MOLLY E, 54
IT consultant
Great Falls, MT

Molly can’t remember a time when she did not suffer from severe anxiety and depression. When she was a child, it was common thinking that children could not have real anxiety or depression so her problems were pushed aside and ignored. This set her on a course of not dealing with her mental health conditions and as a result her issues worsened over time until she was an adult and could no longer function properly.

“I can honestly say I’ve suffered from severe anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember; even when I was a toddler. I was painfully shy and was constantly hiding behind my mother. I can remember feeling sheer terror and anxiety and not understanding it. Back then parents were told that kids didn’t have enough life experience to have anxiety and depression so it would get brushed aside.

“When I was a teenager, I was given those old school antidepressants which gave me horrible side effects, but it’s all I had. Then Xanax came out and they put me on large doses. Initially they thought it was non-addictive, but I became addicted very quickly. If I was missing my dose by five minutes, I would start to shake. I eventually spent three days detoxing off Xanax and the other antidepressants that were not working and tried to get through life as best I could.

“After giving birth to my two children, my depression and anxiety worsened and both times I was pretty much robbed of the first year of their lives. I thank God I have a husband who stepped up and was able to be there for me and the kids.

“My condition continued to worsen, and I started to have the horrifying realization that this was not something that was going to just stay the same. It was degenerative and going to continue to get worse. I realized that if I did not do something, it was going to get to the point where I would not be able to get out of bed. That thought was incredibly scary to me. Nothing seemed to work and I did not know what to do.

“The difference in my life now compared to before I had my ketamine treatment is the difference between just trying to survive and being an empty shell versus actually having a full life filled with experiences and emotions. It is the difference between living a life filled with gray and living a life full of color. And for the first time in many years, I’m not on any medication for depression or anxiety.

“When the veil of depression is lifted, you can engage again with life. You can engage with people and have full relationships and go out for a drink with someone and have a good conversation instead of just feeling like that all you want to do is crawl under the covers and disappear. It’s been a world of difference.”