One MDMA trial participant told her story: “I understand how happy it is now”

“I never felt happy, no matter what happened in my life,” he said. “I always feel rested, I always feel like it’s holding weight. Things don’t connect in my mind. It’s like someone took a cable and pulled it out, and I tried to adjust it as well.”

Later, Nathan heard about a study that tested the use of MDMA to treat severe PTSD and went through a phase of clinical trials, the last hurdle before U.S. regulators considered whether to approve. the therapy.

MDMA a synthetic psychoactive with a reputation as a drug addict popular among clubbers-you probably know it ecstasy, E, or molly. It causes the brain to release large amounts of the chemical serotonin, which causes a euphoric effect, but has also been found to reduce the activity of the brain’s limbic system, which suppresses our emotional responses. This seems to help people with PTSD revisit their traumatic therapy experiences without being filled with strong emotions such as fear, shame, or sadness.

To test this theory, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a California-based nonprofit, set up a random, double-blind trial-one that Nathan participated in. Participants attended three eight -hour sessions, in which they were given either placebo or two doses of MDMA before discussing their problems and received counseling from two qualified therapists.

In May 2021, the settlement the results were published in Nature Medicine. They can be shocking. Of the 90 patients who participated, those who received MDMA reported better outcomes than others. Two months after treatment, 67% of participants in the MDMA group no longer had PTSD, compared with 32% in the placebo group.

I see life as something to be scrutinized and appreciated rather than something to persevere.

Nathan McGee

I’m Sessa, a UK -based researcher involved in the launch of the country’s first psychedelic therapy, in Bristol, said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could approve MDMA -assisted psychotherapy for PTSD by the end of 2023.

There are other tests going on in the US, UK, etc. to test whether the compounds are desirable. Psilocybin and ketamine can both be used to help treat mental illness. The first signs are positive, and if they do, they can shake up the world of mental health treatment.

I told Nathan about what the MDMA -assisted therapy experience was like. Our conversation was molded and edited for clarity.

Q: How do you manifest your mental health struggles?

A: Before I joined the test, things were not going well for me. Everything I tried turned out to be awesome. Didn’t work. I tried many different therapists and different methods. I lost my job in January 2018. That was sad, and I lost my job before, but this time it’s different. I decided if this was the cause of my mental health, I would fix it. I will do whatever it takes. If my therapist told me I had to get naked and go through a lot of malls and that would help me, I would have done it.

Q: How did you find this study?

A: I was just up late at night in the rabbit hole on the internet. I studied PTSD for a few hours, and I came across this study. I thought I might as well apply. I didn’t think of any of it. Actually, I forgot about it afterwards. Nor would I tell my wife. Then, two months later, I got this phone call from them, asking if they could interview me.

Q: Surround me with the experience of what the sessions are like.

A: When you get there, it really looks like an office building. From the outside, you wouldn’t know there was a bunch of people carrying MDMA inside. But you get through, and you’re taken to the treatment room, with a sofa, bed, blanket, and pillow. There’s music playing, and that’s part of the whole experience. It was very calm. It’s almost like a spa. There is plenty of sunrise, and through the window you can see the trees and a ditch. Very peaceful. Arrival of two therapists. They check your vital – your temperature, blood pressure, your heart rate, and so on. They talk to you a little bit about what you can expect to gain from today’s experience. And then they do this little ceremony or ritual, where they light a candle to announce that things are starting. It almost feels like a religious or a spiritual experience. So they lit the candle, and then one of the therapists would go and come back carrying a small plate with a pill. It is presented to you with a cup of water, you drink the water and swallow the pill, and then you just sit and wait. You chat while you wait.

At one point I said, “I don’t think it’s MDMA.” I’ve never taken anything like that before, and I’m a little nervous, actually. They don’t tell you if you have MDMA or not, but the head therapist tells me everyone knows a lot. Almost when I said I didn’t think to take it, it started. It’s explained, I know.

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