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I tried ketamine to treat my depression. Within a day, I felt relief. | Vox

I tried ketamine to treat my depression. Within a day, I felt relief. | Vox

I am going to die in this dentistā€™s chair.

My eyes are closed, but I can still see skulls outlined with white against a black background. I have an epiphany: God is death. Iā€™m in the midst of a real-life version of the hallucinogenic ride in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, all in my own mind.

A monitor emits a steady beep, and for a second, I think Iā€™m flatlining. But no: Iā€™ve just completed my first infusion of ketamine, a veterinary anesthetic (often used on cats and horses) sometimes used illegally as a club drug called Special K.

I am here because I cannot stop thinking about suicide. Iā€™ve been in therapy on and off for more than 30 years, since I was 5, and on depression medication for more than a decade. Nothing seemed to work. I couldnā€™t stop imagining killing myself in increasingly vivid daydreams.

As a journalist who covers health and medicine, I had read about the success of experimental trials that used ketamine to treat depression. My therapists had recommended extreme treatments like electroshock therapy, a procedure that frightened me due to reports of memory loss from those who had undergone it, but had never mentioned this. But I was getting desperate for a serious intervention.

Source: I tried ketamine to treat my depression. Within a day, I felt relief. | Vox

 

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