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Ecstasy is the key to treating PTSD

By fonogoodreason, May 4, 2008 | Updated: May 4, 2008 | | |
Rating:
5/5,
  1. fonogoodreason
    Amy Turner
    04 May 2008 The Sunday Times

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article3850302.ece

Comments

  1. Bajeda
    Thank goodness I don't live in the UK. I swear I'd punch someone in the face if I had to keep reading about "the killer drug ecstasy" in the papers all the time.

    That said, I need to avoid threads with UK news articles (Australia is pretty bad too) as my blood pressure rises every time I read one.
  2. TMM
    Yeah, reading the papers in the morning isn't always the most relaxing activity for me. Though it can be quite funny, depending on what mood I'm in.
  3. Bajeda
    I just realized that my comment could be misconstrued. I like this article and am happy it was published. The biased stupid propaganda is saved for the end of the piece rather than interspersed amongst the rest of the narrative, so it just makes the government look rigid and callous, not to mention stupid. This is a remarkably good article for a UK based paper! My main qualms are with the phrase "killer drug ecstasy" and the fact that the article doesn't differentiate 'ecstasy' from 'mdma', though it does quote people who do. Perhaps the title will lead to more obnoxiously anti-drug people (or people who just don't know better) reading it as it follows the traditional negative frame only to deviate from it after engrossing the reader in Donna's story.
  4. fonogoodreason
    There is a good chance that the writer doesn't have much say in the headlines etc, so it might be the editor imposing their view.

    Bear in mind this is from the most 'upperclass' paper on sunday and takes up 6 pages or so.

    This article is a big step foward, and quite brave from the paper i think.
  5. aerozeppelin123
    To be fair they did put the word killer in quotes, so I think they're just implying that that is the common perception of ecstasy and that this study is exploring a new use of the drug. The Guardian is one of the least sensationalist papers in the UK and is known for its quality journalism, so I don't think they would be interested in trying to portray ecstasy as a 'killer drug'.
  6. Expat98
    Note that the Drugs Forum archive contains a great paper titled, "MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder - A Revised Teaching Manual Draft". The paper is based on an extensive study sponsored by MAPS. Here is the link:

    http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/local_links.php?action=jump&id=1448&catid=36

    By the way, you know how MDMA causes the eyes to dart back and forth sometimes? There is actually a treatment used by psychologists called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). This is one of the three types of treatments currently recommended to treat PTSD by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). There are several "phases" to it, but the main phase is to focus on the image or thought causing the stress while simultaneously moving your eyes back and forth following the therapist's fingers as they move across your field of vision. The theory is that this act of moving the eyes back and forth somehow causes the negative information to be re-processed such that the stressful emotion is dissociated from the event.

    There may be something similar happening with the MDMA, particularly when it causes your eyes to rapidly wiggle back and forth...the things that you are thinking about so deeply are getting re-processed.

    Here is a link to some info on EMDR and information processing therapy in case anyone is interested:

    http://www.emdr.com/briefdes.htm

    EDIT: MAPS has a table comparing the three above-mentioned PTSD treatments to MDMA therapy. It's interesting to note that the EMDR treatment produces very similar results to the MDMA treatment. The table is here: http://www.maps.org/research/mdma/ptsd_study/treatment-manual/053005/appendixA.html
  7. fonogoodreason
    Good point about the quotes but, its from the Sunday Times.
  8. chinpokomaster
    SWIM's looked into it and he tells me that there are definitely positive aspects to the drug. He's not too sure whether or not that are any negative ones, though.
  9. aerozeppelin123
    Oh yeah so it is, my bad
  10. stoneinfocus
    http://rawstory.com/news/afp/Israel_tests_Ecstasy_on_war_trauma__04252008.html

    You might apply for medical ecstasy, when you first go out and kill some children and adults and extinguish another culture.

    That´s the spirit :D ... the spirit of love now has finally found a value-able application^^

    All the other bastards, taking ecstasy just solely for love or selfmedication, should be made PTSD-victims and be kept away from this drug, by all means. Yeah, baby! "It´s a contradiction" .. let´s make it a song *It´s a conrtadiction* :D
  11. Greenport
    The question that comes into swiM's head is what exactly is the extent of PTSD? These people are specific examples with severe, documented cases of post-traumatic stress disorder. These people take MDMA once, with a therapist and it opens them up unlike anything else ever has. They can use this to get over their trauma and live on with their daily lives.

    But what about the 11,000 ravers that take it every weekend? If these people didn't have some sort of bad memories, feelings or ideas cooped up inside of them then Ecstasy wouldn't do much for that person. Perhaps these people can be looked at in the same kind of light - they have found a way to relieve all the stresses and pains of the world, and change their life for the better through chemistry.

    Is it so hard to believe that MDMA holds that power? That it is essentially the chemical key to human happiness? When one can accept the reality that our happiness can be triggered directly through the use of substances indirectly derived from organic plant matter, they can see that perhaps these people shouldn't bee:))) seen as drug abusers, but rather people searching for enlightenment. This is where MDMA is fundamentally different from other drugs - even ones bearing similar chemical structures.

    One can hear stories all the time stating that MDMA changed their life for the better. Stories about getting over disasters, traumas, problems, stresses, and finding pure happiness - which stays with them long after the drug is gone. Ask any of the 11,000 people that go out every weekend to take the drug...You don't hear people who smoke crack or shoot heroin talk about how positively it has affected their life.

    Finally, one of the most annoying things about news outlets is the way they choose to display the MDMA death-rate statistics. They make it sound like 200 deaths from MDMA is a BAD thing. But if one has a brain and thinks about it, they realize that MILLIONS of tablets have been taken since its mainstream use -- 11,000 people every WEEKEND take it. In all that time, 200 deaths -- most involving dangerous drug combinations have been linked to MDMA use. It is a statistic that is being turned against people by the news media, even though it is a very positive thing. Statistically, the only two safer drugs swiM can think of are pot and lsd!

    Good find on this article.
  12. Bajeda
    First, taking MDMA once in a therapeutic setting won't cure PTSD. It will likely make life worth living for the person, and maybe have other long term benefits, but you can't make someone completely whole again just like that.

    Secondly, I don't think the ravers dancing away on E every weekend are getting near as much benefit, and any benefit they do get is fleeting. The setting isn't conducive to personal growth via bonding and introspection, except in a superficial sense. The feeling of connectedness and love and all that is very nice indeed, but it doesn't have any deeper impact due to the hedonistic way in which it is experienced. You have to work for the beneficial results with MDMA, you can't just pop a pill and say 'thats that'.
  13. stoneinfocus
    It´s not a one day treatment, it´s and would be patented as a steady controlled dose and regime.

    You can´t get away with PTSD with just one experience(although it might help a great deal and probably much less than of what would be prescribed if it was legalized would help, but you have to sell some of it, eh!), the thoughts and memories of these horrors will hunt them and become reality again.

    They won´t be able to talk about anything, but what happened, which will isolate them from normal social settings and contacts (wanna hear at the dinner how someone tells you how he´d been nearly murdered and how his legs have been cut off and his teeth were thrown into the trash along with blood-soaked wood-slices, right before his eyes, or listen to patient reports of Dr. Mengele 24/7? great fun, eh! Don´t need a war an accident will do or systematical psycho-terror or abuse.

    PTSD is for those traumatized not something like a rare and slightly displeasuring incedent in a perfect world of endless joy, that might lead them to complain about not getting the 101% edge of an one but most beautiful life, it will alter the chemical balance and render them incapable of controlling their lives and activities, their emotions and pleasurable thoughts.

    Nor-adrenaline, adrenaline, dopamine and 5-HT output are completely off-balance and sky--rpcketing and/or deplete for no reason, but maybe a change in the weather, an itch of a scar, bringing back the memories or an all day situtaition.

    Whatnormally would give joy and dopamnine-reward and a feeling of success and relaxedness and self-esteem etc. will be turned into pure horror, or just plain exhausting physical and psychological negativ and unmotivated feeling of stress ( I mena relly stress, like thinkng a car will hit you and you now, that´s adrenalin in a not good way), by an inappropiate and totally unmotivated neurotransmitter release of the CNS and the memory will render even pleasurable and good moments into horror and fear and something to avoid, despite the knowledge, that this is not normal and shouldn´t be.

    That´s where drugs like ecstasy, amphetamines and ketamine will help, when one is totally exhausted and close to suicide, driven by his CNS and the lack of empathy and experience of medics and the social surrounding.
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