I have battled depression for over 30 years and never felt that it was well managed with anti-depressants or other therapies, but I was able to get by. In 2017 I was under a severe amount of unrelenting stress and the depression worsened to a point where I was becoming almost nonfunctional. It was very difficult to get out of bed every day and I felt like I was trying to walk uphill with a heavy weight on my back while fighting a strong headwind. I didn't want to increase my dose of anti-depressants or try different drugs, so I started researching other options and discovered Ketamine infusion therapy. I decided that might be the answer for me so I next researched Ketamine treatment facilities. There were a number of them in my area (northwest Arkansas), but I chose to go all the way to Cottonwood Ketamine Clinic instead because everything about it appealed to me. I felt welcome and cared for from my first information gathering phone call all the way through to the end of my six infusion series.
One of the biggest factors that drove my decision to have my treatments so far from home was the individualized dosing offered by Dr. Miller, and having a therapist (Joy) work with patients prior to and during infusions. Individualized dosing is important because one size doesn't always fit all (something many clinics don't take into consideration). It was very comforting to know that I always had someone (Joy) in the room with me, and they even let my brother sit in with me during infusions. Dr. Miller was always monitoring from another room and he would also check on me from time to time.
Prior to the start of my treatment I was a bit skeptical about whether it would work for me, but I felt very strongly that I had to try it, and that I was in the right hands. So, I had my first treatment but I didn't expect to notice any difference after just one. Well, I was really surprised and completely in awe the next morning when I finally realized that the heavy weight and headwind were gone. I had a big eureka moment when it hit me that "this must be what normal feels like!). At that point I knew I had made the right decision.
When I returned home to Arkansas my husband was thrilled with the difference he could see in my overall attitude, my normal response to stress, and the sense of joy in life that he had not seen from me in a long time.
So, thank you Dr. Miller, Joy, and everyone at Cottonwood Clinic for giving me a new lease on life. I will always be very grateful for the care concern, and kindness that I received from all of you!
If there are traumatic events in your life that you have shoved down so deeply that you rarely, if ever even think about them, this treatment may be for you. My symptoms involved walking around in a permanent state of stress (tightness in my chest like they describe as a symptom of heart attack), feeling like I couldn't breathe all the way in or out, jumping out of my skin when someone walked up behind me, having to CONVINCE myself (and not very successfully) that everything was fine when things actually were fine, and being calm as can be when bad things actually did happen. The best I can say is it made me quite handy in an actual crisis. I did all 6 treatments. The first two didn't seem to have any effect, three and four felt like I was heading in a good direction, after 5 and 6 it felt like I was backtracking. The doctor explained the new connections were still forming and to give it some time. I'm happy to report that they were right. It took a couple of weeks after the last treatment before the elephant on my chest began to lift. I don't feel on high alert all the time, and I am still trying to get used to a feeling that the lucky people call relaxed. The one thing I would verbalize in each treatment was a feeling of expansion. I could breathe deeply and see a peaceful place outside the chaos of my inner self. I feel it's criminal that insurance doesn't cover this treatment, yet they will cover a host of expensive drugs that don't work at all, have bad side effects, and/or you have to take forever. I have an acquaintance who did this as well and swears by it. She's 21, I'm 64. I would say don't wait decades to start feeling better. Try this sooner rather than later if you can afford it.
My name is Nicol and I am a 21 years old and took the chance to try the Ketamine treatment at the Cottonwood family medicine. I went through a rape when I was 18 and since then I have lived a life of hell. I had horrific PTSD, flashbacks, nightmares and constant anxiety and depression. I was full blown anorexia and a big self-harmer as a way to cope, I was on medication to help the emotional trauma along with PTSD. Sadly to say, none of these worked, I thought the only way to feel freedom and not more pain within my body and life was death. Not only did I struggle mentally but I struggled physically of not feeling clean, pain in my body and constant infections. I heard about the Ketamine treatment from a family member and seemed pretty nervous about it. I wasn't sure what it all entailed but after my first treatment freedom broke through then doing 4 treatments all together life becomes worth living. I can't fully explain the experience after my first treatment except I went into this space where it was like a galaxy and I was the only one there, not being hurt, abuse but feeling in control. My 3rd treatment was an emotional one for me which I did not want to experience but I am grateful I did because it was emotion I needed to feel without being hit for it or in trouble. All my session had some kind of breakthrough, whether it was thought process, feeling emotions in a safe place, getting into a place where there is safety around you and owning your story. There is so much to this treatment it's so hard to explain. You have a counselor/nurse in the room to make sure you are reacting to the medicine well and just be your support through this emotional/physical journey. I was feeling unsure of having a counselor in the room because I never really have liked counselors but Joy isn't like every counselor. She wants you to be in control and will only reassure you that feelings you may feel are okay to feel and how you are safe. Dr. Miller who did my IV's for the treatments was beyond amazing as well, not only was he the doctor but he wanted to be a support to me as well. He was kind, patient and the whole team even the front desk lady Lindsay wanted the best for me and cared for my well-being and would check on my the next day after a treatment. He was for me along with the whole team at Cottonwood medicine, they were particular and I could never ask for a better team, they also became part of my support network. I never thought life was going to be better, all I knew was I wanted death and nothing else. I am so blessed to have done this treatment and got such a great result. I have no more nightmare, no more triggers, in control of my feelings and thoughts and my abuser does not have the power anymore. I am finally doing great at work and not experiencing PTSD or flashback and I am succeeding in college as well. I have had some dreams that involved my abuser and guys but did not turn into a nightmare, I had control over the situation and realizing he is in jail and I can walk around knowing I won't be hurt or touched. I would suggest this treatment to anyone, along with having Joy, Dr. Miller and Lindsay as your support group and a part of your journey. I never think about death, I am in recovery of anorexia and have not self-harmed for about 3 months when every day I brought something new upon my body. Not only am I free but the medicine I was on as a result of the rape I do not have to be on anymore! I want others to know there is help and that death or addiction won't fix anything! I believe that life gets better after doing this treatment, such an amazing experience but to have a journey and hope again.