LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — After 11 brain surgeries and years of struggling with clinical depression, Arica Nyboer says she was looking for new treatment options, when she came across ketamine infusion therapy.

Ketamine is traditionally used for anesthesia, but researchers have found that it is beneficial when it comes to helping treat clinical depression and addiction.

“Ninety percent of he known benefits of ketamine in psychiatry are all about depression,” said Dr. Sagar Parikh, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan.

Parikh said this type of therapy has been around for about 15 years. The treatment includes different sessions, spread out during different amounts of time based on the patient’s reaction.

He said the sessions are around 45 minutes each time and patients will get infusions. After 10 minutes of having the ketamine infusion, he said some people will begin to feel something happening, like confusion or a small psychedelic experience.

Parikh said the reason ketamine is used in this procedure, is because after the treatment, the hallucinogenic effect of the drug usually wears off in about an hour.

However, he said for some patients, the infusions will help patients feel better for days or even weeks after the treatment, depending on how many infusions they have, and how often those infusions occur.

But, he says this treatment is only for severe clinical depression and that ketamine infusion therapy is one of the last options for patients, where other methods like pills, do not work.

“It is more effective than anything else than ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) so fifty percent of our sickest patients have a complete response to it,” Parikh said.

When Nyboer heard about this treatment option and its results, she was excited. But she then learned the cost of the therapy.

“It is about a $4,000 treatment,” Nyboer said.

She said at the start of the therapy, more infusions need to occur in a shorter time period, and that cost adds up.

Nyboer said the reason it is so expensive is because insurance doesn’t cover it, since this treatment is not approved by FDA.

She said despite the cost, she wants to get this treatment.

“The last couple years have been really hard, um, and they’ve progressively gotten harder to the point where I’m not working. I’m, you know, daily life is hard,” Nyboer said.

She said the reason behind her needing this treatment, started when she was 8, due to a birth defect.

“Suddenly started getting headaches all the time and it was a big ordeal that turned into 11 surgeries and that is the point in which my personality clearly changed,” Nyboer said.

Now she is 25, and wants to use this treatment not just for herself, but for her 5-year-old daughter Lilyanna.

“I thank the universe for her every day. If not for her, I don’t know if I would’ve gotten as far as I am today,” Nyboer said.

She said she is heading to an evaluation on Sunday at a clinic in Grand Rapids and she hopes by sharing her story, more people who have similar situations, will consider this treatment as well.

To help with the cost of the ketamine infusion therapy, Nyboer has started a GoFundMe page, which can be found here.