FAUSTINO S, 48

Retired U.S. military

El Paso, TX

Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Faustino moved to Los Angeles as a young man and joined the army. For more than 20 years, he served the U.S. and did tours of duty in Iraq, Haiti and Europe. He began experiencing severe PTSD and depression and for 10 years sought relief from traditional forms of treatment to no avail. He spent time in a psychiatric hospital and had frequent thoughts of suicide. Faustino could not function, and his life had become unmanageable.

“After my second tour I began to notice that I was not very happy. I couldn’t sleep and it seemed like I was either angry or sad all the time. After returning from Iraq, it was very hard to transition back to regular life again. I was struggling a lot with it.

“I went for psychiatric help and was basically given some pills and told to take them and come back in a month. I know that medication can take a while to take effect, so I waited but I was not feeling any better. The doctors raised my dosages, but I was not making any progress. I was admitted to the hospital for major depression and they tried everything, including ECT but nothing was able to help lift me out of this dark place I was in.

“My cousin’s mom was also severely depressed at that time and had recently tried ketamine and it made a big difference so he told me I should look into it as well. He told me she was pretty much back to her old self, so I decided I had nothing to lose and went for the infusion therapy.

“Now I want to live. Before I used to wake and my depression was like an unwanted roommate. It won’t leave no matter how much you want it to go. I have made a lot of improvements in my life; I live in a better neighborhood, I have the right friends, I’m back riding my motorcycle and I am rebuilding my relationship with my son. I feel like life is worth living now. One of my best friends who I’ve known for 30 years told me that I am the guy I used to be.

“Since I started ketamine treatments, my life has turned around 180-degrees. I can think clearly now, I haven’t had an anxiety or depression attack in a long time and my sleep patterns got better. “I think people deserve to have a chance to be happy.”