Doctors describe what it's like giving ketamine to patients: apparently Enya helps

In recent years, psychological researchers have studied the use of the dissociative psychedelic/anaesthetic ketamine as a treatment for severe depression in people. Gizmodo asks clinicians to report their experiences administering the drug. From Gizmodo:

Adam Kaplin
Clinical Director of the Psychiatric Esketamine Clinic and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University

One patient of ours would, each time, turn the lights off and enter a dreamlike state, during which she'd fly over New York City, where she used to work. She looked forward to it—her little voyages to the city. Another woman swore we were hiding lemons in the room. We had a patient for whom colors outside the window would vibrate—he described a green unlike any green he'd seen before. Another heard voices and saw spiders crawling on the door.

Which is all to say that it runs a wide range, and depends for the most part on the patient. Virtually no one we dosed, though, said they didn't want to continue. When ketamine works, it works dramatically—in the first dose or two, people get dramatically better; some even feel they've returned to their old selves. To have this response in people with treatment-resistant depression, after just a few doses, is kind of amazing.

The people who were most distressed by it were people who'd never experimented with drugs before. One person we treated, a musician, had treated his body like a temple—no drugs or alcohol for his entire life. So for him, ketamine was a frightening experience: he just didn't know what was going to happen. But typically, people who have done drugs in the past find it to be a cool experience.

One thing that helped with side effects—and I swear I'm not getting any money for this—was Enya. Invariably, Enya soothed our patients, even patients who were hard rock partisans. It was Enya that really did it for them.

"How does it feel to get Ketamine therapy?" (Gizmodo)