I’ve been reluctant to admit this to myself, but the ketamine treatments have stopped working. Trying to deal with this, I’ve been going for booster treatments every 2-4 weeks and getting a relatively strong dose each time. But over the last few months, the benefit of each treatment has become smaller and smaller. Sure, other medications that had been somewhat helpful to me in the past (e.g., MAOIs) eventually stopped working, and I feel a little foolish that I never considered this might happen with ketamine too. I certainly never considered that it might happen quite so quickly. I don’t know where to go from here; obviously some serious conversations with my doctors are the next step.
I’m grateful to have been able to experience those several months of remission I had with ketamine; after so many decades of depression I didn’t even know it was possible to really feel OK like that. I’m trying to hold on to the memory of that feeling, while completely overcome with grief that it is gone.
“…And yet I’m still holding tight to this dream of distant light, and that somehow I’ll survive. But this night has been a long one, waiting on a sun that just don’t come…”
– Speed of Sound by Pearl Jam (2009)
Epilogue: In the fall of 2015 I had severe work stress (I was being bullied by several students) and I started taking clonazepam much more regularly. It turns out that clonazepam has been observed to sometimes interfere with the effectiveness of ketamine infusions (although this depends on the dose and timing of the clonazepam, as well as other individual factors). Once I got myself off of that stuff, the infusions started working again. And of course when that semester was over, the reduction in stress was really helpful for my depression too.