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“A Reason to Live” Young Woman’s Experience with Ketamine

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

This article is a summary of the May 30, 2021 NYT Op-Ed “I Was Paralyzed by Severe Depression. Then Came Ketamine” by Zoe Boyer. This individual is not, and has never been, a patient under the care of Freedom Ketamine Treatment Centers.

“A Reason to Live” Young Woman’s Experience with Ketamine
“A Reason to Live” Young Woman’s Experience with Ketamine

Zoe's Story with Depression

Zoe Boyer is a Chicago-based writer who began ketamine infusion therapy for treatment-resistant depression in 2016. On May 30, 2021, Boyer published an article in The New York Times detailing her experience with ketamine.

In the piece, Boyer explains her battle with severe depression, which began in early childhood. Over the years, she noted, she tried every treatment available, including traditional talk therapy, medication, and even in-patient psychiatric supervision.

Upon learning about ketamine infusion therapy, Boyer was curious. She consulted with her therapist at the time, and they were supportive of her trying it out. After being screened by the facility she found, to ensure she was a suitable patient, she was provided a treatment plan: at the facility, she’d receive six initial infusions over two weeks, and subsequently for maintenance doses as needed, (usually every one to six months, they told her).

Unfortunately, Boyer’s first three infusions, while pleasant, provided little relief for her severe depression. “I agonized over whether to keep going. Since I had already tried everything else, giving up on this meant giving up entirely,” she said in her article.

After her fourth infusion, something changed. “It was as though a switch had been flipped and my brain lit up. I noticed color creeping back into the world, and the hard knot of dread and dispassion in my chest melted away. My productivity skyrocketed. Within a couple weeks I had cleaned and organized my apartment, applied to and been hired at two jobs,” Boyer detailed.

Would ketamine therapy work for me?

Approximately 70 - 80% of people respond to ketamine infusions. Results from a single infusion typically last anywhere from a couple of days up to 2 weeks. A series of 6 infusions may last anywhere from weeks to months, and often a single booster infusion can restore its effects.

Our practice, located in the greater DC region, is focused on nurturing the safety and long-term health of our patients. We’re proud to offer ketamine infusions to those with severe depression, PTSD, chronic pain, and more debilitating conditions. Our team of board-certified physicians administers the medicine slowly over about 40 minutes, and encourages our patients to continue with the other forms of care they already have in place, such as talk therapy or antidepressants.

Freedom Ketamine Treatment Centers has offices in Rockville, Bethesda, Columbia, Reston, Vienna, and Marshall. We offer appointments Monday – Friday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM and Saturday & Sunday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM. To see if ketamine infusion therapy is right for you, call us at 301-235-9022.

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