The Ketamine Diaries: An Intimate Account – Session 1

Introduction from R&R

From the beginning, we have been committed to providing a wide variety of services to holistically support both your beauty and overall wellness journeys. In addition to beauty and skincare, we strive to meet needs, combat taboos, and overcome barriers to convenient and effective healthcare. To that end, we’ve added Ketamine to our list of services.

Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States, and mental health issues account for over $210 Billion in lost earnings. Shockingly, two thirds of those suffering with depression do not even seek treatment. The taboo surrounding mental health issues, fear, cost, and lack of results are undoubtedly to blame. For all of these reasons, we were compelled to bring a safe, effective treatment option to a comfortable spa setting.

One of our first Ketamine clients was brave enough to not only try Ketamine for her depression but to document her experience and to anonymously share it with the community. She did so to shed light on the process and benefits and to help alleviate any fear.

She has a beautiful narrative voice, an honest style, and the unique ability to take us along on her journey. We hope you will enjoy her Ketamine Diaries as much as we do and we encourage you to share this with any friends or family members who might benefit from Ketamine and to contact us if you think this treatment might help you.

For the next four weeks, we will publish one diary entry each week.

Below is her account of her first session.

xoxo Rachel and Ryan

Session one: The Induction

Ketamine is an anesthetic that has been developed for the treatment of depression as well as other mood disorders. This medication causes you to “dissociate” during the treatment. Think, a controlled trip for lack of better terms.

Why would I want to pay to go on a controlled trip when I could easily just take shrooms by myself? For me the draw to try Ketamine was my hatred of long term medications; and the actual research that supports that this “trip” causes your brain to change in big measurable ways.
Since my early 20’s I have struggled off and on with depression. I mean, really, who hasn’t? The younger me tried SSRI’s, aka, depression meds after a touch of postpartum depression. If I’m honest, it was a short unenthusiastic try, as the medications came with a host of unwanted side effects. I come from a long line of family members with unmanaged mood disorders, and I think I was able to rationalize that a bit of depression here and there is a normal part of life that you move through. After all, I wasn’t horizontal in bed for months at a time like my mother. I was able to function, to cover and cope with my depression. It wasn’t until much later in life that I realized that muddling through depression isn’t normal and could be treated.

So after a bunch of research, a discussion with my primary care physician, and an evaluation with Lakeside Medspa, I showed up for my first Ketamine treatment. I chose Lakeside Medspa because of their knowledge and skill with sedation. Both Ryan ( a long time anesthesia provider) and Rachel (a nurse with a background in sedation) have the skill to keep me safe in this process if something went wrong. After all, this is a medical procedure with sedation. I will say, after reading online that you can have a “bad trip,” I was very nervous that this could happen to me. What made me feel safe was that I was monitored the entire time, and was assured that if my infusion caused any bad feelings, they were able to stop the treatment and give me medications to take those bad thoughts away.

I was hooked up to monitors, an IV was started, and I was given some medications for nausea and blood pressure. Apparently nausea and high blood pressure during the session can happen. For me, the pre-medications worked, and I did not experience these things. I was directed to set an intention for the session to help guide my experience. I was undoubtedly scared to let go and not be in control of what was going to happen, so my intention was feeling safe and loved.

I repeated these themes, and the IV slowly pumped medication in my system. I waited and it felt like forever before my body started to feel heavy and drugged. Oh man, here we go I thought. Again, I repeated: I am safe, I am loved, I am safe and I am loved. And then, all at once, (and simultaneously gradually) I was in this safe loving “dream” that I felt to be real with every single one of my senses.

Maybe it was that I recently watched Avatar, but I was suddenly in this beautiful, warm landscape with familiar people who represented love and safety to me as well as fairy creatures that giggled and played and felt so deeply safe and happy and loving. During this time at several points I opened my eyes and grounded myself to the room. I could see that I was in reality and was being monitored, but was quickly pulled back into my safe, loving cocoon-like dream.

During this process, I was encouraged to listen to music with no words, and it was amazing to me how much the music drove the experience. At times, the upbeat music had me
flying above the clouds, and then suddenly at the beach where the warm waves crashed at my feet. At one point, I saw a family member who has long passed with such detail (details that have faded over years of not seeing this person) that it made me weep a little. They were happy tears at seeing this family member who so deeply represented love and safety to me as a child, and then suddenly their face was replaced by someone in my current life who represents the same love and safety. It was as if my mind was saying You are still loved unconditionally, silly. Stop telling yourself otherwise. The entire experience for me was magical. It wasn’t scary or out of control.

When I started to come out of the “dream” I felt pretty out of sorts–a feeling which I was told gets better after each session. I felt wobbly like I’d been drinking and really ready for sleep. That night, I continued to dream vividly, but not in a bad way; I was still very much happy and safe. I woke up with a little bit of a headache that went away quickly and a feeling of being lighter so to speak. The ketamine is a series of treatments, so of course I didn’t wake up and expect my entire life to be changed. But I did feel happy and light and almost a little hung over. I am excited to see how the sessions progress and to take you all on this journey.

According to both the research I’ve done and conversations with Ryan and Rachel, this is an important time for behavioral changes. So I will be trying to make those changes during this process when my brain is healing. For me, that is less screen time, more movement, and a lot of positive self talk.

Conclusion from R&R

Thank you for checking out the first installment of our Ketamine Diaries. Stay tuned next week to continue this journey with our brave client. And please please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for more information about how Ketamine might help you!

xoxo Rachel and Ryan

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