LISA N, 55
Associate Marriage and Family Therapist
Marina del Rey, CA
After working hard to overcome drug and alcohol abuse, Lisa began to suffer from severe depression and anxiety. Her OCD, which she had battled for some time, escalated to the point that she could not hold down a job and her life had become almost completely unmanageable. Medication and psychiatric treatments helped the situation, but Lisa was still unable to function properly and lead a happy and productive life.
“My OCD was terrible, and I was depressed and anxious. I felt like I was letting my children down. My OCD got so bad at one point that I thought there were bugs crawling all over me and of course there weren’t.
“I was able to get the OCD under control by going to a psychiatrist and taking medications, however my depression and anxiety was still a problem and treatment-resistant. I have suffered from mental illness my whole life. I have been depressed for as long as I can remember. I was able to go to school and got two master’s degrees, but I just couldn’t ever hold down a job.
“The most important thing ketamine has done for me is it’s made my mood predictable. I never had a predictable mood. Every time I got up in the morning it was something different. I was either down, up or I didn’t even know what I was. All I knew was I just didn’t feel good. Since the ketamine treatment, my mood is much more stable and I can function normally. When I wake up in the morning, I’m in a really good mood. I can get out of bed, get things done and start my day.
“I decided to become a therapist because I couldn’t imagine living my life without giving back to people who had the same problems as I did. Right now I see about 15 clients, plus I work at a teen outreach line where we take calls from teens who are suicidal or having specific issues.
“My life now has no drama. I get along with my entire family, whereas before I used to fight with them constantly about everything. My kids ask me for help, rely on me and value my advice. I am able to me a mom and have a job and do a good job of it all.
“I also don’t feel threatened by people anymore. People who have mental illness often feel threatened by everyone and everything. And they’re scared. Before I couldn’t even drive my car because I was so anxious. Now I am a very comfortable driver.
“One of the best things for me now is being able to help other people and see them get better.”