Feelings Commonly Reported During The Use of MDMA

In a survey of MDMA users, Vollenweider et. al. reported ecstasy to induce "an effective state of enhanced mood, well-being, and increased emotional sensitiveness, little anxiety, but no hallucinations or panic reactions." Adverse consequences after 24 hours included "lack of energy and appetite, feelings of restlessness, insomnia, jaw clenching... difficulty concentrating, and brooding"

MDMA has very strong effects on the human mind and body, altering our perceptions, and emotions. It is important to know what you are getting into anytime you are trying something new. For a first time user MDMA is usually something very new, and the feelings it evokes can be overwhelming. When we consider using MDMA in a clinical setting, to aid therapy, it is important for the therapist and the patient to understand what the experience will be like. You can click HERE for tips on having a successful therapy session.

Feelings while on MDMA, like in life, can range from a calm content meditative state, to utter confusion and disgust with the world around you. MDMA, however seems to increase the likelihood of these extreme emotional states by increasing the intensity of many emotions and sensory input. To read accounts of MDMA experiences, both good and bad, Go Here. Some of the feelings that result from the ingestion of MDMA appear to be beneficial in the therapeutic setting. While the barriers being broken down by MDMA may benefit psychotherapy, they also present danger to the user. Along with a feeling of content with a situation, comes decreased decision making skills and increased negative as well as positive emotions. A study by Greer and Tolbert in 1986 found many beneficial effects of MDMA during psychotherapy, but they noted that all subjects reported undesirable effects some lasting weeks and even causing anxiety attacks. The roller coaster of emotions that many people experience when taking MDMA can also cause them to make drastic decisions, which they may or may not be happy with once the effects of the drug wear off. In a 1986 article on the use of MDMA in psychotherapy Dr Lester Grinspoon and James Bakalar noted the intense changes that MDMA users experienced in the therapy setting.

When Artists were asked to draw each other under while under the influence of MDMA the effects were quite evident:



Before and after using MDMA

Though the artist did not rank the drawing done while on MDMA as better, they did feel they were more expressive.

There were both potentially harmful and beneficial effects. Dr Grinspoon and Mr Bakalar reported that patients felt more "emotionally open" and they claimed to be in touch with feelings that they previously had no access to. One patient in the article said that "MDMA breaks down inhibitions about communication, making it easy to give or recieve criticism or compliments that under normal circumstance are embarassing". According to Grinspoon the major difference between the MDMA sessions and the control sessions was the feeling of tranquility and security for the MDMA recipients. Some of the patients reported having changed feelings for months after the experience. In Doctor Grinspoon and Bakalars report, many of the patients claimed to have higher self esteem since the therapy with MDMA.

The feelings of security and warmth and tranquility seem to allow for many users to achieve new levels of intimacy. While the new level of intimacy is enjoyable for most it can create problems such as a greater tendency to have unprotected sex and make important relationship decisions while under the influence. You could say that MDMA has an excitatory effect on emotions, and this does seem to make it a valuable tool in some forms of therapy if used properly. MDMA will have the effects of ego softening; neurotically based fear dissolution; feelings of emotionally based love and empathy; facilitation of in-depth communication and emotional bonding; heightened present moment awareness; heightened reaction to pleasurable sensory stimulus; "warm all over" feeling of inner peace and spiritual well being. The adverse effects include appetite loss; central nervous system stimulation; mild to intense trismus mild to moderate post-session fatigue; nystagmus; agitation; restlessness; nervousness; nausea; shivering or tremor.

Therapeutic Uses

Common Feelings

Treatment of PTSD

Therapeutic Benefits

Therapeutic Dangers

Main Table of Contents