How A Drug Helps Me Cope With My Kids’ Suicides

How A Drug Helps Me Cope With My Kids’ Suicides


– I was suffering from post
traumatic stress disorder, depression and grief. I was going downhill fast. – Ketamine’s used as a
transformer of moods, only discovered in the late 90’s. People were very incredulous,
it’s an anesthetic, how could it have
anything to do with mood? – What is actually happening in the brain when a person takes this drug? – I’m always a little
nervous before the injection ’cause I know I have no
control over what my mind is going to think about. The trauma that I’m dealing
with, basically unthinkable but I’ve lost both of
my children to suicide. My youngest son, Dylan,
knew that his life mattered, that he mattered, that he had a voice and unfortunately, his impulsive nature, caused him to go in and shoot
himself and end his life. When I found him, I
screamed uncontrollably. What I saw, nobody should see. I ran out of the house
and then ran back in to make sure he wasn’t still alive even though that’s physically impossible based on what I looked at. I hired a grief counselor immediately, I hired the best post traumatic
stress disorder counselor I could find and I did
pull myself out of it, I did reengage and I had an older son who still lived with his
mum and I worried about him ’cause he didn’t go to
counseling and he held things in, he didn’t share but he
kept saying he was fine. We were about to go to the
Edmonton Oilers playoff game with my dad and my sister
because I really believed in trying to united the
family, start having us live our lives again, that
was my obligation to others, friends and family and my son. My son was clearly
depressed but he denied it. And the day before he
was supposed to go back to see his mother, he
called me on a bike ride to tell me that he loved me
and I knew something was wrong. When he asked me how long I was gonna be, it reminded me of my other son when he asked me the same question. When I got home a year ago about today, I found my other son
dead of a gunshot wound. (crying) Needless to say, I fell apart. Brought in spiritual leaders, I brought in other counselors. Any ideas that people
had that could help me get a grip on my life ’cause for the first four months, I didn’t care if I was alive, I didn’t care if I died. I didn’t think it mattered, I had no hope. I had no purpose. It was empty without my kids. (gentle music) I first went to some
grief recovery centers, I went to a brain scanning clinic. I signed up with an EMDR specialist. I was severely depressed
trying to get out of it and I wanted to try to make
some progress on my own before I came to do the ketamine and I wanted to get through Christmas. Having had lost one son
and knowing the worst date is Christmas, not the birthday, not the anniversary date of death, Christmas is the worst date
if you’ve lost a child. I knew I had that coming and
I didn’t wanna be doing this or have just done it and
then get whacked again so I knew to get through Christmas. If I could get through
Christmas, early January, I’m flying back into
L.A., and I’m gonna come and spend two weeks and do this treatment. And I got through Christmas
and I made it here. – It’s known as special
K, a psychedelic drug popular in dance clubs but
doctors say the same drug, ketamine, approved as animal
tranquilizer and anesthetic can also be a lifesaver when
used to treat severe depression when nothing else works. One small study found ketamine
decreased suicidal thoughts almost immediately in 50% of patients. Most anti-depressants take weeks. – Tom was pretty troubled
when he came to us. He was not dealing at all well. Tom really was blaming
himself a lot for that and was suffering a great
deal of guilt and remorse, pretty unsure about whether
he wanted to continue living. He had a very rough and
contentious first infusion. By the day after his second infusion, he was really just singing
the praises of the treatment. Ketamine was found to be a
profoundly effective anesthetic given as a lump or bolus. It was only when people began to give it in a very gradual way and
in sub-anesthetic doses that we realized what
an amazing mood elevator and reverser of suicidality it is. It starts a chain reaction,
it actually caused new growth in connections in the brain
and in receptor density among those connections. That patient, who has
an infusion, experiences a dissociative state, does
not have true hallucinations. He may see things that
aren’t there but he knows that they’re not there. Dissociation can be very
mild, like when you’re waiting to pay at the grocery
store and you’re thinking about what you’re gonna do tonight, your mind and body are sort of separate. A lot of patients tell
us that they’re able to do really important internal work while they’re having an infusion. It can be really therapeutic for them to have a really objective
perspective on their life and this dissociation that
Dr. Mandel was talking about, of course, it’s very
important, we’re big advocates of talk therapy and for
them to work through some of these things with a professional. – It’s a treatment, it’s not a cure. It will not stand alone. – For me, I’m always a
little nervous before the injection ’cause I
know I have no control over what my mind is going to think about. It can go from very
pleasant to very scary. I know at the end, I’m
going to feel better. I’m gonna say it’s an
out of body experience. I’m present watching myself but it’s not in a dimension that I can explain. They actually let me know that I matter, that I am good enough. They gave me tools to discuss with my conventional psychologist. (gentle music) I had moments of emotional
pain from my loss that I understood why somebody
would wanna take their life. For whatever reason,
something changed in me that made me go from
I don’t care if I live to I don’t wanna die and now,
because of these treatments, I can now go and share my
story and let people know that life is worth living. That as bad as it gets,
as painful it gets, we do have a choice and we have freedom to make that choice. But I can go out and help
other people possibly and whether I’m successful
or not doesn’t matter, I’m at least gonna try to do that. I’m gonna try to give back
what this clinic’s given me. My life. (light music)

100 comments

  1. I used ketamine a few times… And it is really a hard to explainable feeling… But i can imagine how it helps people like him…

  2. He lost his sons but hes still a father to the rest of us with his lessons.
    Young or old regardless.

    Peace be with you

  3. I thought people mostly just took ketamine as horse tranquilizer and to get high (k hole). Cool how this can help people too.

  4. This is why as suicidal as I am, I don't commit it. I only hurt the people that are on my side. Not the people who hate me.

  5. I’m glad he found help. What a horror he’s been through. I never understand why people tell other people, though, that life is worth living. Worth is subjective. You can’t really tell another person that their life is worth living. That’s up to that person. I pray we all find that purpose or worth for ourselves…but if a person is very close to taking his or her own life…telling that person that “Life is worth living” isn’t going to help. They need to find treatment. When suicidal thoughts dominate the brain, nothing else gets through at the time. Nothing else is as important. Often if they wait…how they feel will change. That’s one of the truths about emotions: If you wait, they mostly will change. You won’t always feel that way. But…some do. Chronic, persistent, impending doom isn’t treatable with just some nice words, “Life is worth living!”. They need what this man found…a treatment that goes beyond just words and talking it out.

  6. I love my mom to death and is the only reason why I haven't done this cause ik when your gone it doesn't matter it only passes on the pain to your loved ones

  7. if you want to kill your self dont do it if its a bully from school just stick thru it your life is way better then there or its going to be way better then theres, theres allways a way to do anything you want just do it

  8. How can anyone get thru this?? This is unreal man. I can't imagine going through 1 loss but another after that in that way!!! Wow this is hard to hear…God Bless you man wow

  9. I am so sorry for your losses, but there is one thing I want to say to you sir, you are the strongest mf I have ever seen, please stay strong because you are a good man, god bless you sir and may god bless your children's souls

  10. i cant stop thinking that this guy might be the one who killed his sons… it just sound a bit unrealistic that they both shot themself but maybe its because i live in denmark where you dont just get hands on guns unless you know the right/wrong persons and therefor it seems more unrealistic to me…

    i am not the one that knows most of psychological behavior but for whatever reason his crying just seems staged… as an example at 0:57 i dont see pain in his eyes, his eyes are smiling while his face are crying… its like he is imaging one thing and talk about another…

    im afraid i can see something other people are not looking for…

  11. The older son is kind of an Ashole, seeing his dad getting depressed, bcs your younger brother died, and you just dont care about your parents feelings!!

  12. Till now I was thinking ppl can take their lives without caring about who they might hurt, but now it's a selfish choic

  13. I respect you man. You need a partner from a far away continent, probably a different ethnicity to bring charm back into your life

  14. Dam Mister I honestly do not know how you get through each and every day of your life. You can never get over the heart ache. God bless you and your family.

  15. This guy is a bad ass plain and simple. To tell his story for the world to see is remarkable. The pain, the anguish is so evident yet he is expressing his desire to move forward. Its not in him to end it! Hes unknowingly helping hundreds if not thousands move forward. Respect to the highest level!

  16. Glad to see all the support on this video. Dillon was a good friend of mine before he passed and its sad to see them gone. I miss hanging out with them.

  17. This might just be the saddest video on youtube😭
    What a strong human being that dad is!!!
    Just realized its been exactly a year since this was posted. I wonder how hes doing💙

  18. I hope this serves as a lesson to all that are suicidal. killing yourself doesn't end the suffering, but spreads it to those you care about most.
    and that if this guy can get through it, you can too

  19. The only thing that heals depression is God.If your far from God the devil will find his way to do what he knows best which is to “kill, steal, and destroy”

  20. the only reason I'm still here is that I don't want my parents and especially my brother go through this. I couldn't handle to know that I'm the reason that they're going through the same hell as I am.

  21. This video makes me become drenched with tears every time it's so sad and you can see the anguish in his eyes

  22. I think people can get over depression without ketamine.

    I know this is probably going to get a lot of hate but this felt like a ketamine ad.
    I mean I'm all for its scientific uses but calling it a crazy party drug that does miracles in this case is a little insensitive

  23. If my heart was a little bit more elastic, I'm pretty sure the weight within it whilst watching this poor man's grief would have caused the earth to stop spinning.

    How can you even live after losing your only two sons?!

    If there really is such a person as Jesus, or God, then please grasp this man by his armpits and help him back onto his feet.

    Lord knows he needs you.

  24. Am I the only one that senses that this man may be at least part of the cause of his sons suicides? He strikes me as being rather arrogant, eccentric, obviously wealthy, who probably had incredibly high ideals for his children, that put far too much pressure on them. Whether he did it intentionally or not, I cannot tell, but that is the first thing that pops into my mind within the first 30 seconds of hearing him speak. I have always been extremely intuitive, I can read people like a book, and I’m telling you that there’s a lot going on here that we not being told, because he is probably racked with guilt, but is too ignorant or proud to ever admit it. How do I come to these conclusions? By reading his body language, the way in which he speaks, his appearance, his demeanor, everything about him tells me that he was indirectly at least part of the reason why his children killed themselves. As a sidenote, why does he have guns in the house in the first place? As a Canadian, I can tell you that it’s pretty unusual for us to have guns in our homes. We’re much different than our southern neighbours in that regard, especially after his first son shot himself, he should’ve removed every weapon from his home. I know it sounds like I am blaming him, and perhaps I am indirectly, there’s just something that rubs me the wrong way, because I’m not only incredibly perceptive, but I’ve also been extremely suicidal I have suffered from depression for over a decade, and all of my senses, all of my experiences, are telling me that something is way out of line here. That aside, I’m not a monster, of course my heart bleeds for him, I only have one son, but I can’t even begin to imagine him killing himself, because I know I would want to follow right after him, I would see no reason to live anymore. He is the only reason why I didn’t kill myself in the first place, because he deserved to have a father, but if my children all died? What would be the point of living anymore?

  25. This story in the video is the unthinkable. I cannot imagine.
    I found out this weekend my 15 year old daughter is trying to end her life asap. Please help if you can on goFundme, search "Help with Hailey’s URGENT rehab” 🙁

  26. I can understand depression to this level, just never could understand people who say they are depressed after breaking up with someone.

  27. I want to spend a day with this guy and do father-son stuff with him all day, just to reinstall some happiness

  28. when he said christmas was the worst day when you lost a child i broke ): prays he finds someone soon who makes him happy and shows him the love he deserves

  29. I dont know you but I love you so much. I'm so proud of you. Your amazing. I hope you can continue to find happiness and keep teaching people like myself about strength and moving forward. God bless you.

  30. Ketamine as medicine sadly this guys life was already over and anything would help him you could give him heroin and he would say it helped him ketamine is a dangerous drug and should not be approved for nothing but banned sadly this man is nothing but a druggie now saying he feels better when hes high doctors are complete morons

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