All right, so my name is Jackie. I actually came to this clinic in February of earlier this year because I was somebody who had tried literally everything possible on the market. It would be easier for me to tell you what I haven't tried than to tell you everything that I have tried. And I think a lot of people can relate to this. The drugs out there for depression right now are not always the most effective for everybody. A lot of people have what's known as medication resistant depression. Unfortunately, that's something that I was experiencing for the majority of my life. So I've been experiencing for over 17 years now. I've tried every everything, including therapy, medication options, all kinds of off label things of that nature, and just nothing was really working.
I was at the end of my my rope in around December of 2022, I ended up suicidal and in a mental hospital. I had heard about ketamine before. I actually have a pharmacy background. I am a pharmacist, and my pharmacy school that I actually went to was doing was helping with certain clinical studies on ketamine at the time that I was going going to school. So I had heard about it, but of course, we didn't know much about it. I was very apprehensive about ketamine in general. I had never experienced ketamine before in a recreational sense, let alone in a clinical sense. So anxiety is definitely there when you're trying something that's relatively new like this, and especially when you hear something like ketamine, everybody has their preconceived notions about it. After ending up in that mental hospital, though, in December of 2022, I just thought to myself, you know, something's gotta change, honestly, or else I'm gonna end up dead.
What can I lose by trying it? So while I was very apprehensive and scared to try it at first, I found this clinic here, the practice with Dr. Maddix, and had had my first consultation with him. I expressed to him all my fears and the anxieties and also my frustrations and hopelessness with the options that I had tried in the past. And he felt that I was a great candidate for the ketamine infusions. And eventually, after talking with him for a little bit, he did convince me to face my fears and try it out. And it's a day that I will forever remember and be grateful for. Like I said, February of this year here was absolutely a life saving change. Point in my life. After that first ketamine infusion, it was the most miraculous, bizarre experience of my life. I wasn't expecting anything, really. I just felt like if I had tried everything for this long, what's the chances that this is going to work? So what? When I had the first infusion, I certainly wasn't expecting to feel symptom relief within hours. The drugs we have out on the market now take at least four to eight weeks to work. So I certainly was not expecting to feel relief in hours. And I can confidently say that's exactly what I experienced at first.
When you finished the first infusion, I almost started to notice there were certain patterns of my thinking that were. Starting to form more like positive thought patterns. Some of those negative thought patterns that I used to have were absent without me even trying. So that was probably the first relief that I noticed. And as the days went on, I was scared that maybe it would fade, but it was actually becoming stronger and stronger and working more and more. It was on the third infusion, I believe that I would say was the biggest game changer for me. The first two infusions were absolutely phenomenal. And obviously, if you've been trying and dealing with depression for so long and nothing's working, even that small relief that you'll get from the initial infusions is, he's incredible. But when the third infusion happened, and it's weirdly where that game changer was, where it wasn't just. Like, you know, little bits of symptoms, relief. I really felt like that third infusion is when my depression went into remission. And it's so surreal to say that as someone who's dealt with depression for literally my entire life, I am. Quite honestly, I can't remember what it even feels like to live without depression. So when my depression was completely in remission, which I'd never been able to say before, it was almost like I had to learn how to live again. But in a very fun way. I was actually hopeful, excited about life. I picked up all the Hobies that, when I was a kid, I remember enjoying, but had not been able to since because of the depression.
All of these things just start to come back naturally with without you even realizing it. So it's just like every day I would notice something more and more becoming more of myself. And it's an incredible feeling, because if you been with depression after so long, you start to kind of lose yourself a little bit. So it only took me three infusions. I recommend the full six infusions. They each built upon each other. Every infusion I had, I felt a little bit better after those six infusions were done. Dr. Maddix continues the care with a maintenance phase where you'll get it prescribed, these ketamine lozenges that you will take as maintenance therapy, usually every three days. I take mine on Wednesdays and Sundays right before bed. You do it at the comfort of your own home, and it keeps it so that depression doesn't relapse. Like I said, I started in February of 2023.
It is now September, almost the end of September, and I still have not had any relapse whatsoever. So the maintenance ketamine phase is doing great. And Dr. Maddix also let me know if I do start to feel any type of relapse coming on, that you can schedule a booster dose, a booster IV infusion if you should need. I have not needed that yet, but it is also very comforting to know that that's an option. So if anybody is actually on the fence about trying this, I was the same way. Like I said, I had a lot of anxiety about it. But if you could just get that initial consultation with Dr. Maddix, and he'll just let him talk to you and explain things, and he can really work with you. I was really anxious, so I asked him, I could have a babysitter in the room, because, like I said, I had never even done ketamine recreationally. I didn't know what to expect. All I heard about was K holes and all this scary stuff. So I asked if I could have like a babysitter in here. Thankfully he had an intern at the time, a nurse practitioner who was on a rotation here named Layla. And she was amazing. She stayed and babysat for me. Yeah, she does. She does work here now too. So she came back. So that's amazing. But she was there for me. She sat there. Oh, my goodness. Can't tell you how much of a big baby I was on that first infusion. I was so anxious. I was very anxious. It's very normal feeling to be anxious. That is okay with anything like this if you're going to be anxious.
But that's just to say Dr. Maddix is here for you. The whole team is here for you. They've all been amazing. They accommodated me in ways that I can't even begin to express my gratitude. Like I said, if you need a babysitter, obviously you can do that too. I only needed a babysitter for that one infusion. After that infusion, you realize this is not so bad. It's not bad at all. It's actually. Very pleasant. I was nervous about the dissociation aspect being uncomfortable. Sometimes it's just anxiety inducing to be out of your normal state of mind. But I think you'll see, if you just get that first initial infusion there, you'll see it's not bad at all. It's very pleasant. They can have a babysitter in there for you if you need it. They can talk you through it. At no point during the infusion do you feel like you have no idea where you are. So you're always here and grounded. You're not off in some other world. It's not anything intense like that. So all of that apprehension, I'm telling you, you just got to try.
The fact that my depression is in remission every single day, I'm so thankful. And if you're struggling like that and you're just like me and nothing has worked, I can't tell you how wonderful it feels to not live with depression and just think that could be your reality as well, if you just, you know, be brave like I like I was and, you know, take that that first plunge. And, you know, worst case scenario, the infusions are only an hour long. If you don't like it, you don't have to do another one. But, I mean, you they've worked for me, and I just if it can happen, really, for anybody else, I want to get it out there.
Charles Maddix is the Owner & CEO of The Practice. A private practice focused on the well-being of the individual as a whole, mind and body.
Please call 904.877.1100 if you are interested in any of our services or would like to schedule an appointment. Visit us at thepractice.co to learn more!