AILIN D, 45
New York, NY
Ailin had struggled with depression and anxiety for almost 20 years. Because she was highly functional, her mental health challenges were not as apparent. Ailin was always busy, and her depression and anxiety were like a continual song that played in the background that she just got used to after awhile.
“My depression and anxiety were probably a lot greater than I realized because I was always so busy, and I am someone who makes everything OK even if it’s not. I was so busy working (and traveling for work) and doing all the “life” things you’re supposed to do, it does take a huge toll once you unplug from that.
“Those moments where I wasn’t as busy or as engaged were pretty crippling; I would have a complete loss of interest in most things. I had my little bag of tricks of doing things to lift myself up and after awhile those things just didn’t work anymore. It gets really frustrating and sad because you’re just left with your anxious self. I was functional because I had to be. The depression and anxiety manifested itself mostly in the evenings, especially with my inability to sleep.
“I went to several therapists during the course of my adult life, off and on most antidepressants. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn’t. I began looking for alternatives. In addition to meditation and everything you have within your control I was looking for alternative treatments that weren’t the standard medication. I had started to do some reading on ketamine and psychedelics in general and how they’ve shown promise in treating mental health conditions.
“I have a very philosophical interpretation of my ketamine treatments. I’m a spiritual person and found the treatments cosmic, as if I was floating in pure consciousness. It really put everything in perspective and made me realize there really isn’t anything to fear because we’re all part of a larger construct of energy. I think subconsciously it removed a lot of fear and lessened the anxiety.
“The treatments gifted me balance and inner calm. There could be a storm around me, but I feel better equipped to navigate the waters and flow with, not against, the waves. The treatments have also changed how and why I work. My focus has improved and I approach my collaborations more intentionally. I’ve become much more selective about the projects and clients I engage with, and believe this added clarity has improved my relationships and led to more successful outcomes.