zinnia

Well-Known Member
#13
I had to pay for Ketamine with no insurance coverage, but I do have a pre-tax Health Savings Account so that helped. The first series of 6 treatments in 2 weeks really helped. Since then I’ve been on “maintenance” with treatments every 2-3 weeks. It sort of seems to help, but my blood pressure really spikes during the infusion so I have mixed feelings about continuing
Sorry - every 2-3 MONTHS
 
#14
Yeah I was prescribed Ketamine for two years for depression and anxiety - infusions for the first two months and then just maintaining it with the nasal spray. It's hard to say how much of a difference it really made - I think it helped but there were so many other factors including different medications that it's too hard to say what effect it had. The insurance not covering it is eventually why I went off of it, and for me it probably boosted my mood around 10% maybe, I don't know for sure, and it has drastically different effects on different people so who knows. Also the dissociative effects were pretty cool and relaxing, and it was like a soothing meditation session, but that's not really the point of it, just an effect of taking it that lasts like an hour or two.
 

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