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How Ketamine Relieved My Anxiety: A Patient Story

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Josh K (full last name withheld) battled anxiety, depression, and panic attacks throughout his life. He tried managing the symptoms with medications and therapies, but debilitating episodes over two decades left him desperate for a concrete solution. Josh, a childcare supervisor, eventually discovered ketamine therapy at Avesta, and the experience transformed his life. 

This is Josh’s story of ketamine for anxiety and depression relief.

Ketamine Infusions in Bethesda, MD, McLean, VA and Washington, DC

A Long Struggle with Panic Attacks, Anxiety and Depression

After years of repressed emotions,  Josh experienced his first panic attack at 28. 

“It knocked me on my butt. I was on the floor. I thought I was having a heart attack. That I was dying. I couldn’t breathe.” 

Josh lived in Los Angeles then, and people there dismissed the issue. 

“They said you’re just having a panic attack. No big deal. Because I guess it’s normal there.” 

But Josh knew that constant anxiety was not how he wanted to live. Realizing he needed help, Josh sought medications and began seeing a therapist to understand the root causes of his issues. 

“All that made me realize I was trying to run from myself and my problems.”

Gradually, Josh gained control over his panic attacks. 

He focused on himself and developed healthy habits, like eating better, exercising, and practicing mindfulness. He went years without an attack but still experienced depressive episodes, including when he had thyroid cancer in his 30s and went through a divorce in his 40s. 

Last Fall, he had enough. 

The Breaking Point

“I just spiraled. I couldn’t stop crying. I was consumed by sadness. And I thought I can’t live like this. I can’t do this again. I love life. I want to be happy. I realized I needed to figure this out because what I was doing wasn’t helping when the deep depression reared its ugly head.” 

Josh’s desperation led him to ponder extreme measures. “I thought, I’ll go to shock therapy, I’ll try anything… You can lobotomize me if that’s what it takes.” 

Discovering Ketamine Therapy

Avesta Ketamine and Wellness Clinic

Josh’s therapist had a background in psychedelic therapy and mentioned ketamine to him during one of their sessions. She didn’t explicitly refer Josh to a clinic. However, her interest led him to investigate ketamine treatment on his own. 

“I found so much scientifically backed research for people with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other issues. It made me feel hopeful, and I had not felt hopeful for a long time.”  

Josh stumbled on Avesta Ketamine and Wellness during his research and felt confident in their approach. 

“I found [Avesta’s] website and liked the information and the owner’s background. It sounded like a good place for me and a good fit for trying something new.” 

With hope and a bit of apprehension, Josh took the plunge. 

First Impressions at Avesta

Josh vividly remembers his first visit to Avesta’s McLean, Virginia location. He was terrified because he wasn’t sure what to expect and hadn’t told his therapist yet.

But Josh found the clinic calming and welcoming. “[Avesta] was very lax and very comfortable; a quiet setting… I told the staff I was freaked out, and they said, it’s okay; this is your journey, and you’re going to be okay.”

Avesta Ketamine and Wellness patient testimonial about Avesta staff

Josh’s concern spiked again when he approached the treatment rooms. “I walked in, and somebody sounded like they were struggling with their journey. And I thought, Oh, my gosh, I need to walk out of here.” 

But he decided to stay. “I took a breath and was reassured by the staff, and I’m grateful for that.”

Josh noted the stark difference between Avesta and other facilities. “I’ve been to many appointments, which are vastly different. Some turn you off, and you never go again. Others seem to know what they’re doing, but their bedside manner is off-putting.” 

Avesta’s professional knowledge and friendly, supportive interactions made all the difference.

The Ketamine Experience

During his ketamine sessions, Josh felt safe and discovered profound peace and unique insights.

“Once [the journey] starts, it’s very relaxing. It’s almost like constant imagery that continually moves and flows. Sometimes, it seems it’s closing in on me, but it’s not scary because I know it will open up to something new. It’s very fluid.”

Josh described his ketamine visuals as strange and wild, comparing them to scenes from the “Trolls” movies. 

“For me, the world turns into claymation, and sometimes I’m removed and looking down on everything,” he explained. “It’s fascinating. It takes my mind to a place I’ve never been before.”

Avesta Ketamine and Wellness patient testimonial about the ketamine experience

Adam made sense of some of the hallucinations. Other times, he had no clue what they meant. However, after the infusions, he slowly processed the ideas during therapy sessions. 

A New Perspective

Ketamine’s psychedelic-like effects helped Josh venture into transcendent concepts like universal consciousness. And those fresh perspectives liberated him from habitual anxious thoughts and emotions.

 “I think that’s what’s helping me not just manage my depression but conquer it. It’s a battle, and it’s always there, but I’m conquering it, and I’m not going to let it be in charge of me.”

Positive Changes and Hope

Josh’s friends, family, and coworkers noticed the positive changes in him. “Even after the first couple of infusions, they saw my light shining again. That felt amazing because it had dimmed quite a bit. But that’s not who I am. So for them to see that [glow] in me was amazing.”

Avesta Ketamine and Wellness patient testimonial about how ketamine improved his anxiety and depression

Josh’s renewed hope was evident in his daily interactions. “I feel like I’m more helpful to my family and friends when they’re struggling, and I like being helpful. I feel like I can be the person I want to be.”

Ketamine therapy has not eradicated all of Josh’s issues, but it has provided him with tools to persevere with greater ease. 

“I can continually push through on things that might have brought me down before.” He adds, “I can step aside and take another perspective in ways that maybe I wouldn’t have before and take a different approach.”

The Bottom Line

Josh’s ketamine therapy experience reignited his hope and strength. “It’s such an amazing feeling,” he shares.

To those suffering from anxiety and depression, Josh offers this advice: “Don’t give up on hope. I was very close, and I struggled a lot in life… But there’s a solution for everybody. [Ketamine] was mine. And I’m so grateful for it.”

Ketamine Infusions in Bethesda, MD, McLean, VA and Washington, DC

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