Tony Macie, a retired Sergeant of the U.S. Army, had a 15-month tour in Iraq in 2006 and 2007, during the so-called surge in that warzone.
Macie was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after his return, and he eventually tried the alternative treatment MDMA after his PTSD was deemed “treatment-resistant,” he writes in a Reddit AMA thread.
MDMA is the main ingredient in the party drug ecstasy, and Macie was able to take it as part of psychotherapy trial. Such trials have been approved by federal authorities to determine whether MDMA could help patients with PTSD because it increases serotonin and oxytocin in the brain. (Serotonin is associated with happiness, while oxytocin is known as the “love hormone.”)
The trials worked to such a degree that Macie has since stopped taking all medication and has began to lead a life no longer affected by PTSD.
We have highlighted some of they key questions and responses from Sgt. Macie’s AMA below.
Macie explains how MDMA and guided therapy allowed him to confront his traumatic memories directly while still allowing him to feel secure and safe.
Unlike what Macie expected, MDMA was not like alcohol; it allowed him to constructively face each feeling and thought.
Macie’s dose was 75 milligrams.
The entire experience felt to Macie like a series of “a-ha” moments during which it became clear how to best handle his previous trauma.
Despite the success of the trial, Sgt. Macie did not endorse people recreationally using MDMA. Instead, he believes that the drug should only be administered in measured doses by health care professionals.
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