Catherine Oxenberg on How Ketamine Helped Her Overcome NXIVM Trauma: ‘A Miracle’ (Exclusive)

Published By with Comments

Categorized as Uncategorized Tagged , , ,

After years spent freeing her daughter from a dangerous cult, the former ‘Dynasty’ star found herself in physical agony. Then she tried an unconventional therapy

Catherine Oxenberg remembers the moment she lost hope. Over a two-week period in early 2020, the former Dynasty star — who famously fought to free her daughter India from the sinister NXIVM cult — suddenly found herself bedridden and overcome with pain: stabbing, radiating, excruciating pain that moved around her body seemingly at random. Her hands swelled, her feet went numb, her spine ached.

Unable to sleep, drive or even hold a toothbrush, she churned through a “conveyor belt of specialists,” including rheumatologists, neurologists and psychologists. Doctors offered up a string of misdiagnoses — inflammatory arthritis, fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy, and pre-autoimmune disease, among others — and prescriptions for antidepressants and opioids that provided no relief.

“The thing with pain is that your life gets small really fast. It becomes part of your identity without you even realizing,” says Oxenberg, 61. “Everything is filtered through it. One doctor told me, ‘This becomes chronic pain after three months. Once the brain is wired, it can’t be unwired.’ It was like getting a death sentence.”

But Oxenberg, famously, does not give up easily: Her dogged, seven-year odyssey to rescue her daughter from predatory NXIVM leader Keith Raniere (who is now serving 120 years in prison) was documented in her 2018 book Captive and in the 2020 Starz docuseries Seduced. Only days after moving India, now 32, into her Malibu property to reconnect following her escape, Oxenberg lost her home in the 2018 California wildfires.

Just when those close to her — and Oxenberg herself — began to sense that her signature tenacity might be slipping away, one doctor at UCLA made a lifesaving connection between her past trauma and current agony. As Oxenberg remembers: “She told me, ‘For somebody who’s had the experiences you’ve had, you are a poster child for late-onset pain.’ ”

The theory — that a part of the brain will create physical discomfort in response to fear and repressed trauma as a coping mechanism and a “safer” alternative to addressing a more insidious mental or emotional threat — led Oxenberg to a second breakthrough, this time in November 2020 at the Bioreset clinic in Northern California. Under a doctor’s care she took her first intravenous dose of ketamine, an anesthetic with psychedelic properties.

Though often abused as a street drug, ketamine can be legally administered and has become an increasingly popular treatment for anxiety and drug-resistant depression. As prescribed to Oxenberg and other trauma survivors, ketamine also shows effectiveness as a therapeutic, both encouraging neural plasticity (i.e., a rewiring of the brain) and regulating the nervous system so patients can address painful memories without triggering the brain’s fight-or-flight response: “an upgrading of my operating system,” as Oxenberg describes it.

“What I felt was the depth of relaxation, that every cell in my body just let go,” she recalls of her first treatment, equating the experience to being “airlifted out of the combat zone of life.” She remembers the euphoria of hearing a voice during a calm moment — “a wise part of myself” — reassuring her she would heal. “It said only I could heal myself, because only I could connect all the dots of my experience — and [for the first time] I got it. And I never went back to despair.”

Content retrieved from:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trenton, New Jersey 08618
609.396.6684 | Feedback

Copyright © 2022 The Cult News Network - All Rights Reserved