using Ketamine to treat depression
nobody ever asks the psychonauts about why a specific substance has unintended or surprising effects.. mostly because nobody knows what a psychonaut is and most psychonauts are just fine with that arrangement.
But in the case of a current trend where anesthesiologists are treating depression with Ketamine - your friendly neighborhood psychonaut knows exactly what's going on and can clear up that pesky case of the "experts just aren't sure how it works" blues.
So, without any further preparatory staging or helpful context - here's my hot take:
1. this method will only hold widespread results on depression rooted in anxiety. that's because the most surface relatable variable in the equation is disassociation. (Hell, Ketamine is a disassociative ffs) AND anxiety is a widespread root of depression along with a host of other undesirable conditions. the method will work with other types of depression and even other disorders (using the same mechanism detailed below) but it requires a more focused approach.
2. what is it about anxiety?
so, think of a factory and your job is to monitor a conveyor belt. Boxes are coming toward you and normally, it's no big deal. think of anxiety as the boxes coming too fast and at unexpected times, you can even imagine boxes of varying shape and color requiring different actions to enhance this visual (Lucy & the chocolate factory style even)
3. how can a disassociative help?
being able to disassociate from the concept of time, the user can (for the first time in their lives) control the rate of speed in which the boxes arrive. not only that, but more adventurous users can take a good look at that conveyor belt and maybe change it's configuration to allow a clear view and multiple angles of observation.
being able to disassociate with the requirement to catch the boxes as they come allows the user to examine them more closely. well whadda you know!? little handles pop out the sides of the box that allow less frantic and awkward handling!
being able to disassociate with the antiquated box handling and storage procedure allows the user to reexamine the whole operation based on CURRENT values which are probably very different from the old policy manual (signed by mom & dad).. new policy can be written which reflects the user's current values and as a result - synergetic anxiety is avoided.
4. tying it all together -
by temporarily disassociating from key aspects of the user's anxiety they finally have the control they have desperately been longing for. the relief that comes from that control has near opioid like serotonin uptake which drastically changes the user's mood immediately and the lessons learned in the process coupled with the memory of successful control allows them to turn the corner on setting up permanent positive contextual changes (via passive subconscious engineering)
so immediate relief - plus the foundation for positive change! what's not to like?
well funny I should ask
disassociation with the concept of life can give the users terrifying near death or out of body type experiences - disassociation with reality can rip apart small holes that are already there in some users.. they may be patched up with years of learned coping mechanisms but the walls fall completely.
as jazzed as I am over all this there are some very real dangers to the practice and current trend.
Firstly, the use of disassociatives and hallucinatigetics opens the user up to potential permanent changes... if there are any underlying brain issues that result in thin boarders between reality and other contextual planes there is a risk of severe unintended consequences. Any use should not be taken lightly, in fact I have a personal criteria that I use to screen interested individuals before recommending their use.
Currently, anesthesiologists are administering these procedures and I doubt they are screening prospective users using similar metrics.
So in closing, I really hope the use of disassociatives in treating emotional and mental health issues can be properly researched and implemented - but without participation by folks that have the experience and knowledge of how these substances work from the inside (i.e. psychonauts) - I fear the potential risks will spur public discord and efforts will never be properly supported... which is sad because a uniquely effective resource will be marginalized.