"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

What is MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD?

MDMA, higher often called Ecstasy or Molly, is a psychoactive drug that acts as a stimulant. The drug releases chemicals in your brain which have an energizing effect, heightening your senses and increasing emotions akin to self-awareness and empathy.

Experts use the results of MDMA as a part of the treatment for severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental illness that affects nearly 3.5% of adults within the United States.

PTSD occurs after someone goes through a traumatic event akin to a serious accident, sexual abuse, injury, or war. Memories can appear as flashbacks or nightmares, forcing some people to relive terrible moments. Severe post-traumatic stress disorder also can result in suicide.

There are not any medications to treat PTSD itself, but some medications can ease symptoms. Treatments akin to talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy can be helpful. But nearly a 3rd of individuals drop out of therapy and as much as 58% still have PTSD symptoms after completing therapy. This is where MDMA comes into play.

Experts have found that administering a specific amount of MDMA in a clinical setting helps individuals with PTSD open up in order that they can process traumatic events.

MDMA itself just isn't approved for legal use resulting from its history as a recreational drug with the potential for harm, abuse and addiction. But since 2017, the FDA has considered the drug's positive effects on PTSD symptoms a “therapeutic breakthrough.”

MDMA (short for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) causes the discharge of neurotransmitters, chemical messengers, to brain cells that alter brain activity. These include “feel-good hormones” akin to dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine in addition to oxytocin, prolactin, cortisol and vasopressin.

The effects may include the next feelings:

  • empathy
  • self-consciousness
  • Sensory pleasure
  • More energy
  • Less fear
  • Ability to speak in confidence to emotions
  • Differences in the way in which you see time and space

Mental health experts say these emotions could create a great framework for individuals with PTSD to grapple with difficult emotions, engage in additional self-reflection, and process the events which will have triggered their condition.

MDMA-assisted therapy sessions can take a while. You may have two or three sessions over a 12-week period to see advantages. Your therapist will let you know more about what to anticipate and how one can prepare.

At each session, you might be given a tablet or capsule to swallow that comprises a 125-milligram dose of the medication. It often takes about 45 minutes to take effect.

Your doctor or therapist may give a half dose two hours after the primary dose in the event that they think it's crucial.

The drug's effects in your brain and body can last as long as 8 hours, supplying you with time to reflect on and process painful events.

At least two psychotherapists might be present throughout the session to show you how to through this physically and emotionally demanding process.

Scientists are still studying the advantages of MDMA for individuals with PTSD in clinical trials. But the outcomes were promising.

The researchers say MDMA-assisted therapy can have more advantages than some other psychotherapy or medication currently used to treat severe PTSD.

In fact, they are saying that PTSD symptoms may be controlled or reduced after a two- or three-session regimen. And the advantages may be long-term: One study found that one 12 months after completing MDMA-assisted therapy, 67% of individuals reported that they now not met criteria for PTSD.

These findings have led the FDA to grant expanded access status to MDMA-assisted therapy. This implies that, with out a clinical trial, mental health professionals can provide the drug to certain people affected by very severe types of post-traumatic stress disorder, which may be life-threatening. It may be given to people whose post-traumatic stress disorder doesn't respond well to other forms of therapy and who cannot take part in phase III clinical trials.

Because treatment occurs in a controlled environment, the potential for abuse is low. MDMA also proves to be cheaper than other alternative therapies for severe post-traumatic stress disorder, which can last more and require more medication and skilled help.

If you've been diagnosed with a severe type of post-traumatic stress disorder and are serious about MDMA-assisted therapy, it will be significant to do not forget that this treatment should only be undertaken with expert assistance in a clinical setting.

MDMA-assisted therapy shouldn't be confused with recreational ecstasy. Street drugs do not need the identical therapeutic effects and you could not know the precise dosage and purity.

In fact, researchers say that illegally purchased Ecstasy could contain other ingredients akin to methamphetamine, ketamine (a form of anesthetic), caffeine or ephedrine. The combination may be hazardous to health.

MDMA-assisted therapy just isn't suitable for everybody. You must receive physical clearance before you may avail it. If you're serious about trying MDMA to treat severe PTSD symptoms, refer to your doctor or therapist about whether it'd give you the results you want.