I think this is the overlooked key point in these discussions of MDMA or other treatments as remedies for PTSD: it brings on the ability to see yourself and your actions with compassion and forgiveness that is not present in baseline consciousness.
For my own healing of trauma (which did not involve the use of MDMA), that has been the key. And letting go of deep resentment towards others (e.g., parents, former partners, lost friends) happened pretty much immediately, once I was able to have self-compassion and forgive myself.
As promising as the research around MDMA might be, it's still likely to be a long time before it has clinical and legal approval in most jurisdictions and even then it may not be the be-all-and-end-all for emotional healing.
Whereas there are techniques for bringing on self-forgiveness that are already available, though not yet accepted in the mainstream.
Hopefully that may start to change soon.
Could you comment on what those are?
Some practices I'm familiar with include Holotropic Breathwork (developed by Psychiatrist Stan Grof, who was a pioneer of research into LSD before it was banned), EFT/tapping and Milton Erickson Hypnosis. A friend of mine frequently does Family Constellations workshops and finds them highly beneficial, but I haven't tried that yet.
There are others that are more left-field than I'm willing to go into here but you're welcome to email me (address in profile) if you want to know more.
Careful if you google it. You'll find some bizarre stuff that had nothing to do with my treatment. It's really weird when you read about something that changed your life dramatically for the better and others trash it and talk about it using a description that sounds nothing like your reality. Really makes one wonder about other things getting blasted publicly.
It gave us an ability to talk about everything. Nothing weird, just a fantastic conversation.
The next morning-
>I had 2 TVs side by side as monitors(previously, she was worried about 'what the neighbors would think'.)
>We had our finances planned for how we would deal with upcoming house work.
>We learned about each other during sex, nothing weird, just better.
This is the big stuff that others can likely relate to. It was like 3 hours of fantastic conversation.
I think even in that case, his experience was probably wildly useful, despite bearing little to no resemblance to the happy empathic presentation that's commonly associated with MDMA.
My answer is 'yeah, probably.' But ideally this hypothetical couple should ask someone experienced who knows them better.
During the experiences we were in absolute perfect unity, learned lots about each other, and defaulted to kindness.
This carried over for a few weeks where the experience would be fresh in memory. I fell into the trap of "it is possible for her to be better, so she will get better because she loves me."
Didn't use MDMA but this was a core part of my treatment for PTSD (combat related). We (semi-religious therapist and I) dove deep into triggering feelings and memories and connected with them and I was basically able to forgive myself and others. Changed my life.
That was a casual experience with the drug, though. Not taken in a clinical setting with the objective goal of dealing with those issues. I could easily see how the drug could be used carefully for such a goal. In fact it was one of my first reactions when I felt it for the first time. I thought "holy shit this would be an amazing therapeutic tool". There really is no way to describe it.
The disinhibition and mental clarity allows people to open up, "break out of their shell" and talk honestly about themselves and their feelings. And it does this immediately and with ease. It's really something special.
Shulgin was impressed with the drug's disinhibiting effects and thought it could be useful in therapy. Believing MDMA allowed users to strip away habits and perceive the world clearly, Shulgin called the drug "window". Shulgin occasionally used MDMA for relaxation, referring to it as "my low-calorie martini", and gave the drug to friends, researchers, and others who he thought could benefit from it. One such person was Leo Zeff, a psychotherapist who had been known to use psychedelic substances in his practice. When he tried the drug in 1977, Zeff was impressed with the effects of MDMA and came out of his semi-retirement to promote its use in therapy. Over the following years, Zeff traveled around the United States and occasionally to Europe, eventually training an estimated four thousand psychotherapists in the therapeutic use of MDMA. Zeff named the drug "Adam", believing it put users in a state of primordial innocence.
Whether you call it conscience or superego, how we judge ourselves seems to be important for mental health.
Interestingly, in the documentary _Dirty Pictures_, and in the books PiHKAL and TiHKAL, Ann Shulgin (widow of Alexander Shulgin, the chemist that re-synthesised MDMA and re-introduced it to the world) talks a lot about the shadow and her work as a therapist whilst working with MDMA shortly after it's effects became known. MDMA was initially trialled by psychiatrists working with the shadow.
Seems like I have some reading material to put off working until this afternoon now :)
Generally when you hear about people being hospitalised or dying after taking ecstasy, it's due to the other shit in the pills. MDMA is a relatively safe drug (although not without its risks, especially taken in a non-therapeutic setting).
"Often"? Often where? I'd say no since we'd hear about accidents with ecstasy "often" as well. This happens rarely, still.
EDIT: Found some data :
"Although more recent ED data are not publicly available, the number of reported poisonings involving “hallucinogenic amphetamines” (which are most commonly MDMA and MDMA-like drugs) rose from 2057 (including 3 deaths) in 2009 to 2514 (including 14 deaths) in 2013"
"Ecstasy purity was low in the US in the mid-1990s3 and purity plummeted in Europe around 2009,11 but increased in 2010,8,11 while purity of powder and crystal ecstasy reportedly remained high in Europe (at 75–97%) in 2008–2013.11 However, the presence of synthetic cathinones (“bath salts”) and other novel psychoactive substances (NPS) increased within both pills and powders from 2008–2013.11 Spain in particular had a high prevalence of synthetic cathinones such as mephedrone and methylone detected in powder ecstasy.9 Despite extensive research in Europe, purity of ecstasy in the US over the last decade has not been formally researched."
I couldn't say how often MDMA is laced, and in what quantities, but it's definitely out there.
Sometimes that's the case. This is one set of problems.
At the moment in the UK though, one of the major problems is massively dosed pills. 250-300mg+ in a single tablet. At these doses people get into danger.
It needs to be treated like a rare, therapeutic, and special vacation, not something you take whenever you want to have fun.
I think if MDMA really does work great for PTSD in therapeutic settings, it’d be a worthwhile treatment, even though some percentage of patients would abuse it.
New recreational users very often do not get a prolonged comedown / tuesday blues / suicide wednesday. Which is more indicative of heavier user, multiple doses, staying up all night, taking over drugs (including alcohol).
In a controlled setting, with a correct one time dose, in a clinical environment, not running around like a loon, sleeping and eating well, in one off sessions, the mid week comedown can be mitagated away
I only did it a handful of times, a long time ago, but if I took a reasonable amount and just had a chill night on the beach with friends, the recovery wasn’t so bad. One day of feeling tired/down, but similar intensity to a moderate hangover.
804 results for MDMA + anything else:
50 results for MDMA + ketamine:
I think it's likely that that's what caused the bad rep more so than how the dealers mixed it. All drugs that were used in a recreational way was deemed as bad.
Had we not had alcohol in the first place, we'd likely have other things a-ok'd, and alcohol would be treated by its merits compared to other recreational substances. By all reason it would be illegal far before many other substances.
Personally I am conflicted: on one hand we can see that the more we let people to have certain drugs, the less functional they are as human beings. On the other hand, if above point was really important, it would make sense to try to let people have the least harmful of these substances, so that, on average, the damage caused by their consumption is lower.
A growing part of me thinks that drug policies aren't as much about preventing harms as it seems to be about "playing games". We could do better all around the world. But things move slowly, so slowly. Stigmas hold, people fall to the soothing lull of prejudice and simplistic arguments.
This is all just business as usual.
No it isn't.
Other MD like drugs, sure, but ketamine no, not often
Always test your drugs people, and start low.
> but the “pure” crystallized products are easy to recognize mdma especially
Lots of the extended amphetamine family (including the various -drones) share very similar tastes, and crystallise very similarly. If you wash MDMA that contains these other substances you'll end up recrystallising those as well.
> And it would have to be a damn big tablet to contain too much mdma... by bet is on what else is inside.
Then your bet is factually wrong and likely dangerous.
Test your stuff. Know what you're getting, start low, and don't listen to people who 'know what the real stuff looks like'
It is unlikely most people will have access to equipment with the precision necessary at home. There is an organization out there (https://www.ecstasydata.org/) that does anonymous GCMS tablet tests of MDMA in particular for $40 (and other substances for a higher price).
The typical tests out there for most people are reagent tests -- chemicals known to react with a desired substance to turn a certain color. Reagent tests are not foolproof -- the main thing you know is that if you do not get the desired color, you most likely don't have the correct product. It is possible to fool a reagent test. They are better than nothing for sure.
Taste, color, and crystallization are not really reliable ways of identifying the product.
This is all very poor advice.
Get chemical test kits, use drug testing services where they are available, be cautious.
Which is pretty terrible itself, powders and crystals can be just as adulterated as pills. Relying on sight and taste to tell what you've got is very unreliable.
The best way I've heard MDMA therapy being described is this - you have a large group of extremely painful neurons/memories, and going there is shocking and horrific to the point that you begin to grow a big moat of fearful neurons/emotions next to anything that connects with them. The point of therapy in general is to 1. Break down that fear moat (which frequently grows to be more painful than the underlying issue), and 2. Start drawing those painful neurons and memories out, but in as positive and understanding an environment as possible. At that point the memories/neurons get re-stored, still painful but with the added context of the environment they were last accessed.
MDMA takes step 2 and adds the most positive neurological/chemical setting possible for you to pull those painful neurons and memories out, and puts them in what can be described as a comforting blanket. It can absolutely quicken the process and help you eventually neutralize the traumatic and painful bundle of memories. Calling it a quick fix is such a misnomer - it is incredibly hard work to heal one's self from the inside, no matter the external helpers.
I imagine it could help, and probably be better than therapy alone, but lessoning of the negative feelings around painful memories can be treated with opiates too (which are far more addictive than MDMA, despite MDMA being far more euphoric). The problem is PTSD, anxiety disorders and personality disorders are incredibly intractable with the tools we have - if a therapeutic session could have 10x efficacy and safely get someone to a healthier state in 1 year rather than 10, it should absolutely be looked into.
Spiritual health is literally the most important need of any intelligent human, and yet it's incredibly hard to achieve in our current culture. We're a nation of drugged out, traumatized zombies starving for answers, and the loudest voices belong to snakes and idiots. It's an absolute disaster.
The first baby step of a solution is allowing and encouraging people to discover and to speak plainly about what is Good, what is Beauty, what are our obligations to ourselves and others, and why.
But everyone's brains are fried. They've simply accepted the ambient dull-minded morality seeped into our cultural fabric by a host of unmoral forces (and a few immoral), and the process of spiritual development for many has become a weakly cathartic but useless raging at the failure of their community to succeed within this framework. Then they're told: when this exhausts you, reach for the pill bottle.
It's incredibly sad.
Tell that to someone who is starving.
Hierarchy of needs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs
Indeed, this illustrates quite well that physiological needs are the most important needs - if they were't, then they couldn't serve as a tool to escalate the stakes of the protest.
If spiritual needs were more important, you would have spirit strikes instead of hunger strikes.
It is the content of their souls that allows them to do what they do and this recognition that makes their demonstration compelling.
By the way, spirit strikes are very much a thing, and they are far uglier than hunger strikes.
Psychedelic experience is often a trigger that allows the one going through it to quickly bypass some (but not all!) obstacles on their Path.
e.g. a single MDMA experience might allow the person going through it to be more forgiving (albeit temporarily!) than they would otherwise have been able to, seeing the value of such a perspective and increasing the likelihood that they will engage in the on-going work that you describe.
As with most experiences, its impact (and duration of) exist on a spectrum.
You may find the Good Friday experiment to be of interest:
This is a massive simplification. It represents the pop-psych nonsense like serotonin is the happiness molecule. It really depends. Mood and brain chemistry are much more complex than: serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine, norepinephrine
My anecdata: most of my friends have a down day 1-2 days after, then they’re fine. A couple have a really hard down day, others don’t have comedowns. This comment is irresponsible in that it confuses anecdote for data and uses a very inaccurate metaphor.
Good advice here is: if you want to try MDMA:
1. Test your product. Almost none of the MDMA on the streets is actually MDMA. It’s usually bath salts or something else unsavory
2. Dose correctly. MDMA is dosed generally based on body weight. If you don’t have the luxury of weighing you should probably take 75mg to 100mg.
3. Spend some time during your experience grappling with things that have bothered you lately. This is purely anecdotal, but this helps me with both the comedown and helps me figure out difficult things I’ve recently had difficulty with.
4. Expect some sad feelings 1-2 days after, so if you can plan those days around close friends in non stressful environments.
That is not really true. At least not in Europe. Real MDMA is incredibly common.
> 87% of “Molly” analyzed by the DEA between 2009 and 2013 contained 0% MDMA, instead mostly containing “bath salts.”
> 46% of Ecstasy tablets analyzed in a study contained 0% MDMA.
See figure 7.
The important thing is that all of those chemicals you described get released at once, and while you may only notice the acute effects for a couple days, the subtle effects last a lot longer. To massively simplify again - a week later maybe you can’t enjoy a sunset as much as you normally do, whether you’re cogniscent of it or not.
What you're describing as a "bad" thing is that all the chemicals get released at once - what that does is create the perfect mental environment to deal with issues or trauma that would be literally too painful to access otherwise. Often times the benefit of getting through or starting a journey of healing of some long-standing problem will hugely outweigh the minor downregulation of neurochemicals afterwards (you will feel a little slow).
It's definitely got a risk factor, but the sheer experience is something everyone should have once.
It releases serotonin stored in your body, and thus depletes those stores. So multiple doses feel less and less good. The body needs several weeks/months to refill those serotonin storages. All you do is risk getting serotonin syndrome  which is a whole other story/problem. But becoming "addicted" (physically or psychologically) in the classical sense is not an immediate issue as it is with cocaine, smoking, weed, etc.
I disagree that everyone should try (any) drugs. It's hard enough to trust your own mind (and those of everyone around you). Adding drugs to the mix compounds this uncertainty.
There is no such thing as one drug which makes all other drugs redundant.
Disulfiram (brandname Antabus(e)) works well for alcohol addiction. Methadone for heroin addiction. Bupropion (brandname Zyban) for smoking cessation.
As for DMT + MAOI (which I know as Ayahuasca), care should be taken when using a MAOI. Most importantly it must not be combined with a plethora of other drugs and foods, but there are some additional sharp edges to take into account beyond that.
I've only used Ayahuasca once recreationally. It was the most interesting experience, compared to Psilocybin. They say that with MDMA, only your first experience is magic. I've used it approx 10 times, and can attest to that.
I do not recommend everyone should use this or any other drug once in their life. From the drugs you mentioned, there's one which you didn't which is relatively mild, safe, and that is Muscimol (found in A. Muscaria aka fly agaric).
My advice is very simple and universal (caveat ): go to your doctor instead of recreationally using drugs, and exhaust all options there. It was then, through rough milling and various therapists, that I found out that I have ASD. Which explained far, far more than any recreational drug usage I've had. And I have had my take as the above might suggest. Of all the drugs I have used, I feel marihuana was the most dangerous one because I had multiple psychoses on that one.
 Though I do realise not everyone in the world has access to quality, affordable healthcare
My first time was fairly meh, but one of the last times I took it, after a multi-year break, was pretty magical.
Erm, sorry, but I'm really not sure the words 'safe' and 'maoi' should be in the same sentence there. There are a lot of precautions one needs to take to make sure you don't end up with severe hypertension and requiring a trip to an emergency room.
I think we should probably take the outcomes and evidence of the ongoing scientific research, for what is safe or not.
Also, hypertension risks are generally a problem for MAOI prescriptions: people who take MAOIs every day. With DMT, a MAOI is only consumed once, with the DMT. DMT is rarely taken on a regular and frequent basis, so it's unlikely someone would be consuming a very risky quantity of MAOIs over the long term.
MAOIs may increase DMT risk in other ways, but I don't believe hypertensive crisis is an issue for that specific combination.
They pose a risk with alcohol and lots of different foodstuffs too - https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/ex...
> MAOIs may increase DMT risk in other ways, but I don't believe hypertensive crisis is an issue for that specific combination.
Not with DMT itself, but if taking an MAOI at all you need to take a lot of precautions (fasting, avoiding certain foods and drink etc) to avoid the possibility.
It's manageable, clearly, but just blanket saying not only that it's fairly safe, but that it's the only fairly safe drug disregards the specific risks associated with MAOI use over and above those presented by (for instance) LSD or MDMA.
I just meant DMT isn't known to pose a particular risk when combined with a MAOI, unlike taking a MAOI with amphetamine or something. Obviously people should research what they should and shouldn't take with them.
Many things have been used for centuries, including Belladonna. Doesn't mean a lot
A ten second google search will show you examples of people who have had this side effect from "Changa".
The DMT experience is not something for everyone. Adding a MAOI makes it more dangerous physically.
Also what would be a recreational ketamine dose? As ketamine is almost like two separate drugs at the dosage spectrum. From a small bump to get a bit floaty / wobbly all the way to deep immobile kholes
Aren’t there some things that are so terrible that we should continue to feel guilty?
I'll add that PTSD doesn't only happen to people that have done things - it happens to folks that have been through some sort of trauma. Victims of child abuse or spousal abuse, for example. Sometimes folks that have been in car accidents, fires, and other such things. I know a person that is in inpatient treatment right now because it got so bad... again. She's mostly in treatment because the thought of her children going through a parental suicide made her feel badly.
And I'll add this as well: Soldiers don't always have the real choice to do things differently, especially in draft situations or if someone has been lied to in recruitment (really common). And I'll add that forgiving oneself is not the same as being OK with everything that happened, simply that the overriding guilt doesn't own your life and affect everyone that you know. People change but their past often doesn't (there are some exceptions, such as missed information, but what you thought is still what you thought).
As a philosophical point, I am okay with non-soldier examples.
Does you argument still stand?
Not only that, but such things take a toll on society. Their families suffer - children, spouses, parents, siblings - and it is a drain on medical care. Why would we not make it so folks can lead a better life?
I'm not even a supporter of much of what a military does. They war, and rarely do the rebuilding or giving back to the community outside of a PR stunt. (NASA gets a break here, they don't seem to be a warring segment). But that doesn't mean the little folks on the ground need to suffer for life. I don't think most folks are happy about the thing that gave them PTSD, but that's not what the drug does. (Side note: I've taken this particular drug). It simply makes it so you aren't caught up on it and can get back to living in the present. That thing stops eating your brain and linking that thing to more innocent things in every day life.
Still, if you think the point or goal of the topic here is "chemical forgiveness" then you're way off base in the first place - someone can be so horrified they can't even internalize the shame of what they did. The point isn't to feel good about doing bad things.
In the case of this soldier he is most definitely deserving of help and respect.
I can concoct particular examples but it gets dramatic quickly. I am sure you can come up with some extreme examples.
Are you saying you are okay with the person forgiving themselves in every example you can think of?
Does it matter if the person can forgive themselves "easily" i.e. immediately after the act, and for all time with no consequences?
The world could end now. Everything is perfectly fine.
My version was "lounging around under the stairs in a mostly-abandoned hotel lobby late at night at a furry con, with two friends". It worked pretty well. Still probably took about eight hours.