KLBJ Interview with Illumma's Ken Adolph: Honest Dialogue about Shared Experiences with Ketamine
Updated: Oct 4, 2019
Earlier in September, the Dudley and Bob + Matt Radio Show on KLBJ-FM welcomed Illumma founder and cardiac anesthesiologist Dr. Ken Adolph to discuss ketamine infusion therapy.
The interview started out casually enough with a few on-air jokes about Ken’s youthful appearance, but it quickly became a very real and fascinating conversation.
What made this conversation so unique was the fact that all four people in that room (Dale, Bob, Ken and Matt) had each faced mental health challenges throughout their lives. This wasn’t a premeditated situation, but their shared life experiences spoke volumes about why ketamine is such a life-changer for people struggling with depression and anxiety.
As the interview began, Dale Dudley provided the backstory by sharing details of his own battle with depression that he has openly talked about and written about in hopes of raising awareness. At only 19 years old, Dale was clinically depressed and suffered from suicidal episodes. His treatment at the time was thorazine, an antipsychotic medication typically used to treat schizophrenia and manic episodes that has notoriously bad side effects. Dale and his show partner Bob Fonseca poignantly explain to their radio listeners, “What we’re discussing now is part of all of us in this room.” All four people in the room have struggled with mental health illness. Ken candidly adds, “I’ve had generalized anxiety my entire life. And suffered from it greatly.” Generalized anxiety can be described as a blanket of fear or dread, like fear of a future event that you can’t control and there’s no basis for the event even happening.
“We worry 10,000 times more about what may happen than what’s actually happening,” says Ken.
“Depression is ruminating about things that have happened in the past and anxiety is ruminating about what may happen in the future.” Both can be debilitating.
Bob’s experience with ketamine was different because it wasn’t the treatment he was seeking when he got it. It just happened to be what the ER prescribed. Years ago, Bob was trapped in a cycle of excruciating physical pain in his joints that landed him in the ER. The constant, unshakable pain had sent him into a dark place where was struggling with thoughts of suicide as a means of escape.
He explained that the effects of the ketamine relieved his pain instantly and he’s still feeling the psychological benefits – years later – because it eased his anxiety and depression. He described the experience kind of like an unexpected blessing. He was seeking relief from physical pain and happily found lasting relief from mental unrest with just one ketamine treatment.
During the interview, you could hear the surprise lingering in his voice as he told his story – almost as if to say, “Did this really happen to me?” Can ketamine really do that?”
Ken quietly listened in agreement, because he’s heard this same story from his patients hundreds of times. Yes, this is exactly what ketamine infusion therapy does. The results are so impactful, it’s nearly impossible to put it into words.
But, of course, during a radio show, you need to paint a picture for your listeners. Bob, Dudley and Ken did their best to explain ketamine infusion therapy, especially for skeptics who are afraid to try it.
As Ken points out, ketamine infusion therapy is a psychotropic treatment, because ketamine is a psychotropic drug. That means it’s a medicine that alters chemical levels in the brain impacting mood, perception, cognition or behavior. For example, anesthesia is a psychotropic drug, which is why Ken knows so much about it because he’s spent his career as a cardiac anesthesiologist.
Ken explains, “If you’re in a desperate situation with suicidal ideation, it [ketamine infusion therapy] will extinguish that rumination with one infusion.”
Bob agreed wholeheartedly and went on to say he personally doesn’t do recreational drugs because that’s not part of his personality. He admitted “doing drugs” would make him nervous. That being said, he tried to explain how his ketamine treatment felt.
He describes the effect of ketamine as a disassociation of the self, “You are not you, but it’s not a scary thing.”
The improvement Bob has noticed since his ketamine treatment is he can now recognize when he’s in an unhealthy thought pattern. He can identify it and end that pattern without spiraling to an unhealthy place. By staying in control of his thoughts, he can avoid more severe symptoms of anxiety and depression. The trio tried to figure out how to best explain ketamine to skeptics,” How do you talk about agreeing to do ketamine IV therapy?”
Think of it by asking yourself this question, “Would you be interested in surrendering?”
Find your light
If you're ready to break free from anxiety, depression, PTSD, chronic pain, bipolar disorder or other mental health struggles, give us a call. We'll set up a free consultation to see if ketamine infusion therapy is the right choice for your needs.