My Story Before & After Ketamine Treatments for Bipolar

Denisse, a Nurse at Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles, shares her personal story:

“The blue sky opens farther and farther, the daily sense of failure goes away, the damage I have done to myself fades, a million suns come forward with light, when I sit firmly in the world.”

I came across this poem years ago when I was in a particularly dark place. To me it meant that maybe one day it would be possible to be rid of that dark cloud that always hovered over me. Every few years I came across this little poem; so often it made me so angry I wanted to rip it up.

The Early Years

As a kid I didn’t understand my overwhelming feelings. I thought I was weak, ungrateful, and stupid to feel this way. I knew I wasn’t normal and I felt ashamed. I thought it had to do with maturity and that someday being 30 years-old, would cure all of my problems. As time went by, things got worse, and my self-worth didn’t improve either.

Bipolar Diagnoses

When I hit 29, things escalated. My depression evolved, and I lost myself.  At 30, I didn’t recognize who I saw in the mirror. At 31, I was diagnosed as Bipolar type II, and immediately felt like my life was wasted and over. I held on for the sake of my family but didn’t expect to be around for long. My medication kept me from going manic, but it did not help my depression. I was an empty shell. Although I was surrounded by many loved ones, I felt more alone than ever. I stopped reading, enjoying music, attending concerts and movies, spending time outdoors, and celebrating with loved ones. My life was on hold.

People Like Me

I looked for ways to interact with “people like me.” I joined online groups where people were eager to give me advice. These people could not cure the feeling of emptiness inside me. By chance I did a google search online, “depression treatment jobs,” and something popped up. I applied for a nursing position and desperately hoped to hear back from them. When Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles called to speak with me, I hoped to be hired, and I was! I was gifted the opportunity to take care of patients who suffered from severe depression. I met people daily just like me. I listened quietly to their stories, wishing I could tell them I truly understood the struggle. I watched them thrive and was honored to be part of their transformation. During this time, I wished I had the courage to ask for help and possibly thrive too. The longer I worked at Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles, the more I realized I wasn’t alone.

It took a lot of guts for me to share with my new co-workers that much like our patients, I too suffered from depression my entire life. I told them I was fine, and my medications kept me balanced but that was not true. As time went by, I got worse. I was going straight from work to bed and bed to work. I was not living, and the suicidal ideation was constant and a very strong presence in my life. Nearly one year after working at the clinic I finally got the courage to ask for help. I didn’t know what to expect but all I wanted was for the suicidal ideation to go away. I would deal with the depression as I had my entire life, but I could not go on living with the dark, haunting thoughts of wanting to end my life. I was over it, and ready to thrive like our patients had.

Ketamine Treatments Changed My Life

On April 30, 2018, I had my first (of six) treatments and my life changed in ways I could not imagine. My brain shut out all suicidal thoughts and I could not believe it. By the middle of my treatment I noticed I had no struggle to get out of bed, and I even reached out to my loved ones to “catch up.” By the end of my treatment, the decades of darkness I lived with was completely GONE. I finally broke free from my loyal and evil companion – depression. I felt so good I didn’t know what to do with myself. I had never been free of this. I found myself doing things that are natural, enjoyable, and simple to others. For the first time I liked going to the grocery store by myself, interacting with strangers, enjoying the silence, laughing with others and meaning it.

There are not enough words to express my gratitude for Dr. Mandel and the team that truly saved my life. I now feel genuine joy, freedom, confidence, and energy.  My co-workers, from day one, were understanding, supportive, and gentle. They provided the quality care that I needed to get through my hardest of times. My family and friends love the new me! Our patients appreciate when I share with them that I too have sat in these treatment chairs with my own list of struggles. I’m fully aware this is a treatment not a cure; I have had two boosters since my initial series and it’s true, they lifted me right back up where I wanted to be. I continue to feel great and encourage anyone who is on the fence about this treatment to take a chance at living the good life. I’m happy to be in the 83% of people who benefit from IV Ketamine Infusion Therapy at Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles. Dr. Mandel and his team are healing patients daily and it is a beautiful thing to be a part of. Thanks to all the patients who helped give me the courage to do this, I appreciate you all!


For more information about Ketamine Infusion Therapy treatments for depression, bipolar, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), fibromyalgia, pain syndromes and other conditions contact us at Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles in Southern California (Orange County) by clicking here or calling  310-270-0625.

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