In 2010 I was blown up in Afghanistan. We had been setting up a military observation post and on the way back we were struck by an IED. Physically I had shrapnel wounds to my stomach, right lower leg, hand; and another piece went in my ear and through the back of my head. My fire team partner sustained life-threatening injuries that resulted in his death eight days later.
Physically I was able to somewhat recover (a piece of shrapnel still sits next to my spine), but the mental toll my time in the military took on me is another story. I suffered from night terrors that led to insomnia, anxiety, depression and always hypervigiliant. I hoped that with some time it would go away, but it didn’t. It was debilitating, and like other vets I had spoken with whom have had similar experiences, I didn’t even understand how I was alive. I was sure I wasn’t making it past 30.
I decided to try Ketamine Assisted Therapy with Field Trip Health after speaking with some other vets who said it helped them to manage pain and concentration, along with their anxiety. It was an easy decision at the time as lockdown was in place and I was in the process of completing my undergrad in Economics and struggling mentally.
I’d never taken any kind of hallucinogen before so I was pretty nervous. During my first session it was like a floodgate of emotions that had been building for quite some time. I was transported back to Afghanistan where we got blown up, riffle in-hand. I was walking through the old stomping grounds and ran into my fire team partner who died from the blast. He told me he’d been with me the whole time. During my hallucination, I also saw several other comrades who had committed suicide post-tour. I engaged in conversations with them, which provided me a sense of tranquillity.
Given how intense that first trip was, I expected the next five sessions to be more intense; but they were much more relaxed. It’s like I was finally able to address the hard stuff, and unpack it in a real and meaningful way. Some of the stuff that people experience overseas, you just don’t get over that. It’s important to address it and deal with it, and that’s why I want to share my own experience.
I have sought various treatments in the past for my PTSD, but none of them have helped me nearly as much as Ketamine Assisted Therapy. After six sessions my general anxiety and depression have subsided, and I’m much happier. Participating in Ketamine Assisted Therapy was the best decision I’ve made in my recovery journey.
These days I’m feeling positive and optimistic. I used to indulge in substances to help numb my pain, and that’s something I haven’t felt the need to do since my ketamine therapies. I’ve since moved to a big city and have a new routine that includes yoga, swimming and going to the gym. I finally feel like I can stand on my own with gratitude, and I remind myself daily that I haven’t come this far only to come this far.
As told to Amber Dowling for Field Trip Health
The testimonials are the individual experiences of those who have attended Field Trip and taken part in our treatment, however they are individual results and results will vary. The testimonials are not necessarily representative of all of those who have used our treatment.
Field Trip may have edited the testimonials to account for correction of grammar or typing errors where necessary. In other cases, the testimonials may have been shortened for brevity. Field Trip has not edited the testimonial in a way that would create a misleading impression of the individual's views.
Ketamine is also not for everyone and may result in serious side effects. Certain medical conditions and other factors may reduce the effectiveness of ketamine as a treatment or disqualify you from receiving ketamine. Please consult a physician or other medical professional before commencing treatment.
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