Fairfax, Virginia, US
I debated where to post this thread--if it belonged in this forum or somewhere else. And yes, it's meant seriously.
I have a raging case of PTSD. Too many years of pretending to be a tough guy and that all of the stuff I was seeing as a photographer didn't affect me or claiming I could "handle" it. BS. So now I have PTSD.
Yes, I see a professional for this. Yes, I have a good support group for this. And no, I'm not asking MM members for medical advice (that would be right up there like asking MM members for legal advice!).
But there is some new research out that indicates that ecstasy (or 3,4-methylenedioxy-methylamphetamine (MDMA) as it's called medically) can be effective for dealing with PTSD. I'm aware of two studies that are on-going (one in Hawaii, another in the NW...so neither are accessible to me), one using returning warriors, the other a mix of people (including one other photojournalist I know who shared this with me).
What can people tell me about Ecstasy? I've never used drugs, only did a little bit of drinking (knew enough about myself to know that I'd go overboard and just seek to stay permanently numb--which is tempting some days). So when it comes to drugs, I'm clueless. Any info about Ecstasy, what it's like, what it affect it produces, how long it typically runs, reactions to it--I'd appreciate that perspective. If you don't feel comfortable sharing that in a thread, you can message me personally.
Dec 02 12 03:21 am Link
Austin, Texas, US
Feel free to ask any questions my message didn't answer, it's my favorite drug and therefore the one I'm most informed about.
I have not now, nor ever, taken drugs, MM police. I just think they're interesting to read about and MDMA is a pretty cool one, academically.
Dec 02 12 06:50 am Link
I don't think very many people on here who have used te drug recreationally are going to be able to give you accurate accounts of what it's like to take MDMA. Most "street" forms of the drug are laced with all kinds of bullshit and some aren't even real MDMA but rather a concoction of drugs.
Only recently have I heard about people getting pure MDMA from chemists trying to make extra cash. The contents are still questionable.
It was used quite a bit to treat Vietnam vets who suffered from PTSD. CNN recently did an article on treating PTSD with the drug.
http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/01/health/ec … index.html
If you are going to try it, do it in a controlled environment and under doctor supervision. The street form of the drug can really jack your brain.
Dec 02 12 08:00 am Link
Wilmington, Delaware, US
Thank you for posting this Ed. I also have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. To give an example of what an aspect of it is like lets consider this morning. I have insomnia and have been three days without good long stretches of sleep. I finally get some sleep and woke up in terror. It's like instead of a heart attack, I get these mind attacks.
I know nothing about Extacy. Could it be helpful for people like me?
Dec 02 12 08:02 am Link
Boston, Massachusetts, US
It's as though you have been walking your whole life unaware through a dense fog so you have no ability to perceive clarity in the things around you. You have the MDMA experience(s), and then you realize what a rich, colorful life you have, all the things to be grateful for, and all the years ahead of you. You wake up with this sense of having all of life ahead of you, a clear path to follow, and a new way to enjoy the goodness in people/things. The obstacles, you realize, are so small and asinine, you can't figure out why you ever cared about them to begin with.
It's serious business. I have no idea why people fuck around with it recreationally.
Dec 02 12 08:12 am Link
Fairfax, Virginia, US
Thanks for all those who've sent me individual messages as well as those who've posted.
Just a few more details:
1. Yes, it is available legally. The two trials I'm aware of, it's given as a prescription and closely monitored. It's not purchased off the street.
2. I'm not considering doing this via the street. Nor am I seeking medical advice from folks. I'm really trying to get a better sense of the drug b/c it is being used for PTSD research but I'm not sure how well it fits my situation. But the posts I've gotten have been very helpful. I'm very leery of drugs. My personality makes it very easy to "over do" something or lose control. Plus, my tendency given the PTSD would be to medicate for numbness--to not feel, to blur over a lot of bad memories or wipe out nightmares.
3. Tim--like I said, another photojournalist I met while in Bosnia is in one of the trials. Our PTSD situations are a bit different but she told me that it's making a difference for her. My situation:
--I do have trouble sleeping. I often wake up at 3am or 5am (after going to bed at midnight).
--I will have very vivid nightmares. I get smells in my nightmares....burned bodies, rotting bodies...memories from what I saw (the death squads would often dump the people they killed in the municipal trash dump for instance, in Bosnia there were a lot of mass graves as a result of ethnic cleansing).
--as a combination of those two, it will sometimes affect my behavior. I have others who know me who are astounded that I have PTSD, they say that I'm nice and courteous and upbeat and "normal". Part of my support group said that's just me overcompensating. I will at times be edgy, get the shakes (not fun focusing a camera then), and get withdrawn. To most people then I probably just come off as a introvert. My wife does a good job of spotting this stuff and will pull me out of a party or group saying she's tired and needs to go home. I will sometimes catch myself doing stuff unconsciously or on autopilot...checking the grass I'm walking on for anti-personnel mines or panicking b/c I don't have a camera with me. But as far as PTSD goes, mine is pretty mild stuff.
Dec 02 12 09:05 am Link
I understand that, what I was trying to explain is that the responses you get from people with personal experience may not be accurate or applicable to what you are looking into for the simple fact that most people don't have access to the caliber of drug being used in case studies.
Dec 02 12 09:21 am Link
SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, California, US
i grew up in the early era of mind-altering "tripping" drugs. we used them but we didn't abuse them, as in, i lived in a communal setting where the experimentation was away from interaction with society.
Dec 02 12 10:28 am Link
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Tim Little Photography wrote:
Lastnight was my first night in 2 wks I slept more then 3 hrs. PTSD SUCKS.
Dec 02 12 10:58 am Link
Dec 02 12 11:02 am Link
Austin, Texas, US
If you're doing it through a doctor, they're going to have more information than anyone who may or may not have used MDMA recreationally.
Dec 02 12 11:06 am Link
Columbus, Ohio, US
Dec 02 12 12:24 pm Link
Antioch, California, US
I understand the Israelis and the Swiss have done some fairly long running studies, with preliminary results from both studies being very positive.
I have read about two modes of use. The first was using MDMA in a clinical setting, with CBT and a trained (MDMA trained) clinician guiding the discussion. These studies claimed to have a very high success level of breaking barriers and getting a good result from the CBT.
I have also more recently heard of some work being done with a daily dose, used to control symptoms. I have only heard anecdotal results, but they too have been positive.
I also have PTSD. Even with counseling it has severely limited my life. I dont know if these trials will result in a useful therapy for me, but I certainly hope they do.....
Dec 02 12 12:47 pm Link
Khowmeyn, MarkazÄ«, Iran
Self-medication? Armchair shamanism?
Dec 03 12 12:22 am Link
Boynton Beach, Florida, US
Treating PTSD with ecstasy is almost a stupid as treating alcoholism (and ptsd) with acid (seriously... they are trying to treat both with acid.) Lets make this country more dependent on drugs... The american way, forget looking into it, just medicate it.
PTSD is not that hard to treat, you just have to be open minded and willing to actually work on your mind. Cognitive and behavioral therapy work just fine.
These things do help treat ptsd:
- Keeping a powerless journal before bed
- Practicing acceptance
- Learning the react / respond theory
There is a bunch more... if you are interested shoot me a pm
Just so it doesn't get all dramatic - I am a therapist at an IOP (intensive out-patient) for drug addicts and one of the most common problems is ptsd
Dec 03 12 01:33 am Link
Portland, Oregon, US
Jonathan Dvoretz II wrote:
Not all drugs are the same and sometimes some things DO need to be treated with drugs.
Dec 03 12 10:44 am Link
Glendora, California, US
I can see it helping greatly, in small doses. Dose is the key here. I highly doubt doctors are giving doses as high as a single street pill, assuming high quality.
Dec 03 12 11:56 am Link
Antioch, California, US
Jonathan Dvoretz II wrote:
Thanks for your opinion.
Dec 03 12 12:51 pm Link