Suffering From Depression
Chris stood in the kitchen struggling to make a peanut butter sandwich for lunch. At 45 years old, he felt helpless at the thought that making a simple sandwich was not a mindless activity anymore. He knew that the depth of his dark depression had brought him to this and even waking up and getting out of bed was a defeating task every morning. He couldn’t even muster the energy to eat sometimes. He also was experiencing pain, pain from his hip joint. His weight had climbed over the last 4 years due largely to the large burden of pills he was taking to treat his depression and anxiety, his cholesterol was bad and his hip joint had degenerated. The pain was so bad, yet the surgeon told him that relief would only come with surgery and he couldn’t have surgery until he lost at least 30 lbs.
Yet, here he was, not even able to get out of bed and despite watching his calorie intake, he was still not able to lose any weight. The dietitians advice was also not helpful to him as he just couldn’t bring himself to measure and weigh his food, do the shopping or even cook the meals she wanted him to cook. Yet, here he was at the kitchen counter staring at the bread while his 17 year old son stood by, aghast at the state he saw his father was in.
Psychedelic Medicine: A Glimmer of Hope
Chris knew this was the bottom for him. His doctor told him that medications were not working for his mental health and told him to see a ketamine assisted therapy provider. He was a little shocked at this advice. He had tried ECT 2 years prior and his depression was still relentless. He felt more hopeless after hearing what the psychiatrist said. ”I’m a failure in everything, nothing can work for me” he contemplated suicide. Psychedelics scared him. He stayed away from ‘drugs’ and was afraid of psychedelics and what might happen when he received these medications. But now he had nothing else and was stuck.
His son helped him review the research and talk through the process with the center. ShaMynds healing center stressed that their work was focused on healing the WHOLE person. Ketamine and soon to be approved MDMA were the pathway, and addressing overall health – his environment, gut-biome, genetics were integral to working towards long term wellness after he completed the ketamine therapy sessions.
ShaMynds Healing Center: Integrative Therapy Sacramento
With nothing else that appeared to be a lifeline, Chris began his sessions with ShaMynds Healing Center. There was a lot of preparation what was needed and it was stressed to him that a proper preparation often was more successful in treatment outcomes. This preparation involved learning about himself, buried lifelong trauma, his ability to understand what happened to him and how it related to his world view and coping. He met with the doctors and learnt a great deal about how he could heal his body, address gut inflammation and dysbiosis, address really low cortisol levels, environmental toxins and his genetic propensities that were relevant to his long term health.
Chris began his first sessions. The first two sessions left him tired, he felt supported at the center and interestingly, his pain in the hip actually would decrease substantially after this session and last 3-5 days. He began to move around more. Yet, he wasn’t sure about what was going on in his mind. His sessions were filled with awe, sometimes deeper messages and relaxation. His integration therapist helped him with somatic therapy and deeper understanding of what these experiences might translate into in his life. He was receptive, did all the reading and followed the advice on preparing for his sessions before and after.
Yet, after his third session, he awoke feeling the lightest he had ever felt in his life. He couldn’t explain it. It was distantly familiar. He had last felt this way 2 years after his marriage. That was 19 years ago. He felt love, he felt peace and this was new.
Ketamine Treatment Does It
He went on to complete all of his 6 sessions and noted that his suicidal thoughts went away, he felt more consciousness and love for others than he had ever felt before. He lost 30 lbs, thanks to feeling better, but also with the help of the doctor team. He started addressing his gut biome issues and removed toxins from him home. The doctors also gave him an FDA approved medicine to lose weight. His cholesterol normalized. The numbness in his hands and feet went away when he adjusted his micronutrients after a test showed him what was missing. He also learnt, through genetic testing, what exercise would support more lean muscle mass increase for him. This turnaround was 5 months. Wow.
He continued with the ketamine sessions every month for 3 months and now every 6 months. True, this was not covered by insurance mostly, he did use his HSA for some charges and managed to get about 30% back from his PPO, but that didn’t matter to him. What mattered is that his life had improved dramatically and putting a dollar value on that was much more than what he had spent on his time at the center. Ending his life is no longer a thought that crosses his mind. He remains connected with the center for his ketamine sessions and for integrative health. Goal is to lose 4 more pounds and get his hip replacement on the books. “Pretty incredible”, says his surgeon, “Need to hear more about how this happened”, says his primary care doc who referred him for the ketamine.