KEVIN D, 49
Writer
Ventura County, CA

Kevin has suffered with extreme depression for as long as he can remember and, since his early teens, had persistent thoughts of suicide. He never planned for his future or put himself on any kind of career track because he thought for sure it was only a matter of time before he ended his life. After trying numerous medications and treatments for depression, Kevin unsuccessfully tried to take his own life twice.

“I always anticipated my life would end in suicide. I never really felt like I needed a five-year plan because I never thought I would be around that long. I was always trying to figure out the right time to do it and the right way to do it.

“My depression affected every area of my life; it was oppressive and relentless. The depression was in charge. I tried so many medications that, at best, kept me from getting worse instead of actually providing any kind of relief. You work really hard with your doctors, therapists and lean on your other sources of strength and wonder why you’re not getting anywhere. Like, am I ever going to be better? Am I ever going to feel like I have a quality of life? My depression was like a straight-jacket and I felt completely helpless.

“I always envisioned ending my life on vacation, like I was throwing myself a going away party. I never wanted to go out on a bad day. I wanted to have a couple of days doing something I enjoyed so I could go out on a good note.

“When the fight had become too much and I was on the verge of a third attempt, a friend told me I needed to get Ketamine infusions. She had great success with it, so I checked it out and within a few days I scheduled my first treatment.

“I never imagined it would help me as much as it did. It made a big difference right away. I could feel the difference after just a couple of treatments. The world around me seemed different. I felt freedom, like I could breathe for the first time. The world around me was the same but it looked completely different.

“I believe the ketamine treatments saved my life. Since then, there has been a lot of positive change in my life. I’m more physically active than I’ve been in years. I am able to be social and I’ve taken a leadership position at my church. I am able to enjoy just being in the moment. Before I felt like the walls were closing in around me; now I feel they have moved away, and I have the room and freedom to actually enjoy life. I’m not saying my life is perfect but it’s a dramatic difference.”