Hello, friends. A lot of you have been asking for an update from my wife, Joelle. Today, I have her on the show to talk about what led up to her recent mental health crisis and how things have progressed since that time. She has undergone six ketamine infusion treatments, started with a psychiatrist, and started with a new therapist. We talk about all of these things and she does an amazing job of making visual metaphors for the ways in which she is changing. Enjoy!
Content warning: This episode covers sensitive topics including suicidality, mental health crises, and police involvement, which some listeners may find uncomfortable. Please use your own judgment and feel free to skip ahead or leave the episode completely.
Joelle opens with a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has left her positive messages and good thoughts over the past few weeks and months. Joelle chats about how she is doing right now, about her work with weddings, and also her love for writing! We chat about the writing process, what inspires us, and Joelle’s search for perfection and continual improvement. We talk about this in detail and how it’s important to plan, but just as important to actually do the task at hand.
Pause and stop
We look back on the last month following episode 219, recapping on Joelle’s mental health and the moment we needed to stop and pause. We review what approach we took to help draw a line in the sand and move forward – IV Ketamine infusions, psychiatry, and finding a new therapist. In her own words, Joelle shares her experiences on the lead up to her reaching crisis point and describes where she was at and what types of things contributed to her decline in mental health. She talks candidly about her diagnoses, the depressive episode she has been struggling with for around a year, and the events that impacted her life in 2020, including losing her job, COVID, and the passing of her grandfather.
Joelle talks about the night her friend called the police to carry out a wellbeing check on her. This resulted in a very traumatic experience for her and ultimately became the moment that everything came crashing down. We talk about this in detail, including the stress and fear this brought given they had the power to hospitalize Joelle, something she only ever wanted as a last resort. This was the moment we paused and knew it was time to draw a line in the sand.
We talk about how we recognized the need to introduce a new therapy to help Joelle to ‘reset’ and get the strength back she needed to keep fighting. We chat about the different options we considered and the route we decided to go down – IV ketamine infusions. Joelle describes this in her own words including why she knew this was needed in order to help her deal with everything in a productive way. Were the ketamine infusions the right choice?
It was 100% worth it for me
Joelle on IV Ketamine
Joelle shares her personal experiences from her six sessions at the ketamine clinic where she received IV ketamine infusions. She talks about the lead up to going, the research she undertook, as well as the aspects of her first session that she can recall and her experiences from session to session. Joelle chats about how she went in with an open mind in order to get the maximum benefit possible, as well as the role of music in the sessions and how it drove the experience in a really positive way for her.
We chat about the positive impact the infusions had for Joelle, how they changed as the dose increased across sessions, as well as how she would like to go for more soon rather than later in order to explore further. Joelle discusses how she now has a new psychiatrist and is a couple of sessions in with a new therapist and would like to pursue these options further and process her experiences first before heading back to the clinic.
Joelle talks in detail about how the infusions have helped her move forward and start addressing the issues productively, something which before was an impossible feat. She now has the ability to focus on the individual threads rather than becoming overwhelmed by everything all at once. It doesn’t make it go away but has allowed her to prioritize different aspects and set them to one side while she focuses on something else. We move on to talk about depression and Joelle explains what it’s been like for her over the past year in particular and how it’s very easy to become locked in a vicious cycle of being depressed and so not being productive, which makes you feel more depressed. Joelle shares her hopes that the infusions will help this and describes the actions she is taking to address this. We also talk about the impact that the ketamine has had on helping Joelle tolerate things and process events more clearly.
We finish up by discussing the need to have grace with ourselves and how Joelle especially has tried to take action with this philosophy, reducing the pressure on herself. We talk about the year that 2020 has turned into and how it will be remembered. Joelle shares her vibes for what’s next for her, how she loves the fall and that it’s a time to slow up and look inwards towards herself, keeping pressure and expectations to a minimum as she navigates through the next chapter.
…a season of just being slow and intentionally, and cooking more, and finding what matters…nothing needs to happen right away.
This episode of Hardcore Self Help is sponsored by BetterHelp.
BetterHelp is an online therapy platform that provides affordable and convenient access to professional counseling with a licensed psychologist. Right now you can get 10% off your first month of secure online counseling for being a listener of the HCSH Podcast!
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