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MDMA And Depression: What's The Connection and How to Prevent It

 by ray on  |
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MDMA And Depression: What's The Connection?
MDMA, scientifically known as Methylenedioxymethamphetamine and more commonly known as Ecstasy is a recreational drug that stimulates feelings of euphoria, empathy, decreased anxiety and overall happiness in the user.

The drug, usually taken by mouth can also be snorted and smoked. It is a drug that is commonly associated with parties and raves as it is used to enhances one's mood and create a sense of excitement.

While the immediate effects of MDMA is pleasurable, the after effects as well as the long-term effects are more damaging. Some of the long term and after effects of MDMA include anxiety, dehydration, loss of appetite, restlessness, fatigue, heart palpitations and sweating. But many studies have shown that the connection between the use of MDMA and depression is more prominent.

How does MDMA cause depression?
The good feelings that are produced by the usage of MDMA come from the release of large amounts of serotonin, as stimulated by the drug.

Although there is no concrete physiological explanation that explains exactly how MDMA causes depression, one possible explanation is that the large amount of serotonin released from the brain causes a deficiency in the brain’s supply.

The excess release of the hormone may take time to replenish and the time during which it is being restored exempts the brain from having access to the hormone. As serotonin is the happy hormone that enhances mood and overall mental wellbeing, the lack of this hormone can cause a mild depression in the user.

But this type of depression might be temporary as the serotonin levels will be restored naturally. However, the time that will take for the hormone to be restored depends on the amount of MDMA taken, the size of the individual and their overall physiology.

Besides the possible explanation of how the temporary serotonin depletion of the brain caused by the usage of MDMA can cause mild depression, the down regulation of serotonin receptors could also be a cause for depression.

The body is a physiological machine that maintains its smooth functioning by ensuring homeostasis in all its parts. So, serotonin receptors achieve this balance by up-regulating and down-regulating, as it cannot constantly release serotonin.

This balance is disrupted by the usage of MDMA as it alters the natural release of serotonin and stimulates its release. When the release of this hormone is not regulated properly, it causes the excess release of serotonin and causes the down-regulation of the serotonin receptors.

Although this explanation is similar to the former explanation, the down-regulation of the receptors can take weeks and even months to be restored. So, instead of a mild depression, the user will feel a stronger level of depression. But again, this will depend on the user’s physiology.

Another explanation of how the usage of MDMA causes depression is that the user of MDMA already had preexisting depression. Although most MDMA users take the drug to give themselves a temporary high to enhance their mood, some do take the drug because of the depression that they want to suppress.

The use of the drug gives them a false sense of not having the clinical condition, but the drug tends to worsen preexisting depression. As MDMA has no proven medical uses, the drug should not be treated as an antidepressant.

Usually, those who use MDMA to self-medicate their depression are unaware that they have the condition in the first place.

How you can minimize the effects of depression while taking MDMA:
MDMA or E is a recreational drug that has known to enhance the party experience. If you are able to take this drug responsibly then you can prevent it from having dire long-term effects. Here is how you can do so:

Use the drug in moderation
Do not take a large dosage of the drug at the same time and do not take the drug very often. Make sure that you monitor how much you have taken in a year and keep the number a minimum.

Monitor your health
If you feel like you could be depressed or if you have heading onto that path, avoid taking the drug. But if you do plan on taking the drug, make sure you are healthy, well and not affected by any illnesses.

Eat a proper diet
As MDMA depletes serotonin, your body needs to be well equipped with amino acids, vitamins and minerals to replenish the store of hormones. You can only get these nutrients if you eat a well balanced diet.

Get enough sleep
The time that you sleep is the time that your body repairs and replenishes itself. When you get a goodnight’s rest every night, your body will be able to heal and better itself. It is also the time when the body replenishes its serotonin supply.
Combating post-E depression with 5-htp
5-Hydroxy-Tryptophan, an amino acid supplement, commonly called 5-htp, has been reported to lessen the effects of post MDMA depression. 5-htp, being an amino acid supplement, a core ingredient in the production of serotonin, will help restore the levels of the hormone in your body. This helps reduce the effects of depression.

You should be aware of the fact that 5-htp only helps your body restore serotonin levels to prevent severe depression caused by MDMA, it does not mask or reduce its other effects.
Even though drug usage for recreational purposes is not advised, if you choose to take drugs that stimulate you mentally and physically, you should be sure to get some information about the drug before you do so. MDMA has long term effects that can become life threatening if not taken responsibly.


Aeden Smith-Ahearn - Comment
Aeden Smith-Ahearn27 Nov 2017Reply

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