After doing my research and hearing a number of success stories from friends, I decided to give a series of ketamine treatments a try to see for myself.

As much as I wanted relief from anxiety, it still wasn’t easy for me to justify using synthetic medicine. I usually opt for the natural, plant-based option whenever possible. However, I must admit, with each treatment, I experienced new levels of clarity, energy, and inner calm. The results increased in the days and weeks that followed.

While ketamine is not classified as a hallucinogenic, it is a psychedelic (a substance capable of producing profound experiences of reality). A high dose of ketamine puts you to sleep, but at a low dose, you enter a dreamlike state that induces an expanded perspective.

The ideal treatment protocol for depression, based on several studies at Yale, is a series of six sessions over two weeks. Since I don’t have clinical depression but do struggle with anxiety, I decided to have four treatments over two weeks in a clinic. I was later able to beta test an at-home (but clinically sanctioned) program that uses oral ketamine, which was much easier to do during these times of social distance.

My ketamine experience felt like a journey through my own mind, where I encountered beautiful visuals and accessed difficult areas of my life from a new angle. It was as if I was floating outside my body, leaving my habitual state of mind behind, and opening myself to new possibilities.

In my opinion, one of the biggest benefits of ketamine, compared to traditional pharmaceutical antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, is that it only stays in the body for hours—rather than altering brain chemistry every day. After the treatment, I was so present that I could have gone back to normal activities 15 minutes later.

However, the insights and new perspective that I had while on ketamine stayed with me. In the weeks that followed, I was also able to slip into deeper meditation more easily—which I attribute to ketamine’s potential ability to help calm rumination and a wandering mind.