Charles’ Story- Hope for the Future

By: Jayson Tripp, MD


My name is Charles.

I’ve struggled with OCD, PTSD, major depression and anxiety for many years due to a traumatic childhood and some experiences during my military service. For about 20 years, I’ve been seeking treatment. I tried dozens of antidepressants, therapy, psychiatrists, hypnotherapy and even holistic treatments with little or no positive results. Some of them made me angry, others made me tired, and others had physical side effects. After years of failed treatments, I truly believed that life couldn’t get better and eventually attempted suicide.

After my suicide attempt, I saw the impact it had on my friends and family and realized taking my life wasn’t the answer. I wanted things to get better, but after so many failed treatments I thought that I was just going to live the rest of my life in a miserable state. I had difficulty motivating myself to even get out of bed most days, and everywhere I went I had conflict with the people around me. Reluctant to accept that this was as good as life could get, I was looking online for a new psychiatrist in one last ditch effort to find something that might help, and stumbled across Serenity Mental Health Centers.

At my first appointment, I met with Dr. Nyberg and I remember thinking, “He’s really good.” I could tell he really cared, especially when compared to other psychiatrists I had met with. He suggested I try ketamine. I had heard of ketamine before, but never as a mental health treatment. So I went home and researched it online and I thought it looked like something worth trying. I figured it couldn’t hurt because everything I’d used before hadn’t seemed to work. I was still a little bit nervous about the prospect of an IV treatment, but I called and scheduled my ketamine appointment.

The feeling of ketamine is difficult to describe. Within 24 hours I felt like all my stressors, my feelings of failure, and anything else bothering me, while still there in my mind, was put away to the side, allowing me to see what was going on around me and appreciate the present. It was the first time in a long time that I didn’t feel overwhelmed about the future or angry about the past.

The next day, when I woke up, I could tell that something was different. I felt like I had more mental energy than I had had in years. I got up out of bed without dragging my feet, and immediately wanted to go workout, which was something I had been wishing for the motivation to do for over a year. I cleaned my house and rearranged the furniture and had the drive to be productive again.

Everyone around me noticed a difference. My wife noticed I seemed happier, I cared more about things, and was more driven. My coworkers told me I’m more fun to be around now. It’s been over a month since I finished and I feel incredible. I enjoy spending time with my family again. I’m able to go fishing again, which I absolutely love but didn’t have the energy to do for so long.

Since I’ve finished my ketamine treatments I’ve gone off of almost all of my medications. Now I’m going through TMS to help make sure that these effects last long-term. And after everything I’ve been through, I feel that it is worth it because now I have the knowledge to help other veterans who are struggling the way I did and prevent them from taking their life the way I tried to.

If I were talking to someone else who is struggling with mental illness, whether it’s PTSD, depression, anxiety, OCD, or something else, I’d tell them to absolutely give the treatments at Serenity a try. They changed my life completely, and if your life is anything like mine was, it might be exactly the treatment you need. Before Serenity, I didn’t give a crap about my future. Today, I have goals I want to accomplish and I want there to be a future again.

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*All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.