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Maddy’s Story: I Thought My Depression Was a Life Sentence Until I Found Field Trip Health

I was diagnosed with depression when I was 15 years old. At the time my high school forced me to go—and prove that I was going—to therapy. Right off the bat that made it a traumatic experience for me, although I didn’t realize it at the time. Back then I just didn’t want to speak with anyone, and like with anything you can’t force someone to get help.

I promised myself I would never go back to therapy.

But then, after college and post-grad, I hit rock bottom and realized I needed to do something or I was going to go down the wrong path. I contacted a therapist and after a single session she told me she was too busy to take me on. I walked away until I hit rock bottom again. Every single time it was just like this death sentence where I believed I would have to go to therapy for the rest of my life… I would have to take medication for the rest of my life. I didn’t want to do that—I just felt like I was broken and I didn’t understand why.

The last straw for me with traditional, weekly event-session therapy was at the start of the pandemic. My therapist handed my virtual session over to a student nurse while she listened in off-screen. At the end of the hour the actual doctor came on and told me I had borderline personality disorder and then she pretty much ended the session. It was there that I completely spiraled, which led me down the rabbit hole of Google as I learned how intense BPD therapy can be.

So when someone I followed on Instagram in New York posted about psychedelic therapy, I did a deep dive. I called my mom and told her I had to try something else because I just couldn’t go forward the way I was anymore. And that’s when I discovered Field Trip Health.

Right away the way they approached things was different than anything I’d ever experienced. It was the first time I’d ever set goals in therapy, or had actionable steps between sessions. A therapist held me accountable every step along the way, and without knowing it at the time, they set me up for long-term success.

I’d never done psychedelics before and I absolutely hate needles, so I was pretty nervous to start the ketamine-assisted therapy. But everyone made me feel safe and walked me through every question. The space itself is also so calming and everyone at the office calls you by your name, which is reassuring. At my last session they even had a bubble machine going.

The best way I can describe the ketamine itself, at least for me, is as though I was picked up out of a traumatic experience. Before, I was clouded with so many emotions that I didn’t understand, but I was being told to manage them. After years of being invalidated it was a lot to make sense of. But through the ketamine-therapy it was as though I was lifted through all of that and finally had an objective view for the first time in years.

One meaningful quote I came across at the Chicago office was, “To forgive is to understand.” I think my biggest thing was that a lot of the stuff I was dealing with was in my childhood and I knew I wasn’t going to get an apology or anything. So the best thing I could do for myself was to understand the situation. Having that objective switch during my sessions actually helped me to work on and understand my emotions, but it also helped me to feel validated.

Now that I’ve gone through Field Trip Health, it surprises me to learn just how much psychedelics research there is out there and how many other cultures use it in various practices. I was also surprised at how accepting my mother was of the process—she’s pretty old-school, but when I started my journey she really opened up to it.

My parents aren’t people to talk about emotions and all that, but since I did this therapy I’ve definitely seen a difference in myself. I haven’t blown up at my parents in a long time now, and I can finally recognize my emotions beyond just happy, sad, angry. Going through those branches and understanding all of these feelings for the first time in years—along with being able to manage them—was so incredibly helpful in terms of understanding myself.

I finally feel as though I have a toolkit I can pull from in everyday situations, which is honestly life-changing for me. It’s something I wished I had growing up, but at least now I have the confidence to step back, assess myself and a situation, and walk through it rather than push it (or people!) away.

Journaling also helps, so do mirror affirmations. I love writing quotes and stuff that helps me get through, and when I go back to read journal entries from low parts of my life, I can now ask myself what I was really sad about in the first place. These therapies have helped me to put it all together and allowed my creativity to come through, and I’m just so incredibly grateful to have had the amazing therapist I had during this process.

When I hit my rock bottom and reached out to Field Trip, I knew I never wanted to feel like that again in my life. Now, moving forward from that point, I finally feel like I’m securing wins. I never thought I could get to this point and I want to cry with gratitude just thinking about it.

It took me more than a decade to find something that worked, and I’m so grateful I did. Some people don’t have 10 years to find something that works for them. Obviously there will be dark times too, and you never forget where you’ve been to get to where you are. But understanding that and having those tools, I know now this isn’t a life sentence. Now, I literally wake up every single day and I love it here.

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.

For more information about what Field Trip offers including an overview, risks of treatment, and cost, please review Our Therapy.

Are you disappointed with the results from other therapies or medications? Is something blocking progress, but you’re not sure what? Find out if psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is right for you.

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