Where I’ve Been

Hey everyone.

I’m really sorry I’ve been MIA. I’m overwhelmingly disappointed in myself. I worked so hard on this blog, with all of the posts and trying to get people to read it then one day I didn’t want anything to do with it. I feel like I owe you all an explanation as to why I have not posted in about 2 months.

So, I regressed. After my out-patient program that I was in, which I actually graduated from on August 27, 2019, I fell into a severe depression. I want you all to know that going inpatient, though very helpful, is not a “fix all” solution. That is the beginning of a long treatment you will need. I thought it was and I was ready to feel better. Mind you, I had been manic (with multiple mixed episodes and rapid cycling), so I was ready to face the world again after being away from what was harming me most. So after months of mostly manic episodes, my depressive episode finally came.

I felt it creeping up for a few weeks but I tried using my coping skills, doing things that made me feel good, talking through it, but it eventually it just overtook me. Most days it has been extremely hard to get out of bed, to even shower. My entire body feels like sand when I stand up and walk around, I immediately have to just sit down. I have had absolutely no interest in doing anything and it is incredibly hard to focus. Anyone with depression can get a feeling of what I’m trying to say.

When I had a follow up with my doctor, she gave me my normal depression/anxiety assessment. I scored too high on the depression, of course, but she brought in a suicidal assessment. Guess who scored high on that, too? She said she was worried and wanted to suggest trying Ketamine treatments. Now, I had only heard about this from a friend in my out-patient program. It interested me but kind of just went over my head.

According to a handout they gave me “Ketamine is an anesthetic agent. At sub anesthetic doses (doses below the amount necessary for anesthesia), Ketamine is useful in the treatment of bipolar and unipolar depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, chronic migraine, fibromyalgia, addiction and pain.” The use of Ketamine outside of the anesthesia application is considered “an off label use”.

It is also used to help when it comes to thoughts of suicide, which is why she suggested this treatment to me. They gave me a pamphlet titled Use of Ketamine in Acute Cases of Suicidality which states “Suicide occurs in up to 1,500 cases of MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) and BD (Bipolar Disorder) each year, and even hospitalization for suicidal ideation or behavior does not prevent all suicides; in fact, the risk for suicide is high immediately following hospital discharge among patients who have been hospitalized for suicidal behavior.”

For anyone in here that would like to know how it affects the brain, “Ketamine works on a receptor in the brain called the NMDA receptor. By increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), ketamine is able to restore more normal functioning in the brain. Depression, anxiety, pain and other forms of stress, damage the communication system between areas of the brain responsible for memory, learning and higher-over thinking. Ketamine is able to increase the building blocks necessary to make repairs to this damage within hours.”

Sounds like a pretty rockin’ treatment. Not only do you get wonderfully high, but it’s supposed to fix your brain!

You are supposed to start with 6 treatments, then boosters after. My first one, they started me on a lower dosage; I believe 45mg. They administered the ketamine through IV. I got to lay in a bed for over an hour and just enjoy and relax. They have to keep going up on my dosage though, which I figured. I had to have one appointment a week and each other they went up around 10mg. They had a little basket in the room for “comfort items” which had an ipod, headphones, call light just in case (they had cameras in the rooms, too), stuff like that. So I snuggled under the blankets and just relaxed. I HAD to have the music on because it just went perfect with my hallucinations haha! I can’t even explain to be honest, but it was a good feelings.

Well, I finished my 6 treatments necessary. I had a therapy appointment last week and at the end, she walked me next door (my psychiatrist & therapist is right next door to the place I get my ketamine treatments) and put in a high priority request for a 7th ketamine treatment. I was able to get in right then and I was at 90mg.

My doctor over my treatments told my husband she thinks that the ketamine might not be doing anything or having the opposite effect. Before starting the treatments, she said that in her 4 years of working with ketamine, that she could count on 1 hand the amount of people that it had the opposite effect for. How I could I get so lucky?

So, I’m still trying. I don’t know what’s next but, I am still fighting through all of this.

I’m sorry this isn’t the next Anxiety post like I promised. I’m going to get there one day. Until then, thank you all for sticking with me through this. I promise there will be most posts.

You all are so important and so loved, no matter what your brain decides to tell you. The biggest factor of mental illness is your own brain lying to you. Let’s keep fighting this fight.

-Bipolar Weirdo

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